How does life go on, even through a crisis?

I remember reading an article or hearing an interview about war-torn Syria, and in the article, a young woman described how life goes on even during a war.  Now, it never occurred to me about the practical logistics of the people who are indirectly affected by a serious crisis.

The reality; there are many businesses, lives, and events that continue outside of the main crisis, although they live and exist within direct contact of the situation.  These individuals sit in a position of having to walk the fine line of remaining focused on their personal endeavors at the same time responding to the needs of victims.

This post is inspired by the fire at Grenfell Towers, West London, where one of the key issues of discontent and anger is the social and economic divides.  Now as I write this post we are in the throngs of the emotion of victims, families and the local community.

People are responding in mass making contributions, donating money, time and resources. Giving a caring hug and a listening ear.

However, my questions are, what happens beyond the current impact?

  • What is happening to the local business who may have employed and supported local people?
    • Will they survive?
    • Will there be jobs for people to go back to?
  • What happens to the employees who may lose their jobs or will not be paid due to their absence?
  • What happens to people on zero hours contracts?
  • What happens in the future, when these victims (direct & indirect) are seeking employment, will their connections to this event, place them in a marginalised position.

One of the issues I am concerned about is what happens when the eyes of the public have shifted to something else.  (Similar to parents with a new child, life really begins after everyone has left, the home after the initial excitement).

The same is true of trauma and a crisis.  In the midst of the incident, people can become very motivated to provide solutions.  However, what happen months, and years later.  How are we treating and managing those people?

I think people forget, that life is made of those seconds and not just of those big moments.

So, I am thinking about what happens after the fact?

  • How can businesses show compassion?
  • What can I do to help build sustainable businesses?
  • How can the small businesses of today be the compassionate multi-national employers of tomorrow?

I am sad that a crisis has to bring about the neccessity for compassion in business.

Deep in thought

My name is Nicola and this is my blog.  I write about things I love and consider important.

This post focuses on compassion in business.

 

The turning point for Bloggers

Today in London, on the day after the tragic fire at Grenfell Towers, we are already in the throes of speculation and recriminations.

However, in a time where ‘lessons are always learnt’ there is one area I want to cover – the power of the blog or Influencer, especially in this instance.

As the news broke, I became quickly aware of an article that was posted on the blog Grenfell Action Group, In addition, I have heard of a few other bloggers who posted articles to voice their concerns about the dangers that were looming.

I have always seen that the power of Influencers, across all sectors, as being very important within the landscape we live in today.  The curators of these platforms can provide an unfiltered voice to issues or businesses that are not seen as sexy or enticing to mainstream press.  But their independent voices and regular content can prove powerful.  Influencers can warn, educate, inform and entertain.

There are many nuances to be being a successful Influencer.  However, one of them is about writing about and serving your community.

 

ADVICE TO THE WRITERS OF CONTENT

Keep writing.  Consistently serve your core audience and keep being persistent.  Eventually, your tribe will grow.

 

TO THE READERS OF CONTENT

Get involved in the conversation.

What makes one race afraid of another?

There are many things I would like to study and anthropology is one of the topics I would love to dedicate some time to studying.

As a marketing professional, I am interested in human behaviour, I am intrigued at the ways societies have evolved and what creates a shift? I have found it very interesting to hear the change of rhetoric over the years as social media amplifies the voices of different cultural groups. I am not a major in this area yet, but there are certain things taking place in society today, that is breaking the status-quo and changing the common norms.

However, way are people afraid of change, especially within race, in 2017, 50% of society is saying ‘TIME FOR CHANGE’ and as a result, other marginalised groups are supporting that call for change.  2017 kicked off with millions of women saying change. However, the movement triggered a global desire for emancipation from the same old, stale society norms, to create a ‘new normal’.

  1. However, particular cultural groups are afraid that their historical behaviour will be reflected and inflicted on them.  Although, (as the saying goes – revenge is sweet).  Many people who are seeking ‘change’ have recoginised that, that behaviour of our society is a pathology of the current system, and therefore people are seeking equality through a loving and kinder route.  This is being reinforced and demonstrated through the growth of the Mindfulness Sector, Yoga, Meditation and much more.
  2. Uncertainty about what we want.  It is so much easier to push against something we don’t want, but harder to create something that we do want.  Therefore, fear is created as a result of that uncertainty.
  3. Social Media and mobile phones make you face your indiscretions.  It is harder in today’s society to hide from your negative behaviour as you visual evidence reflects and reminds you as well as others of your behaviour.

As mentioned, I am interested in what makes people tick, how we got to where we are now and what the future holds.

I would love to have a great discussion with you, so connect with me and let me know your thoughts!

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

 

When silence is the loudest message

Sometimes when you are in the midst of trials and tribulations, silence provides solitude in a way that no other state can.  It provides you with an opportunity to reflect, listen to yourself and contemplate the next right move.

As with the rest of the globe, I cannot help but be aware of the massive shift taking place in the world.  It is causing many people to come together to fight against negative attitudes and behaviours.  However, I am very much interested in what we are fighting for.

What do we want to see?

I am a massive fan of the quote by Mother Theresa

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When I get silent I think about the contribution I am making on this earth and the things I can do to add to the solution and not just add to the warriors fighting for the solution.

  • My question is do you ever get silent?

I am extremely happy that Trump’s policy has ‘woken’ people up to the reality of humanity

So the cat is out of the bag.  Donald Trump meant what he said when he stated he would ban and limit Muslims entering the USA.

Over the weekend of 28th January 2017, Muslim travellers returning home or travelling to the USA, were detained at JFK airport.  Now as an independent world citizen, who has not researched this story fully, I cannot verify the facts of the detentions.

However, what I do want to discuss in this post, is the response to the news of these detentions.

Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 after two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 after two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

United We Stand

Social media and the news has been overwhelmed with; pictures, live-streams, and tweets about the numbers of people who have come together to protest against the new policy imposed on many Muslim people at JFK airport.

People of all races, denominations, genders and persuasions, are gathered at JFK airport in solidarity for these individuals who have been detained and against the ban imposed on a number of Muslim nations.

Now, besides the millions of people whose voices are never heard, because of the indiscriminate actions being taken by Trump, there are people of power who are also being impacted by this policy.

Conservative, British MP Nadhim Zahawi, born in Bagdad, Iraq but is a British National (so has dual nationality), has been restricted access to USA due to his origins, despite having a valid 10 years visa to travel to the States.  However, what I found interesting was Nadhim’s perspective.

During an interview on the Andrew Marr show, Andrew Marr asked him

“How does it make you feel that Donald Trump does not want you in America now?”

Nadhim’s response was telling.  The realisation that his privilege and money did not mean anything in the face of hatred and stereotyping. He responded;

 Huh, gosh I don’t think I have felt discriminated against probably since little school, where kids are very cruel … as a young boy coming from Iraq or Kurdish origin. For the first time in my life last night I felt discriminated against, it’s demeaning, it’s sad…..

he continues about hs son having a life-threatening illness in the recent past whilst studying at Princeton College in the USA and the impact of that if it had happened today.

Does Nadhim Zahawi deserve this?

What strikes me about this particular case is that Nadhim’s one-day situation is the reality of so many people, every single day.  However, it is only when it impacts the privileged few, that in their opinion we must all come together.  I am extremely happy that Trump’s policy has ‘woken’ people up to the reality of humanity.  His policies are discriminatory, in-discriminatorily.  Trump is equal opportunities of hate, and as a consequence, I believe that his policies are working to bring people together.

“Nadhim, I literally feel your pain.”  As a black woman and a mother of sons, your connection to this situation has brought to bear on your shoulders the reality of so many people on a daily basis, whether you have acknowledged it or not.  I only hope that when your situation is resolved (and it will be), that you remember the unfairness of the hatred shown by Trump and that you and all other people in power who are impacted, will continue to fight for the fair treatment and equal opportunities of all humanity.

It is not Trump’s fault that his policies are negative towards humanity.  No.  He is a businessman and he saw a ‘GAP IN THE MARKET‘ and exploited it.  Simple.  We have to stop being consumers of his. It is only then will his light diminish.  He is interested in the money he can make, his bottom line and power.  We must stop being consumers of Trumps. Stop fighting each other, start building our communities to help and support each other.

I for one, do not have to see what Trump does next to know that we have to stand together to build our communities.

Bye for now.  

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

Deep in thought
Deep in thought

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent – Dawn Ellis

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Name:            Dawn Ellis

Business:      Instant Teamwork Ltd

Website link: www.instantteamwork.com

 

 

As speaker, performer, facilitator, coach and consultant, Dawn has been working in the organisational and public arenas since 1997. She specialises in Storytelling and has a mission to put dynamic storytelling skills into the hands of people who can make a difference. She co-founded Instant Teamwork with her partner Tom Morley.

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Dawn, what is the inspiration behind Instant Teamwork?  As an actor and performer, I had always been attuned to audience dynamics and knew how to change the mood of a group of people. I realised that I had transferrable skills that were necessary and valued in organisations and the world outside the theatre. Between us, Tom Morley (partner and musician – ex Scritti Politti) and I put our decades of knowledge and techniques to the service of engaging and motivating people. We are daily inspired to invite and encourage connection – one of our core values – and that means connection to oneself as well as to others.  Our shared passion and mission, to liberate the human spirit wherever we can and whatever the context.

What are the key foundations of your business?  By delivering unusual activities, often musical or rhythmic, we give permission for people to be themselves in all their enthusiasm and presence. They are surprised at themselves, they enjoy themselves whole-heartedly, achieve something unexpected, and find themselves in a  state of ‘flow’, in the ‘zone’. Now they are open to whatever else is going on – whether it’s a meeting, a seminar or a large conference.  Sometimes delegates even change their lives outside of work and introduce more creativity to their family life.  In practice, this means offering sessions that fall under the labels Team Building and Training. Ideally, we offer the big experience, which embeds memories and has an impact at the time and for a short while afterward – we then follow up with specific training designed to make all this lovely experience sustainable.

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How has your business grown since you first launched?  We launched in 2000 and grew steadily, although the recession of 2008  hit our type of business noticeably, we managed to dodge the worst of it – partly because we are agile and adaptable. Some of our competitors weren’t so lucky.  Since then we have focused on being light on our feet and responsive to the zeitgeist, the marketplace and above all to being creative in the face of challenges.  We keep our core values and offer and constantly re-invent events and ways to engage people, whether it’s Storytelling, Motivational Speaking, Drumming, Song-writing or Circus Powerpoint. We have no wish to become a massive organisation – we have a global reach and are small enough to keep our essence intact.

What have been your biggest struggles since launching?  The recession definitely produced our biggest struggle to date.

What have been your greatest achievements?  For me, our biggest achievements range from micro to macro. Small victories include, for example, working with a group of fairly cynical French bankers and leaving them beaming, loosening their ties and fully bonded as a group of human beings. Achievements on a bigger stage usually involve using our name and reputation to make a real difference to the causes we support. These might be writing anthems for the launch of UN Women, creating flash mobs in Trafalgar Square to provide a magnet for One Billion Rising and Peace Day; to taking drums on to Millennium Bridge to be the heart-beat for the ‘Bridges not Walls’ initiative. It’s all about unity, engagement, and connection, wherever we are.  Finally, in 17 years we have never had a bad review!  And I think that’s an achievement.

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Click on the image above to see Dawn Ellis spreading her wisdom and building communities.

What differentiates you from your competitors?  Our focus is completely on the groups we work with and not on our own cleverness and talent.  So we make sure that all our associates are great facilitators first and great performers second.

We don’t really do off the shelf sessions – we always tailor to whatever is needed.  We are able to de-brief the sessions where needed and offer in-depth training so that our events are fully integrated, not just a bolt-on “well that was the team building, now for the main bit”.

How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?  I would say that our events are designed to be fully inclusive and uplifting.  There is no embarrassment, no solos, and that the metaphors to be drawn from a simple one-hour session are powerful.  And in answer to ‘that’s fine, but MY people wouldn’t do it’ I would say – ‘You’d be surprised, don’t under-estimate them, or our facilitation – try it.’

What are your goals for your business over the next few years?  We are building on our existing, strong Storytelling areas – partly because Storytelling seems crucial for us all right now – to understand what’s going on and to respond powerfully.  We are also developing our Interactive Motivational Talks more – paying particular attention to the release of talent that comes when you allow creativity out to play.

In 5 years we envision being acknowledged as architects of Collaboration, Trust, and Renewal in the private and public arenas.

What is your message to the reader?  People are at their best and able to make clear decisions and collaborate to the benefit of all when they understand how to get into and, crucially stay, in the Zone.  This is our area of expertise and we’d love to work alongside you to bring this about.  Contact us soon.

My personal final thought
Deep in thought
Deep in thought

Dawn, what a trailblazer you are. You project the image of an empowered, confident woman, who aims to inspire others to realise their full potential.  Thank you for doing this interview.

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent – Sadaf Hashemzadeh

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Name:   Sadaf  Hashemzadeh

Business:  GlowVita

Website:  www.glowvita.com 

 

 

Sadaf was born in Tehran/Iran. She moved to London at age of 17 on her own for better education. She has dual nationality of British/Iranian.

Born to a family of engineers and entrepreneurs. She studied Electrical & Electronics Engineering at Imperial College London. She did her MBA focused on Entrepreneurship at Imperial College Business School.  She met her business partner/ friend Sahil Kakaria during MBA program, the idea behind GlowVita arose from their personal frustration using beauty services. GlowVita is an on-demand beauty, health, and wellness app, that helps users access a range of professional, trained and qualified freelancers within London, who are equipped to provide treatments on users convenient location. The ambition behind GlowVita is to disrupt the salon, beauty, and fitness market and to be the one-stop shop for all the beauty, health and fitness needs of our customers. She has a passion for beauty and wellness industry as well as technology which enabled her to thrive and make GlowVita a successful venture.

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Sadaf, what is the inspiration behind GlowVita?  Our vision is to be a trusted brand bringing affordable and top-notched beauty, health and fitness services to the doorstep of our clients.

We have the ambition to impact the salon and beauty, health and fitness services market by developing the one-stop shop for all of those needs for our customers.  In addition, we want to be known as the number one freelance platform for our providers, offering transparency of prices and flexibility of service.

What are the key foundations of your business?  Empowering women, flexibility, reliability and great customer service.  As well as friendly, technical usability.

How has your business grown since you first launched? We launched to a good response and demand from our users. We have increased our brand awareness through social media platforms.  We are now increasing our brand awareness through press and media.  From our users – so far we’ve had excellent feedback.

What have been your biggest struggles since launching?  Our rigorous approach to screening and bringing quality providers on board has been time-consuming and, I would say it’s our biggest challenge. But, we recognise that there is no shortcut to creating a solid foundation for a platform like this.

What have been your greatest achievements?  We have developed a seamless technology platform Web/IOS that provides convenience, flexibility and transparency. We also have quality providers on board with us as part of GlowVita Team.

What differentiates you from your competitors?  We at GlowVita aim to make our platform the most transparent, competitive and fair platform on the market.  Hence, we allow our freelancers to convey their personality on their page through both text and photos.

We think that when it comes to beauty treatments, communication with the client and the service provider’s personality is often a major factor in choosing who to go to.  That’s the major difference between us and our competitors.

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How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?  If they are looking to be pampered like a celebrity at their convenience, GlowVita offers a wide range of services with the fairest price on the market. No matter what’s the budget, we offer a quality service.

What are your goals for your business over the next few years?  We are looking to increase the range of services and the number of qualified providers. We are also looking to leverage from our existing network base to expand to other cities nationally.

What is your message to the reader?  I think the best thing you can do as woman, is to make a positive difference in other people’s life. You can do that as a business woman, mother, daughter, and wife.  Also, follow your vision in life, and never give up on what you want to achieve. My definition of success is to be better version of yourself every year.

THANK YOU

nicola-2Thank you Sadaf, for the interview.  Technology is central to most industries.  Therefore, it is important to have women in all areas of the industry.

 

If you want to be part of the Hidden Figures series, please contact info@marketingwithlove.co.uk for more information

First they came ….

As you celebrate this Christmas holiday, I reflect on conversations I have had over the past few days about international politics.  Brexit, Trump, Syria and even Cuba.

At this time of change, people are feeling uncomfortable. For many, this feels like uncertain times; the personal changes that will occur in their lives, the anticipation of pain in their lives, the frustration at the lack of control.

However, I believe that this time in history is your opportunity for greatness.  It does not have to be celebrity/fame greatness (unless that is what you want), it is a greatness of self-awareness.  I have a strong belief in a person’s personal power and I believe that this moment – this time in history, is a perfect excuse and reason to propel yourself into a life that builds and does not destroy you.

Of course, I know that to be in the position to make a difference, it takes bravery and courage, because, in demanding change, you are confronting the status quo of inertia; a willingness to accept the current situation and having a feeling hopelessness.  However, for me that is not acceptable, you can and must do your best.

Do you remember or know the poem First they came … 

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Many people complain that the demise of our society is in a large part down to the ‘ruling classes‘.  I disagree.  The demise of our society in a large part is down to our own sliding scale of acceptance.  Our personal inability to recognise our inner power and the grace we have to create change,  So as you live each day and believe that you deserve better, figure out what better looks like for you and start the process of achieving it.

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Copyright: http://projectyourself.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SunGazing.jpg
My personal final thoughts
Deep in thought
Deep in thought

If you want to see a difference in your life, please stop and consciously think about what you really want to see in your world and life and then go about the process of making it happen.

Do you really think it is easier said than done?  REALLY? 

Well try not living your life and see how that feels?

Do not allow your power to die with you.  Take action and take control of the possibilities of what you can create today!

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

It is like the universe is daring us to …

I have not watched the news in a long time. Simply because of its determination to ensure that every soul in this country is a recipient of negativity, hate, and anger.  However, last night (after watching The Apprentice), I left the TV on to get an idea about what is happening in Aleppo, Syria. The pain is very real for those individuals experiencing that crisis.  But on watching that footage, it sparked in me a reality/feeling/thought that I had never experienced before.

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Photo credit: https://tribesofcreation.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/as-old-as-the-universe/

I believe that the UNIVERSE is daring us to make a change.  Bear with me as I try to explain my position.  Many people look at the universe as a container within which we reside.  We view it as this vessel that stores our stars, moon, sky, earth and ourselves.  However, we do not truly consider, that like us it has its own set of laws. If we can believe in the butterfly effect;

 “A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air— eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.”

Then surely the universe has its own set of rules to which we are not adhering to.  I believe that the increasing negativity, hatred, and wars are the UNIVERSE’S desperate attempt to push us in a direction of love, patience, cooperation, and connection.  In the UNIVERSE, we are tiny, yet our actions here on earth are causing hurricanes somewhere else.

Constantly we are faced with the question, what would I do if ….?  Well today, start with realising that you are not powerless to create change.  You can start by showing love to yourself. Accepting that you are capable of creating a better society, through the love you demonstrate to yourself, which will naturally radiate to others.

The crisis in Syria, is not a Syrian problem, it is a world’s realisation of the way we treat each other.  The crisis in Syria is not bad, it is awful, and if we are not careful, the next time it could be you living that reality.

My personal final thought
Deep in thought
Deep in thought

My hope for this post is that it reaches people who can read more than more words but feel my words and sentiment.  For the reader to take action and for us all to realise that LOVE is powerful and as strong a word as HATE.

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!