Recommended: supportive courses for Christmas

For the past two years, since I started mentoring small creative business owners, I’ve run Progress not Perfection – an email and care package programme to bring support and ease into the busiest weeks of the year.

This year, I’ve made the decision not to run it because I’m pretty tied up in Copper Boom Studio, as well as planning my January retreats.

But I wouldn’t want you to feel unsupported over Christmas! So here are a few recommendations for ways you can get some calm and love in your mailbox.

1. A Thankful Heart by Gabrielle Treanor

Gabrielle is a passionate and gentle soul, seeking to guide busy people towards a more grateful and joyous everyday life. This particular course starts on 7 November and is all about finding little bits of good in every day. I’ve personally read every email and listened to every recording, and this course is a lovely way to create more gratitude and happiness.

2. Savor by Rachel Cole

Every year for the past five years, I’ve taken Rachel’s festive season offering. The first one got me through a very hard winter, before I knew that I wanted to leave my job (and relationship) in search for something more on my own terms. I’ve worked with Rachel for three years (she’s my coach) and I love the way she brings her wisdom to the Christmas season. This year’s Savor course sees new guest teachers offering meditations and pauses for thought. Lovely!

3. Being Boss Podcasts

I love having something to listen to while I’m working, and I’ve found the Being Boss podcast so helpful and inspiring. This option isn’t as gentle as the other two – it’s more business advice and getting you thinking, which might not be quite right for this time of year. But it’s full of wisdom and “me too” moments. Tune into episodes you most need or simply catch up on the regular programme.

 

And, of course, the invitation is open to join me in January in the Cotswolds for a weekend of restoration, inspiration and creativity. Booking in on a retreat is one of the only ways to work with me in the coming months.

Sending love your way,

Jenny x

Planning With Purpose: a monthly agenda to keep your small business on track

Do you:

  • Feel like you’re always behind on designing new products or organising your marketing?
  • Wish you took more advantage of press and blog features, but find you’re often too late?
  • Feel like you’re flailing and making everything up as you go along?
  • Focus on quick-wins and sales for the next week, rather than planning ahead?
  • Need structure, guidance and support in nice, regular doses?
  • Need help creating and refining your to-do list so that they’re relevant and achievable?

If any or all of your answers are YES, you’re in the right place.

Gifts for gift-makers

I’m so excited about supporting small creative businesses over Christmas this year. A lot of my gifts will be purchased this weekend at Renegade Craft Fair, and I’ve already started my online shopping. Woohoo!

I’ve got quite a few secret Pinterest boards and lists of ideas for friends, family and, to be honest, me. But there was another list brewing, one that I feel is very important. It’s a list of awesome gifts for the gift-makers, for small creative businesses, for those running their own business or thinking about it.

It’s a list of awesome gifts for you!

You might want to share this as a subtle hint. You might want leave it open on your laptop while you’re making dinner. Whatever gets their attention…

 

Books

I love books, and there are thousands of business books out there. These are my current favourites. (I’ve linked to Amazon for convenience and so that you can get ISBNs easily – don’t feel you need to purchase from there!)

Playing Big: Find your voice, your vision and make things happen by Tara Mohr. I just finished this book, and it is wonderful. Thoughtful, practical, encouraging, honest. Tara and I both believe that we’re not people and entrepreneurs separately: we’re whole. And we can’t just brush our fears aside, we have to address them. A great read for those in business, or just starting.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown. I can’t get enough of this book, and I would honestly recommend that absolutely everyone reads it. Brene goes deep into some tough subjects, but she does it with humour and grace. I love it!

Shape Up Your Business: The Founders of Notonthehighstreet.com Share Their Story in a 30-Day Success Plan and Build a Business from Your Kitchen Table by Sophie Cornish and Holly Tucker. Two fabulous books, not least because Holly and Sophie share their own story about notonthehighstreet.com. And I contributed to them… 😉

 

Planners

the green gables' 2015 wall planner
the green gables’ 2015 wall planner

We’re constantly planning, and when the tools you’re using to plan are beautiful, it makes it even more fun! There are lots of lovely planners out there, and these are some of my favourites.

the green gables produces great wall planners for the week, month and year, which include little positive quotes as part of the Live Happy range. I love having something visual to look at when I’m planning and pondering, and these are ethically produced and eco-friendly. Even better!

This beautiful ‘Live Simply’ planner by amazing designer Katie Daisy makes me so happy. What a treat!

Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map planner. I really like Danielle LaPorte’s idea that the most effective way to plan our lives (and businesses) is to focus on how we want to feel, and this planner is chock full of reminders and questions about our plans and desires. I can’t wait to start using mine.

 

Stationery essentials

Colourful pen loops from xoxo stationery
Colourful pen loops from xoxo stationery

I use a LOT of stationery, and I know a lot of my clients do too. There’s something really important about getting things down on paper, and in beautiful colours.

These colourful pen loops supplied by xoxo stationery are adhesive, so you can attach them to all your planners, notebooks, and calendars.

Beautiful pens are important, and are needed all the time. I love Uni-ball (green and blue only, thanks). My friend Kelly recently introduced me to Muji pens, which come in lots of fun colours and write really nicely, too.

 

And, of course, more…

Give the gift of time off, or a bath, or a massage. Do not underestimate how important these things are. Time to plan and ponder is invaluable. Take care of the kids, parents, friends, chores, and let your business-minded other half think and create for a bit.

And I just have to tell this story:

I received an email recently from a gentleman asking if he could buy some of my time and advice for his girlfriend’s 30th birthday. I was so touched! The answer, of course, is yes. I can offer one-off sessions suitable as a Christmas gift, and will be launching a whole host of new services in January. I’m running a retreat in March 2015 – a perfect business development gift. Get in touch if you’d like more info.

I hope you all get just what you need this Christmas,

Jx

optin-cup

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