Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Child-Friendly Salon Ava & Harrison is a Cut Above the Rest

If you have little ones, you’ll know that a trip to the hair salon isn’t as relaxing as it perhaps could be. Newly launched Ava & Harrison is Liverpool's child-friendly salon, looking to enhance the pampering experience for all members of the family. 

Sara and Jo worked together as children’s hairdressers in Children’s World back in the 90s. Going on to pursue different career paths, they dreamt of joining forces to open their own salon. Noticing a gap in the market, Sara and Jo launched ‘Ava & Harrison’ – Liverpool’s first child-friendly salon that caters to all members of the family.

Deciding that it was now or never, Jo contacted The Women’s Organisation: “we felt nervous, excited, doubtful and confident all in one”. Sara and Jo worked alongside Business Adviser, Yan Miao, to get the ball rolling and make their life-long business dream a reality.
So, just what makes Ava & Harrison special? The salon is designed for children, but also a place for adults to enjoy a treatment without having to worry about their children, with a play area in view of the salon chairs. Not only that, but the salon caters for children’s anxiety and is welcoming to those with special needs.

As the golden mantra preaches, nothing worth having comes easy. Jo found the finance side of things daunting and faced issues finding a landlord who would allow for the style of business. However, Jo and Sara were able to seek advice and guidance from Yan every step of the way. And was the hard work worth it? Jo said: “absolutely – the best part of running a business is the excitement of watching your dreams become a reality.”

With 19 schools within 1 mile of the salon, as well as a busy shopping centre, Jo and Sara decided to set up shop in Liverpool’s Old Swan. The name ‘Ava & Harrison’ is a tribute to Sara’s daughter, Ava, and Jo’s nephew, Harrison, who each played a pivotal role in the design and inspiration of the salon itself. And how is the business going? Jo said: “things are going really well so far; our team is organically growing, and we are taking more than our predicted forecast. By the end of week one we had to employ someone, and by our second week, another staff member. Our estimate for week twelve is that we will be up to a team of 7!"

Success is fuelled through passion, and this is testament to the triumph of Ava & Harrison. Jo and Sara are committed to ensuring that children have a positive salon experience, taking the essential extra time needed to support children suffering with anxiety. 

Jo and Sara are keen educate staff members with awareness in neurodevelopmental conditions. They’re currently undertaking training to specialise in hair care for autistic children and are keen to collaborate with local community groups specialising in autism and children’s disabilities. Seeking the advice of those with experience, such as carers, parents and experts, will allow Sara and Jo to shape the hair-cutting experience to suit the needs of those who require a slightly different approach.

To others looking to start a business, Jo’s biggest piece of advice is to “be confident in your idea. Research, plan and make sure to take advice from others who have been there and done it. You have to believe in yourself and be confident in your decision-making – what’s the worst that can happen if something doesn’t work?”

A big congratulations to Sara and Jo on the launch of Ava & Harrison!

If you want to find out more about the salon, contact them on hair@ava-harrison.com or visit their website on www.ava-harrison.com. Ava & Harrison is located 7 St Oswalds Street, Old Swan, L13 5SA (opposite Tesco) and can be reached on 0151 345 3443. You can also visit them on Facebook.

If this story has left you feeling inspired to pursue your own business dream, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk to discover just how we can support you.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Sarah sets her designs on business growth 📈

In April, we took time to celebrate some of the great businesses we had the opportunity to support in the Excelerate Labs ‘Celebration of Success Awards’. We caught up with Sarah Freitas, the founder of De Freitas Design and our winner of ‘Creative Industries Business of the Year’, to find out how her business is doing in the thriving Manchester design economy.

Sometimes choosing what type of business to set up can be a frustrating task for somebody wanting to delve into self-employment, but for Sarah it was a no brainer as to which industry she wanted to start her business in.

Born and raised in Cheshire, Sarah knew her perfect career would fall within one of her passions. She said: “I struggled academically but really enjoyed Art and Sport, so I always had an idea that my career would fall with one of the two. I didn’t specifically know it would be interior design, but I studied it at university and have loved it ever since!”

Having graduated from Salford University in 2010, Sarah’s first design job took her to Australia. One year later, she returned to the UK and began a new role within a Manchester-based interior design company which she worked at for over 6 years. With this experience under her belt and an ambition to start her own company, Sarah decided it was time to make a change and put her skills to the test.

She said: “By this point, I had been at the company for six and a half years, I really enjoyed it and I had creative freedom, but I was ready to move onto something new. I had always wanted my own company, and it just felt like the right time to start that”.

Now with a studio based on Manchester’s South King Street, two staff members and a turnover which is increasing year-on-year, it’s safe to say that De Freitas Design is making its mark in the North West’s design world.

Reflecting on her success, Sarah puts it down to building positive relationships and word of mouth recommendations from happy clients: “Each project I complete has been successful and my clients are always happy, my network has been growing purely through word of mouth. Up to now, this has to be one of my greatest achievements”.

With more and more interior design companies cropping up around Greater Manchester, Sarah told us what makes her business stand out from the rest: "I give each of my clients my full attention. They receive a creative design service directly from me. I only take on projects to a capacity that I can handle so I can give it my full attention, keeping it personal and professional".

Never one to rest on her laurels, Sarah decided to take up support from Excelerate Labs to help grow her business. Working with the Excelerate labs programme, Sarah received 1-2-1 support and was able to get the head space she needed to decide on the next steps for her business.

Talking about her Excelerate Labs experience, Sarah said: “I have had some great support from Excelerate Labs. I’ve had help putting together my business plan which has helped me start to set targets for my company, inspiring me and giving myself targets to work towards”.

As any business owner will know, juggling your personal life with your business venture can be incredibly difficult. This is why it’s so important to take time out to focus and strategize.

And this is something which Sarah herself is currently working to manage: “I struggle most with having time. One part of me wants to prioritise my business, especially because it’s in such a new stage and I want to put my all into it. But equally, I don’t want to affect my relationships and the time spent with people I love. I am finding the balance and know there are times when I have to step back from work and prioritise my family and friends too”.

So, what would Sarah’s key piece of advice be for someone wanting to grow their business? “Just do it! Be prepared to work hard and put your all into it, but if you really want it then you will succeed”.

We definitely agree! To find out more about how the Excelerate Labs programme can help your business grow, contact exceleratelabs@thewo.org.uk.

If you would like to find out more about De Freitas Design, you can visit www.defreitasdesign.com or follow the team on Twitter at @De_FreitasDsgn. Or you can contact Sarah directly via email at info@defreitasdesign.com.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Liz's Story: 'Working On Yourself is The Key To Change'

This month at The Women's Organisation during our #WeEmpower campaign and will be sharing the amazing stories of the people we've helped to empower around Merseyside. 'Change it: Progress to Success' has been having a positive impact on women's lives around Liverpool, helping them tackle their lack of confidence, improve their self esteem but also prepare them to make a positive change in there lives. 

Today, we meet Liz, who after years of believing she couldn't, finally did...

"As a mum of two little girls under five- my life is full of dolls, singing nursery rhymes and reading books. I always wanted to go back to work as I could never see my life as ‘just a full-time mum'. I appreciate that some mums love being a full-time mum, but I think I needed a job as I not only wanted adult conversation, but I needed something fulfilling to do. I have a husband who is always encouraging me to get back to work but it was me that was holding myself back.

The question going around my head was 'How can I get a job when I have lost my confidence?' After 6 years out of the job market, I was convinced that I had left it too long and that I would make a mess when trying to find one. I would always be thinking 'Could I even get a job, who would employ me?' and I got to a point where my baby brain couldn’t remember the title of my foundation degree. How bizarre!

That’s when the 'Change It' programme came along and I’m now getting job ready.
I’m now making use of all the job support advice I can get my hands on through the children’s centres and Citizens Advice as starting a job hunt can sometimes feel like a mine field, especially with working and family tax benefits.

'Change It' helped me to focus on what I wanted to achieve, how I was going to achieve it but has also shown me that it’s not a sign of weakness to get support. The best thing was being surrounded by the group as it moved me to action, we were able to all help each other and it also reminded me that I was actually good at helping people.

My previous job was in the personal and social care field and in reality I feel like I had gotten bit rusty. I think sometimes as a mum you can get lost in ‘Mummy Land’ and forget who you were, but I am telling you that you can get back and find out who you are from going on the 'Change It' course. I’ve laughed and learned and believe me when I say the people around you will be able to see the difference in you.

It turns out that working on yourself is the key to change and at this moment in time I am applying for jobs in the care sector and gaining experience by volunteering at children’s centres and my local school. Another growth area in my life is my involvement with the Community Sponsorship program that supports Syrian families moving to Liverpool and I am very vocal with my suggestions in the program (that’s the assertiveness I’ve learned from our trainer, Mandy) I am now confident that a new job is in fact possible and that I can achieve it.

I talk about the course all the time in my community and I always recommend it. If you are stuck and you want to change your life the guess what you can. Mandy said on the very first day,

'If you always do what you’ve always done …you will always get what you’ve always got'

So, stop complaining about how your life is and go and Change IT!"

Thank Liz for sharing your fantastic story, we wish you all the best for your future! Join us over on Twitter and Facebook during our #WeEmpower month to keep updated with all things Change it!

We have a number of Change it programmes going on around Liverpool and we have recently added some new dates:

54 St James Street - Wednesday 12th September 2018 (4 Sessions)
Dingle Childrens Centre -Thursday 20th September 2018 (8 sessions)
Toxteth Firefit Hub - Thursday 20th September 2018 (5 sessions)
Everton Childrens Centre - Monday 8th October 2018 (5 Sessions)

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on hello@thewo.org.uk and find out how we can support you.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Meet The Team: Leanne Johnson

Our marketing team has had quite the shake-up this year. We recently introduced you to Sarah Brown, now meet Leanne Johnson! Leanne started working at The Women’s Organisation in March after deciding she wanted a career change. She brings all the humour, wit and creativity to our Marketing Team and we can’t remember a time without her. From Nandos, to The Big Apple and Primark, read on to find out more about Leanne .. 

What’s your full name and where are you from?

Leanne Johnson, I’m from Liverpool.

Tell me how you first found out about The Women’s Organisation and become part of our team?

I first found out about The Women’s Organisation when I was doing some research about the type of role I wanted to go into next. Someone I worked with had also volunteered at the organisation for a few weeks and told me what a nice place it was, so when I saw they were recruiting for a Marketing and Engagement Officer role I thought I’d give it a go! I always wanted to work in marketing, so I applied, got an interview and thankfully got the job!

What kind of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?

I’ve only worked for one other company before this role, I got my first job at Primark at 17 and worked my way up to a Human Resources supervisor before leaving this year! I spent my time there doing lots of varied things like staff training and UK and international store openings. I also graduated from LJMU with an IT & Multimedia Computing degree, where I also took a year out to work full time in a digital creative start-up company. I’ve always wanted to do something a bit more creative and be able to engage people so getting this role has been an absolute dream!

What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?

I think what surprised me is the high-quality support that The Women’s Organisation offers to people and how just in the short time I’ve been here I’ve already seen how massively our personal development programmes can impact people’s lives, it’s such a great feeling!

From a work point of view, how welcomed I’ve been into the organisation is the best. Within a couple of days, I felt like I’d been here for years, my team is amazing!

What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The best thing about working here is how valued my opinions have been, not just on my team but throughout the entire organisation. I’ve already been working on several different projects that I’ve been able to really sink my teeth into and know that I’m trusted to get on with it. I also like that my ideas are really going to use and that I’ve got control over the work I do. It’s nice to feel like a valued member of the team and not just another number.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

I’m going to be that person but ‘there really is no typical day’.

All of the Marketing & Engagement team work on varied projects and at the moment I’m working on a lot of case studies and blog content for my projects. Daily, I suppose you could probably find me scheduling in relevant content for our social media pages, writing away and general promotion of our services and goings on around the organisation! I’ve also recently started conducting training for ‘Business Blogging for Beginners’ which is very exciting.

I’ve only been here gone 5 months now and I’ve already been involved in so much, some highlights include being part of the planning and live tweeting our awards event in Manchester for my project Excelerate Labs.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

Maybe that I lived and worked in New York for 3 months! What can I say? Metropolitan girl!

What do you do when you aren’t working?

Fine dining (Nandos) and spending time with my loved ones!

Thanks Leanne! We’re delighted to have you here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Catharine Becomes Financially Savvy to Pursue Business Dream

Catharine Ramage has come a long way since the launch of ‘Catharine Ramage Editorial’. Feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of the benefits system, Catharine was unable to pursue her lifelong business-dream or reach her true professional potential. Now, with support from  Better Off Finance, Money Marvels and Enterprise Hub, the only way is up for Catharine. 

Having left her teaching job due to illness in 2011, Catharine was more or less unemployed for 7 years receiving job seekers allowance and feeling unable to access the support she really needed to progress.

Catharine joined the Better Off Finance programme, which supports people to improve their financial capability and prepare and progress into sustainable employment, or access training opportunities. Feeling anxious whenever she tried to look in to her finances alone, Better Off Finance ensured Catharine was utilising the support she was eligible for, as well as helping her to assess her monthly outgoings and work out where she could become more financially savvy.

With her key worker’s support, Catharine managed to save £100 a month; “I really feel like he has given me tools for life to maximise my income and minimise my outgoings, I always tended to bury my head when it came to this stuff – now I have the confidence to find and negotiate better deals for monthly necessities”.

Regaining control of her personal finances, Catharine felt empowered to begin thinking about employment opportunities and the next step forward. Often the scariest thing about pursuing a business-dream is the reality of becoming a business-owner. Catharine knew her passion but didn’t believe she had the enterprise skills or experience to turn that passion into a business – and that’s where Enterprise Hub came in.

Better Off Finance made Catharine aware of the business start-up support available throughout the Liverpool City Region, when she decided to contact The Women’s Organisation. Catharine said: “I had a couple of business ideas but didn’t know where to start. My adviser helped me to see that I have skills that can be utilised in a home business and gave me confidence to know that I could do it. She was fantastic at explaining the nuts and bolts of how to start a business and how to market yourself on social media.”

Coming out of the other side, Catharine is now an editor and proof-reader able to bring written work to publishing standard. She has edited documents for a variety of academic journals and textbooks and written several educational textbooks for children learning English; “I am now a business-owner running my own editorial business from home – Enterprise Hub has allowed me to achieve this in less than a year”. The biggest mark of success for Catharine is that she will now be able to buy her own house, a dream she had once given up on when claiming benefits.

Looking back on her journey, Catharine credits the support system of both Better Off Finance and Enterprise Hub: “both of my mentors made me feel like they really cared about helping me to improve my situation – not that they were just ticking boxes or trying to ‘push’ me back into work. They both took the time to understand my circumstances and give me a personalised service.”

What does Catharine say to anyone thinking of contacting Better Off Finance or Enterprise Hub? “Do it! I feel really lucky to live in a city where these services are available to me.”

Well done Catharine! We’re delighted for you. If you’d like to find out more about Catharine Ramage Editorial, head to her website or Facebook.

If you’d like to find out more about Better Off Finance or Enterprise Hub, contact us on 0151 706 8111 and speak to a member of our Engagement Team.

Giving Your Business a Growth Healthcheck

Once your business is ticking along nicely the next challenge is to look at opportunities to grow.  It's important before you light the match that causes your business growth explosion that you look over your business to ensure it is in the right shape to move forward.  Here are some key areas of your business you should healthcheck when planning for growth

Image result for growing a business

Branding and Marketing Mix
When you start to grow your business your brand suddenly comes under scrutiny again.  Is your name to local?  Is the colour palette suitable for the new markets you are looking to reach, and have you got the right marketing mix?
Review the analytics of your marketing, perhaps put your brand out to some focus groups and under some market research spotlights to get some impartial opinion on whether it will work for your next phase.

Capacity Planning
Growing a business isn't just about bringing in a mass of new customers and skipping all the way to the bank.  You have to think realisticly about what you have the capacity to do.  If you have a staff team you need to review how much of their time each new customer costs, and how much needs to be dedicated to customer retention.  If you are manufacturing then how much can your current operation cope with in terms of capacity.  This will help to inform the costs of growth and how and when you will need to expand your team or operation

Customer Care
Often when you run a smaller operation, keeping an eye on customer care comes more naturally as you tend to have more direct contact with them.  It's important to look at how your organisation currently offers a good standard of customer care, or ask if it does.  From there you can start to strategise how you will manage the transition as you expand and exnsure customers don't feel like they are missing a part of the service that has made them buy from you before.

Getting Finances in Order
If you've happily plodded along with a haphazard book keeping system and a drawer full of receipts you will get back to later, you need to stop and get organised.  You need to evaluate if you are in a financial position to grow.  Especially if you are going to be looking for investment, you need to ensure you have robust and comprehensive accounts that demonstrate a solid baseline that will encourage banks and other funders to want to invest. 

There is so much to think about when planning for growth.  If you are a business in a B2B sector operating in Greater Manchester, why not meet with one of our ExcelerateLabs team to find out how you can get free support to guide you through the process. Contact exceleratelabs@thewo.org.uk 

Excelerate Labs is part funded by European Regional Development Fund to offer Greater Manchester Businesses support to grow. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

'Change it: Progress to Success' Catching up With Our Graduates

Over the past year we’ve supported hundreds of women across Liverpool to reach their full potential, think about their next steps in life and build on that confidence inside them. This week we were delighted to be able to invite some of the women back to join our focus group to have a cuppa and discuss how the 'Change it' journey was for everyone...

Held by our 'Change it' trainer - Jenny Wallwork, everyone shared how they had been doing since graduating from the programme, some of the women had gone on to start volunteering for organisation like Citizens Advice, some went on to change their job roles and some have even started to think about starting their own business. One of the women has taken steps to academically progress:

“Since Change it, I gave done my maths GCSE and I’m awaiting my results in August! My dream is to start pursuing my business ideas and I’ll be starting my teaching assistant Level 2 in September in Liverpool college"

We love sharing our open letter case studies featuring the amazing women we’ve supported over the past year and we’re able to see the huge impact that 'Change it' has on peoples lives. When asked about the impact on their own lives, our group spoke about how it helped reinforce their place in the world and helped them find more out about themselves.

“It’s helped me to become more confident and have the courage to make significant changes and just think about myself, I’m able to look at the positive now and not the negative”

“It has reminded me of my qualities, strengths and helped me gain my confidence back. I know have a ‘I can’ attitude and always consciously thinking positively

Completing the programme and being able to take away tools and strategies to use in real world situations is important and from the focus group we were able to see some of the basic techniques that had a long-lasting effect such as keeping a diary, having meditation mornings and using the great ‘Stinking Thinking’ method used to banish negative thoughts 

Rounding up the focus group, Jenny asked the women one simple question:

“What makes ‘Change it: Progress to Success’ different to all the other personal development programmes you’ve been on?” 

"Change it is able to bring together women from all backgrounds, which was great and let me take something away from it"

"You're able to meet people you don't know and really open up about your life, sometimes it can be hard to talk to friends or family so it's a great outlet"

"Its the trainers, you're not being talked at and you're able to have your say during the course"

"The course content is so relevant to your life and hits all the right notes. There's also something really unique and empowering about being in The Womens Organisation building (54 St James Street) it feels like a really great safe environment"

Big thank you for all the participants that attended our focus group, it was great to have a catch up and see what amazing things you're achieving!

We have a number of Change it programmes going on around Liverpool and have recently added some new dates:

54 St James Street - Tuesday 7th August 2018 (4 sessions)
54 St James Street - Wednesday 12th September 2018 (4 Sessions)
Dingle Childrens Centre -Thursday 20th September 2018 (8 sessions)
Toxteth Firefit Hub - Thursday 20th September 2018 (5 sessions)
Everton Childrens Centre - Monday 8th October 2018 (5 Sessions)

If you'd like to find out more information about the programme or to book a place, contact us on 0151 706 8111 or email us on hello@thewo.org.uk and find out how we can support you.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Sarah is Helping Local Businesses to Transform their Marketing Strategy through SLMC Consulting

Sefton’s Sarah McCartney saw opportunity when faced with redundancy and decided to launch her own business. 

Having spent 22 years in the building plastics industry in senior positions in customer service, key account management, and marketing, Sarah had a wealth of experience to lend to her new venture.
But how did Sarah go from brimming with ideas to getting started?  

Sarah told us “The first thing I did was contact Invest Sefton [Local Growth Hub Broker for the borough] to ask what I needed to do, and they suggested I start networking and referred me to the Enterprise Hub to get the support of a business advisor to guide me though the process”. Support from Enterprise Hub partners The Women’s Organisation set the ball rolling for SLMC Consulting – a marketing consultancy specialising in supporting SME’s and Start-ups overwhelmed by the idea of marketing or buzzing with ideas, but not sure how to put them into practice.

Sarah received one to one business advice and also attended courses around business planning understanding tax and national insurance, and events around the keys to business start up with The Women’s Organisation and told us about the support
“The support I received from the Enterprise Hub was brilliant, the best thing I could have done to help start me off.  Huda was my advisor and I found the meetings we had every couple of weeks amazing.”

SLMC Consulting has continued to cultivate success in the five months that the business has been running, and has found networking with other businesses through the programme has helped her to build an initial customer base that has led to the business bringing her an income sooner than she had anticipated.

Reflecting on the steep learning curve of going into business, Sarah offered some insight into her key lessons she has learned along the way.

“It is important to get advice but ensure that you take it and make it your own. Not everything people suggest is always right for you and your business.  Getting out on the networking circuit has been a highlight which I had not anticipated but it has lead me to meet some very supportive people that have become part of my ‘personal board’ of either people I will ask advice of, or people if feel I can refer my clients to, to provide services that I don’t including print, design, social media, sales training etc.”

Already finding “work life balance” to be one of the key benefits of going self-employed, Sarah is feeling positive about the future and is currently completing coaching qualifications to be able to add an additional dimension to her consultancy services.

Like Sarah over 5000 residents from the Liverpool City Region have now been supported to assess their business ideas and build enterprise skills, with over 850 now launching their new enterprise.

When asked what she would advise another person facing a career crossroads and debating taking the leap into business Sarah said “I would tell them to get involved with a business advisor from the Enterprise hub first.  I would then get them to look at what they really want to achieve and to ensure that it must be something they are passionate about to keep them committed.    Things take a lot longer than you realise so work to a plan and make sure you reflect on the progress you are making regularly to keep you motivated.”

To find out more about SLMC Consulting you can visit Sarah’s website www.slmc-consulting.com drop a line to sarah@slmc-consulting.com or connect on twitter @SLMCConsulting.

If like Sarah you have expertise you think you could transfer to your own business, then contact Enterprise Hub to access free impartial advice.

Enterprise Hub is part funded by European Regional Development Fund and offers a one door access point for any Liverpool City Region resident who is looking for business support to access free expert help.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Our Money Mentors Truly are Money Marvels Following Accredited Training

It’s always great to see people putting themselves forward to support others in changing their lives, and that’s exactly what’s happening on our Money Mentors course! Educating yourself to use the skills for greater good is always a rewarding feeling and that’s what our recent Money Mentors graduates at Halton Citizens Advice & 54 St James Street have been doing.

The Level 2 accredited training will encourage participants to go out into their communities and share what they’ve learned, and it’s also something great to add onto your CV!  We asked our recent graduates what they thought of the 2 days they spent learning to become Money Mentors

“I really enjoyed the course because every aspect that was covered was explained well with examples for clarity.  The course facilitator, Jose, was very knowledgeable and presented information in an easy to understand manner. I now have a better understanding of some of the methods of recovering debt and the process of debt recovery.”

Paula and Jennifer recently completed their Level 2 Money Mentors training in 'Being a Savvy Consumer' at 54 St James Street and had some great feedback about the course

“The course has been very valuable, I am more knowledgeable about consumer rights. There is so much I wasn’t aware of” 

“I feel more confident as a consumer now. The course was easy to understand and broke down the jargon. The handouts have been useful for me to refer back to after the course. Getting this certificate will help me with my volunteer application to support job seekers in my local job centre” 

What an amazing achievement, well done everyone and we can't wait to see how you use your new found skills to support and guide your community!

Do you think you could be a Money Mentor?

Money Mentors will be two days training at a local venue and will provide Level 2 accreditation in the following subjects:
  • Being a community-based mentor
  • Being a savvy consumer
  • Supporting Universal Credit Claimants
The subjects will cover topics such as:
  • Understand the causes of personal debt
  • Understand different attitudes to spending money
  • Understand how Universal Credit is made up and which benefits it replaces

We will even pay the travel expenses to get there and provide lunch!

If you think you could become a Money Mentor, then get in touch! to book or for more information you can contact us on 0151 706 8111 or hello@thewo.org.uk

Change your mind to help your grind: How to cope with change in a business environment

With a background in Psychology and having working in mental health, our Volunteer Lexine has penned a guest blog on the importance of mind over matter when running your own business! 

Dealing with change is an inevitable aspect of life. Whether it be your toffee nut latte taken off the menu, an investor pulling out of a deal or the ideal partner who turned out not to be ideal after all. 

Whatever the scale, change can be difficult in both little and large ways. Lack of management of our temperamental minds, can lead unforeseen (or seen) change taking you on one hell of a ride. Looking practically at change, here are some key tips and tricks to help you to tackle change whether encountering them in business or elsewhere.

  • Do not catastrophise. The worst activity to play along in a situation faced with difficulty is to over amplify each aspect of the negatives in your situation. Use logic to find a positive contradiction for every negative thought imagined. This will be arduous at first, as the mind can much more quickly and efficiently seek and store negative information. However, this skill can be learnt (if someone out there can execute a Rubik cube in 30 seconds, you can do this!). Keeping a perspective journal: split your page, one side your negative thought, opposing side the positive contradiction. Do this in the moment for best results, to gain real time perspective and to lead you away from disaster thoughts. 

  • The opposite of catastrophising leads to grounding. Grounding is anything that keeps your mind back in reality rather than with the goblins and demons you’ve envisioned your future to be colliding with. Ground yourself by getting back into realistic perspective: speak to a supportive friend, reach out to family or online forums, have a gratitude journal, and in that moment of overwhelm seek the stability in connecting back to the real time perspective, even if that means stepping outside and listening to the birds, or observing how your breath sounds.
  • Seeing change as a positive learning experience is what enables business minds to develop and strengthen. It’s sounds cliché but if we think in terms of fitness, there is naturally a stage that an individual will plateau (no weight change or perceived aesthetic improvement). If a fitness enthusiast was to throw in the towel at this point the outcome would be obvious… all progress eventually reversed to square one. If we look at this change in the sense of possibility, solutions could be: trying a new course, sport, gym or mentor to help improve the outcome. We could gather which experience would lead to learning new skills, lessons, networks and potentially very enjoyable experiences. Apply this to your own self in exercising your mind and scouting to what solution could be used as a positive learning tool.

  • Find your positive outlet, your go-to that naturally aids you. This can be as creative as you want it to be. Change can be the absolute best for you and your business, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will feel good during. Being mindful about bringing the positive to your situation, whether this be in the form of relaxation, comedy shows/films, friendship, love, make priority for this during your transition. Not only will it bring equilibrium to an otherwise stressful period, but it will reward and give you extra motivation to keep working hard. Don’t punish yourself for the experience of change, be mindful and make it your best ally. 
Thanks Lexine! Find out more about our Lexine on her 'meet the team' blog here.