Equestrian & Country Business

Running your own business can be hard, can’t it? It can be lonely, you feel overwhelmed, confused… and a lot more besides. Here, in this area, I hope to share stories, tips and information from equestrian and rural businesses just like you to inspire and motivate.

There are lots of different kinds of equestrian and rural business, and there are lots of ideas that can help all of these thrive. Here you’ll find business podcasts, interviews from business owners of equestrian and country brands you know and love, and more besides. You might find tips and tricks connected to how to run your social media platforms better, or even an explanation as to the new developments in these areas. You might stumble upon information connected to PR and marketing that will really help you promote your business more effectively.

I’m sure you’ll find something that you can try now that will help your equestrian or country business. You’ll definitely find some inspiring stories from some great people in our industry.

hihoandco group shot
Image by Matt Sweeting Photography

Unless you’ve been in a hole for the last few weeks (and that’s fine, we all need to go to ground occasionally!), you’ll know all about #hihoandco. This event was put on at Blackdown Shepherd Huts in Somerset, by Hiho, on Monday 11th Feb. As you’ll know if you know me at all, I work with Hiho (and have done for a while!), and I was also part of the organising team for the event. Hiho & Co was, quite simple, amazing, and I loved every moment. I lost my voice for three days afterwards but gained huge amounts of amazing memories and good vibes… so I’m fine with that!

I could write a very long blog about the Hiho & Co day, but I thought it would try and find the top five things about the day… it’s taken some thinking about, but here goes…

Five things I loved about #hihoandco

  1. The venue. Oh my. This was something else. I work with Blackdown Shepherd Huts and was absolutely blown away the first time I visited. The huts are like nothing I have ever seen before and are so beautifully designed. Not only was I amazed by the huts, but the workshop. I have this thing about workshops and warehouses – I kind of love them. I see them as the heart of the business and am always amazed by the degree of organisation in them. The Blackdown workshop was next level with specially designed bit for each thing – like the special sinking floor, for example. More than the beauty of the venue alone – the Blackdown team. Will, who owns Blackdown, along with the rest of the team, allowed us to completely take over their premises for two days… seriously- how many people would let you do that?! They also let us use another hut (the selfie hut) and take over their tearoom. I loved them all before but I love them even more now.
  2. Capture By Lucy. I’ve been a fan of Lucy and her amazing backdrops for quite some time. I think she’s incredibly talented and I love what she creates and the story behind her brand. But in person? She’s absolutely lovely! Not only did she handle the level of madness that follows me around, but she delivered the most amazing talk to the Hiho & Co guests. I’m going to treat myself to a backdrop too – I just need to decide which one!
  3. The brands. We were very, very lucky to have the most amazing support from some incredible brands in the equestrian and country industry, as well as those beyond. Mackenzie & George are heavily involved with Hiho & Co as Melanie (co-founder) is also part of the organising group. We had Fairfax & Favor, Albion Saddlemakers, Joules, Cupsmith, Hullabaloo Drinks involved with the goody bags. In addition we had additional props loaned from The Tartan Blanket Co and Albion Lifestyle. It was great having such an incredible range of products to use in our workshops and for dressing areas.
  4. The team. I have to talk about the team, don’t I? Whenever we embark on one of these events, I’m reminded how incredible the people I work with are. At the head of the Hiho & Co idea is Emma Warren – who’s also MD of Hiho Silver. This lady is so hardworking, kind and welcoming – words can’t express it. She’s also a sandwich short of a picnic. But no one who wasn’t would suggest these big things… and pull them off to such a degree, would they? Next up, Melanie Clarihew. Melanie, and her husband Chris, founded Mackenzie & George, and are some of the kindest, hardest working and most talented people I know. I’m regularly found laughing about something random with Melanie, but I am always in awe of what they create. The new luggage tags that they made and personalised for each goody bag were a great example of this. They’re amazing. Ruth Chappell- my little roomie and organisation whizz kid. Ruth is the lady behind Dressage Anywhere and I’m so impressed with how she runs, manages and promotes that. But at Hiho and Co, she keeps us organised. She sorts out so many behind the scenes things, and is a fixer. She makes me laugh a lot and has the kindest soul. I love Ruth a little bit. Then we have Rachel Bragg aka Sweet Images aka the flatlay queen. Rachel is also a very good friend and her gentle encouragement to everyone is incredible. She has no idea how good she when it comes to her teaching or photography, but she is next level. And shares this all so so willingly too. And last but not least is Sophie Callahan. The photography whizz kid. I have so much respect for Sophie – not just her skills but her whole demeanour. I adore Sophie and constantly learn from her attitude to life. She’s very laid back and takes the knocks in a way that she uses them to fuel her rather than lets them get her down. If you’ve read her baby blog you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. She’s stubborn as a mule too – and if I told her off once for trying to lift something heavy, I told her off 10 times… but I was the same when I was pregnant!
  5. The people. And this is a big one. The people who came to Hiho & Co were incredible. We had a lot of people come and see us for the second time (after coming to the first event held at The Fish in September) and it truly was like meeting up with a load of friends. How good is that? I feel that everyone who comes to one of these days is there for the right reasons. They get a huge amount of value from the workshops we run, but there’s also a lovely vibe, the chance to find new friends and so much more. Some of the people attending shared lifts – some even went out to dinner the night before – and this really did warm my heart…
hiho and co cupcakes

So there you have it – five things I loved about #hihoandco – but be in no doubt I could have written a book on the subject! If you want to see a little more of the magic, pop on over to Instagram and have a look at the #hihoandco hashtag. Equally, have a look at Hiho’s own blog and follow the links listed to the blogs created by some of our amazing guests.

Rhea Freeman Newsletter Link
Image by Sweet Images UK

Today’s blog focuses on one of my lovely clients, Hiho Silver. Well, after #hihoandco on Monday, it seemed as good a time as any to share this!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Hiho Silver for quite a few years now and I’m so, so proud to work with them. Not only is the jewellery stunning (and can put up with the level of abuse that happens to it in my daily life!), but the people are lovely too.

As I get to hang out with Hiho Silver a lot, I thought it might be fun to share five things you might not know about Hiho Silver. I mean, you might do, but I thought it would be quite a fun way to lift the lid on this popular equestrian jewellery company. Are you ready? Let’s look at five things you might not know about Hiho Silver…

Hiho Silver is 25 years old this year!

Yep, Hiho is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. On the wedding anniversary chart this is… silver! To celebrate its 25th year, Hiho will be releasing a number of super special, limited edition pieces. I can’t tell you what they are or who Hiho is working with – because Emma and the team would actually shoot me – but trust me when I say you have some real treats in store!

Not all silver is the same

Ok, this is a fact about silver rather than Hiho Silver, but it’s an interesting one all the same. Not all silver is the same. Hiho use sterling silver, meaning it contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another metal. Pure silver is a really soft metal, meaning that if you were to make jewellery out of it, it wouldn’t stay in the shape it was meant to for long. By adding another metal and making sterling silver, Hiho’s pieces are a lot more durable, but the additional metal is chosen so it doesn’t detract from the silver’s beauty.

But before you think ‘this sounds odd’ – it isn’t. The hallmark 925 is used on a lot of silver, including Hiho’s, and the 925 refers to the percentage of pure silver in the jewellery. All Hiho is made with the highest quality 925 sterling silver, and pieces over the minimum legal weight threshold have a hallmark as a further guarantee of quality.

The Cherry Roller

Ah- the Cherry Roller. I LOVE this piece, but there’s a lot more to it than just a beautiful piece of jewellery. The Cherry Roller was designed by the Hiho team and is exclusive, trademarked and copyrighted. This piece took a long time to refine – and I know a lot of testing went on behind the scenes before it was sold. There are lots of clever elements in the design, not least the fact it can be customised with the beads a customer chooses. This, to me, makes it even more special.

Hiho Silver was in an old piggery for a number of years

Hiho may have started life at Forde Abbey, but a good fews years ago the team relocated to a piggery. Ok, that’s not quite true. Although the building used to be a piggery it had, obviously, been converted into a pretty impressive office space with everything you’d expect. They’ve now moved to the old granary.

It really is a team effort…

And this is one of the really lovely things about Hiho. The team. When a piece is designed, so many people chip in with their thoughts, ideas and so on, to help perfect each piece and make it as good as it can possibly be. Of course there’s usually a lead and someone brings the seed of the idea which is then developed, but everyone brings something to the party and I really think that is why Hiho’s jewellery is so special. This collaborative way of working doesn’t stop at design – on no. When we are planning a campaign or a sponsorship or anything else, everyone involved has a say on how we can make it better so we get the desired outcome. It’s a rather lovely way of working…

To find out more about Hiho, have a look at the Hiho Silver website, or go on over and follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

If you liked this, you might also like…

Why I love the CZ Roller Bead

Hiho & Co Instameet

5 apps that help me run my business

How many apps do you have on your phone? I have quite a lot on mine. Some apps I use once in a blue moon (like Shazam… I use that as my musical memory!!), but some apps I use each day, and some apps help me run my business. These five apps are ones that you might not know about – or at least, don’t know loads about. So you won’t find Instagram, the Facebook apps, or Twitter in this list. I mean, they really do help me a lot, but I think everyone has those on their phone, don’t they? These are five apps that help me run my business that you might not know about… are you ready?

5 apps that help me run my business…

  1. Later – now, I don’t really use Later from the app but it’s very useful to have! If you don’t know about Later, it’s a social media scheduling tool that I first learnt about because of Instagram. It’s an Instagram approved app and allows autoposting. Until fairly recently, you couldn’t autopost on Instagram. This meant that scheduling apps would send you a tactful nudge to crack on and do it. They allowed you to copy and paste but, for me, it didn’t really help me. Autoposting does. I do all my scheduling from the laptop but I find the app really useful in case I’m out and about and something hasn’t autoposted or I need to tweak the schedule due to any number of factors. It’s really handy to have.
  2. Repost – I know there are a lot of apps that let you repost – and I’m not saying that this is the best out there because I honestly don’t know, but this is what I use. I like the simplicity of it. Quick sidenote, you should always ask permission to repost or share someone’s pic on Instagram too, but this means that if you want the image credited in this way, it does it for you. It’s free too!
  3. Dropbox – as with Later, I use the desktop version a lot more, but I do use the app version too. When I give seminars or anything that requires slides, I usually take them on a USB stick (usually as per the venue’s instructions), but I put them in Dropbox too, you know, just in case. Equally, I have a LOT of images in my Dropbox from different clients, so if I’m out I can quickly find something if needed.
  4. Quickbooks – this is the app that I invoice through. I kind of hate invoicing anyway, but this app makes it very easy and very quick to do. As with Repost, I know there are quite a few invoicing/accounting apps out there… I just use this one!
  5. iMovie – this is a little miracle worker. For all my ‘big’ videos, I get my husband to edit them. He has a Mac, uses Final Cut Pro, and can do a lot more than I can. But over Christmas when I was making a lot of short videos that didn’t need a lot of editing, I used this. I think for basic edits, the app is superb. It allowed me to add titles, music, trim clips and add different transitions really easily. It was a bit fiddly when I did a more complicated edit on one of the Dimpsey videos so it’s not something I would want to use routinely for more complex projects. That isn’t because of the capability of the app though, that was more screensize. I think when you have a few things at work, you need all the space!

So there are my top five apps that help me run my business. If you liked this, make sure you check out the Small & Supercharged Podcast all about apps I use to help run my business, there’s even more on there!

5 ways to use testimonials

Do you ask your customers for testimonials? If you don’t, now’s the time to start! You might feel like you’re asking people to stroke your ego, but you’re actually providing a service to potential customers. How? Well, think about testimonials. Do they normally share the same kind of information that you share? Mine don’t – have a look at some of my testimonials here and you’ll see. Would I say any of these things about myself? No. I wouldn’t. But more than that, these words show what it’s like to work WITH you, which is something I can’t really do. So you might be wondering what you can do when you have these amazing testimonials. So I’m here to help with five ways to use testimonials…

  1. On your website. I have a testimonials section on my website and I also feature a section on the homepage with a testimonials in a slider. This means that if someone wants to come to my website and find out what it’s like to work with me. They can. The side benefit of this area is that people get to see who I have worked/do work with too.
  2. On your social media. Add your testimonial (or a bit of it!) to a nice graphic (something you can do on Canva) and use it on your social media. Again, don’t feel icky about this. You really are providing a service to your potential customers about what it’s like to work with you.
  3. On your email signature. Signatures can be dead space. I know mine has my contact details and a disclaimer, but I have seen some people add testimonials here and they can look really good, and also link to your website too.
  4. In a blog. Yes, you can use a testimonial as the foundation of a blog all about your amazing client who shared the testimonial with you. It’s a great way to talk about their business, what they do, how good they are and so on. Add your testimonial at the bottom and thank them too.
  5. On printed material. Yes. Business cards, flyers and brochures can benefit from well placed testimonials alongside specific services and products. You don’t want to overdo it, but it can work really well!

As a tip, always make sure you have proper permission to use testimonials from clients. An email saying you’re amazing isn’t permission. Be really clear how you are planning to use their words and make sure they’re happy you do this. Also, it goes without saying that fabricated endorsements are a big fat no too… they have zero value if they’re not real!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter
pile of business books

If you had a listen to my Small & Supercharged podcast about how to learn on a budget, you should have heard one of my book buying tips. I wasn’t planning to go into it again, but when someone posted on my Instagram feed stating that they had just saved £80 because of this tip, I had to share. It’s completely legit, I promise. But it could save you a lot of money on business books. Well, any books in fact… are you ready?

How to save money on business books

There’s no hiding that I am a big fan of business books. I read a lot and I listen a lot too. I love them. But a book habit can get a bit expensive, if you consume them at the rate that I do. Of course, good books are worth their weight in gold, and the value of the book vs the cost is a whole different blog, but I’m talking about the straight up cost. Now, a few years ago, I stumbled across a few options on Amazon that made buying books a whole lot cheaper. I have bought books for 1p (plus postage). And good books at that. It’s not a dark art, but it might be an area that you may not have explored before. And that’s what this blog is all about.

Let’s walk it through…

So, the best way to show you what I mean is a real life example. So let’s start with Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crushing It, shall we? If you have a look at the link, you’ll see the cost for a shiny new copy of Crushing It is £9.34 (Jan ’19) with free postage if your book order comes to over £10. So if I was being picky, I’d add the postage charge to make my hack seem even better value, but I’m not going to do that. So let’s say this new book costs £9.34. To be honest, for this book, that’s a real bargain.

But before you press Buy Now, take a stroll with me. Under the title of the book you’ll see other buying option. There’s a Kindle version, audiobook, hardcover and paperback. Now, under paperback, see the ‘Used’ option, and see it’s from £3.67 (Jan ’19)? Click on there. This will take you through to a list of used books and their various conditions. So if you spend an extra penny, you can get a ‘Like New’ book for the sum of £3.68. And the postage is £2.80, so we need to add that on. This comes to £6.48. Ok, it might only be a saving of £2.86, but it takes no more time, and could add up to quite a lot.

The thing is, many people aren’t happy to have pre-read business books. Me? I don’t really care! I tend to go for ‘Like New’ or ‘Very Good’ in the condition stakes, and on a number of occasions I did think they probably were new. And that means I can buy more books with that saving!

I do appreciate it’s only a few pounds saved, and if you want to buy new books all the time – DO IT – it’s fine! But if you’re on a budget or really like a bargain, this is quite fun.

Here are a few more business book bargains…

Just to prove the point a bit further, I’ve had a little look at some other book bargains in the business book category. These are all books I like and have read. And these are all correct as of Jan ’19… prices will and do change…

Gary Vaynerchuk – The Thank You Economy – new £14.54. Used (Very Good condition) inc postage £6.65.

Gary Vaynerchuk – #AskGaryVee – new £13.65. Used (Very Good condition) inc. postage £4.31.

Natasha Courtenay-Smith – The Million Dollar Blog – new £11.43. Used (Like New condition) inc. postage is £6.03.

Seth Godin – Purple Cow – new £8.69. Used (Very Good condition) inc. postage is £4.87.

Michelle Mone – My Fight To The Top – new £7.99. Used (Very Good condition) inc postage is £2.89.

Now, before you think all your business book costs have been slashed forever, this only applies to some books. I look at every one I buy and I have a good hit rate, but some cost the same if you buy this way. That said, it’s very easy to see if that’s the way it’s going as all prices are clearly displayed!

Have you bought books like this? I’d love to know – come and find me on Instagram and share!

Rhea Freeman Newsletter
learning on a budget with rhea freeman

Continual learning is something I am a huge advocate of. But not just the kind of learning that goes on via courses, coaching and workshops. Don’t get me wrong, I do all three of these, but I’m also a big advocate of learning when you have zero budget. The great thing is that there are lots of ways to learn on a budget. Even if that budget is zero. And by putting in the work and learning, you’ll not only be able to deepen your understanding and increase your knowledge, you’ll be up-skilling to make yourself a more ‘valuable’ addition to anyone’s team. Even if you’re the only one on that team.

Learning on a budget – how to learn on a budget and why you should look into it!

I’ve actually written a blog about how to learn on a budget before… and I produce a lot of content to help people learn for free. This podcast is just one example. Of course, this podcast isn’t about what I do that you can use, but the variety of resources available to help you learn on a budget. Even if your budget is non existent! Show notes for episode 18 – Learning on a budget…

  • We talk about the variety of learning options out there- from resources that are free to thousands of pounds.
  • I talk about when I learn (walking the dog, in the car, etc!)
  • We discuss overwhelm and how it’s important to pick the people you want to learn from and focus in on them.
  • How you need to pick a few people you really rate and trust, so you don’t get overwhelmed and procrastinate.
  • We talk about podcasts and the value that these can bring. I also recommend Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast and Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. And I also talk about the problems I had when I listened to too many.
  • Moving through to a low cost paid for option, I talk about the value of audiobooks and how I use Audible. I really do like Audible – I wrote a blog about my Audible obsession a little while ago.
  • We talk about books and a little hack I have on Amazon where you can pick up books for much less than the new price. I’ve actually picked up books for a penny (I have to add postage, obviously!), but these can still be a lot less than the new price.
  • I talk about blogs and how these can provide a great free resource of tips and information. You can subscribe to people’s mailing lists too, so you get that information into your inbox.
  • Video – there’s a surprise – yes, video is a great way to learn. YouTube is a fountain of free how to videos (and, you know, baby monkeys riding on pigs). I use YouTube a lot actually, especially for more visual things.
  • How membership groups can be really, really useful. I also talk about the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group and how group coaching can work and deliver really good results for a good price.
  • We discuss paid for online courses. I talk about the courses I’ve done online, particularly with Fiona Humberstone, and how these go a lot deeper into subjects and are usually better produced and more structured than free content.
  • ‘Live’ events, like workshops, talks and seminars, can vary hugely in price, but are a great way to learn. Websites like EventBrite can be a good way to find workshops and events near you.
  • We talk about low cost courses, like the ones provided by providers like Udemy. These are generally much lower value and run by people who aren’t brands in their own right. But if you have something specific to learn, Udemy might be perfect for you.
  • And we finish by talking about the main differences between free and paid for content. Not just the cost…
Subscribe to the Small & Supercharged podcast on iTunes
Hiho & Co Instameet

What are you doing on Monday 11th February? If the answer is ‘nothing’ or ‘nothing that can’t be changed’ – read on – I have the perfect way to spend the day. The Hiho & Co Instameet. Well, I call it an Instameet because I think that’s a term that everyone gets, but it’s SO much more than that. A bit like saying a Lindt ball is a chocolate. It does it no justice at all.

So what’s Hiho & Co?

You may remember that last September, Hiho ran an event called ‘Style, Skills & Silver’ at The Fish Hotel in Broadway. This was the very first of its kind in our industry and brought together bloggers, vloggers and small businesses with some of the best brands in our space, and various experts too. There were two workshops- one about style and one about skills, and a group of the most amazing people learnt lots and got hands on in both workshops. I ran part of the skills side with Sophie Callahan, Ruth Chappell and Rachel Bragg, and I had the most amazing time. As soon as the first one was finished, we all agreed we wanted to do it again. We’d had the best fun, met lots of amazing new friends, and learnt lots too. It was great. So then we started plotting. And that’s where Hiho & Co came from.

Why not Style, Skills & Silver?

As I mentioned, the first event was called Style, Skills & Silver, but this one has had a name change. Emma Warren (Queen Bee of Hiho Silver) felt that Hiho & Co was a true reflection of the collaborative nature of the event. Not only the brand ambassadors and experts, but also the people attending. Because without exception everyone worked together. And not only that, but created some mind blowing content and further collabs long after the event ended. I like the new name a lot!

So what’s happening at Hiho & Co?

We’re building on the very firm foundations of the first event, but with a few changes. We’ve moved location to Hiho’s home county and are able to hold the event at Blackdown Shepherd Huts. These huts contain the most Instagrammable interiors and details I’ve ever seen, and with the workshops we have planned, are going to work so well. Their exteriors are pretty extraordinary too, with the craftsmanship shining through at every opportunity, providing the perfect backdrop to our plans.

At this event, you’ll still have the chance to work with Sophie Callahan, Rachel Bragg, Ruth Chappell, Melanie Clarihew, me, and the Hiho team, but you’ll also be treated to a workshop run by the very talented Capture By Lucy. I promise you, it is going to be superb.

You’ll also be treated to a delicious lunch, cakes, a goody bag, plenty of opportunities to chat to people to help your business flourish… and you’ll make some new friends too. Probably people you feel you already know through Instagram. But in real life.

The bad news is that, at time of writing this, there are just FOUR spaces left. So if you want one, get in quick! You can book your ticket to Hiho & Co here!

goal setting for your small business

Today it’s all about goals – well, more precisely goal setting for your small business. It might be a few days since the bells welcomed the New Year, but the good thing is that goals are a bit different to resolutions. Resolutions generally kick in on 1st January and, for many, don’t last all that long. In more recent years, I’ve ditched resolutions. I tend to feel that resolutions are about taking something way. Maybe you want to eat less chocolate? Drink less alcohol? Do you see what I mean? The problem is that when you have a cube of Dairy Milk you can feel like a failure and that can knock you off course. Goals, well, to me, are different. Goals are what I like to focus on.

Goal setting for your small business

The good thing about goals is that they sit well in personal and professional life. It would feel a bit odd to have a resolution for your business, wouldn’t it? But a goal? That makes perfect sense.

The thing with goals is that there’s a bit of a knack to setting them. Well, maybe not a knack as such, but a way to increase your chances of success. Which is the whole reason we’re setting goals- to succeed in areas of our lives- isn’t t? So here are five tips on goal setting that I’ve gathered…

Goal setting for your small business…

Write it down. So flipping simple. But SO effective. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I have this crazy idea that I can remember everything. And I really, really cant. I can remember an impressive amount of things – not where my car keys are, or to order birthday cards on time: I can’t remember everything. And goals are something that get forgotten. But it’s not just for those who have a lot on their plate, there’s been a lot of research done that supports the theory that writing a goal down makes there a much greater chance you’ll achieve it. Simple, hey.

Be specific. If you want to grow your Instagram following – what’s the number you’re aiming at? Want to grow sales? By how much? Want to stock new brands in your tack shop? Which ones? See what I mean? If you have a specific goal, you can measure your success against it. Don’t use it as a thing to beat yourself around the head with. If you say, for example ‘grow my Facebook page’ and you grow it by one, you’ve technically achieved your goal, haven’t you? But I would imagine that’s not quite what you were thinking… so how do you know you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve if you don’t know what it is?

Break it down. Have achievable steps. Set big, brave goals- by all means – but then break it down into small steps with mini goals, and create the plan around it. So if you want to make HUGE sales as part of a three year plan, break it down into yearly, monthly, weekly if you like, and they create a plan to get there.

Put a time limit in there. Connected to being specific, you want to also add a time in there. If you have a goal to do something by some undefined point in the future, you might find that your goal never really comes true.

Accept that you might not know how to get to your end goal. But you do know how to take the first step. I know this is hardly the SMART goal setting method, but this bit is really, really important. I do love a grand plan, but grand plans are kind of pointless if you don’t actually get on with them at some point. Even if you feel overwhelmed by the goal you’ve set, just start. Do something small. You know how to get this started. Want to improve your videos on social media? Watch a YouTube video about it. Want to grow your mailing list? Google it to get some top tips from the professionals. And that, my friend, that potentially small, simple action, will help propel you forward to achieving what you want to.

I really hope that’s inspired you to give goal setting for your small business a go – I promise you it’s not difficult and it can be really, really effective.

Rhea Freeman Newsletter Link

how to sniff out time wastersI know that most people have to deal with time wasters in their business… and I guess it’s part of it all. To be honest, I can usually spot them a mile off, and I don’t always mind. I regularly take calls from people who just want to pick my brains. I get it. I have questions pop through on social media and I don’t mind answering them when I can. But proper time wasters are different.

Are we thinking that time is money?

I would like to note here that it’s not about money. It might be for you but, for me, it’s a bit different. I have a number of lovely PR  social media and coaching clients who pay me. They have paid for my time. And I am sure you’re the same – you have people who pay for the service you offer, or frequent your shop/store regularly and purchase from you. These people, our customers, allow our businesses to exist and allow us to do what we love. So we need to treasure these people. So why should some people have to pay and others not? Is that showing our customers a lack of respect? Is it a bit like being an insurance company and offering a HUGE discount for a new customer as you shaft your old ones and don’t offer them the same discounts and rewards?

On top of this, it’s our time that is being used. Time is one resource we can’t buy more of. If it’s my time, I could be working on my own business, I could be walking the dog, playing with the children, keeping the house in order, doing some ‘life admin’… but this doesn’t seem to figure on some people’s radars. I, like the vast majority of the population, am a very busy person. And I like to be busy. I go above and beyond for my clients and I enjoy doing this. I love my job and the work I do. And I don’t want you to think otherwise. But as with any resource, time needs to be protected and looked after…

It’s more about respect… and it’s rarely deliberate or malicious

I appreciate that the goal posts change and that life moves on. And the lack of respect for your time or knowledge from the time waster is rarely deliberate. If ever, actually. But I’m going to share five ways to spot time wasters so you can conserve your most valuable resource and spend it where you want…

How to sniff out a time waster…

  • They’d like to work with you but…  I work with some of the most incredible people in this equestrian and country industry and one of the things that comes through time and again is the importance of honesty. If you want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, that’s absolutely fine too… just be straight with people. It saves everyone a lot of time.
  • They forget your sessions/appointment… they book, it’s sorted… and then you call at the allocated time and they’re not there. A while later it becomes apparent that they have completely forgotten the session/appointment. I’m lucky that this doesn’t happen very often at all, and I also charge for missed sessions when less than 24 hours notice is given.
  • There’s always a crisis… and you feel you need to help. As a people pleaser when someone sends me a ‘help’ message, I tend to respond. Well, at least I did. For clients, I’m all over it and I will help them solve it if I possibly can, but for people that have never even bothered to comment on a social media post? Umm. They’ll happily use my time and then carry on with their lives. Umm.
  • They start off chats with ‘I don’t have any money, but…’. That’s completely fine… I get that 100%. But maybe have a Google? I also have a lot of free resources out there – blogs, podcasts, free groups – use them as much as you like. Please. That’s why they’re there.
  • They don’t do as they say. One of the things about coaching is that if you don’t put the effort in – if you don’t do the work- nothing will change. And that’s true of life. The sad thing about this is time wasters aren’t just wasting your time, they’re wasting theirs too. Making progress isn’t just in the theory – if only- it’s in the action. Also be aware that if someone hasn’t done the work before and they’re promising you the moon on a stick, but a bit wary.

See, time wasters don’t just eat into my time, or your time, they’re eating into theirs as well.

Why have I shared this blog? Is it a rant?

No, it isn’t. These are things I have observed over the years. Some have happened to me, some haven’t, but they have to friends. The thing is, if you sharpen your identification skills when it comes to time wasters, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress. Being aware of what’s happening is half the battle. And if you want your year to be the most amazing ever, and to achieve your biggest goals, you’re going to need every space second to make that happen.

5 easy ways to use Instagram Stories

 

5 things I'm proud of5 things I’m proud of, hey? This might be one of the most self indulgent posts I’ve ever written, so please don’t discount me as an egotistical so and so. If you know me at all, you know I’m not. However, as we look ahead to 2019, I think it’s also important to look at how far we’ve come in our businesses. Do you ever do that?

See, I am a devil for pushing on with things. I’m always looking ahead and onto the next thing. I’ll work my backside off to get it and I’m pleased when I have, but I’ll then assess what’s happened, improve, and move on. Sometimes without so much as ‘yeah- good job’ to myself.

Can you relate to this?

I meet so many business owners who are the same. And that got me thinking. So for the next five days (please join me!), I’ll be sharing five things I’m proud of over on Instagram… and I really would love to know five things you’re proud of. As I said, I’m going to run this over on Instagram (#5thingsimproudof) where I’ll be giving more detail on each of these each day… and I would love you to join me…

5 things I’m proud of…

1 – Two TEDx talks. Being the ‘special’ person I am, I decided getting the first, and not combusting/being heckled or booed, must have been a fluke, so I went again and secured a second at TEDxTelford. I’ve talked about my TEDx talks on my blog before, but I’m really proud of both of these achievements. I know many people have this as a life goal and I would urge you, if you do, to follow it. It did take work to land both, but I think it was a lot easier than many people would have you believe…

2- The Small & Supercharged Podcast. You know when something has been bouncing around your skull for a while and then, even though you’ve spent AGES convincing yourself it’s too difficult, you give yourself a slap? Yep, that’s what happened to me. The Small & Supercharged Podcast is alive and kicking and I’m SO proud of it. I love it.

3- I had a flipping photoshoot. I tell all my clients that they need good quality pics. Because it’s true. But I do not like having my photo taken. And I don’t HAVE to take my own advice now, do I? Well, when Sophie Callahan gifted me a shoot I was kind of screwed as it would be rather rude not to take her up on such an amazing opportunity, wouldn’t it? Well, I had the shoot, and it was incredible, I’ve written all about why having a photoshoot is important and… wait for it… I loved it. I know. I was surprised too.

4- The Small & Supercharged Mastermind Group. This only launched a few months ago but the results that the amazing people inside the group have seen warms my heart. And makes me smile. And I’m so so proud of them all. I can not wait to see the Small & Supercharged Mastermind group grow and develop more during 2019!

5- Getting out of my own way. This year I’ve told my negative self talk to pipe down a bit more… and I can’t recommend it enough. I’ve given a seminar at the Farm Business Innovation Show (which was packed out and people were waiting outside), chaired the PR and marketing panel at the event, worked with the Hiho team on the really successful Style, Skills & Silver event at The Fish Hotel in September and more. If I’d listened to the voice in my head that said ‘I’m not sure you can do this’ I wouldn’t have done any of these things…

I wanted these five points to be specific, rather than ‘grew my business’ or ‘helped other businesses grow’. It does, however, go without saying that I am so, so proud of all the businesses I work with. Working with some of the best businesses in the industry and seeing how hard these people work and the results they achieve is a constant source of inspiration. I know that sounds a bit slushy but it’s true. When you’ve seen people making faux grass boards for selfies, going above and beyond on a customer service level, taking some of the most amazing images you’ve ever seen, designing jaw droppingly beautiful stands and products. Well, it just spurs you on, doesn’t it?

Will you join me and celebrate 5 things you’re proud of?

OK, not me, YOU! Using the #5thingsimproudof hashtag  on Instagram I’d love you to join me in celebrating five things you’re proud of between now (27th December) and the end of the year (31st December, inclusive). Each day, I’d like you to post something you’re proud of, using this hashtag. I’d also love you to search the hashtag and support other people using it… who’s with me?

You can find me on Instagram @rheafreemanpr – come and join me and see 2018 out with a bang!