How To Almost Nail It As A Working Parent

How To Almost Nail It As A Working Parent

Rather than a box of chocolates I see life as a juggling act. We have a number of balls we need to keep in the air. Some have more balls to juggle than others. Some smug bloggers/influencers make it look so easy and appear to be doing cartwheels while juggling too. But for most of us I think we’re self-taught jugglers, just trying not to drop the balls too often.

Obviously when we become parents we increase the challenge – some of them become balls of fire! Life can seem relentless. And a lot of the time it’s easy to think you’re pretty bad at juggling. But I think there’s a way to free yourself from the stress of juggling, and to actually enjoy the experience of being a working parent. This is how it goes…

Stop comparing

First of all, stop comparing yourself to some bullshit standard you’ve built up in your mind. It could be your impossibly perfect Facebook friend who only ever posts the #blessed stuff that makes you want to vomit; or perhaps the impossibly high expectations you’ve subconsciously set for yourself because you didn’t get enough emotional validation as a child.

I’m definitely not intending to underplay the psychological significance of either of those motivators; they’re both incredibly powerful. But they’re also shades over your eyes that you need to cast off in order to see life more clearly. The key fact we all need to bear in mind is that we are already good enough. We’re all flawed too, sure, in so many ways, but that’s fine. Despite our many flaws, we are all good enough humans. Some people appear to be superior humans, but they’re still flawed too.

Which leads me to my next maxim…everyone is carrying around their own bag of shit, and you don’t know what’s in it, so be kind…kind to them, and to yourself. However impossibly perfect someone seems to be, they still beat themselves up for something. They still wish they were better at multi tasking / more patient / thinner / funnier / more daring / whatever. Literally no-one in the world has it completely nailed, so stop expecting that you should. Accept that you’ll do your best, and you will often fail, but then you’ll go again. It’s what humans do. And you, after all, are only human.

By the way, I find those people that shamelessly admit their faults and mistakes to be the most disarming and real people in the world. It’s far better to be liked for being the real you than for being the impossibly perfect model of a human that people aspire to. Who wants to live with that kind of pressure? That’s one ball you really don’t need to be juggling. Drop it.

Stop feeling guilty

Guilt. Such an unhealthy vice, yet one that we all seem to have to varying extents. Whether you enjoy flagellating yourself for working too much, for working too little, for missing too many school meetings, for missing sports practices, for not reading with your kids enough, or for a hundred other things, you really need to stop. Feeling guilty about our choices is a total waste of emotion. Rather than wallow in guilt, spend the time reflecting on how you’re prioritising and decide if you’re getting it right, or if something needs to change.

For me, this boils down to values, as do most things really. Once we have decided upon our values – what is really, really important to us – then we can judge whether we’re on track or if a change of direction is required. In the Social Media Mafia Academy’s Success Pathway we place a lot of stock on choosing your destination and then planning a route to get there. Your compass on that journey is your set of values. It guides you through your choices and decisions, and just like a compass it can never be wrong. Unless you have shitty values of course…

If you know what your values are, and you should, then you just need to bear them in mind when making your choices. If you value money above all else then you will choose to chase the dinero in some way. If you value family time most then you’ll choose accordingly. None of this is not rocket science of course, but it doesn’t often occur to us that we should use our values as our frame of reference.

So if you chose to put a few more hours in at work and skip that parents’ evening then there is a reason for it. You’re valuing something over something else. You can insert the variables as you please – the equation works across all values. The point is, you don’t need to feel guilty about it because your choice was based on a value you hold, and you just need to evaluate if that value is a good one or a shitty one. I’m not here to judge, you’ve got your own bag of shit after all, just as I do. I just want you to know that you can change your values if you want to, and in fact you should if you want to get a little bit closer to nailing it as a working parent. All those shitty values are other balls you can stop juggling too.

Set your values

A key principle of values is that they must be within your control, and not dependent on someone or something else. For instance a value such as ‘being admired by my friends for being cool under pressure’ is not a good value. You can’t control what other people think of you, and in fact it’s none of your business and totally irrelevant to you. However ‘taking a patient, balanced view on issues’ is a fair value because you can control that. You can use it as a way to guide your behaviour.

So to almost nail it as a working parent you need to consider your values, scrutinise them and hone them, and certainly write them down and remind yourself of them. Those values will actually become extra hands for your juggling act. As you realise that your choices are being handled by those safe hands then the juggling becomes so much easier, and in fact you even get to enjoy it. You may even be able to take your eyes off the balls you’re juggling for a moment to look around and appreciate just how good you really are.

The Social Media Mafia Success Pathway has everything you will need to become an expert juggler, lion tamer and clown. Knife throwing is extra.

Why You Should Stop Procrastinating And Change Your Life. Now.

Why You Should Stop Procrastinating And Change Your Life. Now.

I don’t know about you, but I’m all about my family. I’m lucky enough to have an amazing wife and three incredible boys (and a dog, a cat and a hamster), and I am constantly working to ensure we have the best possible life together. But when I say constantly working I don’t mean that I’m grinding out the hours at the office, slaving away for the paycheck. No, quite the opposite in fact.

I work constantly at improving my relationship with them all by being there, present in every moment I can be; being part of every aspect of their lives. It’s good for them, and it’s good for me too. Society is waking up to the importance of that sort of emotional education for kids, which comes from stable and available parents, and I’m determined to make sure mine benefit from it too. And luckily we’re also working in an era in which it has never been easier to arrange our work to make it happen.

Commit to change

I confess I’ve read a few of the parenting books. Well, more than a few. I love learning about why we behave as we do. It won’t come as any surprise to hear that we’re all messed up pretty early on by our parents, and then we pass those nasty little habits on to our kids. However the good news about reading those books is that we gain a valuable insight into how we can change. We can change how we think and behave, in order to influence how our kids think and behave. It’s not easy, but if you’re committed then it is totally do-able.

The same is true of changing how we work in order to spend more time with our kids, and to be more emotionally available to them. They come hand in hand, in fact. As I spend more time with my kids when I collect them from school each day and take them to sports practice, I get to know them better. We bond over a wider range of issues because I’m there with them for more experiences. I get to support them in more areas of their lives. I love that because I know that our parenting days are too few, as are our chances to guide and support them. I want to max out now before I blink and the opportunity has passed.

Don’t miss those moments

The thing about reading those parenting books, or the blogs, and dreaming of that business you want to start, or that house you want to build, is that eventually you actually have to do something about it. I procrastinated too much about seizing the lifestyle I wanted, and while I am not in the business of regret, I am conscious that there were many missed moments. Everyone who has ever had the courage to successfully follow a new path has always said it – “I should have done it sooner”, and that’s how I feel about my parenting and my work life. However, I’m happy to report that later is certainly better than never.

It’s true that changing how you work takes some courage, and some careful planning too. I certainly wouldn’t advocate just jumping off the train on a whim. However once you see the opportunity and have come up with a strategy then just get on with it. As you procrastinate on the train, the stations go whizzing by. Chances, moments, opportunities, experiences, all pass you by while you dream and plan. Before you know it your kids are teenagers and you’ve been in that depressing 9 to 5 job for fifteen years. None of us see that as a happy outcome, right?

Instead look at the happy ending to the story…you saw that opportunity to work from home, to be your own boss, to work as a social media consultant. You seized it, knuckled down and worked hard in your own time, and made a success of it. You were able to study and work flexibly so you could be there for your kids when they had a sports match, or a flute recital, or for that parent teacher meeting that was always inconvenient because of traffic. You were able to meet your kids from school, ask them right there and then how their day was, meet their friends, if they’d allowed that.

Focus on the happy ending

In ten or fifteen years, or whenever, you’ll look back on that moment when you stopped procrastinating and went for it, and you will see it as the moment that changed every aspect of your life, and your kids’ lives too. It’s said you only regret what you don’t do. Don’t burden yourself with that regret. Go for it. Now.

The Social Media Mafia is a network of social media consultants, working and living flexibly, making their professional and personal dreams come true. Through the Social Media Mafia Academy, social media consultants can gain the knowledge, skills and contacts required to make the bold step towards living how you want to. It’s better than a parenting book or a self-help blog, it’s a lifestyle network. Tap into it now.

How To Manage Your Time And Live How You Want To Live

How To Manage Your Time And Live How You Want To Live

Do you have a vision of what your perfect day would look like? If you’re a parent then perhaps it’s a fun day with your family – no stress, no work to do. Or maybe it’s sending the kids off to school with smiles on their faces, leaving you to spend a few hours doing whatever you love.

Whatever your perfect day looks like, how far from it are you right now? Do you get to see the kids off to school moderately happy? Do you get to do something that you love? Do you get to pick the kids up from school and share their highs and lows? If these are the things you crave in life, but you’re not getting them, you’ll be pleased to hear that they could be closer than you think. And many more joys could be waiting for you too, once you take the step into consultancy.

How valuable is your time?

We all put a value on our time. For most it is an hourly rate. Whether you’re a solicitor, a plumber, a hairdresser or an IT technician. Most people are paid for the hours they show up to work, and that relationship between time spent and payment received is fixed in our mindsets. There aren’t many jobs that pay out irrespective of how many hours you put in. In fact you may not technically regard them as jobs, as they kind of break that familiar paradigm.

So it’s time for you to discard that tired old paradigm of how you should be rewarded for the hours you give, and instead look at your compensation in terms of how much value you add. This is the realm of the liberated mind, which eschews those outdated notions of what work is and how it should be done. This is the land in which smart people are rewarded for their input based on the value of their contribution, not for their skill in self-publicising or corporate brown-nosing.

However we’re not talking about a distant utopia here. We’re talking about work that is happening right now, all around you. It’s not the people who started a bakery business that went national, or the property developer that strikes the big deals and smugly drives a Bentley; it’s the consultant that services clients and makes big differences to their business, regardless of how long it takes them.

Break the habit

So many of us are stuck in the mindset of having a fixed fee for the time we work, but it’s crazy and doesn’t have to be that way. Instead we should look at the value a consultant adds to sales income through targeted advertising. A few hours’ work developing a marketing push for a product might result in tens of thousands in increased sales. As the consultant that recommended and implemented the marketing idea should you be rewarded with three hours’ pay, or with a more representative figure?

This is the pricing model which will allow you to manage your time more efficiently. As soon as you break away from the fixed relationship between time and money you free yourself and your time.

How busy do you want to be?

An inspiring entrepreneur and lady boss, Charlene Lull, manages her time very strictly and manages to make all the time she needs to raise her kids and nurture her relationships. She follows a regular routine which involves marking out specific times for specific activities. This really works for her as she works across several business interests as well as a non-profit, and so she needs to be efficient in how she services each one. However what is at the heart of Charlene’s time management is the time she needs to be with her three kids. It is a priority and so she allocates that time accordingly.

Charlene is busy, for sure. Some might say her schedule is relentless. But she is incredibly ambitious and driven; that’s her jam. Maybe your jam is to run your own consultancy and be there for your kids, and to make time for your friends during the week too. Or to devote some time to working with a local charity. Whatever it is, you can do it if you make the leap to becoming a consultant and running your own time. No boss. No clocking in and out. No office politics. Just whatever you want it to be.

Charlene is a member of the Social Media Mafia; a network of social media consultants committed to furthering the profession and spreading the word. Through the Social Media Mafia Academy we give you all the skills and knowledge you will need to change your life, and change how you work. Sign up now and take control of your time.

How To Construct An Application Sales Funnel

How To Construct An Application Sales Funnel

In this Live Workshop with a https://www.socialmediamafia.com Academy student we discuss how I construct funnels.

Essentially I always start with a white board and think about workflows.

The key point with constructing funnels is to start with the end goal of what you want to achieve and reverse engineer from there.

Therefore I consider how to take cold traffic and warm that up so that a prospects curiosity is triggered.

In particular I look at an Application Funnel as an example.

The key element is that each stage should have one key purpose.

How To Sell Using Stories

How To Sell Using Stories

How To Sell Using Stories

In this Live Workshop with a https://www.socialmediamafia.com Academy student we discuss how important it is to tell stories in the sales process, and understand the customer’s pain.

I talk about how important it is to consider every single small step in the interaction with the prospect, because each step is part of the greater picture, and all steps are equally significant.

Understanding how you say things, understanding how to say it, understanding the prospects pain, culture, language and objections are all vital.

In addition, if you reverse engineer the entire interaction down into a series of building blocks it enables you to compute, measure, analise the effectiveness of each element.

This is very important because if you identify weakness and repeat failures in each component you are in a position to rectify them.

Warming Up Prospects Before A Sales Call

Warming Up Prospects Before A Sales Call

Warming Up Prospects Before A Sales Call.

This particular Workshop focused on the topic of warming up prospects before a sales call.

Lots of good strategies to take away from this one and I hope you find it beneficial.

Please log in to the Academy to see further dates, times, and get the calendar reminders imported into your own calendar.

How To Change Your Life, Right Now!

How To Change Your Life, Right Now!

Changing your tune can change how you groove

“I have a vision of a better life”… “I’ve got this great idea”… “I’m just developing the concept”… “I want a better future for my family”… “I don’t know where to start”…

Do these lines sound familiar to you? Perhaps you’re formulating your big idea right now. Perhaps you have a vision of what you’d like your family’s life to be, and you spend your days and nights dreaming of it. These lines are like tired old song lyrics that you keep muttering to yourself because they’re ingrained into your psyche; like nursery rhymes. We all suffer from the cultural vice of dreaming big but not having the courage to go for it. We all sing the same song.

Talk yourself successful

If you sing these songs too then it’s time you changed the track. In fact it’s time you changed the whole goddam genre you’re listening to! The messages you send yourself through your inner monologue have a profound effect on what you outwardly say and do. It’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut of dreaming and planning, and telling yourself that you’ll do it once you’ve done x, y or z. It’ll never happen.

We’re programmed to be cautious and to protect what we have now; particularly when we value our family above all else. Taking risks with their future because you have a great idea that you’d like to work for yourself, or work from home, or work flexibly, can all seem a bit…well, risky. It’s what young people without kids do, right? Wrong. You’ve got that Neil Diamond album on again. Throw on some Stormzy and challenge yourself. Changing how you live and work doesn’t have to be risky. Instead it could be challenging; it could be exciting; it could be exhilarating; and it should be life-changing.

As parents we focus on our families first. You’ll do anything for them, right? Well then that ‘anything’ also includes following your dreams, and turning them into reality. How awesome would that be as a life lesson to teach your kids? How amazing for them to witness you cranking out some ultra-positive messages and then making some ultra-cool stuff happen as a result. Before you know it they’ll be singing the same positive songs. As adults and parents we can change the songs we sing, so it’s time to come up with some new lyrics.

Write your own songs

Imagine if you told yourself that you absolutely can make that change; that you absolutely will make those calls; that you absolutely will arrange that first meeting. Imagine if you found a way to make it happen rather than making excuses for why you can’t do it just yet.

This all starts with setting some goals for yourself, which will help you get towards your ultimate destination, wherever that may be. Goals are essential if you want to stay motivated and focused. Just having a big dream isn’t enough. You need to set some goals to aim for, and then to tick off as you achieve them, on your journey to your big dream. This way you get that sense of achievement each time you reach a milestone. There’s nothing better for your sense of self-worth than saying you’ll do something and then goddam getting it done! It’s also a great example to set to the kids. It’s time for a fabulous truism:

Say you can or say you can’t. Either way you’ll be right.

If you recite the same old Morrissey-style self-loathing song of how scared you are, or how risky it is, or how you don’t know where to start, then it will most certainly be the soundtrack to your life. You’ll intimidate yourself into never achieving anything. However when you holler those Dolly Parton-esque numbers you’ll be dancing through life like a winner. You will not, however, be working 9 to 5 to make the rich man richer. There is a better life, and it’s only a song away…

Great songs stay with us our entire lives. We know the lyrics off by heart. They can evoke the most powerful memories and inspire the most intense emotions. Your song should be one of those classics – an uplifting, pulse-racing, kick-life-in-the-face, Queen number. But great songs are written a verse at a time, so start drafting your verses now. Set your goals. Structure it properly. Give yourself some achievable targets. Once it starts flowing you’ll have a classic on your hands.

So leave the nursery rhymes for bedtime with the kids. Leave the Adele tunes for Mummy and Daddy time. It’s time for you to start writing your own songs, and writing your own future, one line at a time.

Incidentally, if you like listening to uplifting messages, check out the incredible podcast interviews with truly inspirational people on socialmediamafia.com.

Couches To Castles: How This Boss Mom Entrepreneur Overcame Drug And Sexual Abuse To Become A Successful Virtual Consultancy Business Owner

So today I sat down with Charlie Lull who has an incredible life story to tell.

As well as being a very busy mother and non-profit founder, Charlie is also a serial entrepreneur who owns a virtual consultancy helping small businesses with their administrative tasks, and more recently an author and internet radio host. 

Charlie’s story is one that fortunately most of us never have to deal with, from leaving home at a tender age of 18 she fell into the occupation of stripping, became addicted to heavy substance abuse as well as having to endure abusive relationships including rape. Despite this Charlie has managed to come through with incredible resilience and meaningful purpose in her life.

What I find most amazing is how she has turned her life around and rather than settling for the easy way out, and a 9-5 job, she has carved out a successful virtual consultancy for herself and family which is her primary motivation in what she does.

Today’s show reveals how she has overcome her demons and turned her experiences into highly positive life lessons.

Settle down for an amazing story.

What Is A Sales Funnel

What Is A Sales Funnel

So what is a sales funnel?

I got asked this last night by someone who actually carries out social media for a client…. Seeing that is the case (which is not untypical) I thought I’d share the intro section to our Sales Funnel course as it should be informative if you do not know what a sales funnel is.

Simply put a sales funnel refers to a buying process that we lead prospects (or customers) through when they are purchasing products. 💰💰

However, in the context of a social media consultancy I recommend you implement a sales funnel in order to encourage prospects to make an appointment with you (automated appointments) – when you can then use a face-to-face (F2F) sales process to sell your high value service. 👩‍🏫

So the outcome is not always a sale, but there is always an outcome, a goal, if you will. 🥅

We call this a funnel because generally what happens is that a lot of people enter the top of the funnel, and a small percentage drop out of the bottom of the funnel – the action takers. 📈

Without being overly dramatic, without a sales funnel in place your social media clients will never make a dollar online, and they will soon get bored of you just bringing vanity metrics such as Facebook likes, whereas at the heart of it they will typically always want sales, a return on their investment. That’s your job to help them with, to consult on the best approach for their business. 🤷

So your focus should be to move your client’s prospects from one place to another, to an eventual sale, and in fact if you do not do this, you will be doing your clients a disservice.

In fact the journey you craft for the client’s prospect could be short or extremely long, very simple or very complex. However you build it the key element is that you should have a plan of that journey, you should know what the goal is, it is that goal that you can use to sell your services to your own prospects/clients.

I will go further and say that when a perfectly crafted sales funnel is created and implemented with suitable advertising and messaging, it can take a business literally from nowhere to a multi-million dollar business very very rapidly. 📈📈📈

What if you could do that for your clients?

Indeed what if you set up a profit share on a sales funnel you create for a client, and the sales funnel explodes? There is a huge amount of potential within this space for that to happen. 👊👊

However, though I will discuss the mechanics of differing sales funnels in this course, the really important bit is the messaging and copy that is used throughout the steps. After all, it is how we communicate with our target audience, what we say, and when we say it that matters. 👨‍🏫

So do not assume that getting the mechanics in place will suddenly flood your clients with leads, you must study the art of copy and messaging for your client’s target customers. 🤷

In addition some of the best converting sales funnels are actually visually pretty ugly, and that is often because there is just a simple message and call to action on a single page of each step. 🌱