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FIVE LESSONS FROM THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF

FIVE LESSONS FROM THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF

*SPOILER ALERT* This week a 20 year old accountancy student became the youngest ever winner of the Great British Bake Off. I thought that this young man, was a gifted baker but unlikely to win…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT INTENTIONS

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT INTENTIONS

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT ACHIEVING YOUR INTENTIONS Over the past two weeks, since lockdown 2.0 began in the UK, I’ve been doing daily Lockdown Reset Lives in the Actually Facebook Group. The purpose of these lives is to…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

LET’S TALK ABOUT MONEY I love money. Let me say that again in case there is someone at the back that didn’t hear me.
I LOVE MONEY. Did you just cringe? Yes? Interesting.
Let’s explore that shall we?

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #19

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #19

COPING WITH CHANGE As a community of people who want to grow purpose-led businesses that make money and make a difference, many of us are actively seeking to create change. Hence this series of blogs is called ‘Top tips for changemakers’…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

BUSINESS PLANNING Here are three important facts about small, entrepreneurial businesses that you should know… they will help you to grow your business, grow your impact and create the change you want to see in the world.

FIVE BIRTHDAY LESSONS

FIVE BIRTHDAY LESSONS

CELEBRATE If you’ve been on Mars this week you may not have noticed that it’s my birthday! As the years whizz past I sometimes wonder about the alleged link between age and wisdom. After all, at the time of writing I am approaching 50 years of age…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT COLLABORATION

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT COLLABORATION

COLLABORATION About halfway through lockdown I had a startling realisation: I don’t like working alone.
I like to think that I am the very model of an independent, female entrepreneur. Self-sufficient and self-reliant. But there I was, sat at my desk in my little studio office…

GUEST BLOG: TIPS FROM AN ACTUAL COPYWRITER

GUEST BLOG: TIPS FROM AN ACTUAL COPYWRITER

After Googling the words ‘COPYWRITING TIPS’ I was rather shocked to be hit with a seemingly infinite expanse of results (6,789,338 to be exact). But I was even more shocked at the quality of them. A lot of the articles were actually badly written…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #18

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #18

GRATITUDE Those of you that know me or have been following Actually for a while will know that I believe in the possibility of change and that we – as business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants, can make a difference and create the change that our world needs…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #17

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #17

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT LAUNCHING You may have noticed that I have been launching over the past few weeks. At the time of writing, the doors are open to Actually’s flagship training programme: How to Actually Spread the Word…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

FINDING JOY This isn’t one of those blogs about the terrible things that happened in my life and how I overcame them, beat the odds and lived to tell the tale with joy. I have some of those stories inside me. Indeed, some of them are here on this blog page…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

TAKE ACTION I haven’t always had the greatest relationship with my Mum. That’s an understatement. I won’t rehash the details. We don’t have that long and besides, it isn’t just my story to tell. Suffice to say that years would go by when we didn’t speak…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #16

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #16

THE PERILS OF JARGON   Every industry has its own unique language. Some of it is necessary – for example, the technical names for things that to an outsider sound like gobbledegook but make complete sense to everyone in that profession. I am not an engineer, so I...

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

WHAT IF? LIVE YOUR LIFE WITHOUT REGRETS Twenty years ago, I got married. But it’s not the thing about this story that will most surprise you. Or even shock you. That comes later. Twenty years ago I stood in a town hall in Tunis and married a man I had known for less than a year…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

CHOOSE JOY I’ve been talking a lot about joy recently. Why? Well mainly because when I talk to my clients at the moment what I’m hearing is the absence of joy. Life is a slog. Filled with hard work. I’m so busy. I’m so exhausted. I am barely holding it together. I can’t spend another moment in this house…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #15

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #15

OBJECTIVES, STRATEGY AND TACTICS Can you define strategy? No? Well don’t worry, you’re not alone. Based on my very scientific poll and some extremely rigorous research*, I estimate that approximately 90% of entrepreneurs can’t define…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #14

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #14

THE COMMUNICATIONS EDITION At Actually we believe that there are three things that you need to grow your business and your impact as a purpose-led entrepreneur: the right communications, the right mindset and the right support. In this blog…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #13

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #13

THE SUPPORT EDITION At Actually we believe that there are three things that you need to grow your business and your impact as a purpose-led entrepreneur: the right communications, the right mindset and the right support. In this blog, I share five lessons about support…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #12

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #12

THE MINDSET EDITION At Actually we believe that there are three things that you need to grow your business and your impact as a purpose-led entrepreneur: the right communications, the right mindset and the right support. In this blog, we explore the five most common…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #11

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #11

WHY YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT PR Now, I love social media as much as the next person. I have spent a lot of time and effort building Facebook Groups and LinkedIn connections and I am often to be found whiling away a few moments (OK…hours…) on…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #10

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #10

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF GREAT COMMUNICATIONS Last week Actually Associate Julie Minns blogged about the importance of knowing your audience to build trust and loyalty. Knowing and understanding the people you want to communicate with is the first…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #9

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #9

BUILDING TRUST AND LOYALTY According to Gallup’s ‘Confidence in Business’ tracker, the percentage of people in the UK who say they have confidence in major companies has been gradually declining since the early 1980s, and now stands at around 40%. As someone who has…

ARE WE ALL GENERATION Z NOW?

ARE WE ALL GENERATION Z NOW?

If your first reaction to that question is “the who, what?” then read on, because Generation Z (‘Gen Z’) are now your customers, your employees and also some of the most exciting entrepreneurs and changemakers around. Think Greta Thunberg, Billie Eilish…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA

In last week’s blog, Actually Associate Julie Minns shared what she had learnt from 46 days without social media. This week, following on from the Actually Masterclass on Thursday, we’re looking at how to ensure that your social media content stands out in this time...

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT GIVING UP SOCIAL MEDIA

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT GIVING UP SOCIAL MEDIA

Hi, I’m Julie and I’m a social media addict. And I am not alone. In its 2019 ‘Online Nations’ report, media regulator Ofcom found that ‘around 70% of UK adults have a social media account and about one in every five minutes spent online is…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT SALES

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT SALES

Since the lockdown began. I have been offering free 30 minute clarity and connection calls to members of the Actually community. One of the key themes that has emerged in these conversations is a reluctance to sell during this crisis…a resistance to having a sales...

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT FINANCE

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT FINANCE

Since the lockdown began. I have been running a series of FREE Masterclasses on a Thursday: Thriving in a Time of Chaos. Last week, the subject was business finances and I invited one of the Actually Partners, Nicola Deverson, to join me to talk about what…

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

This time last year I was on Necker Island at a leadership gathering hosted by Richard Branson. During the discussions, the inspiring Halla Tomasdottir – CEO of The B Team – said: “There will come a time when you need to lend the world your shoulders.”
We are in that time now…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

For those of you who don’t know her (where have you been for the past five years?), Gina Miller is a successful business owner, campaigner and activist. She initiated the court case against the British government in 2016 over its authority to implement Brexit…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT CRISIS

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT CRISIS

At 9am on Saturday 14 March, I should have been stepping onto the stage as the MC at a major conference in Central London for 500+ women organised by the women’s leadership organisation, One of Many. At 4.30pm on Thursday 12 March, the Founder…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT PR

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT PR

With 25 years of experience in communications, campaigning and PR, I guess I should qualify as knowledgeable on the subject! I’ve worked with brands and organisations from Avon to UNCIEF, I’ve worked on space missions and product launches…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT PLANNING

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT PLANNING

I am constantly surprised by how many entrepreneurs don’t plan. I mean…they have some rough ideas, some general sense of direction but a detailed business plan? A quarter by quarter, month by month overview of activity? A detailed communications and content…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

Next week is February. And it’s one of my two annual ‘care and curiosity’ months. It means I won’t be working. Instead I will be focussing on self-care. Letting my system completely relax and replenishing my energy. And once…

FIVE LESSONS I LEARNT FROM CANCER

FIVE LESSONS I LEARNT FROM CANCER

Sometimes life will throw curveballs at you. You’re happily beavering away at a job you love and you’re made redundant. You marry the man of your dreams only to discover that he has somewhat different ideas about fidelity to you. You’re filled with joy, travelling...

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT WORKING WITH PURPOSE

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT WORKING WITH PURPOSE

Last week, in the Actually Facebook group, I asked people about the obstacles they were ready to let go of this year so that they could step up, make a difference and deliver their purpose. One of the group members replied to ask…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

Imagine a world in which we do more than turn up once every four or five year and mark a cross on a piece of paper and then sit in the pub with our mates and whinge about politics. Imagine a world in which the electorate feels informed, engaged and empowered. Imagine…

FIVE INTENTIONS FOR 2020

FIVE INTENTIONS FOR 2020

It’s almost a new year. Time for celebrating the year that’s past and setting intentions for the year ahead. I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions – at least not those that involved giving things up. Given the statistics on how many people actually stick...

FIVE LESSONS FROM 2019

FIVE LESSONS FROM 2019

I was chatting to some friends earlier this week, talking about the highlights of 2019 and our respective plans for 2020. It has been an extraordinary year. From the creation of Actually to the delivery of my first ever online training course; from my stay…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #8

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #8

TACKLING THE INNER CRITIC I remember when I first heard the term ‘inner critic’. The first thing I thought was ‘Oh my god…so it isn’t just me?’ I believe that to create an impact you need three things: the right mindset, the right communications skills…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #7

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #7

ANNUAL PLANNING It is the end of November as I write this and I recently asked a question about annual planning in the Actually Facebook group. I asked people how ready they were for 2020 on a scale of 1 to 10. With a few notable exceptions, everyone was…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #6

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #6

MEDIA COVERAGE So many of my clients come to me obsessed with national media coverage. ‘I want to be in The Guardian’ they say. ‘I want to be in the Financial Times’. Don’t get me wrong, national media coverage can be a game-changer – although unless you’re an…

FIVE LESSONS FROM BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR

FIVE LESSONS FROM BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. It can challenge you in ways you can’t even imagine when you start out on the journey full of excitement about your ‘big idea’. And sometimes what started out as a passion can feel like purgatory. And yet…I find it hard…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #5

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #5

FIND YOUR SPARK You need inspiration to create. And you need inspiration in order to inspire others. But when your mind has gone blank; when you’re tired; when you’re stressed; when you feel as though you might never be able to come up with an original…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #4

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #4

SELF-CARE FOR VISIONARIES Let’s not get hung up on words here. Maybe you don’t consider yourself a visionary. Maybe you feel like a fraud reading this blog because you don’t think of yourself as a changemaker. Here’s the thing, the same rules about self-care apply…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #3

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #3

HOOKS FOR STORIES & CONTENT Journalists receive hundreds of emails every day pitching stories. Literally hundreds. And every single person sending every single last one of those emails thinks that theirs is a good story. About 90% of them are wrong…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #2

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #2

WHAT MEDIA WANT I see a lot of experts on social media, at conferences and writing books about PR and how to generate media coverage. And nearly every single one of them* makes it so much more complicated than it really is. Generating media…

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #1

TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #1

NAILING YOUR PURPOSE At Actually, we believe that there are three things you need in order to actually change the world: the right mindset; the right mindset; the right skills and the right support. Actually exists to support you in all three of these areas and in this new…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

In this ad hoc series of blogs, I offer some thoughts on the people, campaigns and sometimes poems that inspire me. This week – in honour of the International Day of the Girl Child coming up on Friday (11th October) – I’d like to share with you three campaigns or...

FIVE LESSONS FROM KERN PRISON

FIVE LESSONS FROM KERN PRISON

Last week I learnt a new acronym: LWoP. Life Without Parole. That’s the sentence that 32 year old Mike* has been serving since he was 15. Mike is incarcerated at Kern maximum security prison in California and I had the privilege of meeting him there whilst…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

A little while ago, I published the Actually Manifesto on my Facebook page. This is what I wrote: “We live in interesting times. Our dominant culture is often cynical and negative and at a time of significant global uncertainty, pessimism is an understandable...

FIVE LESSONS FROM ONLINE DATING

FIVE LESSONS FROM ONLINE DATING

Yes, I know it’s the modern way to meet people. And yes, I know lots of people have met their soul mate on Guardian Soulmates or their match on match.com. But I LOATHE internet dating. Truly. Loathe. It. Nonetheless, every now and again I give it a go. And after my...

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

The Power of ‘No’*   If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may remember I wrote a blog in June entitled ‘Five Lessons from Burning Out’. In it I shared what I had learnt from burning out in the hope that you might learn from my mistakes and avoid a...

ACTUALLY INTERVIEWS ROBIN GORNA

ACTUALLY INTERVIEWS ROBIN GORNA

Robin Gorna, CAMPAIGNER & ACTIVIST I recently conducted the second of my changemaker interviews. The first was with Kate Levine of The Body Shop. This time, I interviewed Robin Gorna. Robin’s incredible career spans over 30 years, campaigning in the…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

Tomorrow is the first day of August. From next year it is my plan to take February and August off completely. I'm calling them my 'Care and Curiosity' months - when I will replenish my energy, take care of myself, see friends and family and explore things that...

FIVE LESSONS FROM FOREVER AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING

FIVE LESSONS FROM FOREVER AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING

Recently I interviewed Kate Levine, Director of Global Activism and Communications at The Body Shop for an ad hoc series of interviews with changemakers. One of the things I asked her was which of the many campaigns she has been…

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT FEAR

FIVE LESSONS ABOUT FEAR

Recently I shared on my social media channels that I was having a ‘wobble’. That I was feeling THE FEAR. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll know the kind of fear I was talking about: the kind of fear that makes you doubt yourself; that shakes your self-confidence and...

ACTUALLY INTERVIEWS KATE LEVINE

ACTUALLY INTERVIEWS KATE LEVINE

Kate Levine, Global Director of Activism & Communications at The Body Shop In this series of ad hoc interviews, I’ll be talking to campaigners, changemakers and visionaries and asking them to share their wisdom, lessons and inspiration with the Actually…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

In this ad hoc blog, I share with you some of the things that I find inspiring. Last week I attended an event run by the How to Academy – an evening with Elizabeth Gilbert. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past decade or so, Elizabeth Gilbert...

FIVE LESSONS FROM BURNING OUT

FIVE LESSONS FROM BURNING OUT

In the UK, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 526,000 workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17 and 12.5m working days were lost as a result over that period. Research in the US suggests that burnout costs…

FIVE LESSONS FROM PR / MARKETING STUNTS

FIVE LESSONS FROM PR / MARKETING STUNTS

I’ve spent 25 years in PR and communications and over that time I’ve seen some amazing PR and marketing stunts by commercial brands and campaign groups that have really captured imaginations and headlines. And I’ve witnessed some absolute shockers that…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

I’ve been reflecting recently on inspiration. I’ve been fortunate to attend some truly inspiring events and gatherings so far this year including a one day event with Roger Hamilton and a 5 day leadership event on Necker Island with Virgin Unite. But I believe…

FIVE LESSONS FROM REPEAL THE 8TH

FIVE LESSONS FROM REPEAL THE 8TH

There’s a lot of chat about referendums in the UK at the moment: the one we already had; whether we should have another one; what the question should be if we do…yes, I’m talking about Brexit. I don’t know about you but I have found the conduct of both sides…

FIVE LESSONS FROM NECKER ISLAND

FIVE LESSONS FROM NECKER ISLAND

Picture the scene: it’s a balmy 26 degrees, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and sending shimmers of light fracturing across the surface of the ocean. At the front of a beautiful room furnished simply but luxuriously with wood, bamboo and linen, a man is speaking...

FIVE LESSONS FROM ROGER HAMILTON

FIVE LESSONS FROM ROGER HAMILTON

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a Roger Hamilton event in London: Entrepreneur 5.0. Roger is the creator of Wealth Dynamics, Founder of the Entrepreneurs Institute, GeniusU, Entrepreneur Resorts and a multitude of other businesses all designed to support...

FIVE LESSONS FROM FREE PERIODS

FIVE LESSONS FROM FREE PERIODS

“If you see something that makes you angry or resonates with you, don’t wait for someone else to do something about it. “ (Amika George) As a seventeen year old in the midst of her A’ levels, Amika started a campaign #freeperiods to persuade Government to do…

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

SNIPPETS OF INSPIRATION

In these days of ‘constantly on’ – when we are endlessly pouring over our social media, when our phones are constantly pinging with the latest message and our email never seems to go silent – it can be difficult to find true inspiration. From time to time, I’d like...

FIVE LESSONS FROM EXTINCTION REBELLION

FIVE LESSONS FROM EXTINCTION REBELLION

"So come and join us. Rebel for life. For the planet. For our children’s children’s futures. There is so much work to be done.”  Extinction Rebellion If you’ve not heard of Extinction Rebellion (XR) then I can only assume you’ve been in a coma for the past few weeks!...

FIVE LESSONS FROM NO MORE PAGE 3

FIVE LESSONS FROM NO MORE PAGE 3

“If I can start a movement, anyone can.’ Lucy-Anne Holmes In 2012 a young woman asked herself why a ‘family’ newspaper would publish images of topless women and what that said about the place of women within our society. That woman was Lucy-Anne Holmes and by 2015,...

FIVE LESSONS FROM GRETA THUNBERG

FIVE LESSONS FROM GRETA THUNBERG

“I don’t care if I get into trouble at school. I believe that one person can make a difference.” (Greta Thunberg) From one lone schoolgirl sat outside the Swedish Parliament to a global movement involving more than 1600 events in more than 105 countries, there can be...

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