Nadia Finer of Moretolifethanshoes.com gives advice on how to change your life in 2009.
I am co-founder of the award winning website www.moretolifethanshoes.com - the online community for women dedicated to helping members achieve their dreams, whatever they may be. Whether you want to go on an adventure, start a business, write a book or find your perfect job, www.moretolifethanshoes.com has bags of inspiration, support and encouragement to help you on your way.
The past couple of years have been a bit of a rollercoaster, but things are really starting to happen for us. So, here are my top ten tips to achieving your dreams, to help you get out there and make it happen too:
1. FOLLOW YOUR PASSION
I need to feel really passionate about what I do, otherwise I get bored out of my mind and chuck it all in. It sounds obvious, but if you do something you love, life will be a lot more fun!
2. LISTEN TO THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD
We came up with the idea for More to Life Than Shoes precisely because we realised that there was nowhere we could go that would help us find out what we wanted to do with our lives and then help us make it happen. I had the idea parked in my brain for a few months before we did anything. It kept popping into my head until I had to do something, even if it was just to make it go away!
3. LEARN AS YOU GO ALONG
Don’t worry if you don’t have all the skills you need to make your dream happen right from the start. It’s no reason not to get going. You can learn on the way. When we started out I was scared of phoning people, but after interviewing loads of inspiring women over the phone, I realised I actually enjoy chatting away to people. My phone bill is huge! Also, I hadn’t written much since university and here I am writing articles for websites, press releases, not to mention a BOOK! Crazy.
4. ONE STEP AT A TIME
A friend of mine was thinking of starting a business, but she said she didn’t think she could employ a team of people, run a million pound business and export her products round the world. Whoah there! Sometimes we can scare ourselves into doing nothing, when the thing we fear is way off. My advice is to find your own way and not worry too much about the future. By the time you get to that point, you’ll know what to do.
5. DELEGATION IS WHAT YOU NEED
Trying to do everything yourself, does not make you a super woman, it makes you a very tired woman indeed. Achieving your goals takes hard work, and unless you have time to devote to the pursuit of your dream, it won’t happen. I think about the jobs I can get help with and share them out. This included getting help with Jacob – you can’t look after a baby and work at the same time, both need your undivided attention. Whether you find a cleaner, get someone to do your ironing, or typing, etc, you need to free up some time to focus on your goals.
6. NO MONEY NO MATTER
We’ve found that running a business on a very threadbare shoestring actually has its advantages. Unable to chuck cash at problems that arise, we’ve been forced to think of creative solutions. We’ve resisted the temptation to get investors involved and have actually found that we don’t need them at the moment. So, we’ve got complete control and can do things our own way.
7. DON’T GO IT ALONE
Working with Em is great because we have skills that complement each other, plus she’s excellent at giving me a much needed reality check when I need it. Without Em, More to Life Than Shoes would have been another of my hair brained schemes that didn’t get further than a scrawl on the back of a beer mat. So when I’m about to do something ridiculous in the heat of the moment she’ll suggest gently that we mull it over (read: stop being insane and bin it, you crazy fool). When things do go tits up I find that Emily helps me to see a way through. Because there’s two of us, it is easier to stay motivated and not just lie in bed with the duvet cover over your head singing to yourself.
8. DITCH YOUR DOUBTERS
Hang out with people who support you and ditch those who bring you down – harsh but fair! We were constantly depressed by people telling us our ideas were never going to work. So, we don’t spend time with them anymore. Simple. We’re not burying our heads in the sand, just choosing to spend our valuable time with energising people whilst drinking lots of coffee and bouncing off the walls talking about exciting new ideas. It feels great!
9. BE DETERMINED
When I first found out I was pregnant I didn‘t believe I was going to be able to carry on running the business. I was having a good old whinge to my mum, who basically told me to get a grip. She was right. Since then I‘ve dug really deep and found some balls! Now, I‘ve got this steely determination to make it work. And I‘ve realised that often the difference between people who make it and those who don’t is often that the successful ones didn’t give up!
10. GET ON WITH IT!
Making a change in your life can be daunting, but if you divide your plan up into chunks it will seem more manageable. Taking the first step towards your goal is easy when it’s a teeny tiny step. Oh, and not having any experience or knowledge of your chosen field is not an excuse – go and get some!