S02 E03 Where to Start with Your Logo and Branding

S02 E03 Where to Start with Your Logo and Branding

    Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

    I am so happy to tell you I have got Michele from Heartfelt Illustrations here with me today to discuss the perfect logo and other branding tips 

     

    Welcome, Michelle, thank you so much for being here and always being so awesome with my branding. I am so excited to talk to you about this because it’s such an interesting and intimidating topic for a lot of people. 

     

    You are responsible for my logo, which I love, and my course books. Some people might have seen them online, done the courses online or come along to the workshops. There’s How to Entrepreneur with Ease, How to Streamline your Business, the annual business planner. And if anyone out there has ever downloaded any of my freebies or opt-ins, you were probably responsible for the design of those too.

     

    So I’d love to hear more about your business and how you set up and what kind of services you offer.

     

    Michelle:

    I’ve been in business I think for about seven years now, but it wasn’t always illustrations. I actually began my business as a crafter and creating felt items. I used to run craft fairs. So my family and I, we put on events and I used to run the cafe and run the stalls and also create the things myself. My business was called Heartfelty and to create a lot of the items that I made required drawings, required illustration, quite detailed ones sometimes,  because creating the items meant that I had to turn them around and make them into 3D shapes. And I just loved doing the drawings. I actually prefered doing the drawings.

     

    Then I did create them in felt which took a lot longer and didn’t always look like the pictures that I drew of them. So as time went on and I was doing these craft fairs, we branched out into doing specialist ones like book fairs. 

     

    And then my daughters were beginning college and university and they used to work alongside me at these shows. It became apparent that I couldn’t keep asking them to do every Saturday and every Sunday and working with me. So I had to rethink the whole of the business model. It was by accident actually, somebody had asked me to draw some pictures for them and then I thought, ‘well, I could probably do that instead and be at home at the same time.’ 

     

    That’s really how Heartfelt Illustrations was born. So I began by drawing my own logo and then I drew some other people’s. It was an accident, but it was a really happy, wonderful one. I’ve never been so happy in what I’ve been doing ever. 

     

    Dee:

    Such a lovely story about how, when you work for yourself, you can pivot your business to suit your changing lifestyle, right? Which is one of the best things about working for yourself. You can focus on things that you like doing more, or if your situation changes, your family situation, your health or whatever it might be, you can look at alternatives.

     

    Michelle:

    Sometimes these alternatives just come along. Working for yourself, you begin to learn and use skills, you suddenly then realise, ‘I could actually use that and do something else with it.’ So I began with pictures, I began with logos, but now I actually use illustration and I’m extending it, like I’ve done for you, into booklets and creating images digitally that can then be anything from books, business cards, banners, flyers, illustrations for books, adverts. 

     

    Dee:

    I think the moral of that story is to keep your eyes open to any opportunities when you’re working for yourself. Because you never know what might come up. And always evaluating what elements of your business you enjoy most and least.

     

    Michelle:

    Absolutely. I absolutely loved actually being with the customers at the craft fairs and the shows and actually having the stalls. But it was time-consuming. It was taking not just the whole weekends to create these events, but it was also taking all week to prepare for them. And so it wasn’t feasible long-term. So this really grew into where I could actually still navigate my way through a business and be creative and do the thing that I actually want to do. But it means that I can still take my daughter to college, I can walk the dog and still just be back at my laptop, and ready to work again. So it’s really great for lifestyle at the moment.

     

    Dee:

    That’s fantastic. I had a workshop recently, Michelle, where I ask people how much they thought it would cost for someone to custom design a logo for them for their business. And I think the lowest estimate was about £200.

     

    Michelle:

    You won’t believe this probably, but I began so much lower, I began offering about £12, but that was basically because I thought that what I was offering was an off branch of the thing that I was already doing. So it seemed a logical start to see if people actually would want that service. And so over the years, over the last five years, my price has doubled, however, it’s still nowhere near the ballpark your clients are talking about. 

     

    Dee:

    Iit highlights something I come across with a lot of my clients, that when thinking about hiring someone to do something for them, they always assume it’s going to be so much more expensive and so much more complicated than it actually is.

     

    Michelle:

    The processes is not as complicated in terms of actually getting yourself a logo commissioned. Behind the scenes there’s an awful lot of work that goes into something that seemingly looks simple. Whereas actually the time that goes into that is often hours, hours and hours. 

     

    I think you just really need to have an idea of what you want your logo to be and to approach somebody like myself with the idea

     

    Dee:

    Exactly. So if someone was starting a new business or rebranding their business, what would you want them to come to you with? What would be a good starting point? Like you said, would they already have an idea or could you help them brainstorm that yet? What’s the ideal first conversation?

     

    Michelle:

    Well, just approaching somebody like myself is the first step. And perhaps you might have an idea of what you want your logo to be. Often people come and they’ve got a really clear idea and they’ll say, ‘I want this image. I want these colors. This is my business name. This is the sort of style that I’m looking to have.’

     

    Sometimes people will approach me and, and they really don’t know, and ask what I suggest. And that’s absolutely fine too. Sometimes they don’t even have a business name. So I’m always happy to give the advice that I feel that I can give.

     

    They know their business, they know what they create, they know what they need. And sometimes just having a little conversation around that helps to bring the customer to a point where they’ve made some decisions. 

     

    Dee:

    So people should not be intimidated approaching someone like you to do a logo for them if they haven’t got a sort of a whole idea set in concrete yet. 

     

    Michelle:

    Mo, in fact, that’s really joyful situation to be in, to actually be in that position where somebody is saying, ‘please work with me and let’s do this together.’ That’s great. 

     

    Dee:

    One thing I love about working with you is you helped me with the logo but then you’ve also been such a big help with sort of the rest of the branding because I’ve got you working on a bunch of other stuff, email headers and Facebook banners and some worksheets and workbooks and so forth. So, I was just wondering how you think the logo links to someone’s brand.

     

    Michelle:

    The logo is a signpost to the rest of that business’s world. The branding is that little world that is your business and that logo just stands there at the front and points to it.

     

    Dee:

    That’s such a lovely way to put it. Do you have like a whole world in your mind with all of these businesses, little towns with signposts?

     

    Michelle:

    It’s absolutely just like that. Especially when you’re looking out across an fair and you see all these little units of businesses and each one of them is standing behind the little signpost and they’ve got their items out and they’re all different colours. And each one of those is a little place to visit. And that’s the way I think about branding and logos. 

     

    So for instance, with you we started with the logo, you wanted the phases of the moon. I absolutely love anything to do with the moon. So we started there, but then the colours, do you remember we put the lovely, gorgeous, deep blue on the background. Then when it came to producing all the rest of your branding, we picked all those colours out, basically taking little parts of that world and spreading it so that you’ve got a complete image. So it’s all matching. So it really all says that’s Dee andThe Beauty of Our Dreams.

     

    Dee:

    You ideally want that brand recognition where someone sees anything from you and recognizes it at a glance.

     

    Michelle:

    Even when the logo is not there, you should still be able to recognize what that business is. And that’s the essence of branding. 

     

    Dee:

    I always think, a lot of us are not yet Nike or Apple. So the world isn’t going to recognize us instantly by part of our logo or our color scheme just yet. But until we get to that stage, I like to think of the branding colours and the imagery as a way to evoke the mood or the feeling that a company would like to give to the customer.

     

    Michelle:

    So I’m going to ask you a question now. The day when I created your logo and we chose the colours, when you saw it, did you recognize it as that feeling that you wanted?

     

    Dee:

     I’ll tell you my thought process. I wanted to use the phases of the moon because I like that spiritual side of things. And a lot of my customers are drawn to me because of that.So I wanted to attract my ideal client. And I wanted  the blues and dark rich colours because I wanted that sense of comfort and relief and warmth.

     

    I wanted people to look at it and think, ‘I relate to that image. There’s stuff in there that I like. I don’t quite know yet what it’s about, but I’m going to explore more.’ 

     

    Between the name and the image, I want it to evoke some feelings that would intrigue people to sort of find out more about me and what I can do for them.

     

    Michelle:

    And when you’ve reached that, when you’ve arrived at that point and you feel that once you’ve seen the branding and your logo, then that’s when you know that that’s the right one for you. 

     

    Dee:

    Because we went back and forth with a few different colours at the time. They were all gorgeous colours, but I guess for me, they just didn’t evoke the sense of calm that I wanted my logo to spread.

     

    But it was a super fun process. Some people are intimidated because they don’t feel that they are creative and therefore, the thought of having a conversation on those creative lines is scary.

     

    Michelle:

    People do worry slightly. So I never rush them.

     

    Dee:

    And you, with all of your years of experience and your skills, you know the right questions to ask people to help direct them. 

     

    So I have another question that people come to me a lot with. Many think when they start a business that they have to get all of the things. All of the softwares, all of the products, all of the everythings, and it can be quite overwhelming. It can cost a lot. And the same goes for printed materials and online publications and so forth. So I know it varies from industry to industry, business to business. But what would you recommend if you’re starting your business, what do you recommend people get?

     

    Michelle:

    I absolutely agree with you on that point. When you’re starting out, it can seem a little bit daunting and overwhelming. And I think that’s because we have this idea that when you start a business, you must have…. and then the list starts. You must have business cards, you must have flyers. And a lot of people don’t then think about what that might mean for their own business. And sometimes it’s not the appropriate thing. It isn’t the thing that you need, it’s just a case of some people going through the motions. So again, what I would absolutely say is start with at the very beginning, start with your business name. Pick something that means something to you that is clear. Start with your branding, perhaps picking out key colours. It doesn’t have to be final colors, but picking out maybe key calls and feelings that you want to create. Start with perhaps a logo. I would start there and then move on from that. 

     

    So I would perhaps go for things like your Facebook page or your Instagram page or if you’re planning on selling in an Etsy shop, our eBay or wherever it is online, I would focus on developing the branding through those places where your customer is potentially going to visit you first. So those more like digital items not printed.

     

    I would say that you need to actually ask yourself, ‘do I actually need business cards? And if I get them, what am I getting them for? Where are they going to go? Where is the destination for these?’

     

    Dee:

    Who do you want to want to reach? And is that the best way to reach them?

     

    Michelle:

    The other thing I always try and talk to my customers about is that a business card doesn’t have to just be your contact details on a little piece of card. Your business card can be whatever it is that you want and absolutely need it to be. So for example, if you need it to be washing instructions for your items that you create or you need them to be an ingredients list for the cupcakes or you need them to be a little gift voucher or a loyalty card. 

     

    Dee:

    Funny you should say that because I have in this season an interview with Emma Hands from Handserenity who is my Reiki healer and it’s fascinating interview. She also sells crystals and on the back of her business cards, she’s got different crystals descriptions. So she gives them out to people who bought crystals and then they also have her business card on the back, which I just thought was an ingenious way of using that piece of paper.

     

    Michelle:

    The key point here is that business cards are disposable and really easy to get rid of. So somebody may take your business card as they walk past you at a show or anywhere else that you decided to give out your business cards. But the likelihood is that it is going in the bin. So how can you make people want to keep that bit of paper?

     

    Dee:

    Fantastic advice there. I think that’s amazing. And it touches on what I wanted to ask you about in terms of figuring out who your ideal client is. Because a lot of this goes back to that, doesn’t it? This needs to be done alongside thinking about your branding and your logo. Ideally who are you trying to reach? Where do they hang out online and in real life and how do they consume information? What are they looking for? What are they searching for and how would they interact with you?

     

    Michelle:

    Absolutely. Your logo and your branding are the beginnings of that. It’s the window into that world. So what you want your logo to do is to speak to those people directly, so it appeals to them when they see it. For example, I created my logo with lovely light greens and yellows and I wanted it to look fresh, but I wanted it to look creative because I knew from the people that I’d worked with previously, but also from the artists that were coming in for custom illustrations and locals, that they were creative community. I am a creative myself. So it taps into that field and those businesses that hopefully are the ones that can hear me. So I go onto the platforms  where they work. I’m members of the craft groups and the small business ones as well on social media. And I directly targeted that as my custom base.

     

    Dee:

    And that’s really interesting because obviously that’s how I found you. I have my love of sweary cross stitching. And so I’m in some of those groups that you are in and someone must’ve recommended you or someone must’ve requested information about a logo designer and you popped up and posted that you do that. I saw your logos on your Facebook page and thought, ‘yeah, she’s, she’s one of us.’ 

     

    That’s one of the really important things, for a logo to be relatable to who you want to relate to.

     

    I suppose it also is where thinking about where your logo will be seen by your ideal customers. Is it going to be on a van zipping past on the A316 or is it going to be on Facebook where people are scrolling and they have a little bit more time to look at your page and read into it?

     

    Michelle:

    I will ask you those questions. So, for example, if a builder does approach me I might ask them, is this going to be on the side of a van because that will affect the way that I’m going to design and draw it. I’ve got that in my mind that it has to be striking. Like you said, as it goes past, you’ve got seconds to see the name and get a feel of what it is about. 

     

    Dee:

    And that’s why someone’s getting you involved instead of just trying to do it themselves.There’s loads of software for trying to make a logo yourself. And in my experience, the people that I know who have done this are not happy with the end result. They end up getting someone down the line to do it professionally anyways. Or you can tell their logo is homemade. 

     

    Michelle:

    I would say that that’s a great starting point. Sometimes people will have put together something themselves in one of those logo creators and then they’ll bring that to me and say, ‘could you make this?’ So if you’ve already got that and you want to approach me with something that is absolutely fine.

     

    Dee:

    So Michelle, what are your favorite types of logos and styles to work with?

     

    Michelle:

    This is a really tricky question. As a person myself, I have things that I’m really interested in. So for example, when you said you wanted the phases of the moon, I got so excited I thought, ‘yes, this is going to be a good day.’ So if it’s on a subject that I’m really interested in, I might be a little bit more excited than some other ones. 

     

    Dee:

    Michelle, you know, one of my other episodes in the season is about how the moon affects you as an entrepreneur.

     

    Michelle:

    I absolutely love every single one because when you offer custom design, there’s no repeats,  there’s no templates. It really is from the beginning every single time. And it starts with me drawing a picture. If I’m drawing I’m happy. So I like them all. 

     

    Dee:

    So we’ve talked a little bit about the process involved in you making a logo and I think our listeners will be able to see that. you do take a lot of time and effort to think about everyone’s needs when they come to you and you do these designs from scratch. You edit it until everyone’s happy. We talked about before about how um, the people attending my workshop thought that this kind of service would cost a minimum of £200, but do you want to tell the listeners how much you charge?

     

    Michelle:

    Currently my current charge is £25.99

     

    Dee:

    She’s saying currently because I’m always having a go at her to increase her prices.

     

    Michelle:

    I do know that I need to work on value in myself and what I put into each and every one of them more. So that is something that I am going to work on.

     

    I can tell you a little bit about the process, it might make it a bit clearer. I usually start with an illustration. Some people want just text only, that’s fine. So I tend to go into that business’s Facebook page, and have a little bit of a nose around to get a feel for their business world. What colours they’re choosing in their products and the images.

     

    And then I’ll take all of those, including their ideas and I’ll create an illustration from it. And then I’ll get back to the customer and I’ll say, ‘look, this is the illustration. What do you think?’ And then they’ll say, ‘Oh, lovely.’ Or they might want this bigger role that taking out or something added. And then the next step, once we’ve got that confirmed is inking it using actual ink, I ink it and then I scan and digitally and produce the design. And then I take the design into Photoshop. And once I’ve got it into Photoshop. Then it’s set into a background and once I’ve got all of that, then the final stage is adding the text and changing the colours and doing last tweaks. Then I contact the customer and I say, ‘what do you think?’

     

    Dee:

    I really appreciated how you did that when we were working on my logo and other things. How you are very clear with what you’re doing and confirming what I’m asking and showing things at every step of the way. So I felt very involved. 

     

    I think maybe some people are concerned that they’ll approach someone to do a logo or a bit of work and they’ll just be handed the final product. If they don’t like it, then tough. But that’s not the case at all. You’re very collaborative and you have many opportunities to tweak the design and make sure that it’s perfect for you, which is so nice.

     

    Michelle:

    I think that’s my unique selling point, if you like. I think that’s the reason why people continue to, to be recommending to come back. And I love that, that that makes me feel like I’m succeeding.

     

    Dee:

    Well, I definitely agree that that was what made the whole process so enjoyable. It was so much fun. I remember when you first sent me the initial design, I was just like, ‘yeah, you got it!’ So it was honestly just so much fun. I’m telling the truth cause I refer you to my whole family and to all of my clients. 

     

    So have you got any top tips for logo design?

     

    Michelle:

     I would just maybe have a really good think about what you want, what you would like it to be. So what colours are your favorites? What images do you think best represent you and your business? And then have a think about all the businesses that are perhaps similar. That’s not to say copy them and say, ‘I want one like this.’ But look at what other people in your field are doing. Get your ideas down. Brainstorm them and then bring it to somebody like me who will then love to work on it and take it from there.

     

    Dee:

    The brainstorming is a really good recommendation and that can be done however your mind works.  If you want to create a Pinterest board of colours you like, or logos you like, or if you work in a different way, you can do it in a spreadsheet or software to do a mind map. However you think and however your mind works, just go with that and then present it to Michelle or whoever your logo designer is. 

     

    Michelle:

    That’s it. 

     

    Dee:

    And so this has been just so interesting and the hope that it helps relieve people’s anxiety about getting someone involved. A lot of people I work with, they really struggle with the idea of delegating anything because they feel intimidated because they don’t have enough ideas themselves or they’ve never done this thing before. So hopefully we’ve alleviated some of those concerns. 

     

    The first step is to find someone and just start having conversation about it. 

     

    Michelle:

    Absolutely. Even if it doesn’t go to sale, I’m always absolutely happy to talk to anybody about it. Don’t feel that when you message somebody like me that you have to buy anything.

     

    Dee:

    So, because a lot of us are in the situation. I was hoping you can give us some pros and cons, as someone who’s been working for themselves for a little while now, about working from home. 

     

    Michelle:

    When I was thinking of the advantages of working for yourself, all the things I wrote on the pro side, I wrote on the con side. 

     

    Dee:

    That’s true of lots of things, relationships etc.

     

    Michelle:

    The first thing I thought was that you can work from home in your pyjamas. In two seconds you’re at your place of work. Because who wants the commute every day. That can be really stressful. But then at the same time I almost miss going out into the world as well. So actually being at home in your pajamas can sometimes be quite isolating.

     

    Dee: 

    It’s when you realize you haven’t put outdoor clothes on in quite a few days. That’s when you’re like, ‘Hmm, maybe I need to get out of the house a bit.’

     

    Michelle:

    Absolutely.. So when you’ve got a job that requires you to leave the house and get on public transport for instance, then you get dressed, you get out of the house, you do everything and then you come home when your home is a home. Whereas when you work in that sanctuary at the same time, it’s often very difficult to separate them out. 

     

    Dee:

    This is why I bang on about physical boundaries as well as time boundaries. To try to have a separate space as much as possible. I know it’s not always possible if someone doesn’t have a spare room, but having some ability to pack your day away, your work away, so you’re not looking at it when you’re lying in bed or trying to relax, watching TV.

     

    Michelle:

    I’ve got these double doors that close on my office where my laptop is on the other side, but I don’t often close them and I do forget and I can sometimes hear the ping of another message come in and then I’m really battling with myself. So I think that’s also a downside of working at home is that you never actually really not at work.

     

    Dee:

    And another way to help with that though, I find this to set time boundaries on yourself as well. You can be flexible obviously, that’s one of the joys, but to have a somewhat regular idea of what your working hours are so that you don’t end up working all hours because that can happen, can’t it?

     

    Michelle:

    I promised myself that every weekend, these are your working hours this week. And I’ve never, ever managed to do it. 

     

    That’s where reading your work really helped me actually, working on your documents for your courses.

     

    Dee:

    That was one of the nicest compliments I ever had when you told me that you were finding it really useful. But the boundaries are so important because otherwise you lose all of the flexibility that you wanted when you started working for yourself because you put these unrealistic expectations on yourself to just be working all the time. And it happens so easily, doesn’t it? Like you say, you hear a ping and you think, ‘Oh, I’ll just check that.’ And then once you’ve checked it, you’re like, ‘I’ll just reply to that.’ The next thing you know, you’re in Ask Pizza with a bunch of friends replying to emails rather than talking to the people you haven’t seen in months. 

     

    Michele:

    I really have got to work on that. I really do. So I need to maybe put my phone on silent after a certain time of night because I can’t help myself.

     

    Dee:

    I have mine on do not disturb. So after eight o’clock I don’t get any messages or any text messages and this is part of the process I learned that I need to do to wind down to be able to sleep at night. 

     

    The important thing to remember is that if someone’s messaging you in the evening, that’s not to say they expect you to reply at that time. It is just when they are free to deal with the issue.

     

    Michelle:

    Absolutely. Getting the balance is key to working at home. 

     

    Dee:

    And being strict with those boundaries.

     

    Dee:

    Sp I’m gonna ask you now, have you got any habits for success? 

     

    Michelle:

    Well, you’ve just covered one of them. I think that’s getting the balance and the boundaries. I think of success as not one thing. 

     

    Each business has its own idea of what success is.

     

    We mentioned earlier about some of the brands like Nike and Coca-Cola, they’re successful in their own way and so success for you might be something like I’m just getting over a threshold of sales for that week or that month or it doesn’t matter what it is, it’s specific to you. So what I would say is, although it’s good to look at how to develop as a business and look at the ways that you can, I would also say that we also need to look at ourselves and what success means to each and every one of us.

     

    One top tip I would say that carries through everything, whatever level and whatever size of business that you have is customer service. And if you crack that and you get that right, then your customers will return.

     

    So if you have made a mistake, say, ‘I’ve made a mistake,’ and then remedy that mistake, don’t hide from it. 

     

    Things do go wrong within businesses. If you make that point of explaining and contacting your customer and keeping them informed, they will feel part of that process. And that’s the key to it.  They will then still return to you, whereas if you tried to cope with that mistake and ignore it, then you are likely to have lost that customer forever. 

     

    It’s really important that you consider that your clients and your customers are your business itself because without them, you don’t have a business.

     

    Dee:

    One thing that I think you do amazingly well if you don’t mind me saying is that you have definitely got a specific style in your artwork. You obviously are able to do lots of different things and different styles as well. But you definitely have a specific vibe, shall we say. 

     

    And I think that’s great because it shows that if you have a bit of personality and character, people remember you more and people get drawn into you more. 

     

    You don’t want to be bland and generic, thinking, ‘that way, I won’t turn anyone off.’ But at the same time, you’re not turning anyone on to you and no one’s interested in hiring you.

     

    Michelle:

    I agree with that entirely. And again, I would say, do I look at different providers, different artists, different illustrators, different graphic designers. Because it could just mean that you’re looking for the artwork of somebody that that best suits you when your business as well. So I know that my artwork won’t suit everybody and it won’t suit every business and that’s fine, but it does for others and that’s what you need to look at. 

     

    Dee:

    You need to find something that suits you, but at the same time you’ve done a logo for me, my sister and my mother and all three of them are totally different. It’s great that you’ve got a distinctive vibe and yet you managed to do so many different things.

     

    Michelle:

    I think yours is probably my most natural because it was a subject that I really like. So your logo probably represents me and my style better than some other logosI’ve done.

     

    Dee:

    So what I heard from that with my logo is your favorite of all time! Michelle, it’s been so amazing talking to you. It’s been so interesting to hear about the process more and to learn a bit more about you and your background. So thank you so much for joining us. 

     

    Dee:

    Thank you, Dee. It was a pleasure. 

    Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

     

    S02 E02 Reiki Healing for Entrepreneurs

    S02 E02 Reiki Healing for Entrepreneurs

      Dee:

      I am joined by the wonderful Emma Hands from Handserenity Holistic Health. We’re going to be discussing self care and how Reiki can help you in your business.

      I’m so, so excited about having you here today to delve into as well how you came to where you are now in life. 

      Emma:

      Self employment began after I was made redundant. It was a final slap around the face to live my life purpose now rather than waiting for that day when it was ‘right.’ I’ve always loved helping other people in businesses and I have managed charities. I used to volunteer for charities for 10 years, was working full time and then I studied psychology, cognitive behaviour therapy and nutrition. Initially I was thinking I want to be a counselor as much as I use those services when I’m talking to people.  

      I wanted to take the negative emotions away there and then rather than sending people away with a list of things to do, that’s how I came to being able to help people be the best version of themselves. My most favorite thing to do is helping others kill the negativity from their lives. It’s just awesome. It just enlightens me.

      Dee:

      Now, I have to admit, when I first came to you for a Reiki session, I have told you before that I was, not skeptical, skeptical is not the right word, but I was unsure. I didn’t know very much about Reiki and I wasn’t sure how it was going to help me. And I have to admit that it has been life-changing, finding you. This is why I was so keen to get you on the podcast because I can’t even explain how it helps or why it helps. Do you get that a lot?

      Emma:

      A hell of a lot. There is going to be a lot more scientific proof coming out about it. The fact that they’re now doing it at Great Ormond Street, for children with cancer, they’re now offering it on the NHS. They offer it all the McMillan centers because it ignites your immune system to heal. It’s helping people’s bodies heal faster than they would naturally. The more scientific proof we can have, I think it will help people to understand it.

      Dee:

      Definitely. I mean, I know, I absolutely love that feeling I get when I leave your sessions. I just feel lighter and I know we’ve joked about it quite a bit about that time where I was going through some stuff. You are literally like a counselor, aren’t you? People tell you your problems. At that time I had so much stuff going on that I actually choked you with my bad energy. And you had to leave the room because you were overwhelmed by it. Does that happen to you a lot or is that just me?!

      Emma:

      The practitioners were conduits for the energy. So we’re channeling the energy through us and then working. So it’s effectively you’re healing yourself. So I will react for whatever’s going on with the client, which can be happy or painful. It’s just really interesting to see. But my body will react, especially if like they haven’t been able to release something. One guy, he just can’t seem to cry and he’s got a hell of a lot to release. Every time I start treating him a little tear will start running down my face. It’s just incredible.

      Dee:

      That’s an amazing connection. But that must be quite a lot for you. What are your self care practices? I mean you’re absorbing all these negative or challenging emotions and energies from your clients. What do you do to counteract that? How do you,  get grounded or centered?

      Emma: 

      With the sessions is just making sure where I do the saging which is removing all the negativity. Then I’ve got the option of going outside and walking in the grass because of the big park opposite mine.

      Dee:

      Let me just say that you end every session of your Reiki with burning some sage. 

      Emma:

      Yeah. Which is lovely is I love that part that just ensures you don’t take the negativity with you so it’s not stuck to anything as you would cleanse a house with it. You cleanse a human body.

      Dee: 

      And that’s something you do as well, isn’t it? House cleansing. 

      Emma:

      Every day I self Reiki and I’m doing meditation before I get up. That just allows me to ground and feel balanced. At the moment I’ve been doing a 30 day fitness challenge, which is only 15 minutes and that helps to balance. 

      Dee: 

      It’s super important, isn’t it? That link between the body and the mind. 

      Emma:

      Yes, definitely. It’s eating healthily and things like that. And when I’m saying that …

      Dee:

      ….but yes we’re drinking wine now!

      Emma:

      But it’s about finding that balance. One of the ladies I taught last week because of what I do, she said, ‘Oh, but you’re normal.’ 

      Dee:

      I don’t mind saying this! Maybe some people have an impression of what a Reiki healer is like. And maybe that was why I was reluctant to try it. I imagine that a lot of people have this image of like aging hippie earth mother being. Nothing wrong with that at all. Whereas I met you at a local networking event for the first time. And you just seemed, I don’t want to say normal, but you seemed relatable to me.

      Emma:

      Which is why I get a lot of clients when I’m doing selling the crystals in the market because they’ve met me face to face and they can relate. I trust you. I want to come and see you. 

      Dee:

      Exactly. And I think when you’re a solopreneur, um, it’s person selling to person, isn’t it? And I think especially something like Reiki where you feel very vulnerable or you’ve got a lot of vulnerable things going on, you want to be doing that with someone that you trust and feel comfortable opening yourself up and feeling a bit exposed. 

      I can’t imagine having a Reiki session with someone that I didn’t have some kind of connection or affinity with, however you wanna describe it. So I think that’s why I, it was something I always wanted to try. And then when I met you, it felt like perfect time to try it because I found someone I wanted to try it with.

      Still talking about Reiki in case you’re just tuning in!

      So self-care. How important is it? 

      Emma:

      It’s extremely just to keep you grounded. That’s why I have this phone screensaver: No more excuses. It just reminds me not to leave my fitness out of the day. The whole day seems discombobulated or if you do get up and you’re busy and you’re unbalanced from the time to come back and you take 15 minutes.

      Dee:

      I think a lot of people feel like it’s a selfish pursuit, that me time, especially if they’ve got families, kids, so forth. And you know, I don’t have kids, so maybe it’s easy enough for me to say fit in self-care every day. But it’s so important. You can’t look after people properly if you’re not taking care of yourself. You will fall apart, won’t you? And perhaps quite spectacularly so. 

      So can you tell me a little bit about how Reiki works? I’m like on the border, I love data and I’m quite a science nerd. But then I also love all the sort of woo stuff, you know, so I’m somewhere in between.

      Where the two can meet, when there’s science that explains the woo, I’m in my super happy place. 

      So tell me how Reiki works. What’s involved in a session? 

      Emma: 

      Basically everything about us is energy and like I was saying earlier, as practitioners we are conduits for the energy.

      So I’m channeling the universal energy through me to clear entity blockages from you. Within the body, there are seven main chakras. They are wheels are spinning energy. And if you can imagine that anything negative you’ve done or experienced sticks to them so they’re not spinning correctly. So we need to rebalance them. We need to clear them and start again.

      Dee:

      And this idea of chakras, this is thousands of years old, isn’t it? 

      Emma:

      Yeah, spirituality was very much around for a long time. Einstein, lots of people were talking about how amazing it was. Then religion very much took over the world and the dogma of religion stopped it being talked about. 

      Dee: 

      So if someone’s never been to a Reiki session, what should they expect?

      Emma:

      The biggest thing is just a stress release, anxiety release, relaxation. You know how you found a level of calm that you don’t think you can get to when you’ve got so much going on that you can’t seem to switch it off. 

      So it brings you back down to the ground. It brings you a level of calm that you can’t quite explain. It helps people with sleep, aches and pains. It really helps building confidence and self-esteem, which is why I love teaching children how to use different hand positions to calm down when they’re stressing out. It’s just amazing.

      Dee: 

      That’s fantastic. I always thought that mindfulness techniques, self-care practices, yoga, Reiki, this is stuff they should be teaching you in school. CBT techniques to deal with stress and anxiety.

      Emma: 

      Absolutely. A huge percentage of disease starts from an emotional cause. We discover what triggered it, what started it, then we can heal the person from that point rather than dealing with the actual disease that’s going on now, which is why they use it on the cancer patients, Parkinson’s, all sorts of throat diseases etc.

      Dee: 

      One of the other things that brought me to you to actually try Reiki was that I was going through a very turbulent time, I should say. It wasn’t necessarily bad exactly, but a time of transition. I was coming off of the divorce, lots of work stuff going on and honestly I don’t know how I would have got through it all without having this release, giving myself that space to deal with all the mindset stuff and helped me figure it out. 

       

      One of the things that you taught me as well that I am forever grateful for is I’m like free writing. I use that all the time now.  I had heard about it before and I just kind of thought, ‘Oh, it’s like keeping a diary.’ 

      Emma:

       It’s just when you really feel that much pent up anger inside of you, you write it all down.

      Dee:

      It’s more like writing around a topic rather than like writing a chronological list of what you did that day. 

      What would you tell someone who liked me was unsure or maybe skeptical about Reiki or just didn’t know very much about it or as we said, has this image of what it involves that may or may not be actually true?

      Emma: 

      I think the best thing from all my clients is the proof is in the pudding, so once they’ve had a treatment, once they understand the level of relaxation, calming and de-stressing that they achieve. 

      I just want to say that currently we are only working with a small percentage of the DNA capacity within our bodies. What we emit we attract, which is what we always talk about in business anyway, but we need to find a way to release the negative blockages in the body constantly. If you think we’ve got five senses. So we see, we hear, we smell, we taste. And surprisingly most people only use 1% of that physical reality around us. So when you use that, it increases the attitude and ability to function at your highest potential. It’s just phenomenal what you can achieve by cleansing out what you didn’t realize almost you’re holding on to, which is why you found it so relaxing.

      Dee: 

      It’s so interesting to hear because we hear quite often that, you know, we’re only using like 10% of our brains. So you’re using 1% of your senses and then only using 10% of your processing power. I mean we’re really not very efficient!

      And how can we get help with things like stress and overwhelm. Cause you know, this is a podcast specifically for entrepreneurs and that’s something that we feel a lot, isn’t it? Is there anything that you can do on yourself or that you could teach us now or anything? Any practices that you recommend that we could do when we’re feeling that stress? You mentioned meditation and walking in the park, but what would you tell someone who is feeling me overwhelmed?

      Emma:

      It’s part of the Reiki course that I teach the children and the adults. If you’re worrying, are you left or right handed?

      Dee:

      I’m right handed. 

      Emma: 

      So your right hand would go on your root chakra or the base of your spine and your left hand will go on your heart chakra. That’s on the front of your body.. And then it’s just a case of three really strong, deep breaths. If you imagine those balls of spinning energy, you are bringing them back into control so that you’re more in control of your body, your mind, and your thoughts. And it stops you worrying. 

      If you’re feeling angry, again, your dominant hand or your right hand on your root chakra. And then the other one is in the middle of your forehead, your third eye. So that’s bringing those two chakras into alignment. Even just doing it now, we can feel that level of calm.

      So it just changes the flow of energy in your body. We need to get back to the fundamental vibrational posts that allows us to function at our best level of success, which is what nature wanted us to do. And then it all got lost in years of stress, dogma, religion, city living.

      Dee: 

      I read something really depressing a while ago about how children can go weeks and weeks without feeling something natural under their feet, which sounds crazy.

      Emma:

      So it’s that lost contact with nature.

       

      Dee:

      I am loving the resurgence of the sorts of practices. I think it’s amazing. I love those exercises. It’s fantastic So those breathing techniques, you recommend doing them whenever you feel that moment of stress or that moment of anger, just taking five seconds out of your day, just walking away from the situation into a quiet space. 

       

      Emma:

      So what I teach the children at school is when they’re discombobulated and they feel that they’re going to be sent into the naughty corner or whatever, they just go to the to ask to go to the toilet or walk out of the room and do the exercises and then come back into the situation. It’s about taking yourself out of that. Even when we’re having a discussion with someone, taking ourselves out of it, we’re better able to deal with it. 

      Dee:

      Having a moment, taking that time for yourself, it’s free. It doesn’t take that long. So we really can’t have any excuse not to do it right. So how would you specifically use any of these practices to help you with business growth and the problems that entrepreneurs themselves specifically have? 

      Emma:

      Reiki brings your body back into balance. You’re able to work more in harmony with the energy that’s around you. It brings you into a state where you’re no longer fighting against the stress and worry, but you’re working to remove it from your life rather than trying to cope with the existing. You’re actually trying to get rid of it and start again.

      It’s important in business to be calm and relaxed so that we can manifest what we want. So invaluable tool. Decluttering your work area and cleansing the space to keep the energy positive. 

      Dee:

      So many people that advocate for that don’t they? That the first step is getting a nice workspace, decluttering your home, your space, because there’s a much better understanding now about how that’s so tight with your mindset. And if you have a space that makes you feel down or not fully relaxed or fully motivated or fully ready for work, it’s really putting you at a disadvantage, isn’t it? 

      Emma:

      So even today I was, had so much going on and there was mess in my room and I was just like, I need to focus on that bit so that I can feel calm or in the mind to do the next bit.

      Dee:

      So I think what we’re saying is that if you don’t have a workspace you’re fully happy with, then scheduling some time to make it truly motivational. I always say you have to be able to come and sit down at your desk on a Monday or whenever you start work and just feel like, ‘Yes, I’m ready. I feel motivated, I feel happy.’

      Emma:

      The only thing I would say with businesses is just using some of the protection tools. There is a blog on my website, the blog about the light warrior and any of his books. He talks about cleanse, tone and moisturize your energy, about us protecting ourselves from the negativity of others because we’re interacting with all sorts of characters. It just helps you protect yourself. 

      If you feel discombobulation or that anger towards someone or if someone unsettles your energy, it is literally just sending them a ball of love so that you are not bothered by what they’ve said or done. You’ve thrown it away the minute they’ve left the shop or they’ve interacted with you or every time they come by you just get rid of it. So a visualization exercise of just literally imagining this ball of love sent to them. 

      It’s like when we do forgiveness work, we have to forgive that person. Otherwise it eats us up. If we feel angry, we hurt. 

      Dee:

      Emma, this has been so fascinating and I’ve loved learning more about Reiki, how it can help your business, how it can help your stress, your overwhelm, your anger, which is something that everyone, entrepreneur or not, will come across at some point in their life. And I think it’s just so nice to hear about another option for dealing with that kind of stuff. What I would love to hear from you now is have you got any tips? What are your three habits for success?

      Emma:

      Reiki, yoga, walking in nature, , anything that brings you really grounding and makes you feel balanced. It’s just phenomenal. 

      I use daily mantras. I mean I use something like ‘the universe, thank you for showing me how I can be of service in a way that also serves me.’ You’re putting out that vibration that you want to help people but you also want to look up level of self care. And then the last thing is visualization. We need to start seeing what we want to achieve in situ. Believe it’s here right now in front of us and then we’re manifested.

      Dee:

      Because part of that is actually taking the time to think about what we want because making that plan. Because a lot of people I don’t think actually take the time to sit and think what actually would make me happy. Not what I think will make me happy. Not what culture, society, parents, whatever, tell me I should be aiming for, but what do I actually want? Because how can you ever achieve it, manifest it, work for it if you haven’t really defined it for yourself. 

      Emma:

      Right. So definitely taking that time and taking it further and visualizing having that and getting that and maybe you already have it so that then it is manifested in front. 

       

      Dee:

      So, your three habits for success. Your self care, whether that’s yoga, Reiki, walks and it varies for different people. Some people’s kind of self care is just totally bonkers to me, jumping out of planes. But if that’s your thing. 

      Emma:

      It ignites them in a way that we don’t need.

      DeeL

      So whatever your self-care practices doing that regularly. Number two was having your daily mantras. Love that, and number three visualization techniques to help you get through the day. 

      Well thank you so much Emma. What’s the best way to contact you?

      Emma:

      www.handserenity.com

      Or

      emma@handserenity.com

      Dee:

      I really recommend if you’re local (Emma is based in the Twickenham area) to definitely get in touch with her, if you think you’d like to try Reiki or house cleansing or you want to find out more about the topic. She’s also often at local fairs 

      And if you’re not local then nevermind. You can still make use of her services. She’s got an amazing enewsletter of the blog that she releases, which is fascinating. 

      And do you also do some distance learning and some distance Reiki and the distance? 

      Emma:

      Right. I do  readings and I will teach people over Skype, exactly. And any of my courses. 

      Dee:

      So go and check out her website. She’s fantastic. 

      Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

       

      S02 E01 Goal and Intention Setting

      S02 E01 Goal and Intention Setting

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      Goals you will actually stick to!

      I want to talk to you about goal and intention, the difference between the two, how they interact and how to actually achieve your goals once you set them. 

      And don’t forget to download the free worksheet for this episode. 

      Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

      TIPS SUMMARY

      1. Set goals and intentions
      2. Break goals down and schedule each bit
      3. Anchor your intention EVERYWHERE

      I want to talk to you about goal and intention, the difference between the two, how they interact and how to actually achieve your goals once you set them. 

      The difference between goals and intentions can be a bit tricky to figure out, but basically goals are focused on the future. Goals are things you hope to achieve. You might have a date that you want them to be achieved by. Intentions are in the present moment, how you want to achieve those goals. What feeling do you want to have while you’re working on these goals? How do you plan to arrive at a destination or specific achievement and intentions? Goals are external achievements and intentions are about your relationship with yourself and others.

      I want to talk to you about is setting your goals so that they are achievable. I would recommend breaking them down into different categories. So for example, I like to use household goals. Do you have work you want to do around the house or do you want to declutter? Do you have a renovation project that you want to get started? I also like to have a category for further education goals. Do you want to go back and do that degree or do it online or are there some online courses that you have in mind? Is there some evening class that you think would be quite interesting? What are you doing in terms of further developments for yourself? 

      Tied quite closely to that is self-care goals. So you might have a separate category for this. This might be a fitness regime or yoga regime or it might be that you want to go get a massage at least once a month or treat yourself to a spa day every three months. Maybe it’s that you go for a walk every single day at lunchtime. 

      And then I like to have the categories of business goals and money goals. You may decide to have them combined. I prefer to have them separated out because I think of my money goals as my personal as well as work budget. The business goals are just work related. So business goals might be do you want to get a new client a month or do you want to sell X amount of products or do you want to be better at setting your work boundaries? 

      Money goals. Do you want to pay off X amount of your debt or do you want to make a lump payment off of your mortgage? Or do you just want to live debt free or do you want to just be able to have an income that’s higher than your expenses? 

      Try to think of a couple of goals for each of these categories. And I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed because the next thing, once you’ve got some ideas of your goals, is to make them SMART. 

      Some of you might have heard this in different areas of your life, but smart goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based.

      I’m going to start with the A here when we’re talking about this. Attainable, meaning achievable, meaning realistic. So whatever your goals are, just please make sure that they are achievable because you will not benefit at all from setting a goal that is completely unachievable. Because what will happen is that you will feel disheartened when you are struggling to achieve it. What you might want to do to work around this is have a good, better, best goal. That can help if you want to at the same time set achievable goals but also have something really high to aim for. For example, if it’s that you want to lose some weight, maybe the good goal is that you lose 10 kilos in the year, the better goal might be 15 kilos and the best goal might be 20 kilos. Maybe you set yourself a reward according to which one of those you’ve actually smashed. 

      The S stands for specific. Again, we’ll use the weight example because most people have struggled with this as a goal at some point in their life. Don’t just have a goal that says you want to lose weight. Be specific about how much weight you want to lose. Otherwise, how do you know if you’ve achieved your goal or not? 

      M for Measurable. Again, you have to be able to measure the goal. So how to make sure that you’re staying on track, make sure you’re hitting your milestones?

      R for Relevant. What is it actually what you want to achieve? Is that the main problem? Is it that you want to lose weight or is it that you want to build muscle or is it that you want to actually go down a dress size? This is not the same as losing weight because as we know, muscle weighs more than fat. So you might stay the same weight and still be able to lose a dress size if you focus on muscle building.

      And Time-based, this is key. This is one of the things that I bang on about all the time is having a deadline or having milestones where you’re checking if you’re on target or not. So for example, if your goal is to lose weight, the smart goal would be to say something like, ‘I want to lose two kilos a month for the next six months by eating well and going to the gym at least two times a week.’ 

      So there you have a lot of things that are measurable. Um, a lot of ’em you’re not just saying what your goal is, you’re breaking it down into specifics so they’re measurable, you’re setting times to it and you’re saying how you’re actually going to do it. That’s part of the tangible part as well. How were you actually going to do it? 

      It’s all fine and dandy setting a new year’s resolution, for example, to lose weight, but you have to have a plan. What I recommend, once you set your goals for all these different categories, once you’ve made the goals smart, the next step is to schedule each bit. So you’ve already got the time in there, you know what your milestones are, you know how much you want to lose per month and you know how you want to do it. So the next step would be to schedule in all of your gym classes or your gym system sessions so that they actually happen. You put them in your diary like they are any other appointment with a client or whatever. They are not changeable unless in case of emergency and you schedule in your to do list a monthly way in session.

      If you, for example, wanted to have more me-time, more self-care time. The smart goal version of that could be, ‘I will have a massage once a month and go to yoga once a week.’ I would suggest in that case to make it actually happen is to schedule your massages for the next three months, and then schedule your weekly yoga classes into your diary. 

      If your goal is, for example, to earn more money, then your smart goal could be, ‘I will increase my income by 10% over the next three months by doing one new product launch and running a promotion.’ You have measurable amounts. Hopefully those numbers are based on an attainable goal, they’re relevant, they’re time-based, they’re specific. 

      How I would recommend achieving  your goals is breaking them down and putting them into your to-do list or into your schedule. 

      Then set your intentions. How do you want to actually achieve these goals? With what mindset? What are you trying to get more of? Are you trying to get more stability? Are you trying to get more balance, more courage, more love, more kindness, more clarity.

      For example, my intention for the year 2019, which were just coming up to at the time of recording, was peace of mind. I had a turbulent couple of years to say the least – challenging. Not altogether bad, but just very, very transitional, let’s say. And so my aim for 2019 was to get peace of mind. All of the goals I set for this year were all with the ultimate aim of getting more peace of mind. And that is also how I wanted to work towards my goals. 

      Have a little think about what your intentions are. I always laugh about the word intentions. I don’t mean it in the Victorian sense. Like what are your intentions with my daughter? 

      What is the overall feeling that you want most at the moment?

      Is it clarity? Is a consistency? Is it ease? Is it freedom? Is it time? Is it money? Have a little think and write down what your intentions might be. And then I want you to anchor your intention everywhere. Make a blend of oils that makes you think of that intention and diffuse it in your oil burner. Or make a collection of crystals that imply that intention or have the word printed out and put it on your notice board, or have it written on your notebooks or someplace where you see reminders of it all the time. So that you are constantly motivated to have that mindset, for example, peace of mind in my case. And to use that intention to achieve those goals that you set for yourself. 

      So in summary, what we’ve talked about is the difference between goals and intentions. How to set both of them, breaking down your goals and making them smart goals, and then scheduling them everywhere. And then anchoring your intentions everywhere.

      Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

       

      2020 Business Planner for Empath Entrepreneurs

      Attention all Empath Entrepreneurs!

      This planner will help you set your goals, intentions and targets for the year, and stick to them so that your business built on kindness can grow.

      Do you work for yourself? Or are you planning to next year?
      Do you need help battling the sense of overwhelm?
      Do you want your business to be based on kindness and compassion?

      This 200 page planner will help you:
      *Streamline your business to reduce the amount of squirrelling;
      *Increase your productivity by establishing a to-do list system that actually works;
      *Make sure you are looking after your mind, body and soul while you smash your business goals, avoiding entrepreneur burnout altogether;
      *Set actionable goals and intentions for the year, with clear steps to achieving them for each month;
      *Build your own self-care toolkit;
      *Select essential oil and/or crystal based on your intention for each month;
      *Schedule weekly and monthly tasks;
      *Plan interesting and engaging social media content for every day of each month;
      *Select essential oils for each mood and season;
      *Conduct a full life audit to help you figure out where to place focus in your life;
      *Select a crystal for each month;
      *space to review each month so you know when you are on track and when and what you might need to pivot.

      ONLY £35 plus p&p.

      View sample pages below. 

      S01 E12 The Art of Breaking Even

      S01 E12 The Art of Breaking Even

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      Let’s look at breaking even and how it will influence how you decide your pricing. If you haven’t already, go back and listen to the Money Money Money episode, which will help you start to understand your figures. 

      And don’t forget to download the free worksheet for this episode. 

      Many people skip the very, very important step of thinking about how much you actually need to earn to survive, how much you need to earn to live well, and what you’re actually charging. Those are obviously connected. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a business that doesn’t bring in enough to pay your mortgage. If it’s going to give you more stress and anxiety than having a paid job with a regular income, then you might as well stay employed and working for someone else, right? To have that guaranteed security? 

      I want to talk to you about how these all are linked and how you can start working them out and thinking about them. 

      Come join me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams

      First of all, I want you to spend some time working on your budget. So whether you have already started your business or whether you’re thinking about it, sit down and do a budget, a personal budget, and a work budget. 

      How much do you need to earn to survive?

      And how much do you need to bring in to cover your business overheads? 

      What is that minimum number that you absolutely need to come in? 

      Also bear in mind how much you would like to earn, right? 

      How much do you need to bring in to be able to afford all those nice little things that you like doing, getting your nails done every few weeks, or going for brunches with your friends.

      Maybe have a third budget, which includes a lot more luxuries. What is the ideal budget? What would you like to bring in? What are you aiming for is the next big step in terms of your income. 

      So once you’ve got all of those figures, have a little look at the worksheet and what I want you to do is complete the following different boxes based on those figures you’ve just worked out.

      There’s a space for you to fill in your total amount of monthly bills and your total predicted business expenses. Or they might be your actual business expenses if you’ve already set up. 

      Include in there the amount of desired spending money per month and amount for additional foreseen monthly costs, anything else that might come up. 

      Now you’ve got a subtotal. 

      And what I would do is add to that about 20% on top of that for tax and light contingencies. I call them light contingencies because that will not be enough to ringfence some money for, for big expenses like a new kitchen or luxury holiday. And also when I say 20% have a chat with your bookkeeper who you’ve now obviously hired, because I’ve talked about it so much about what is a sensible amount to start putting aside for taxes.

      It might be in your first year that you actually don’t need to save that much for taxes because maybe your startup expenses have been quite high. So chances are you don’t have to pay as much tax this year. But maybe you want to start saving for something else, a big holiday, a wedding. So have a chat with your bookkeeper. Have a little think about what your upcoming expenses are and how much this additional amount should be that you were saving. 

      Now you’ve worked out your total, put this into Box A. This is your ideal or your break even point, depending on what you have put in your budget. This is how much you would like to earn to cover all your bills and your lifestyle costs, and obviously your business costs. Please note though, these figures may not be exact. They’re just here to start you thinking about how much you need.

      How much do you need to earn and therefore, how much do you need to charge? Are you starting to see how it’s all linked together?

      Next we’re going to work out how many hours you can work per month or you want to work per month. This is a combination of how many hours you have available and how many hours realistically you want to work or you can work. 

      Have a little think on your average week, how many hours you would be available to work. Now times that by 4.5 to work out an average amount of hours you are available to work per month. And put this into Box B.

      Now take the figure from Box A, which is the amount of money you would like to be able to bring in, and divide it by the figure in Box B, which is the total amount of hours that you are available to work a month and what you have now is what you are aiming to earn per hour. 

      To be clear, if you’re offering a one-to-one service or some kind of service where you’re charging an hourly rate, this is not how much you’re charging per hour. If the answer to the question above is £20 an hour, you will need to be charging more than that to cover the hours that you are working, but not actually billing a client. For example, your marketing days, your money days when you’re preparing invoices and so forth. 

      If you’re selling products and maybe more difficult to calculate how much you are earning per hour, again, this is something your bookkeeper can help you with. But knowing these figures will help you decide if your business idea in your model are financially viable and will help you understand what to do with your pricing.

      For example, I really like cross stitching, but imagine I need to make £2,000 a month to be able to pay all my bills, but it takes me 20 hours to make one cross-stitch and I plan on working for a hundred hours a week. I would have to charge approximately £400 per cross-stitch to break even. Is this realistic or do you think perhaps I would need to look at another business model? 

      Well this has been the last episode of season one. Thanks so much for joining.

      I will be back soon for Season 2 with more tips and tricks and advice on setting up and running your business. 

      In the meantime come join us on our facebook page  www.facebook.com/thebeautyofourdreams