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.

The Power of Words by Dr Maya Angelou

Your words have power.

You never know who is watching or whose life you are impacting

 

The Power of Words – Dr. Maya Angelou

“Words are things, I’m convinced.  You must be careful about the words you use, or the words you allow to be used in your house.

In the Old Testament, we are told in Genesis, that in the beginning was the word, and the word was God and the word was with God.  That’s in Genesis. 

Words are things, you must be careful. Careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejorative or sexual pejorative and all that ignorance, don’t do that.  

Some day we will be able to measure the power of words.  I think they are things, I think they get on the walls, they get in your wallpaper, they get in your rugs, in your upholstery, in your clothes and finally into you.”

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!

 

Why should we care about your business?

I was recently interviewed on International Women’s Day about women in business.  During the interview, the host asked, “Why should we care about your business?”  I answered honestly and from the heart.  However, the question got me thinking about my clients and other businesses.  Why should we care about your business? Why should people pay attention to you?

You can click on the image to hear my response to the question, why should we care about your business?

This question was further compounded by an interview I watched, with a physicist, who is pioneering groundbreaking cancer treatment using lasers that leaves little or no side effects. Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green shares what inspired her research and what is needed to take it to the next level. What struck me was her persistence of asking this simple question WHY NOT?

In this world of so much noise and ‘look at me’, the question to ask yourself is Why?

  • Why should someone care about your business?
  • Why should we not be able to find a more effective cure for cancer?
  • Why can’t more women receive funding for their business?

I believe in the answer you find the heart of your goal.

My personal final thought?
Deep in thought

I just want to challenge you to ask yourself, WHY you do what you do?  In the answer lies the truth of who you are and your purpose.

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

quote-if-you-hold-an-anti-war-rally-i-shall-not-attend-but-if-you-hold-a-pro-peace-rally-invite-mother-teresa-80-91-06

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?

Hidden Figures/ Hidden Talent – Farah Govani

 

farah-023-v3

 

Name:         Farah Govani

Business:  Govani Coaching Ltd

Website link: www.govanicoaching.com

 

 

Farah’s clients say that as a result of their work with her, they are more present, bold, creative and resilient.  All of us have such brilliance inside us.

Farah helps to create the conditions for that brilliance to be unleashed. That may be through 1:1 coaching, or a mindfulness group or through authentic leadership training.

Mindfulness is integral to her life; she stumbled upon it 11 years ago and it has had, and continues to have, such a profound impact on how she lives and works.

gc_logo_lock_up_01

 

Farah, what is the inspiration behind Govani Coaching?  I never dreamt of running my own business; it was never part of any plan of mine. However, one morning in May 2013 during my meditation practice, I was contemplating the questions: “What is my Job on this planet with a capital “J”? and “What am I so passionate about, I would pay to do it?” The answer came resoundingly loud and clear: my purpose is to bring mindfulness into organisations and to introduce as many people as possible to these practices that have had such a life-changing impact for me.

The call was so strong, so compelling that six weeks later I resigned from my HR career and started planning. Govani Coaching was born in February 2014.

What are the key foundations of your business?   I have 5 Principles that guide how I work: Courage, Service, Dignity, True Wealth & Wonderment. I could speak at length on each of those, but instead, I invite the readers of this blog to read each Principle in turn and see how much it resonates with them.

How has your business grown since you first launched?   My company is three years old this month! It has grown mainly through referrals from my ever-growing wonderful network of friends, family, ex-colleagues and new connections. I feel lucky to have a mix of clients. I work with individuals who invest in themselves and with organisations who invest in their people.

What have been your biggest struggles since launching?  Very little has felt like a true struggle. More an ongoing series of learning curves. One early challenge was when no one came to my mindfulness classes. I knew that it was never a personal thing and it simply indicated I had a lot to learn about marketing and messaging.

connected-leadership-shot-v2

What have been your greatest achievements?  Last year, in partnership with another training provider, we delivered Authentic Leadership training to 120 leaders from a global luxury brand. It was wonderful to see them open up and explore their biases, both about themselves and others, and over the course of the two-days, each of them crafted their own unique Leadership Philosophy. It was such a privilege to be part of their explorations and development.

This may sound corny or clichéd, but my greatest achievements are when my clients discover their inner resources and take the courageous steps to share their glorious brilliance with the world.

What differentiates you from your competitors?

This is a tricky one to answer. On one hand, it’s the combination of having a committed mindfulness practice and my previous corporate experience as an employee at global companies such as PwC and BlackRock.  My mindfulness practice grounds me, it enables me to listen deeply and it allows for the co-creation of a safe and powerful space in which my clients can explore their fears and dreams without judgement. My corporate experience means that I can understand and relate to the challenges that individuals, teams and organisations are dealing with. In addition, I am in the midst of a Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Approaches. Mindfulness is definitely a popular thing right now, which means that the number of teachers has exploded. If you’re considering joining a course, you should ask the teacher about their training. The bare minimum should be a well-recognised one-week teacher training course (e.g. from Bangor University). My Master’s degree is five years – clearly this goes a lot deeper than a one-week training course.

On the other hand, when it comes to people connecting more deeply with themselves and others, it’s not actually about choosing me vs a competitor.. So long as you are tuning in, both to yourself and the world around you, if you choose to that with another coach or mindfulness teacher, so be it. We are all interconnected: the more people who are bringing mindfulness into their lives, or who develop a deeper knowing of who they are and how they can make a positive impact on the world, the better. It benefits all of us.

How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?  Often the first step is the hardest, such as deciding that having a coach could actually be just what you need to support you as you go from good to great. Or the first step might be acknowledging any perceptions you have about meditation being a bit weird but giving it a go anyway as the scientific research shows just how beneficial it is for us, physically, mentally and emotionally. I can’t help you with that first step, but once you’ve made that decision, contact me and we can explore how us working together could potentially change your life.

What are your goals for your business over the next few years?  To do more of what I am already doing. More mindfulness classes, whether that’s for organisations or the general public (in London and Croydon or online.  I want to coach more people – it is such a privilege to work with someone as they explore their own principles and values and make bold changes in their life. And I want to run more Authentic Leadership training, which has coaching and mindfulness at its two supporting pillars. Given the state of “post-truth politics”, authenticity is more important than ever.

What is your message to the reader?  If you’ve never experienced how powerful simply pausing can be, I invite you to listen to this 5-minute meditation. I’d love to hear about your experience.

Thank you

nicola-2Farah, what I love is your courage to stepout of your comfort zone is what many more women need to hear.  I appreciate you participating in the Hidden Figures series.  It takes courage to really let the world know that you are hear to serve.  I thank you.

If like Farah, you want to participate in the series, please contact me on info@marketingwithlove.co.uk

The series officially closes on 17th Feb 2017, when the film Hidden Figures is released in the UK.

 

Hidden Figures/ Hidden Talent – Laurie Seymour

laurie-with-sara-b-2

 

Name: Laurie Seymour

Business: The Baca Journey

Website link: www.thebacajourney.com

 

As a mentor/guide, Laurie Seymour, M.A., is a #1 best-selling author, speaker, host of the Wisdom Talk Radio podcast and founder of The Baca Journey. She helps women and men who are in the midst of great change to have a direct experience of their inner wisdom, dissolving self-doubt. Then she teaches them how to sustain their inner connection so that they live the life they know is possible.

photo-for-fp-comms-article-1

Laurie, what is the inspiration behind The Baca Journey?  Well, the Baca Grande is a physical place located in Crestone, Colorado. It is home to many groups of a spiritual nature as well as people who are drawn by its high-desert beauty and provocative energy. It is where a group of inner explorers held gatherings for 20 years, dedicated to learning about our own potential. We had a passion for inner discovery that transcended dogma, religion or mental constructs. We wanted to learn about how energy worked and we wanted that learning to come from within.

We wanted to learn about how energy worked and we wanted that learning to come from within. The Baca Journey was born from this exploration as a place for discovery, for learning, for dialogue, and for exploration.  It represents that place within each one of us, as human beings, that is connected with a greater truth and a desire to discover more about how to live aligned with that truth in everyday life.

What are the key foundations of your business?  Our core operating values are:

  • Conscious participation in life is needed for creative action to take hold.
  • As you trust and take action, a new way of living everyday life unfolds.
  • This new way of living gives rise to answers for life’s challenges.
  • Life has meaning.
  • There is a bigger picture.
  • The journey (life) is exhilarating!

These values underlie everything that we offer, whether that is through one to one sessions, online programs (like Turaya Meditation Live Online and Prospecting Your Inner Jewel), corporate mindfulness programs or live classes such as Turaya Touch.

How has your business grown since you first launched?  I launched The Baca Journey while I was working full-time for a major telecommunications company. At that time (and for several years until I left) it was primarily a vehicle for online writing, building a library of resources for people who were ready to explore and claim a bigger picture of themselves and life’s possibilities. Now it is a full-fledged service company dedicated to unleashing people’s potential and having a life that works. It’s really a business that has been decades in the making, since my first career as a psychotherapist and university instructor.

What have been your biggest struggles since launching?  My struggles happen whenever I forget that I’m part of a bigger mission to remind people of who they really are and what is possible. It’s when I think I’m in this alone.

What have been your greatest achievements?  When someone connects with the big truth inside of themselves and they feel loved from the inside-out. Then when they discover that this is sustainable and that they can make life decisions from within this clear space of mindful presence even in the midst of outer turmoil. Actually, these are really their achievements. I’m kind of like the Sherpa who provides the tools, shows the way and helps carry the load on the journey.

What differentiates you from your competitors?  If we each have our own expression of who we are, and if that expression is represented with love and integrity in what we offer, then none of us can do what another does. I know in the depth of my being that this is true, so I have no competitors. Nor do “they.”

How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?   More than anything, you want to know that your inner guidance is coming from the deepest, truest part of you. You are ready to create the bigger picture that has been calling to you. You’re ready to trust the answers inside of you even if you aren’t sure how.   I’ll provide the strategies you’ll require to get through the portal to the “other side” and illuminate your next steps. Let’s do this together.

What are your goals for your business over the next few years?  Personally, 2017 will see the completion and publication of my first solo book (I’m a #1 international best-selling author of two collaborative books). I’m expanding my signature online program, Prospecting Your Inner Jewel in 2017 that teaches people how to access their own inner direction so they can navigate successfully through life’s changes. I taught my first classes in London in 2016 and will be taking Prospecting Your Inner Jewel live on the road nationally and internationally.

Ultimately, I look to The Baca Journey to be a provocative catalyst for people to come together in community in the joy of how life can work.

What is your message to the reader?  There is a reliable resource already within you that can bring a new simplicity and clarity to determining your true next step. It is part of your original “blueprint”. It is waiting for your rediscovery. I call this your Inner Guidance System, your own unique GPS.   There’s a new life waiting for you and now it’s your time to make space for you.  It’s time to answer the inner call that you feel whispering inside. Because you are ready. Because you can.

Thank you!

nicola-2Laurie, I am so happy that you shared your vision with my readers.  I firmly believe in our inner power to create change.  However, it is great to know that there are people like you, who can help people like me un-tap our potential.

Thank you for participating in our series.

If you want to contirbute to my Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent series, please message me at info@markeitngwithlove.co.uk

Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent – Dawn Ellis

img_0224

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.

instant

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.

img_8680

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.

screenshot-2017-01-29-11-08-07
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!