I am so excited this week, because I have just joined a 12-week training/coaching programme that will help us bring a very specific and long-held business goal to life.
I have to be honest and say that asking for help is no something that comes easily to me. For so many years I’ve been the person that others come to and ask for help, and this will require quite a mental shift.
I’ve always been a fan of lifelong learning. It’s key to personal and business growth, adding new skills and tools to my professional offering, and keeping the old grey matter stimulated.
But asking for practical help – well, that’s slightly different, and it’s got us both thinking.
In a day and age where we have more support, guidance and inspiration at our fingertips than ever before, how easily and how often do we make use of them? How do we find new resources? And how readily do we share resources with others in our quest for collaboration and collective growth?
We’ll kick off – here are a tiny handful of the go-to resources we use ourselves:
Emma: I am a bit of a business and organisation book junkie. There is nothing better than inhaling the wisdom of women who are busy kicking ass and happy to share their wisdom so that you can do the same.
I know I’m supposed to pick one, but that’s like asking me to choose a favourite between my two step-daughters. Can’t be done. So here are three current faves.
‘An Edited Life’ by YouTuber Anna Newton made my inner Monica very happy (if you know, you know). Anna has created the ultimate reference guide for people craving a streamlined life – at work and at home. With actionable strategies for tackling everything from tackling clutter and unruly kitchen drawers to creating workflow strategies (hello, bullet journal) and how to say no – this one is a must read.
Next up is ‘The Working Woman’s Handbook’ by Phoebe Lovatt. A business book for women pursuing a creative career in a modern media world. The pages take you from figuring our where and how to start working towards your dream career, right through to balancing your hustle with your health. I find myself repeatedly dipping back into the book when I need a little pep-talk or some practical tips – like dealing with social media-related anxiety or Phoebe’s equation for calculating your hourly rate.
My last recommendation is ‘How to Style Your Brand’ by Fiona Humberstone. Branding has always been my passion so this book ticks all of my boxes. Fiona takes you through a really actionable process of defining your brand, empowering you to take control, to set the vision for your business brand, and to not be intimidated by the professional design process. And her explanation of colour psychology alone makes this book a must-read.
Lucy: I love and adore books. It’s definitely the resource I use the most, and I’m struggling to pick just one. Can I recommend also three?
The book that most changed the way I work is an old stalwart – Stephen Covey’s ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’. It’s scary to think this book is 30 years old this year…but I think it is as relevant as ever. Technology has moved on, and the way we work has changed immensely – but our brains are wired much the same, and these behavioural principles still stand. This book really shaped the way I approach work, how I prioritise, how I interact, and how I keep some balance in my life. I still go back to it time and time again.
On a tactical note, I want to recommend a book on time management. I’ve read loads on this subject – it’s the holy grail, isn’t it? – but one really consumable book has stood out for me; it’s called ‘Do It Tomorrow’ by Mark Forster. Sadly, it isn’t quite as mañana as it sounds – it isn’t suggesting that things can just keep rolling on to an unspecified / maybe time! What it does is recognise that one of the biggest thieves of productivity is the distraction, the request, the constant barrage of ‘asks’ that demand immediate attention and make it impossible for you to achieve your goals for today. It’s one of the best approaches to protecting and managing time I’ve read.
And my third pick is about inspiration, and it made my heart sing as well as my brain fire up! It’s called ‘The Desire Map’ by Danielle Laporte, and it is so aligned to my values. Emma and I talk to all our clients about first understanding what you actually want to achieve through your communication, instead of just diving head-first in to strategies and skills – and The Desire Map operates on a similar principle but for the whole of our life. Laporte points us towards that clarity by first asking not what we want to achieve in life, but how we want to feel. Actually, this brings me neatly back to my first pick, as one of Covey’s seven habits is to begin with the end in mind. Nearly thirty years apart, it’s great to see such congruence on something that really matters.
Lucy: Well, I’m glad I had plenty to say about books because I hold my hands up here and say I’m not a big listener of podcasts. I tend to be plugged into music or nose-deep in a book. But now I have FOMO! Perhaps I just haven’t found the right people to inspire me yet…I’m open to suggestions.
Emma: Oh my gosh – I love a good podcast. My commute to my 9-2-5 is approximately 40 minutes each way, so I inhale great podcasts at an alarming rate.
Here are my top pics:
- The Emma Guns Show (by Emma Guns) – for her interviews with brand creators, editors and authors
- Grow with Soul (by Kayte Ferris) – for her refreshing approach to marketing (slow, intentional, and sustainable growth really is the key to success)
- Hashtag Authentic (by Sara Tasker) – the lady behind the phenomenally successful Me&Orla shares her own strategies to help anyone with a creative business (or those who want one) to build a community online. And her interviews with creative business owners never fail to inspire me.
Emma: I have to give another shout-out to Sara Tasker here. I took her online Instagram course ‘Hashtag Authentic’ last year and was blown away by Sara and her team. The course in itself was well worth the investment, but the bonus was the online community. Sara taught me – through her own action, presence, and work ethic – the importance of showing up and authenticity when it comes to building an online community. She is always there, in the comments section, adding value and giving people encouragement and consecutive feedback to help them achieve their dreams.
Lucy: Potentially this list is endless, thanks to the algorithms that show me interesting new people every day. We walk a fine line between keeping an open mind and not losing all our time to social media, don’t we? I’ll just pick one, and it’s a Facebook group I’ve discovered only quite recently – The Smart Woman’s Business Hub. It just feels like a good fit – it’s big enough to offer diverse opinions and inputs, small and warm enough to feel welcoming and safe, and it’s managed by Karen Kissane, a coach who really shows up, adds value, and makes me feel I’ve known her forever. Well worth a look.
This blog could be endless, with so much resource to talk about – but how’s that for a quick starter for ten?
Those of you using our free monthly content planner will recognise this theme – we’re walking our own talk here and sharing just a few resources. And we’d love to hear from you – what shout-outs would you share?
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See you next week!
Lucy & Emma