août 2019
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Relationships are the foundation of all the networking that we do with the people who are in our lives. Everyone networks, officially or unofficially. From mothers in playgrounds, or us, with our neighbours or our friends. We will often ask around to find if someone knows of a good hairdresser or a plumber when we are looking for a service provider, when either we do not have an existing contact or when we are looking to change our allegiance.
Let us look at effective ways to network and ultimately win the contacts that we want.
- Build relationships. The single most important part of networking is the building of relationships. A genuine interest in others and a desire to help them succeed is the most important building block of all. By establishing yourself in others' minds as a caring, loyal ally people will automatically think of you and refer you to their inner circle of contacts.
- Ask for what you want. Whether you are at a network meeting or are meeting potential leads be clear as to the type of work you are looking for. People may have only a vague notion of what you do and may well need it spelling out for them. Or some people may be mistaken in their idea of what you do, so be clear and ask for the leads and the specific type of work that you are available for.
- Have one-to-one meetings with other networkers. These are an opportunity to enhance the relationship and spend more in depth time listening and asking questions about them and explaining yourself more. Most referrals come from the contacts that your contacts know so it is worth spending time on these meetings over a cup of coffee. An hour is often long enough.
- Ask your existing customers if they know someone, anyone who might benefit from your goods or services. It sounds simple, but they may never have thought of passing your name on to others. It is worth asking the question. And, as existing customers they are clearly satisfied with what you are providing for them, so they are good ambassadors for you and your business.
- Keep on meeting. Your contacts need to be reminded of you. It is easy to let relationships slide, but keep meeting, even if it is just for coffee from time to time. And this meeting is an effective opportunity to update them on any new innovations or successes that you have had. It is better than an email because you can have a friendly chat and discuss it more naturally and in more detail as part of the conversation.
- Reciprocate. Successful relationships are about sharing, so remember your contacts. Even if you cannot pass work their way you may be able to tell them about an interesting conference, or a special offer or piece of news that may be of interest. It lets them know that you think of them and regard them as an important contact.
- Keep visible. Being high profile keeps you established and viable in peoples eyes. So using social media, attending meetings, being out and about is an important way to be at the forefront of peoples minds.
- Be friendly. This is an important point. Successful networking is all about getting to know, like and trust someone. Meeting people and then getting to know them well enough to recommend them to your inner circle of contacts, friends and family, is a major step to take. You risk damaging your own reputation if the lead turns out to be a bad one. So building a relationship enough to trust that someone will do a good job and is honourable and has integrity is an important requirement of effective networking.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Networking is often regarded as many people attending organised meetings and exchanging pleasantries over a coffee. This results in hopefully handing out some business cards and making a few contacts in the process. Some people however regard this setting as a little artificial and superficial. They may feel uncomfortable in this environment and do not quite know where to start, how to begin making conversations and introducing themselves to complete strangers. They prefer to build more in-depth relationships on a one-to-one basis over a period of time.
But all business relationships start through introductions of some kind, whether they be through meeting at a big networking event or through other more low-key means. Keeping those contacts alive can require a little more effort. This is also networking, but with a stronger certainty of the closeness of the contact. By meeting on a one-to-one basis relationships and even friendships are developed because:
  • It demonstrates that the relationship is important. Allowing time to schedule a meeting with another person means committing up an hour plus travelling time. The relationship is clearly important for both people to allocate the time to make it happen.
  • A personal connection is established. People will talk about topics other than business when they are in a one-to-one setting. They chat, ask questions, get to know each other a little better. They build a warmer, more human connection. This often results in them caring about the other person's success, which will no doubt ensure that they recommend them whenever they have an opportunity to do so.
  • Regular one-to-one contact enables both parties to keep each other updated on developments, innovations and changes in their respective areas of business. They will find out more about each others skills and areas of expertise, may find out aspects of the business that they were not even aware of.
  • People get to know, like and trust each other over time. Keeping the meetings on-going, having an occasional cup of coffee, followed by a newsletter or mail shot intermittently keeps the relationship alive.
  • It can be invaluable to build contacts and relationships in many different professions. This way you establish yourself as a useful point of reference for whenever people need a referral to someone who can do a good job for them. Even if you cannot do the work yourself it is good to be the person that people think of to ask. You become a valuable point of contact and a useful reference point.
  • Being happy to refer work to others, even if they do not refer back at first is fine. It can take time for people to hear of the right jobs for you. But being generous will always be rewarded. I knew of a lady who was happy to regularly refer work to lots of different people. It was eighteen months before she got one recommendation in return, but that recommendation turned out to be a massive, career making opportunity.
Relationships are the cornerstone to success in business. Taking time to grow, nurture and develop good relationships is a worthwhile way to build good connections and establish yourself as a well-known name in your field of business.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Leaflets can be used in a myriad of different ways, from a random house drop to specifically targeting individual clients. They are an opportunity to inform people and be read at their leisure. An interesting, informative leaflet may well be kept for backup support and referred to at times of need. As a business coach, I work with clients to help them appreciate how valuable a good quality leaflet can be.
A good leaflet will often be used to as a point of reference for people, as increasingly goods and services are being outsourced to external suppliers. Many people rely on having an efficient database of suppliers and consultants that they can turn to when they need specialist input into their business. Detailing clearly and concisely all that you have to offer can make you a crucial part of someones' support mechanism. It is important to make the most of that opportunity. Use your shop window well.
So think about the size and shape of your leaflet. How many sections are there to your business? Do you have many key personnel, products, locations, skill sets? Do they all need to be individually promoted or would some be okay as part of a sub-section? Pretend to be your own potential client. What would you want or need in order to come to you and your business? Focus on the key skills and benefits of your business and then endeavour to promote those areas as professionally as possible.
Use your leaflet as a way of encouraging people to contact you further. They need to enter the 'shop' and discuss their requirements. So it is important to focus on the main aspects to promote and how best to present them.
- Make your leaflet part of your company brand. Use a colour, logo, slogan, style that identifies you from the rest. Keep that theme on all your company promotional material so that you establish a recognisable brand identity.
- The front page of the leaflet has to have impact, something that catches a persons eye so that they choose to pick up and keep your leaflet rather than the others on offer
- Good quality paper, print and artwork all add to a professional appearance. A good graphic designer and printer are assets at this time.
- Make it easy to read and understand. Pithy bullet points are useful points of reference.
- Detail individual skill sets, training, areas of expertise if relevant. Maybe an example of a success story.
- Contact details, business locations, how to order, trading hours, discounts are all useful information to include.
- Pictures, imagery, humour are all worth considering.
- Keep your leaflet up-to-date. Times change, markets move on, so scrutinise your leaflet from time to time. Is it still up to date and relevant, or would it benefit from a face lift. Brands do move on and evolve. Stay with the times and use a re-print as an opportunity to evaluate where you are in your business sector. Decide if that is that okay or are you looking to expand or widen your client base? Your leaflet is a way of spreading that message.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Many businesses now require that their senior staff are able to present themselves and their business expertise to clients and customers in either meetings or forum situations. To achieve promotion and success in business, staff have to be able to demonstrate competency in this field. The truth is, it can be quite a large stumbling block for many people.
Presentations and talking to an audience are one area where many articulate, intelligent people find themselves full of fear and dread. Reminiscent of the school room, making a mess of an answer and finding all the other children laughing and sneering, many people want to protect themselves from that level of exposure and vulnerability. Some people are able to override those feelings. Other people begin to sweat, choke on their words, become dry mouthed, have a mental block. As a Counsellor and Business Coach I work with my clients to discover ways of remedying this situation and moving on from it.
We work with techniques to learn how to reinforce confidence and self belief. Self hypnosis is a powerful tool for imagining how we want to be, would like to be in that presentation situation. It does not matter where it is, from a best mans' speech to a huge function or dinner, seeing that image of ourself, relaxed, comfortable, enjoying being centre stage for a time, can really build a strong sense of comfort and well being. Imagine feeling relaxed, taking your time, pausing to enjoy the moment and let the audience digest what has been said, all these thoughts take the pressure off the situation and yourself.
Positive self talk is a good technique too. Avoid phrases with the word 'not' in them. Focus on your internal chatter. Many people find that they are saying things like, 'I am not stressed/ tense/ anxious'. It is more positive to say 'I can do this', 'I have practised this and know what to say' ' I am familiar with my subject and know what I want to say'.
The truth is, if things do not go quite to plan, usually the people in the room are supportive. Many of them will have been in similar situations and are able to appreciate the stress of being centre stage and empathise with you. Also, no one knows exactly what should have been said, so going slightly off point is not the end of the world. Stop and have a drink of water, breathe in and out, find your place in your notes and start again.
Sometimes people find that having too many notes or a tightly scripted speech is far too inflexible. I find that many of my clients perform far better when they have bullet points to remind them of each section of the talk. They have usually been working on the content for some time and so know the subject very well. Keeping a marker on each section of the talk and moving through each item one at a time is often far less restrictive as they begin to speak.
On a practical level, it is often a good idea to arrive a little early to the presentation venue. Familiarise yourself with the room, its layout, the seating arrangements. Check that any equipment is working. Get a glass of water and any other aids handy.
Once the talk has started find some friendly faces in the crowd. They are a good place to focus because these are the people who will nod encouragement or agreement from time to time. Then relax and enjoy your moment in the spotlight, your opportunity to show how well you can do.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
As the cliche goes, you have one chance to make a first impression, and that is a very true statement. People make up their minds within a short time span of meeting us and it can take a long time to correct that impression if it is the wrong one.
Many factors contribute to that impression. Of course dress and grooming are important. Clean and smart is more important than expensive clothes to most peoples' minds. And there is no excuse for dishevelled, unless you have been caught in a rainstorm or had an accident!
The choice of outfit depends on the situation one is going into. However, just because they dress down at the office you are visiting does not necessarily mean that they expect you to do so. As a Counsellor and Business Coach I always wear a suit or smart dress and shoes so that I convey to my clients that I take them and their business seriously. Personally I think that it demonstrates respect: respect for them, respect for myself and my reputation and respect for the work that we are doing together. I could do exactly the same work in jeans and flip-flops but I am certain that it conveys more gravitas and importance when I dress smartly.
In the early days of multi-millionaire, Richard Branson building his empire from a canal barge it is widely reported that he and his team had one business suit that they kept especially for meetings. The rest of the time they wore jeans and t-shirts, but felt that it was important to convey a professional impression at client meetings.
One thought about the impression that you convey to others is to consider how you look when you are dressed for business. When did you last update your image? Is it still studenty and bohemian or does it need to be more professional? Maybe have a photograph taken and see yourself as others see you. Or ask friends for honest feedback. Personal shoppers can also be very helpful at times like this. They do not know you but can help with putting together the look that you want and take into account your style and how you present yourself to them. They can help you decide how to pull together the best look for you and your requirements. Knowing that you are dressed well for the situation is a good investment in terms of confidence and self esteem. It reinforces your determination to do well.
Body language is another factor in the impression you create. Take time to breathe calmly and relax before you enter the room. Then pause on entering, look around and quickly get the layout of the room. Taking a few extra seconds to get your bearings is hardly noticeable to others, but gives you the time to feel clear about where you are going to move to next. Relax your shoulders, smile and, if necessary, 'act as if' you are feeling good about this opportunity to present yourself. Surprisingly, the nerves often abate as the pretense becomes more natural.
Remember that most situations are going be a two way exchange of information. You want to know about the people and situation that you are entering, and they want to know about you. So from an interview situation to a meeting or presentation it is a joint learning situation. Remember that, stay calm and do not be afraid of pauses. Many people speak too quickly when they are stressed. By being dressed well you boost your own personal confidence levels and can feel calmer knowing that you are creating a good impression to others. This enables you to take better control of the situation and feel positive about yourself how you come across to others.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
After the baby has been born there can initially be a sense of relief, that everything has happened, the baby has finally arrived, everything appears to be fine and now you can settle down to building a lovely family together. But this can be the time when a new set of worries and concerns appear.
Many new parents have issues about being good parents. First time parents especially worry about doing the right thing, treating the baby properly, perhaps damaging or hurting it in some way. Whilst it can be distressing to feel this way, it is also an indicator of how caring a parent you are. Anxiety about being a good parent is natural, but let us look at some ways to allay these fears and concerns so that you enjoy your new baby fully.
- Let others help. Often, especially at first there will be a plethora of people wanting to help, offering advice. It can sometimes be difficult to tolerate it all and some new parents find the attention overwhelming. They want to be alone with their new baby for awhile and bond with it as a family. So let others help in more practical ways. Let them perhaps help with cooking the evening meal, or tidying the house, or doing some ironing. All these things respect the people wanting to help and take some of the domestic pressure away.
- It is good to mix and meet with new parents. They will be able to empathise and share stories, concerns, advice. Mums can discuss their issues about feeding, sleeping and more personal matters like their bodies, their partners. Dads can discuss their issues. Some men struggle with the arrival of a new baby. For some men the baby only becomes real when it is actually born and bonding can take a little more time than for a woman.
- Try to schedule some 'me' time. Allow yourself time to read a magazine or have a beauty treatment. Consider getting some other Mums together and have a pamper session. Having a manicure, pedicure, makeup can be a lovely way of getting to know each other, not just as Mums.
- Try to schedule some 'us' time. It is lovely to enjoy being close as a family, but remember about being a couple too. Once the baby is into a routine allow yourselves to plan 'us' time and trust the baby to a reliable babysitter. Enjoy an evening out together as a couple. Dress up and enjoy having fun together again.
- Keep up-to-date with the news. It can be easy to become completely submerged in the world of babies and children. Remember who you were before the baby was born and read topical articles or watch the news highlights as often as you can. Keep yourself interesting for your own sake and for your partners sake too.
- Sex can be a problem area after a baby has been born. Women can become self-conscious about their bodies. A womans' body has been through a major process with pregnancy and then the readjustment afterwards. It takes time to recover emotionally, physically and hormonally. A man sometimes see his partner in a different way after she has given birth. Plus, often both of you are very tired at the end of the day, maybe too tired for sex. Take the pressure of yourselves, but remember about being loving, tactile, sensual, if not sexual. Women often need reassuring that their partners still find them attractive. Being sensual and close is an important acknowledgment that a woman is still beautiful to her man.
- Keep some money for treats. Money may be a little tighter after a baby has come along. Often Mum is the one who earns less for a time after the birth. It is important to keep some money aside with which to buy a lipstick or a perfume from time to time. It helps to keep the feeling of still having some independence.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
As the next raft of school holidays approaches it is important to think about what you are going to do with the time. Even a small amount of planning can make the time spent over the holidays much more pleasurable.
Forward Thinking can Bring Results:
- Investigate holiday clubs, football courses, local authority fun days. Many areas have got wise to the business opportunities of providing entertainment to keep children occupied during long school holidays.
- Then there are grandparents who may well relish the time taking the children out for one or a few days.
- Consider a swap day with another parent. Have her child one day and then she has yours another day.
- Some university students may want to child mind on a casual basis over the holidays. Look to your contacts for responsible students, home on the break.
- If you work, maybe you could work from home over the holidays. This gives you flexible hours to do your job and allows you daytime to spend with the children.
Set a Project:
- Children love being motivated to achieve a goal. So maybe set a challenge like learning to ride a bicycle or swim a set distance at the swimming pool. Doing exercise means that they expend energy and the competitive edge is a good way to motivate them.
- A creative project is good for wet weather. Maybe painting or keeping a log or diary of the holidays can be an absorbing way to pass an afternoon.
Keep it Simple:
- Children often enjoy simple pleasures more than elaborate, expensive times. Think of the child happily playing with the cardboard box whilst the special gift is pushed to one side. They value time spent with them playing games, collecting leaves or shells whilst on a walk, making cards, having a picnic in the garden, making cakes and biscuits. These are the times recalled with affection by both parent and child. The times that money cannot buy.
- Sit down with the children and ask them to list all the things that they would like to do. Then discuss the list and find compromises that work for everyone concerned. The fact that it has been discussed will help the children to feel important, involved and considered.
- Get outside. Planting a corner of the garden with herbs, vegetables or plants can be extremely satisfying and absorbing to children. Even playing with leaves, sticks and stones can be fun. Maybe turn them into a painting or collage.
- Use your local park. They may have a petting zoo or crazy golf. Even taking several children and having an afternoon playing rounders or football can be a satisfying way to spend an afternoon.
Share the Responsibility for Planning:
- Let each child take turns in deciding how to spend a day. Maybe give them a budget so that they know how much money they have allocated for the venture. That in itself can be an exciting task, finding out costs, arranging where to go, what they can afford. It can make budgeting more real as it a complex task that they have to manage.
- There is no need to have every day filled with activities. Put a chart up that shows what is scheduled over the time. This can also show the quieter days where they can amuse themselves.
- Let the children have some flexibility. Relax some of the rules that they normally have to follow, so let them stay up a little later, watch more TV at times, take a break from homework. It is their holiday from work.
Use the Time to Make Changes:
- Resolutions can be made at any time, but when there is plenty of time available it can be a good opportunity to introduce positive changes, like them cleaning their room, having specific jobs each week, or the family taking time to cook and eat healthier meals as a family.
- Long school holidays can also be a good time to think of others and maybe fund raise for a particular charity. Take time to choose an important charity and then set about organising money raising activities.
Learn about Quiet Time:
- Children are often being stimulated. TV, computers, music. Many children spend hours watching a TV or computer screen and often end up over stimulated as a result. Spend some time each day relaxing and being quiet. Learn to turn the lively, excitable switch down a little. Entertainment should not be constant. So turn off the noise and the flashing images and be still for an hour.
All these are ways to plan for a happy time spent with your children. It does not have to cost a lot of money, but by being organised and having a plan, you can manage stress and ensure that it is a time full of happy memories for all.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Goals need to be realistic in order to be plausible and act as a positive spur to success. Too minor and they may not be taken seriously. At worst we may regard them as a joke or we simply put them to one side to be considered or attempted another day. Too difficult and we may continue to avoid the pressure of attempting something too difficult and the then resulting feeling of shame that comes from failure.
The best ways to meet our goals is to:
- start by understanding what motivates us. For some people it may be the competition of challenging themselves against another person. Seeing someone else either chasing on their heels or running a little ahead can be a major spur to make an extra effort. Then there are other people who prefer to compete against themselves, against their own previous times or achievements. They may hate having other people with them in the race and find it a distraction or an embarrassment.
- have interim targets. Feeling that each stage towards the goal can be measured and acknowledged can really help with motivation. Climbing steep steps can feel daunting until we stop to catch our breath and then turn to see how far we have come. Those few moments can provide a breather to gather our thoughts and energy levels and then important time to congratulate ourselves for having already achieved a lot.
- reward yourself along the way. It can be important to have fun from time to time. Even with a weight loss plan it is important to have treats sometimes, a night off work, a birthday meal with dessert, a quality bar of chocolate. The thought of life always being about diets, hard work and deprivation can completely de-motivate after a while. So rewards like an occasional night out, a weekend away, some fun, can help us de-stress and return invigorated back to the project with a new lease of life.
- have a back-up plan. In the case of a major project it can be valuable to have other options and ideas for a back-up plan, just in case every step does not work out as originally intended. That way some good can come from the time, money and effort that has been invested, even if the original goal is not achieved.
- enlist the help of others. People are often flattered and pleased at being asked to help. And asking in the right way can bring willing volunteers on board who may become useful allies over time. Training and delegating to others teaches them new skills, invests in their capabilities and enthusiasm and often motivates those people to work hard and reward the trust that has been placed in them.
A little forward planning, taking time to work to our strengths and the strengths of others can improve the outcome of any projects or goals we undertake and as such ensure that our goals become positive stepping stones to success in all areas of our lives.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
In life it can be all to easy to continue along our familiar path, feeling busy, challenged and meaning to do something new or different at some point in the future, but for now being okay about it all. We continue doing what we have always done, secure in the knowledge that we are going to set ourselves a target tomorrow or some day very soon. We may well recognise that we need to get out of our comfort zone but today we are too busy, too tired or too stressed to start something new.
The problem of starting the initial process of being motivated to change and improve can become compounded over time. The comfort zone becomes more comfortable, the weight piles on, or the job becomes more well paid and secure, and we settle into familiar routines. We may feel, why rock the boat? Sometimes, however, the boat needs rocking to motivate us out of complacency and inertia. And once we have started working towards a new goal it often generates a new lease of life.
Goals are an important part of motivation and quality of life. They inspire us to extend ourself and our mindset. They push us further than we thought possible. Being receptive to new goals and ways of thinking can really elevate the quality of life. At times they may be demanding and require time, effort and commitment but that is the point about having goals. They are supposed to make us work and move us from our comfort zone.
Sometimes we may need to accept external support to inspire us onto a new path. An appraisal at work may suggest a new direction or a secondment to another job, office or location may be available to apply for. Friends may suggest joining a new dance class or a dating agency. We may decide to freshen up our look, and the makeup counter or personal shopper in a department store can motivate to entertain new ideas and a whole new image or way of seeing ourselves. They can inspire the confidence to start anew.
Goals can bring new friends, interests and even a change to our way of thinking. Saying 'yes' to other people's suggestions can be a first step to a new lease of life. Allowing ourselves to be receptive to what we encounter by way of advertisements, other people's thoughts and invitations, making the most of today rather than waiting for tomorrow are all ways to utilise goals and turn our life into something a little more inspirational.
And when we are inspired to do something new other people are often happy to join us. So several people may decide to run a marathon together or take up a foreign language or a dance class. Other people may decide to change their career or look to enhance their lives. Goal setting often motivates us and also influences those nearest to us too. It provides energy for others to refresh themselves and make the most of the opportunity to improve.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
Many people feel the need for time to heal and grieve after a divorce. Even if the process was fairly amicable or initiated by them it's often important to recover from the distress and upheaval and take time to reflect on what went wrong. Gradually, valuable lessons are often learned. Counselling can help you post-divorce by providing an effective way to focus on the issues that often surface at this time.
Post-divorce we may say, we're fine, we've got good friends, are perhaps seeing someone new, have an excellent circle of people ready to support us, are busy with children or work, but treating the aftermath of divorce as a time for healing can help us grow from the experience and avoid repeating negative patterns in the future. Friends may be biased, not as neutral in their opinions as we would like and anyway, it can become repetitive and unhelpful to spend hours with friends going over old ground, dissecting old scenarios.
Let's look at ways counselling can help you post-divorce;
- Destructive patterns can become a habit. If we've been let down badly we may find we've become suspicious as a consequence of how we've been treated, fearful of things not working out, wary of people's motives, untrusting. We may be uneasy if a new partner has to work late, appears to be secretive when using their mobile phone or sometimes rearranges our dates. It may be reasonable to question if there's some validity to these feelings or are we in danger of over-reacting.
- Have we lost our confidence, self-respect, are we struggling with low self-esteem? Is this because our divorce ended unexpectedly or became a battleground, with insults and hurt regularly being traded. Counselling can help you post-divorce to address your early years and the way you saw relationships being modelled when you were young. If you witnessed negative relationships in your childhood, where power struggles, bullying, poor communications were the order of the day it may be that you need to start appreciating that all relationships don't have to be that way. Counselling could help you move on from that unfortunate way of viewing relationships.
- Being good at communicating and becoming appropriately assertive are also areas that can be helped by counselling. Being confidant at speaking up, keeping a regular dialogue going, being open and honest about how we feel are all important aspects of a healthy adult relationship. But all too often we may have learned to keep quiet, not upset people, be keen for people to like us and not risk being rejected; we may have learned to become a people-pleaser.
- Appreciate the role of good manners, empathy, sensitivity and appropriate boundaries. Acknowledge too that, much as we may value these traits, mutual respect works two-ways. Counselling can help you post-divorce to be reminded of your worth, of your value as a viable human being. You're entitled to respect and consideration, as are others.
- There may be reasons why we still need to keep in contact with our ex after the divorce. If children, business or financial issues still remain a consideration it may be necessary to find ways to transition the old relationship into a workable part of our new life. It's great if we're indifferent to what's going on in our ex's life, but if that's not possible, counselling can help you post-divorce to stop being triggered by immediate stressors and feel more positive about what you need to do. Self-protection, a good mindset and the belief that you're on the path to a better life all help.
- Practical things can help if you have to meet. Agree to do so in a friendly, public or neutral place. Ensure you have supporters with you or instruct someone to act on your behalf. Work on your confidence and remind yourself each day of your strength, your accomplishments. For now, survive one day at a time.
- Practical tips for moving on may include saying 'yes' to invitations, registering on events guides and initiating outings, joining groups even if you sit quietly at first, asking people round to yours for a bite of supper, a coffee, a pamper evening, game of cards or to watch the football. All inexpensive ways to build your confidence, keep involved and circulate. Read newspapers, watch some popular TV so that you're able to contribute to conversations, rather than stand to one side.
- Determine to move on and be proactive, step by step. Counselling can help you post-divorce to be receptive to the opportunities out there. Is it time to update your image, get fitter, make new friends, learn new skills.
Looking at the positives may require effort at first, but counselling can help you deal with your demons and sustain your focus and motivation, maybe through small changes initially. Give yourself credit as you become interested in the outside world, ready to be excited and involved in the new future that lies ahead of you.
Expert Author Chad Nedland
Getting started isn't enough.
Lot of experts and writers in the personal development area say one of the most important things to do is, "Just get started." I would have to argue with that and say one of the most important things you must do isn't getting started - but to continue what you've already begun. You see anyone can become a basketball player or a baseball player or a singer or a writer or a videographer. But the only way to become successful in any one area such as that is to continue working on the craft.
But how do you continue when you don't know just what direction to go? The first step is focus on the immediate day. So much of the anxiety that we have in our lives comes from our uncertainty of the future. When we are unsure about what our future looks like, we begin to become anxious. The very best thing that we can do is focus on the immediate action that we need to take right now. To quote someone, "Do something with today and forget about everything else."
Make sure that the goals you set are within your control.
The only times things seem impossible is when we look at a goal or an outcome that we cannot control. The key is to focus on only the things that we can control. Improving yourself is your main business. So make the best of today, be a great person, and do what is in your best interest to move forward.
When necessary adjust.
Every time you begin something new you are stepping into the unknown. Very quickly you find out it won't go as planned and what happens doesn't necessarily come out the way you planned. Yet so many times I see people struggling to force an outcome. It just shouldn't be!
In fact, if what we assume to happen doesn't pan out the we want, we begin to teach ourselves be afraid of trying.
Don't be afraid but instead make bold decisions and adjust to all outcomes.
As an author and speaker, Chad Nedland ministers as God leads. Teaching of the fullness of a life with God and edifying the body of Christ is his life's definite purpose.
His greatest passion is encouraging and challenging other believers to walk in the fullness of their calling and identity in Christ. His goal is to never have a conversation or interaction with someone that does not change something within them, drawing them closer to God.
Expert Author Nancy Wylde
It's the journey of our lifetime... finding and being able to pursue your purpose, isn't it?
And for those who find it early in life, the rewards that come with it are endless.
It is a life of almost living free of trouble, of the complexities that usually come with that struggle we face, day to day, just to keep up with 'stuff'.
This 'stuff' I mention is the constant battle of daily living. Getting up at the sound of an alarm bell, to race through breakfast, to sit in traffic, to get to a job we dislike or do for the sake of making ends meet.
While waiting in traffic our minds wander to what we would rather be doing. On what brings us joy and fulfillment. On what gives us that 'buzz' and spring in our step.
You've met these people who do what they love and love what they do. Those who pursue their creativity. Be it painting, drawing, sculpting, singing, playing an instrument, writing music or poetry or books.
Or other artistic pursuits such as flower arrangements, making jewellry, making clothes. And then there are those that teach. Be it yoga or meditation or anywhere where it allows us to be more present and in the NOW.
I have always aspired to be one of these people. My life, at least the first five decades of it, was dedicated to making ends meet. As a single mother I could not afford the luxury of what I termed ' following a dream'.
I had to be practical. I had to be sensible and realistic. And for most of us, this is LIFE. We may have responsibilities that we can't just abandon. Wether we take care of ourselves or we are taking care of children, the elderly, a spouse or family members, we need to be realistic.
However, in today's world, finding a way to stay committed to our responsibilities and pursue our dreams is far easier now than it ever was.
With the birth of technology, more and more people can find time to pursue their interests and passion.
Today, anyone can be an author. Its true! 30 years ago when I pursued becoming a published author it was incredibly difficult and almost impossible.
My first book was written on a typewriter. No spellcheck, no back-spacing to go into and edit.
I can't tell you how much paper I wasted or how much liquid paper and erasing I did. Photocopies upon photocopies of manuscripts were made and sent out to publishing houses.
Sometimes the copies came back, mostly they didn't. Letters of disappointment rolled in one by one, or letters of encouragement, saying 'title did not suit our publishing house'.
For those who wanted to self publish, a printing house was needed and a minimum of several thousand copies would be required or it couldn't be done.
It was expensive to self publish, but many did it in the belief and hope they could recoup their costs by selling their books.
Then there came the marketing. Well that's a whole other story. Without a marketing campaign you couldn't sell your books.
And so began the task of making appointments to local newspapers, local radio and television networks in the hope they would give you an opportunity for a story in their paper, magazine, or television program.
As a young author, this took up my days, my weeks, my time. Time I didn't have. I was a young single mother and the bills needed to be paid and children to clothe and feed. The writing, that creative part of me had to be put aside for the need to be practical.
The writing came to an end until technology and the internet came about and this was the birth of a new way of living, and opportunities for people to maintain a foot in the world of making a living for practical reasons, and being able to pursue ones purpose.
We live in a world where more and more people can do this without sacrificing moving out of the home.
Today, artists, musicians, writers, poets and nearly anyone who wants to pursue anything creative can do so from the comfort of their own home.
You hardly have to move. Writers can write knowing that they can produce a book, load it up to the internet, and sell ( paperless copies, I might add!) without moving from the comfort of their chair.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
We regularly read that relationships are not easy. They require hard work to succeed, with long-timers frequently referencing their ups and downs with a wry smile. When we marry we make a commitment for better or for worse. So, where did the love go, what went wrong that resulted in us now being divorced? Should we have tried harder, made more of an effort? Does divorce mean I'm a failure?
We remember how way back in the day we loved each other. We couldn't envisage life without each other, planned our future together, discussed children, travel and old age, musing over the many future possibilities with laughter and affection.
Throughout the years we come to accept that change happens. Life brings different opportunities and challenges that may take us in unexpected directions, so opening up new choices, perspectives and priorities. Children, financial pressures, health changes and the demands of family all bring additional pressures into our lives.
As a consequence, the things that initially attracted us to each other may begin to irritate. The easy-going charmer may now be viewed as lazy and lacking in motivation. The person who's focused and career-driven may be now regarded as a ruthless, money-obsessed workaholic. Qualities, which may in themselves be fine, may no longer be wanted in our lives.
When one person reaches the point of saying 'enough, this can't continue, it's time to go our separate ways', it's not a decision that they've taken lightly. Many people will repeatedly try to rekindle their relationship, perhaps undertake relationship counselling, in their desire to make it work. After all, they once cared deeply for each other. But ending a difficult and unhappy relationship often ultimately works out best for all concerned.
Feeling a failure can be part of the healing process. Everyone needs time to reflect and grieve after a significant death or ending and divorce is no different as it means the end of a special relationship and the life we'd anticipated living, possibly after having invested many years in it.
During and after the divorce it's important to take time to process what's happened. Lessons may need to be learned, regrets worked through and feeling a failure may need to be healed. Counselling and hypnotherapy can play an important part in the recovery process, helping with self-esteem, improving the diverse emotions that may be agonised over, like anger, hurt, frustration, 'why me', especially if the ex initiated the divorce and appears to be moving on well.
It's important to grieve over what's been said or done, both by yourself and by others. A divorce will have significant impact on virtually every area of our lives. It can take time to recover from any harsh exchanges of words and actions. We may need a period of reflection to determine our next steps, how to start again, forge a new identity and sort out the practicalities like childcare, financial considerations, work and retraining. All these important decisions can reinforce feelings of vulnerability and of being a failure.
- Children are often a major consideration throughout a breakup. They may need to move home or school and may struggle after the trauma of the breakup, no matter how amicably their parents try to handle it. They often need reassurance that they are loved by both parents, that they were in no way responsible for the divorce and that they can speak to the absentee parent as often as possible.
It can help to let them know what's going on, in an age-appropriate way, include them in the choice of decoration for their new bedroom(s), so enabling them to feel more positive, considered and settled about the changes.
- Close family may struggle to accept the breakup and find new arrangements hard to take. But grandparents can be invaluable after a divorce and offer stability and security in a potentially distressing environment. You often hear of one set of grandparents being relied on heavily, maybe for housing, financial or childcare support whilst the other side becomes almost estranged. Both sides need to work hard at staying reasonably neutral and avoid too much comment or criticism if they want to retain contact with each other.
- Home and where to live is an important decision post-divorce as it has major implications. Separating one home into two is stressful and expensive and can reinforce the sense of overwhelm and feeling a failure. Would it be worthwhile to house-share or rent for a while so as to allow things to settle before embarking on the next decision?
- Work often becomes more important post-divorce. There's the pressure to earn money in order to live, but there may also be the desire to use this time as a catalyst for a change in career, to maybe retrain and use this as an opportunity to start again.
Balancing the desire for a fresh start against the need to earn money can be difficult, but maybe explore options like night school, working part-time, accepting offers of support. There may be viable ways to enable a new path to open for you.
Finding appropriate childcare, deciding how to next proceed, accommodating immediate necessities whilst maybe losing the existing support network of friends and family, can all add to the stress and feeling of being overwhelmed experienced post-divorce. Already in a vulnerable situation, it can add to us deciding that divorce means we're a failure.
Try to take things at your own pace and remember, there's no lonelier place than in a loveless relationship. Divorce can be the start of a positive new life.
Expert Author Susan Leigh
A breakup is always a challenging time. Often both parties are in very different stages of readiness; one may have been waiting years for the right time to walk away, whilst the other may have felt that things were relatively fine, sticking with the mindset, 'better the devil you know!'
Relationship counselling may have been a valuable way of managing the negative emotions experienced during the breakup of the relationship. It can help with understanding each other's viewpoints, even when the relationship is irretrievable. however, choosing not to continue living together doesn't mean that there aren't good reasons to stay friends with your ex, especially if you've both learned to be more respectful of each other's points of view.
Many practical matters can further exacerbate the situation as they require consideration and can influence decision-making. There's a big list; where to live, the financial implications, custody of family pets, the dispersal of possessions, how to manage the diverse relationships with family and friends, as well as the serious matter of children, their custody, education and the impact a divorce will have on their lives.
Some people say divorce makes them feel a failure; they never envisaged their relationship ending this way. They may feel partly to blame or that they're disappointing their children, family and friends.
Then a reflective period often follows where we consider the many devastating things that have been said and done. We often minimise or even forget the part we played in those heated exchanges. But eventually we come to terms with the hurt and rawness and things can start to ease and subside.
There are often good reasons to stay friends with your ex, especially if children are a consideration. But there can be other factors too, like shared connections of family, friends, history and mutual interests.
With that in mind, what are the good reasons to stay friends with your ex?
- Some couples may have started their relationship way before they'd completed their formal education or were in the very early stages of building their career or business. At that age people often don't know what they want or expect from a long-term relationship. Over time they evolve and grow, sometimes becoming quite different people from who they were back then. Having lived together through those very personal early experiences means a unique insight and bond is formed which no one else will understand in quite the same way.
- Life can require adjustments to be made, like maybe leaving work to become a stay-at-home parent or juggling the responsibilities of becoming the major breadwinner. This change of role can bring its own stresses and introduce unexpected, ongoing tensions and pressures into a relationship as well as forcing priorities to significantly alter. Sometimes witnessing how each other copes with times of transition can mean that, even if we disagree, we may well appreciate and understand their responses.
- Counselling can help improve communications by providing a neutral, safe, supportive environment. Some people have even been known to reconcile as a consequence of improving their ability to listen, empathise and communicate with each other.
- Learning from what went wrong is an important part of the healing process. Personal counselling can be important to your individual recovery, where you accept responsibility for your role in the breakup and learn ways to avoid repeating negative, unhelpful patterns in future relationships. You may also become more tolerant, understanding and patient of your ex's attitude and decisions.
- It's important not to forget that your ex probably knows you better than anyone else. Throughout your relationship you've discussed your day-to-day hopes, dreams, fears, issues, concerns and, at one time, supported each other with enthusiasm. You used to love each other, laugh together, share your secrets, be part of a team; you planned on being together forever. When a split occurs it means the end of that intimate day-to-day connection, but your shared history may provide good reasons to stay friends with your ex, even if you're no longer lovers.
And, in fact, some couples actually do get on better after their divorce. Once removed from the day-to-day arguments, niggles and irritations they can become two separate, independent individuals who actually quite like each other and have a lot in common. Some people even find that they rediscover their original attraction once the pressure of living together has been eased. It may be too, that sharing mutual friends, family attachments, work-related interests as well as their personal outlook provides a powerful magnet.
After addressing and understanding the underlying causes for the split it may be possible to start again and build a stronger relationship than before. It's important though to take time to reflect, discuss and address what went wrong. There's no benefit in falling back into an old relationship out of habit, loneliness, financial concerns or health issues. Retaining a toxic or unhappy relationship out of fear or perceived necessity ultimately serves no one well.
Time apart can enable both of you to become independent and confident about what's right for you, what you need and don't need from a relationship. Some people say that when a relationship's over, it's over, you can't and shouldn't go back. Others say that having gained valuable insights into yourself and each other there can be good reasons to stay friends with your ex, but now on an updated footing, more relevant for today.
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After a successful 2017, the mobile app industry is all set to take up and meet challenges in 2018. The mobile development scenario is on the way to maturing and becoming more user- friendly. It aims at integration of business needs and technical issues.

Mobile Application Performance Manager

Experience in the last year reveals that though the app market has performed well, there are less number of apps downloads per user. Developers are now looking at apps that engage and satisfy users and also encourage regular use of their apps. The aim is to make them technically sound and simultaneously increase the demand for use.

Blockchain technology

The sudden and meteoric rise in use of Bitcoins has fueled interest in mobile blockchain technology. Developers are ready to latch on to this interest. Their only concern would be to determine the benefits of using the new technology to replace the old SQL database for individual apps.

Machine Learning

Apple's Core ML Library has introduced built-in ML models. This gives developers a convenient way to include ML technology in iOS apps. in 2018 app developers are expected to leverage this advantage.


Chatbots were launched in 2016. They created messaging platforms using the bot to be used on websites. This year these bots are set to expand their domain to mobiles. Developers find it easy to use chatbots. They neither have to learn new interface nor do they need to develop native apps that need regular updating.

Android Instant App

This new entrant is likely to become a favorite this year. It needs no installation and is compatible with all OS. The possibility of embedding it in Google search engines acts as added advantage.

Optimized Mobile Page

Google AMP makes web browsing on mobiles faster. Domains are using AMP to reach and engage more users. More and more apps are expected to convert to AMP to leverage advantage.

5G is on its way

5G is ready to deliver speed. It will work up to sixty times faster than the present 4G technology. This new network is to roll out slowly with the USA based service providers taking the lead.

Return of the Cloud

2018 will see cloud-based apps rise to a whopping 89%. Cloud storage is secure. It clears space on devices and does not eat into device memory making it a preferred storage for private and commercial use. Mobile Backend as a Service allows for data to move back and forth from cloud to device easily, conveniently and fast.

Wearables will continue to grow this year. Security concerns will be a part of app development as more and more transactions are performed using mobiles. Developers will be engaged in developing more and more on-demand apps as their usage increases and startups begin to look at these as a means of reaching customers. Virtual reality and Augmented Reality apps will see an increase in demand and will drive the field of mobile app development.

Expert Author S. Kumar
Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing or SAP is an Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that has been considered the market leader for years now. SAP is a product of SAP SE Corporation that has its headquarters in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The corporation is highly sought after for its software but before we start let us understand its basic workings.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a business tracking module and a business process management tool that has been an integral part of almost all large scale ventures. The need for streamlining the processes of a business has given birth to several process tools. ERP gives a complete and integrated look of the integral business processes that is to be maintained in a database. ERP includes tracking the liquid assets, general assets, resources, manufacturing and marketing divisions and also includes other major workings of the business. These include the internal workings of an organisation such as accounting, salary, workforce, etc. The primary job of ERP is to provide all the information to the Heads of the organisation in real time.
ERP is basically a collection of several different applications or software that integrates the different departments of a business in real time. The continuous flow of information will help in smooth functioning of the business.
One of the biggest names in ERP is SAP which was also the first companies to develop the SAP-ERP which created a name for it rapidly. There are several other ERP tools in the market such as BAAN, JDEdwards, ORACLE ERP, MFG PRO, Microsoft Business Solutions (Navision and Axapta), RAMCO, etc. Even then SAP has been undoubtedly the leader in the ERP applications market owing to its advanced features.
SAP was first introduced in the 1970s by five German engineers who were working for IBM. The software being developed was a prototype that was later rejected by IBM for being worthless. Instead of shutting operations down the five engineers went on to establish a corporation that sold SAP to business.
In today's digital oriented world, SAP training is becoming a necessary part of every MNC as they use SAP to streamline their massive level of procedures. Professionals with extensive SAP training are being widely sought after and if you have the requisite amount of training then you could even make a great career out of it.
One other thing that ERP certified professional enjoys is the international exposure, the job offers. As the ERP certified professionals now required almost everywhere of the globe Futurecareer Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Expert Author S. Kumar
Before we move on to the need for SAP training for the growth of your career let us first understand it.
What is SAP Training?
SAP or Systems Application and Products in Data Processing are a major part of ERP or Enterprise Resource planning. ERP is an integration of several software or applications that is used to streamline the processes of a large scale industry or business. ERP has been an integral part of business process management and one of the major tools of ERP has been SAP.
It is suffice to say that SAP occupies an integral spot in ERP and though there are other applications too yet SAP is the global leader.
SAP training includes several stages most of which are online or e-learning. Online learning or online ERP training is probably the best way to learn on the go.
Need for SAP Training
SAP is becoming an integral part of every large scale business and the need for a clear SAP system is necessary. It is near nigh impossible for an industry or company to function without a proper system that divides each part into segments that will then divide the company into smaller parts and ensure that each part does its job efficiently. When each part is efficient in its job then it is obvious that the whole of the company will work in a super smooth way. Working smoothly is the true aim and SAP does it. Therefore it shouldn't come as a surprise that a SAP trained employees is considered an invaluable part of any organisation. A SAP trained executive will find many new avenues opening for him that will give him a huge boost to his career.
With SAP training an employee will find the
  • Positive effect on his efficiency
  • Help in streamlining his work
  • Error free
  • Career growth
But here comes in a slight problem - how to make time for SAP training?
But that question has also been solved. The answer is online study and simulation. Online Software training is not only easy but also quite affordable. Plus there are also several other added benefits-you will have simulation based training with interactive channels which mean your work will be checked and corrected in real time. There will be lectures and books that will provide for a fundamental base on which you can later build your knowledge. But most importantly there will be live SAP simulations which mean you can practically solve problems.
Another great thing that there are no time limits or fixed amount of hours that you must give. It's all live and the only thing you need to do is to simply log in and learn at your ease.
There are several providers of SAP training in Bhubaneswar that you can check out.
Expert Author S. Kumar
A visit to Goa is incomplete without a trip to the churches of Goa. Apart from the amazing coastline and pristine beaches, Goa is blessed with these exceptionally beautiful places of worship in the form of churches. Tourists, not only from India but all over the globe visit Goa which is famous as the party capital of India. Goa's popular and sublime churches are to a great extent a heritage of Portuguese colonization. These churches define the Portuguese domination in Goa when the rest of India was ruled by the British. Their reign in Goa was peaceful and progressive so locals accepted them as time passed. Now the only reminiscences of the Portuguese era are the beautiful churches built here. The church building was one of the principal occupations of the early Portuguese With a critical populace of Goans being Christians for some eras today, the Church is an essential factor in Goa's social, social and religious life. The engineering of Goa's holy places has experienced outstanding changes in the progression of time and the design of the period that they were inherent. Step into these churches and feel yourself reliving the history of the golden days of Goa.
Bom Jesus Basilica is the world-famous church, also a UNESCO heritage and know for keeping the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The miracle is that the mortal remains are still intact and this attracts curious visitors from far and wide. The Cathedral is one of the biggest Churches in Asia and is devoted to St. Catherine. Legend has it that the Golden bell of this Cathedral could be heard by one and all in Goa. This Church contains 14 altars within. Church of St Francis of Assisi is famous for its Barque and Corinthian architecture. Remaining on the Monte Santo (Holy Hill) and keeping an altruistic watch over Old Goa, is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Wonderful in its starkness and effortlessness this congregation is one of the main structures in Goa that authenticates the presentation of Renaissance design, conveyed to Goa by the Portuguese. Apart from these, the oldest church, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Church of St. Cajetan, bearing resemblance to St. Peter's Church in Rome, Chapel of St. Catherine - one of its kind, Church of Lady of Rosary, Our Lady of the Mount are a few of the world-famous churches of Goa.
What is Goa without a nightlife? And what better way to experience it than on a cruise. So party hard on a Goa cruise party full of food, champagne, and drinks. One of the best party places in Goa is on a luxury cruise at the waterfront full of raw beauty. Feel the nightlife blend with adventure on a Dinner cruise party, be it a family trip, a corporate outing or chilling out with friends. Full of life, floating dance, and music accompanied by dinner and unstoppable party music blaring for a dance party as you sail along.
Expert Author Mary Bodel
He was a weekend hiker and he took his health seriously. He'd had every noninvasive test to make sure his heart was fine. After all, his father did die of a heart attack at a relatively young age.
He came back from a hike with a strange look on his face. It had been a blistering hot day and he thought the pain he felt in the center of his chest was irritation from rapid breathing in such weather.
It didn't go away. In fact, it got worse. It got so he had to pause on his way up the stairs to catch his breath. He also had to pause more than once just to get from his car to his office. It was time to see the doctor.
The doctor couldn't find anything wrong, but just to be safe he was referred to a cardiologist. The cardiologist didn't see anything, either. To be safe he was instructed to have an angiogram.
Apparently this did not scare him. It scared the rest of the family, especially those with enough medical knowledge to know exactly what was to be done. He just wanted to get it over with, especially since everyone was walking on eggshells... eggshells he didn't think were necessary.
The family was right to be afraid. Three arteries were blocked almost completely. 76, 93 and 98%. The pain came from the one artery doing all the work for the other three. He had angioplasty and three stents inserted into his coronary arteries.
A lot of changes happened after this. What the entire family ate changed. Exercise during the week days started. Ways to relieve stress were sought.
It wasn't enough.
At his next checkup he was ordered to have another angiogram and it resulted in another angioplasty. The third checkup requires another stent besides the angioplasty.
Here is the scary part. The doctor was very firm when he visited the patient. The next time there wouldn't be any angioplasty and stents. The next time it would be open heart.
We haven't gotten there yet. We hope we won't have to. However at some point we are going to be more scared than we were with the first angiogram.
Just because you eat right, exercise and have all the tests doesn't mean you won't have heart problems. If you feel the symptoms of heart problems, get to the doctor. It could save your life.