Gail n AC bk openI’ve been pottering along for a number of years as an Author and a Speaker, with real life getting in the way of me establishing a thriving business. A few contracts here and there have been great to pay the bills, but have also left me feeling that I was leading a ‘perforated life.’

What’s that, I hear you ask? Working Monday, Wednesday and Friday on a two year contract left me with Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday to work on my own business and I soon realised that I never felt like I was in flow. No sooner did I start a project and it was time to go back to paid work!

Don’t get me wrong – I was grateful for the income.

Hence, I’ve felt like I was marking time in my business. This year, having completed the contract, I’ve decided to focus, use a whiteboard and a manual index card contact filing system, along with other strategies to reduce the overwhelm of keeping everything in my head and hoping madly that I could recall all the minute details later.

Several years ago I attended a Business Intensive in Perth at which Alex Mandossian explained the WIT Principle. I recently realise that I’ve been using this for some time by doing Whatever ITakes to propel my business forward.

I add a rider to the WIT Principle – it must be honest, ethical and benefit both parties.

I’ve also realised that I need to let go of the Little Red Hen principle – “I’ll do it myself.” As an independent and capable person, I tried to do everything myself, but realised that, amongst other things, I was not gifted at MYOB. That was my first foray into loosening the reins – handing over the finances to a book keeper – and what a relief that was.

Next I found some freelancers who are much more adept at creating promo booklets than I’ll ever be. They’ve saved me blood, sweat and tears! And whilst they’re busily taking care of some of the essentials that are not my forte, I can focus on what I’m best at – creating content for my books, talks and workshops and practising for speaking engagements.

With a little more organisation in my life, I feel like I’m now more in flow and I’ve left the perforations behind, having torn out that overwhelming and messy page!

Chap 4 pic 2Workplace stress seems endemic!

Every morning I meet a LinkedIn email with a headline about workplace stress.

Where did we lose the ability to enjoy our personal life and also find some pleasure in what pays the bills?

When did work become something to be endured, rather than a place where we make a valued contribution and take pride in doing so?

How did the negative comments TGIF and Hump Day come into being?

If you say TGIF to my husband, he’ll ask, ‘Do you know the great thing about Friday?’ People usually make comments like, ‘It’s almost the weekend,’ or some such thing, to which Ron will reply, ‘It’s only three days ’til Monday.’

This is always met with a groan.

What if management and staff alike could develop a work paradigm that embodies fairness, inclusion, pride, realistic goals, gratitude for effort put in along with a positive and fulfilling workplace culture?

Do you think staff might show more interest in their work? Do you think if approached personably they may put in extra effort? Is it possible they may see themselves as part of a team, rather than sensing a them and us mentality?

My favourite and most respected manager was Greg, a dentist in the School Dental Service, who would answer the phone if everyone else was busy. If he’d finished his patient and we were still busily drilling and filling, he’d come and ask if we wanted our usual coffee order. We could then all sit, as part of a team and take a few minutes to chat before our next patients arrived – the dentist having made the coffee!

To Greg, we were a team, with no pecking order, but merely a common objective – to take the best care of our patients by doing exemplary quality work in the kindest and most caring fashion. His humane and caring approach to staff was unsurpassed and they responded accordingly.

Piper in EdinburghA recent trip to Scotland reinforced for me the importance of being specific with our requests, then letting go and not trying to control the how.
I wanted to hear the ‘Highland Cathedral’ being played live, by a bagpiper in Edinburgh. My husband and daughter googled Concerts in Edinburgh and various other search words and nothing appeared. I remained focussed on hearing this magnificent piece, although I couldn’t see how this may happen.

Strolling from the House of Holyrood Palace, along the Royal Mile, towards Edinburgh Castle, I could hear bagpipe music in the distance. Looking up, I spied a lone piper, dressed in his full regalia, busking in the street.

As he finished playing a piece, I approached asking, ‘Do you do requests?’ ‘Certainly. What would you like me to play?’ he asked. ‘Can you play The Highland Cathedral please?’ ‘Sure. I’ll play that for you,’ he said and promptly began to play as I dissolved into a puddle of tears.

Not only did I get to experience the magic of hearing this played live, just a few feet in front of my very eyes, but also the magic of how the Universe / God / Source brought this to me in the most unexpected of ways.

It confirmed my belief that if we are specific with our requests, focus on them with positive energy and take some sort of action to set the wheels in motion (we had booked to stay in Edinburgh for 4 nights), then we can leave the details to a source beyond our limited means.

This, as you might imagine, was a highlight of our travels in the UK.