I was thrilled to end the year by doing something that I’ve wanted to do since launching Desk Life Project; a panel event with inspiring business owners from our community! Last month we all came together at IdeaSpace in London to talk about self-employed life and listen to three amazing women who are killing it in their field, but who also go through the highs and lows of running a business – I was joined on the panel by Julia Day from Easy as VAT (pictured second left), Gemma Scopes from How To Make Friends (centre) and Jess Ratcliffe from Unleash Your Extraordinary (right), and having the expertise and stories from these three women meant that I essentially had my dream panel!
For anyone who wasn’t able to see the panel chat in action, here are some of the most poignant parts of the evening:
Sometimes giving yourself less time to work makes you more productive.”
– Gemma Scopes
It’s true that we often sit in front of our screens all day with big dreams, big to-do lists and big ways in which we procrastinate and end up getting absolutely nothing done by 5pm. We chatted about how sometimes, with only a few hours to spare in the day, we’ve all had experiences of having our most productive hours ever when we are the most limited for time. It shouldn’t make sense, and yet somehow, it works.
Gemma, who recently quit her full-time job to focus her energy on How To Make Friends, said: “I find if I set myself 2 or 3 hour stints in the day, I’m way more productive when I can say yes, I’m sitting down ’til this time!”
When starting a new business, you’re in the prime position to start the way you mean to go on, and streamline your processes in the early stages. Don’t waste time throughout the day without a focus, choose how long you think something should take and get it done within the given time frame. After all, if your boss told you to, you’d get it done, right??
I’d always wanted to be my own boss, but I never knew how it would happen.”
– Julia Day
Julia has been building a business that is, quite frankly, on fire at the moment! With a brand new membership site just launched, she’s gone from working too much for someone else, to focusing on what she really wants out of life and going out on her own. After working for someone else, her desire to spend less time stressing about other people’s issues, and more time working on her own projects, finally became reality this year, and she’s never looked back.
“I thought, if I’m going to work this much, I might as well work for myself”, said Julia. Life is just too short to spend it burnt out worrying about someone else’s business, and if you feel stressed too often in your job it might be worth considering how hard you are willing to work for someone else’s dream. Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself that you want to build something of your own if you do, instead of hiding behind the hard work you’re used to because it feels familiar and comfortable.
If I have to do stuff that drains me, I make sure I plan things that fill me.”
– Jess Ratcliffe
One thing we were certainly not short of after this panel chat was inspiring quotes about work life balance. Coach Jess Ratcliffe was particularly empowering when talking about her health issues over the years, and how nowadays taking care of herself is priority number one, as it should be for us all. While it may seem like starting a business means a constant flurry of productivity, there is something to be said for taking time out to simply recharge and think about what your next move will be. “I find that [even if I’m not being productive] that’s my sort of ‘thinking time’, so that’s still productive”, said Jess. Don’t be fooled into thinking that starting a business has to mean late nights and long hours, especially if it compromises your wellbeing.
A lot of it is giving yourself permission to ask for money.”
– Julia Day
I had heard the term ‘money mindset’ floating around a lot recently, and wanted to find out from Julia – master of all things financial – what it actually means. She told us: “a lot of it is giving yourself permission to ask for money, understanding that yes, you do deserve to be paid for your work, and that you deserve to have a lot of money and not feel like a bad person”. Starting your own business is scary, and often the most feared part is the belief that you won’t be able to make any money, and a sense of ‘who am I to charge for this?!’ Changing your mindset around what money means to you and what you believe you deserve could help you start to change your relationship with those pennies.
The quotes above are a mere snippet of what was a truly empowering, evocative and enlightening hour of panel chatting. A huge thank you to all that came along, and if you missed it, don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list so you are the first to know about the next event!