Month: February 2016

Castles, conventions and birthday cake – a truly royal weekend

WOW – what a spectacular weekend that was.

From revelling Cinderella-style in a medieval castle to addressing a packed auditorium, Seamus and I felt more than a few spontaneous urges to pinch ourselves to be absolutely certain we weren’t in a dream.

We jetted off to Birmingham on Thursday for what was a truly royal experience packed with castle dining and convention speeches.

Our weekend of excitement didn’t end there. To crown off a fabulous few days we jetted back to Ireland on Saturday to celebrate the Penrose family’s main event on Sunday – an energy filled fifth birthday banquet for our very own little prince charming, Jamie.

The landmark birthday got me thinking about the changes not only in Jamie but in our family. Just three short years ago our lives were completely different. Our outlook was completely different. In fact, everything about us was completely different. Never in our wildest dreams did Seamus and I believe we could ever enjoy such a fabulous few days of fun – and all in the name of work.

What we’ve realised over the past couple of years in particular is that ANYTHING is possible when you truly believe in your ability and surround yourself with the right people.

For me the icing on the big birthday cake of life is being able to experience all of my new found friendships, healthy lifestyle and dream job with my best friend.

Together Seamus and I have found a way in life which allows us more time to enjoy each other’s company – and our children’s. That’s not to say we don’t have to work hard in order to play more. Last weekend  we got the opportunity to do both on a royal scale.

After jetting in to Birmingham on Thursday we started preparing for the company’s gala ball. We didn’t have any clue where the event would take place but we expected it would be impressive. When evening fell we realised the party would be a whole new level of spectacular.

A white limousine whisked us off to wonderful Warwick Castle – a playground of royalty since the 11th century. We were more than a little daunted at the thought of dining at William the Conqueror’s table – within ramparts which had hosted kings and queens of England through the centuries. Cue a flute or two of Bollinger though and soon we found our royal rhythm for the evening. It was an evening we will never forget.

With the mystery of the ball well and truly unravelled our nerves began to jangle at the thought of addressing more than 3,500 delegates from stage at the company convention on Friday.

Apparently I gave off an air of confidence during the presentation. I was surprised to hear that because I can assure you all that a flutter of butterflies was swirling around my insides as I struggled with the question of how on earth I found myself in such a position.  I’m just normal girl from a small town in the West of Ireland yet I have managed, along with Seamus, to draw applause from 3,500 people in a packed auditorium. It was a tremendous moment, although a little nerve wracking and emotional for us both.

Our nerves soon settled as we got into the flow of our presentation. The interaction with the crowd was electric. It really did give me a great buzz.

The biggest buzz though was from the new and old friends we met over the course of the few days. Their kind words of support are a tremendous foundation for the continued success of our franchise business. Both Seamus and I were brimming with gratitude for all of our good friends and colleagues as we boarded the plane on route to the grand finale of our fabulous weekend.

Despite the flurry of excitement over the sparkling gowns, effervescent tipples, rapturous applause and inspiring words of wisdom from our more knowledgeable colleagues – Jamie’s birthday party was by far and away the highlight of our weekend.

 

The kisses and cuddles we received from the both the birthday boy and our little three year-old Abbie served as a beautiful reminder – as if we needed reminding – of why we do what we do and simply love doing it.

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Mumtrepreneur living bounces from school runs to packed conferences

 After the last school run next week, I’m off to address 4,500 people before returning home for the real highlight of the weekend – my son’s 5th birthday party.

Of course I’m really excited to speak to such a huge crowd of delegates. In fact I have to pinch myself every time I think about it. However, I’m also very on conscious of the bigger picture and the very reason I work in the career I’ve chosen. The whole point of me becoming a mumtrepreneur was to be able to spend as much quality family time as possible with my husband and two children.

I never thought it was possible to have the salary of a high powered career person plus all the family time I’d ever need. I was wrong.

Becoming a Mumtrepreneur has given me a work-family balance which allows me to be full time mammy to Jamie and Abbie while also running a successful business with my husband Seamus.

I’ve never been happier. Being a mumtrepreneur allows me to make money to provide for the family during school hours and sleep times and also spend as much time as possible with the kids when they’re not at school.

It was a fantastic franchise opportunity that helped me achieve the high powered career I wanted while not sacrificing family life. For someone who never thought it possible I seem to have managed to marry them both surprisingly well.

And I love to see other people doing the same.

I regularly meet women who think like I did. They believe, like I did, that you have to be either a really focussed career woman who is prepared to sacrifice family life or an equally focussed mum who works in a profession with family friendly hours, part time or not at all.

This week I have been working closely with a lady who gave up a job paying €90k a year. She could not continue working the hours she did due to the family time she had to sacrifice. She wanted to be able to enjoy more time with her two kids so she finally decided that enough was enough. Now the sky is the limit for her because she has focussed her drive on becoming a successful mumtrepreneur.  I have no doubt that she will surpass her current salary in time but most importantly she will be working and living life on her own terms. 

I’m also currently working with mums who selflessly remained home for the early years of their children’s lives but who now want to reclaim their individuality. In my experience mums can very easily lose their sense of value by going about a daily routine that they had never intended to fall into. A home based business and becoming a mumtrepreneur can provide a great escape, both financially and mentally.

Any mum can do it well given the right opportunity, an ability to work hard and a passion for success. Making a living and more from home has improved both the bank balances and work-life balances of so many mumtrepreneurs I’ve met. 

Finding the work-life balance that mumtrepreneurship provides can be the key to happiness.

It worked for me so well that I’m only too happy to help others who want to do the same.

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Lifestyle results through One Simple Change

Binning the chase for rapidly achieved perfection is a first step to making lasting lifestyle improvements.

There’s an abundance of famous musings on the folly of making radical changes in a quest for perfection. And there’s good grounding for those quotes. We hear the reasons every day at this time of year. In the December blur all kinds of well-meaning plans are put in place, many devised with perfection in mind and not realism.

By January’s end a vast majority of people discover that the implementation of a big bag of New Year’s resolutions was always on a hiding to nothing. It’s the all too familiar February feeling of failure – I’ve been there many times.

A big cause of this is the fact that we are all socially programmed to some extent to expect instant results. From TV advertising suggesting that we can achieve a body beautiful from eating a certain breakfast cereal; to shopping in a certain supermarket in order to enjoy what’s billed as a ‘perfect family Christmas’ – everywhere we turn we’re offered a proverbial goose that lays golden eggs.

It’s all nonsense, of course. There are no such things as fool proof ‘get rich quick’ schemes or ‘washboard abs in just ten minutes’ programmes. The sooner we grasp this, then the sooner we can make real and lasting improvements.

Lifestyle objectives are easily attainable when we realise they are the sum of many little steps.

We should forget the pursuit of perfection, excellence is a much more easily measured objective.

With measurable goals and realistic expectations of ourselves we can achieve excellence but only by taking the journey one step at a time.

 

One simple change

By making one simple change in our lives, just one month at a time, we can transform.

One simple change is more than enough when you make 12 of them over the course of an entire year. Stick to the plan and by the end of the year you will have transformed your lifestyle. By setting out achievable targets in a ‘One Simple Change’ programme you also build self-confidence and morale as you continually hit them.

My one simple change in January was to hydrate adequately. It was to simply drink at least four litres of water per day. That may seem insignificant but practice makes permanent – over the course of 31 days it has become second nature for me to drink a large glass of water before meals and continue to sip throughout the day. It makes me feel good to have achieved this one simple change and now I’m ready for the next phase. One down eleven to go – come on February, let’s be having you.

Having tried so many times and failed to implement with any permanence my New Year’s resolutions, I now have a new found faith in them by working on such a small scale I hardly even notice the effort. I’m working on the premise that one small step per month will amount to one giant lifestyle leap come next Christmas. It may not amount to lifestyle perfection but perhaps to the permanence of an excellent way of living life.

Sure nobody’s perfect.

 

For further tips on how to implement your ‘One Simple Change’ programme feel free to get in touch.

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Positive thinking and saying ‘yes’ to life’s challenges

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill

It’s amazing what can be achieved when we think positively.

Winston Churchill may have been heavy-drinking, overweight, and physically inactive and stuck in his ways but he did have a great turn of phrase and for all his faults he certainly knew how to inspire positivity in others.

His brief description of attitude (quoted above) was brought to mind the other day after I accidentally overheard a conversation between two women in a supermarket. Both women were of similar age and both had two young children in their shopping trolley seats.

After commenting on “how great” her friend looked and on how long it had been since they last met, the slightly younger looking lady said: “I’ve seen your pictures on Facebook – you’re putting us all to shame with all your exercise”. Her friend replied that she had started a new health regime a few months back and it had “changed” her life. “I eat well, sleep well and exercise when I can around the kids and work.  I’ve found a great balance,” she exclaimed. She then stated, somewhat humbly, that she had signed up to run her first 10k race to help “focus” her training efforts.

It was the reply which followed that sent me scurrying for the phone to Google the Churchill quote.  “Fair play to you – I could never do that. I would never have the time,” she said with an almost embarrassed tone.

She looked as if she fully believed in her inability – but I quickly turned my head away so as not to betray my eavesdropping.

I would never presume to know whether or not that lady has any spare time. But what I can state categorically is that she will never have the time she needs and will never achieve her friend’s results with such a negative attitude.

Despite the well documented unhealthy lifestyle choices made by Churchill, he certainly understood the fundamental principal behind making changes. His utterance, quoted above, sums it up very well.

I’ve learned from experience that by cultivating the right attitude to life, opportunities are given a chance to flourish. To say no to everything is to say no to all the good things in life. So often the only thing stopping us from achieving our desires is ourselves.

We need to borrow from another famous world leader’s stockpile of campaign slogans and say to ourselves: ‘Yes We Can’.

Once we start saying yes to challenges (like the US presidential incumbent claims to), we are accepting that we can at least try and that the first step to improvement.

A pessimistic attitude is the ultimate in self-limitation. Think positive, be positive and overcome the roadblocks to change.

First believe you can make time, then invest it in yourself.

 

Top tips for positive attitude

 

Fundamentals of positive thinking

The fundamentals of maintaining positivity are eating right, sleeping well and exercising regularly. Stick to a healthy diet which is packed with fruit and vegetables and includes recommended levels of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and dietary fibre. Exercise regularly – from high intensity workouts to brisk walking, all levels of physical activity can promote positivity. Your body and mind need to recover well for daily life so adequate sleep is vital. Sleep patterns will improve with healthy diet and regular exercise but a good rule is to get at least six hours, preferably eight, each night.

 

Start the day strong

Try to plan your most difficult task of the day for first thing in the morning. Completing your hard task early will help promote positivity throughout the day.

 

Smile more

Simply by smiling we can become more positive. As well as generating a positive reaction from those around us, smiling has actually been proven to make us feel more positive.

 

No to naysayers

Try to avoid negative influences and negative people.  Surround yourself with positive thinkers. Other people’s thoughts have a big influence on our emotions. Limiting negative influences can have a big effect on boosting positivity.

 

For more information on how to overcome your roadblocks to change or other helpful tips on lifestyle issues feel free to get in touch. 

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