Have you ever looked at your work plan for the day and been so terrified of what it entails that you instead make a cup of tea, grab the peanut butter and oatcakes and lose yourself for the day on the sofa with Netflicks.
Give me a blog to write, a programme to deliver, an audience of 1000 to speak to, a challenging client to attend to and everything is gravy.
But ask me to reach out to my colleagues, connections and friends for a bit of help and man oh man it’s all over.
I know that asking for help is what we should all be doing. No man is an island and all that jazz, but the fear is just so powerful.
- What if they ignore me?
- What if they say no?
- What if they say yes but secretly hate me?
- What if they talk about me behind my back?
- What if they lose trust in me as a business owner?
- What if they realise I don’t always have my shit together?
You see I have always been fiercely independent.
I’ve always had to be…I haven’t got time to wait for someone to come save me…if something needs doing, I will find a way of doing it and just get on with the job at hand. But that can be exhausting, especially if you have massive goals like I do.
I know now that I can’t reach the level of success I want without utilising my network, reaching out for support.
So…yesterday wasn’t a complete write off.
For a start I wrote down a list of people who could potentially help me with a new business venture I am trying to get off the ground and made a start by contacting the least scary person on the list, my wonderful friend and colleague Pam Burrows – The People Booster who was of course as supportive as I knew she would be.
But it still wasn’t enough for me to tackle the rest of my list.
No I would need something else to boost my confidence.
So I did what I always do in these situations….I took to Facebook.
“Why is asking for help so Damn hard?” I asked.
What followed was a string of comments from 20+ friends and colleagues, people I respect dearly, people who couldn’t help but let me know I am not alone.
A new business colleague Connie said,
Asking for help is hard because your tribe holds you up to a higher standard and now you are fearful they will look at you as weak, not a strong tribe leader.
Ain’t that the truth.
My lovely friend and fellow coach Joanna Hunter said,
I think in society we are taught to accept only perfection, (that is obviously getting better but its deeply ingrained) so to ask for help for some is like admitting your less than perfect, we are so conditioned to not show any vulnerability or flaws in the perfection – it becomes this ego battle with oneself to not ask for the help even though you know you deeply need it.
However one of the greatest acts of self love is to allow yourself to ask for help you need followed by allowing yourself to accept it in
And yet the fear is still there.
People often describe me as fearless, but I 100% am not. I do things which make me appear fearless perhaps, but even those are driven by a powerful underlying fear, which is about not living a life which is insignificant.
So I guess fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing hey?
My fear of being broke and losing my home when I got made redundant prompted me to start a business, my fear of never having a night off as a single mum prompted me to get a babysitter one night a week, my fear of always having to do the dishes (the struggle is real) prompted me to get a cleaner.
So today I faced my fears.
I contacted more than 50 people on my list. I reached out. I asked for help. I offered to jump on phone calls (one step up in the fear ratings) in many cases I was open and honest about my apprehension about asking for the support.
And guess what?
People have started to offer their support and it feels super good.
The next step is to silence the mind monkeys that tell me “I now owe them something” or “what will I need to do in return?”
I realise looking back at those Facebook comments that 90% of them were from women, not sure if that is indicative of a gender difference or just the way it landed.
One of the best comments was from a bloke though, my pal (and flipping incredible photographer) James Burn who said…
Bloody pride that’s what. Stupid ass pride / ego
Couldn’t have said it better.
A massive thank you to everyone who has offered to support me in the launch of my new venture Tribe Builder. I have been growing and building tribes (online and off) for more than 20 years…I know my stuff.
But getting it out to the people who need to see it, in the short window of time I need to make this happen…well I just couldn’t do it alone.
The good news? Inquiries are starting to come through, and I’ve already had 4 women sign up which is awesome…as is the fact I haven’t reached for the peanut butter or the remote control today.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Remember, your tribe is probably bigger than you know, and they are more willing to help than you might expect.
If you are a female business owner who would like to understand more about how to build a community of loyal customers, partners and fans to grow your business, make more money, and ultimately have more impact in this world then get in touch.
Tribe Builder starts on the 4th March…and I am 100% adding a bonus module on effective ways to ask for AND accept help
It’s not often I talk about my running on this website…normally I save that for my other business venture www.toofattorun.co.uk
I am a runner. I have run hundreds of races all over the world. I write books about running. I have helped thousands of women across the globe to thrive and survive and thrive in the sport of running.
I am 100% a runner.
But…running is only part of the story.
I set up my blog The Fat Girls Guide to Running in 2010 after coming last in a race. I set up that blog not because I wanted to build a business, or become some kind of guru, I set up that blog because I felt incredibly alone.
I literally did not know any other runners who looked like me.
In fact I knew very few people who ran full stop.
I set up my blog almost 10 years ago because I wanted to connect on a human level with other people who could sympathise with my situation, who I could share my experiences with, where we could get stronger and eventually perhaps help others feel less lonely.
People often ask me why I run.
It is not because I love the action of running that’s for sure…most of the time I hate it. But what I do love is the community around the sport that just feels incredible when it shows itself in its best light.
When there is no competition, no power struggle, no them and us. When we all come together as equals with a shared goal and just do something ridiculously fun, and for a good cause. Thats when in feels good.
Yesterday morning my alarm wen off at 7 am and it was minus 2 degrees outside. I got up had breakfast got dressed and made my way into central London along with 20,000 other runners who were braving the cold to run the Cancer Research 10K Winter Run event.
This is the 5th year I have done this event, and I keep coming back.
Because it is 100% an example of people coming together with a shared goal. Everyone plays their part. The run organisers, Westminister Council, the sponsors, the runners, the spectators, the entertainment around the course, and the people who donate to all of the fundraisers taking part in the event.
Oh and their volunteers dress up as polar bears, wolves and penguins…whats not to love?
For the past few years I have run a meet up for the women in my running community, and anywhere between 10 and 20 of us will gather across the road from Charing Cross station and have a bit of a natter before making our way to the start line.
These are women who only know each other from a Facebook page….many have never met in real life before.
Women who quite often have issues with anxiety, and feelings of not being good enough.
But our community is like a family, and we support each other and do everything we can to make them feel safe and a valued part of the team.
A funny thing happened while I was running yesterday.
A funny thing between myself and another lady from my group Natalie.
We didn’t plan it, it just happened, and it changed the race for both of us. It might sound simple to you, but for us it was MASSIVE.
Firstly, we both run the whole 10K without walking…for her this was the first time ever and for me, I was in no way thinking I would manage it after coming back from flu at the beginning of the year.
The more shocking thing was we ran together.
We literally run the 75% of the race side by side. We chatted a little. We spent some time quietly plodding along. But we ran together nethertheless. At around 7 and a half kilometers Natalie found some speed, and a group of runners got in between us and she went off into the distance, but let me tell you having that company gave me the confidence not to stop and to keep pushing forward.
We spoked about it briefly on the tube home.
And then yesterday in my group she posted,
I’ve never run that distance before without stopping and would never have been able to do it without you beside me. As someone who is a staunch solo runner, today was a real pleasure and I learned how the right support can enable you to go much further than you imagined. I’ve never enjoyed a running experienced as much as today it wasn’t fast but felt strong. I actually think I enjoy running
There is an old african proverb that says,
If you want to go fast you go alone and if you want to go far you go together
This is not just true in the sport of running, it is true everywhere.
The power of community, or doing things collectively, of having a team, a mastermind, some business buddies…its is EVERYTHING.
The work I do with Too Fat to Run (which is about to become a social enterprise) is never just about the running.
It is about the power of togetherness, about using that collective power for good. That is what business should be about. Yes, of course, lets make money and work towards improving our lives…but lets not forget that business can also be a vehicle for so much more than that.
I have spent more than 20 years of my life bringing people together.
I am an expert community builder…that is my new self appointed job title and I’m sticking to it.
In March I will be starting a new programme for female entrepreneurs to help them build powerful communities of followers, fans, customers, clients and partners…to help them grow the kinds of businesses that really make a difference in this world.
Check out this link for more information, and drop me a line if you have any questions about your suitability for the programme.
And maybe I will see you at the start line of a mass participation race (of one kind or another) very soon.
It’s Monday the 14th, and I have flu.
No REAL flu.
That wonderful plan for my business I worked on at the back end of 2018 is busy collecting dust, and my plans for running every day in January are well and truly scuppered…and guess what?
I’m kinda happy.
Did I want to get the flu? Nope. I’m not good at being unwell…but if anything this enforced rest has been good for me.
Now when I say rest, let’s be clear, I am a single parent to an almost 6 year old little girl…so there is never any real rest, but I have limited my business output the last 10 days, gone to bed at a reasonable time, done no exercise (which is unheard of) and prioritised only the stuff that was 100% critical.
So…here’s the thing about this time of year.
Lots of us see a new year as a new start. Even if you don’t believe in resolutions (which I don’t) it is still really easy to get roped into committing to new habits, behaviours, projects, business ventures, decluttering….oh and isn’t it all about the decluttering right now?
What we seem to forget though is January is actually a really tough time of year to commit to and follow through on a lot of this stuff, it’s cold, we are broke, there are always loads of bugs flying around, and we have a tendency to over commit…we want to do everything in one go.
Then we don’t manage to, we end up feeling shit about ourselves, like we have failed.
Don’t get me wrong…I did do a whole heap of planning in the lead up to the new year but this was for a couple of reasons
- January is always my busiest time…for both my fitness and life coaching stuff…so I have to be organised and have a plan.
- I have a planning cycle that sees me do this level of planning 4 times a year anyway, on a rolling 90 day, 12 week cycle. So yes in the spring I will do this again, and in the summer and in the autumn. The January stuff isn’t more or less important…it’s just what I do, and the demand is higher.
- I have some big personal goals which I want to address this quarter and that means doing some major decluttering, and redecorating of my flat so that I can put my home on the market
Oh and I’m training for the London Marathon….there are just 15 weeks left until that.
So yes…I was planning to fire on all cylinders in January
But it wasn’t to be.
The bug has wiped me out, it has forced me to slow down, and in many ways, it has been great, because despite being ill I have still managed in the last 14 days to
- Deliver an EPIC keynote at Birkbeck University
- Host an Ice Cream Parlour Party for my almost 6 year old
- Lead a 100 strong cohort of women through my Dare to Dream Programme
- Recruit 200 women to take part in my 5 weeks to 5K programme which starts today
- Honor most of my 121 client calls (via Zoom)
- Sign 11 ladies up on to my Living a Bigger Life Mastermind
I’ve made more money in the last 14 weeks as I did in the first quarter of 2018…and most of that from the comfort of my own home, while not feeling 100%
Now this is for a few reasons, but mainly it is because over the last 18 months I have been repositioning my business to make it work for me, based on my values, where I protect it’s number one asset (urm ME!!!) whereby I don’t have to be rushing around to keep everyone happy, where I can take time off to be ill, or to deal with family stuff.
This January, I realise how far I have come, when I can literally look at my lovely content plan and say to myself,
“Its OK if I don’t achieve all of that stuff…everything will work out OK anyway”
When I can throw my bullet journal to one side knowing that Yoga every day just wasn’t to be…but come on lets face it yoga isn’t going anywhere is it, it will still be here in February.
I know I can make up time later in the year, I know there is no rush to do everything now.
In years gone by I would have thrown all my toys out of the pram by now, declared to the world how unfair it is I have to do all of this alone, believe that I am cursed, and destined to be poor and alone and unwell ha ha
The 2019 version of Julie has faith that everything happens for a reason, and is able to look objectively at what is going on in her life and her business.
So no matter how rough the last two weeks have been for you, no matter how many resolutions or goals you haven’t stuck too, how little you have achieved…know that you have plenty of time too.
The year is not ruined, it’s barely begun.
The best-laid plans are not those that happen at a certain time of year, diets don’t work because you start them on a Monday, you haven’t wrecked everything with one glass of wine….and you are not a bad person if you decided you couldn’t face turning vegan just yet.
Think about what you HAVE achieved over the last 14 days.
- Who did you make laugh?
- What great food did you prepare?
- What wonderful conversation did you contribute to?
- What mini decision did you make?
- What idea has popped into your head?
- What have you let go of?
There is still plenty of time to make an impact this year, don’t beat yourself up by putting unnecessary conditions, rules and boundaries in place that make you feel like you have failed before you have even begun.
On Monday 28th December I start a brand new cohort of my Living a Bigger Life Mastermind where I work with women on their plans for the year. We use this 90 day planning cycle and get women really tuning into their values to work out what exactly it is they want to achieve this year.
We create a community where we celebrate wins and work through challenges, where we don’t let despair last for too long, where we understand this is a long game, not about short term wins.
If you would like to start 2019 with a more sustainable approach, one where we can ease into the year with clarity and a sense of playful exploration, then check out what the Mastermind is all about.
Feel free to drop me a line to email@example.com if you are interested. I am happy to jump on a discovery call to talk through what you would like to achieve this year, and how we might do this together.
Breathe…the year hasn’t even really started yet…now where’s that TV remote???
Yes, there are 10 days left of this year and yes you probably just want to sit in front of the TV with a box of Roses and a glass of Port and wait until January 1st to even think about 2019…OK, OK January 2nd, cos come on nobody is fit for any kind of constructive thinking on January 1st right? (just me?)
Well, the thing is, there are 10 days left of this year and you would be surprised at what you can get done in 10 days, things which could have a massive impact on how you hit the ground running in January.
So here are ten things which you could consider doing before 2019 to get yourself ready for a fantastic year
1. Review your year
Take some time to review your year. What were the highlights, what was a complete disaster, but most importantly what were the lessons? I like to put my thoughts down on paper, its a habit I have had since my teens. I also enjoy looking back at photos on my phone or on Instagram (see what I’ve been up to) because sometimes some of the smaller stuff gets forgotten about. I’ve had an incredible year business wise I did a TEDx, I ran the New York Marathon, I delivered a pilot which saw 1000 inactive women get moving…but actually some of my fondest moments were the ones which I spent with friends and family, a lovely day trip to Paris, a hen weekend in Portugal, my 40th celebrations in Rejkavic…and a week in a caravan on the Isle of Wight.
2. Say some Thank Yous
Who has played a significant role in your life this year? Who was there when it counted? Who picked you up when you were down? Who celebrated your wins like they were your own? Perhaps there is someone you follow on social media that has been an inspiration, or perhaps an author who’s book shifted something in you…reach out, tell them the role they played, thank them. Think about saying thank you to the people who have taught you a lesson, even if at the time it was a difficult lesson to learn. A thank you is often easier to say than a sorry.
3. Say Sorry
There is nothing worse than going into a new period carrying old shit. Who do you need to say sorry to? Who do you need to acknowledge? You don’t have to actually say it (although it can be therapeutic) check out something called Hoʻoponopono a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. Learning to forgive is a practice, but it is one which has really helped me to let go of negative energy. You don’t always forgive for the sake of the other person, often you forgive so that you can move on. I have found a useful way of doing forgiveness is simply writing a letter to the person involved and then not sending it. It clears so much….and yet doesn’t open up space for new hurt.
4. Have a clear out
I am a massive fan of decluttering. Buy Marie Kondos book The Magical Art of Tidy…it will change your life. It is not just the physical stuff to get rid of but think about your digital life, your schedule, your friendships or relationships too. Get rid of anything you simply don’t want to carry forward into next year. Let things go with love, not guilt, frustration or fear. Books you are never going to read again, clothes that are not in fashion or don’t fit you, friends that never return your calls, activities you keep saying you are going to do but never do…give yourself permission not to have to do them, have them, think about them.
5. Check your “todo” list
This might seem like a bit of a boring one, but with a few days off over the festivities, it’s the perfect time to do those jobs around the house you never get the chance to. I will be decorating my daughter’s bedroom and repapering the feature wall in my front room. I will also be having a sort out of the mountain of toiletries and makeup around my flat. I also intend to have a go at sorting out my digital filing. I will do this with a Xmas movie on, or some music I haven’t heard in a while.
6. See people you haven’t seen all year
We assume that people have plans over the Xmas period, but lots of people are actually quite lonely. Reach out…offer to meet for coffee or a walk. Or maybe just schedule a phone call, or better still Skype. We get lots of sweet messages with “must catch up next year” but why not do it this year? Put a blanket call to action up on social media “I fancy ice skating, anyone up for it” or “anyone fancy a final run/hike in 2018?”
7. Read a book
Hands up if you have books on your shelf you meant to read this year and just haven’t? Schedule a book reading day. Take yourself off somewhere where you can just read? I have bought myself Michelle Obamas new book for Xmas (despite having like 30 or so other new books I could be reading). It is my treat to myself. I often read for work, but this will be reading for pleasure. I will be encouraging my almost 6 year old Rose to do the same. We are about to have a big clear out of her books….she has just gone up another reading level at school and can pretty much read EVERYTHING now. If you are looking for something good to read how about my latest book Living a Bigger Life, there are tons of exercises to help you get clear on how you might want 2019 to be different from 2018.
8. Learn to cook a new dish
Nothing better than spending a day in the kitchen cooking something from scratch. Dig out the cookery books, go and buy everything you need and then cook up a feast. Perhaps do some batch cooking, and freeze some meals ready for January. Imagine if you learned one new spectacular dish each month in 2019? Perhaps a new cake, or a new curry?
9. Go for a final run
Of course, I am going to say this. But get outside for a run or a hike or a long walk. Take yourself off somewhere you wouldn’t normally run. I think I might head to Richmond Park when my daughter goes off to her Dads. Use the time to think about the year gone by, the year ahead. Think about how awesome your body is, thank it for everything it has done this year. Look around, and notice how beautiful the world we live in is.
10. Create a vision board
Did you know the top 1% of achievers in the world set goals, write them down, and review them frequently? I have always set ambitious goals for myself. I started writing them down at the start of the year when I was a teenager, but it took until I was running my own business to actually review them regularly. I now create a vision board at the start of the year as a visual aid to keep me motivated through the year. Spending an afternoon really thinking about what you want is such a powerful exercise…my vision board from this year was super powerful…so many things from it came true, and I can’t wait to get started on this years one.
I hope 2018 has been a great year for you.
Thank you for following my journey, reading my blog, taking part in my programmes, being my client, friend or colleague
I wish you all the success and happiness in 2019
Have a wonderful Xmas
See you on the other side
PS. If you would like some support to think about your goals for 2019 I am running a very affordable group programme called Deare to Dream, it is a 7-day mini course which culminates in a LIVE vision board day on Sunday 6th Jan. I already have 60 ladies signed up…I’d love to hit my target of 100. We will cover all kinds of creative tools and techniques for making 2019 your most exciting, successful year ever.
Join before 1st January for just £23.50, click here to join
If you are looking to work with me over a longer term I will be opening up the doors to my Living a Bigger Life Programme mid-January, this is a 6-month intensive mastermind to help you prioritise your health, wealth and happiness to live a BIGGER more exciting life.
So here’s the deal.
I always get super reflective this time of year, I start to review where I am now compared to where I was this time last year.
This time last year I was busy finalising my new website www.juliecreffield.com
It felt like a BIG thing. I had been doing coaching for a whole heap of years, but to actually call myself a coach and have a whole website dedicated to this side of my business felt weird. I felt like a fraud. Like someone was going to call me out and say…you are not a coach.
Imposter Syndrome….well hello my friend.
Anyway. I decided early in 2018 that I would nip this fear in the bud by getting accredited by the International Federation of Coaches, and I started that process a few weeks ago.
The course and accreditation pathway I am doing is brilliant, I love to learn new stuff to inform my practice, it’s been great meeting other coaches, and its helped me to realise what a great coach I already am, and how unique what I offer to my clients is.
And…It turns out what I have been doing as a coach isn’t real coaching, well not in its purest sense…I have been more of a coach/mentor/consultant/trainer for women through my existing programmes and services.
Which is fine, because women get the results they want…but…
The work I am doing to get accredited requires me to be a pure coach…to do 100 hours worth of paid pure coaching…and I have to do all of this by the end of 2019 to get my accreditation.
Now…I am going to be honest with you, I don’t do a lot of 121 coaching…a lot of my work has been with group programmes…in fact this year alone more than 1000 women have been through an online coaching programme with me. Where as this year I have worked with maybe just 10 ladies maximum on a 121 basis who have all had an amazing success of course in reaching their goals and having personal breakthroughs, but all of that needs to change…I need to work with more 121 clients alongside my group programmes, well I do if I want to get accredited.
Which means I need people just like you to coach.
However, the other thing to mention is that I actually enjoy working 121 with clients, I wasn’t sure that I would like it but I do. I like being able to dig a bit deeper, spend more time, give more support, its very rewarding….and I have to remind myself not everyone wants to do things in groups….even me sometimes.
So I am looking for women interested in booking me for 6 transformational coaching sessions, from January – March to work on achieving their goals either in life or in their careers. These would be 60 minutes of coaching….not mentoring, not consulting…not telling you what to do, but using key coaching techniques to help you move from where you are now to where you want to be.
Things I am great at helping women work through
- Lack of Clarity
- BIG changes
- Relationship Breakdowns (of all sorts)
Could you do with any of this?
I am offering 5 women the chance to work with me between January and March at a significant discount to what I normally charge for 121 coaching. This coaching will take place via Zoom video conferencing technology or over the phone, on a fortnightly basis.
These sessions will be in huge demand, so if you are interested let me know this week.
If you have any questions or would like to secure your spot feel free to respond to this email.
This is a great chance to get to work with me at an affordable rate, and to head towards the end of 2018 knowing you have a plan formulating for next year