Crutch, Burden or Tool…

Today’s thought process is all about perspective. Which on reflection is one of my favourite topics but this is a slightly different angle and one that resonated with me.

I was talking to someone the other day about a situation that had arisen and about how I felt about it (reactionary choices included tantrum, self pity, avoidance…) and in response they said a very interesting thing.

They said that every situation we were faced with could either be seen as a crutch, a burden or a tool. So you can use it as something to blame for the way things are; carry it around as something to blacken the way you look at things going forward; or as a way to learn/grow/improve yourself…

It made me think about how I react to things… and the options earlier are not generally my default settings (in case you thought I was some kind of childish diva princess!) but I will admit that a lot of time I use situations as crutches or burdens- they stick in my mind and affect me more than they should.

Knowing there was another way to do it was interesting- it’s not always easy to do but it is possible. To test it out I used being cut up at a roundabout to use as a tool for experimenting with some particularly colourful language… et voila, a change in mindset!

I’m only half kidding but honestly, try it- see if your reactions are crutches, burdens or tools…


The Lowest Common Denominator…

Over the last couple of months I have been asked to do things that have made that phrase ping pong round my brain.

It’s weird because, a) I really wasn’t much good at maths so no idea why it’s stuck in my head and b) turns out my brain doesn’t default to the lowest common denominator.

Should probably explain what I mean. I was writing some instructions for a process, it was quite a simple task and one that didn’t need too much depth… or so I thought. Apparently – under review and use- they weren’t thorough enough.

Now looking at them they seemed very obvious to me, I followed the steps, it was easy. But other people didn’t think so- and the problem was I was talking to myself… more accurately, I was expecting the instructions to be used by someone who thought and worked like me and that’s not always possible or indeed probable.

Now think back to my original ear worm statement- working to the lowest common denominator- I know it sounds like what I’m saying is that you have to aim something like this at the less intelligent or that I’m super clever… I’m really not and that’s not what I mean.

What I am saying is that different people read things in different way- especially instructions so when you’re writing anything like this, that’s designed to be used exclusively by someone else then you need to make it as simple as possible. The only way to do that is to break it all the way down then build it back up.

Every key stroke, every notation, every move you make should be written out in full and in process order.

I would always heartily recommend review by a third party- someone totally unconnected (I often use my poor mother a guinea pig here!)

Oh and finally, stop reading it as you- you already know what you’re doing! Read it as someone else, be your own harshest critic… and simplify those fractions right down to basics.


Someone you haven’t met yet is dreaming of adoring you…

The other day I was looking for a gift for someone, I was laughing at the ridiculous algorithms that gift predictors worked on. However, then I went down the rabbit hole and was reading about how to find the perfect gift for someone using these 11 pointers…

  1. Make of list of their interests and define who they are
  2. Look to their past for inspiration
  3. What does that person need
  4. Do some stalking (not in the creepy way obviously!)
  5. Get creative
  6. Give an experience
  7. Make them laugh
  8. Give the give of learning
  9. Include a bit of yourself
  10. Give a gift that keeps on giving
  11. Be socially conscious

It occurred to me as I was reading them that it was also a bit of a shopping list for your perfect client and in return, providing the perfect service.

To make it easier I can summarise it more succinctly:

  1. Define who your client is
  2. Find out about them, who they are and what they need
  3. Design a service that meets their needs and that adds value
  4. Always consider the ethics of yourself and your client
  5. Make your approach something that stands out

And more importantly, be yourself- that personality, the spark that will attract the perfect client to you and keep them with you.

Get out there and find the perfect gift… sorry, client, and I promise they’ll adore you as much as you adore them.


I’m going through a dry spell…

Over the last two weeks I have written blogs about some complicated legal jargon (that I was simplifying into plain speaking for a client); blogs about irreverent fun topics and pop culture references and web content of a sensible, serious nature. I love writing, it makes me happy and in my spare time I write poetry (yes, for fun) and my own blogs for my website.

However, at the moment the (personal) well hath run dry and I cannot get inspired with a blog topic or a poem… I know that’s funny as I’m currently writing a blog about not being able to find anything to write a blog about but it’s a serious creative issue!

I seem to have no problem for anyone else but for myself the words and the inspiration are simply not coming. I actually think it might be a fear thing, I have been so caught up with client work over the last 6 months to a year that focusing on the business has been impossible in any real way. Now that a major project is coming to an end and I have more time in front of me I have a wish list of things I want to achieve to help move the business forward and, in all honesty, that’s kinda scary.

I have plans, projections, goals (no I’m afraid I don’t have a vision board unless you count my Pinterest collection of next tattoo ideas) but taking that next step to growth can be difficult and I think that’s why I’m feeling a bit of a mental block.

However, I know the block exists so I’m doing something about it – I’ve used my connections to find a great mentor who can hold me accountable for pulling my finger out; I’ve written my plan down so I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist; and I’m writing about not being able to write, admitting my fears and telling you lot so that if I’m still in the same position in 6-months time you may all publicly boo me or thumbs down me like in the gladiator arena or at least message me and lambast my inactivity… I’ll leave that up to you!

TTFN and if anyone is looking for a VA let me know, overwhelming myself with work will force my hand – not the most solid of plans but it’d certainly be sink or swim!




I hate You!

My children say this to each other all the time. It drives me totally crazy and I really don’t like it. I’ve told them to stop, I’ve asked them to be nicer and I’ve explained to them how serious the word hate is and that shouldn’t use it unless you really mean it.

That’s the bit that really gets me though. As much as they say it and fight and fight (and they won’t stop fighting) they will not leave each other alone. I’ve been trying to get them to change their attitude towards each other but maybe I should be trying to teach them to change their situation.

This came to me the other day because I was in a situation where I was interacting with someone I don’t like. I don’t know why I don’t, I’ve just not taken to them and it makes me really frustrated. I’m not going to go into detail but it’s unlikely my feelings are going to change, therefore I need to influence the only other factor I can- the situation.

Now, if this were Dynasty or Dallas I’d deal with the problem ‘permanently’ (said whilst twirling my villainous moustache) but it’s not and I don’t have a ‘tashe. So I had to think about what I could change- I came up with a list of environmental variables that I could influence that would make things better and it reminded me that there’s always a solution.

It’s about changing my attitude towards something and looking for a way to solve it (rather than being grumpy and frustrated!)

Now wish me luck as I bore my children rigid trying to explain such an adult concept.