Where are all the women business writers?

I think I might have started on an interesting journey.

There are a few blogs that I follow because I really like the approach of the bloggers. When I say ‘follow’, I mean that I have subscribed to their sites and actively read the updates that land in my inbox. I know that I’ve found someone interesting when I open the email and find myself following the links to read the full article. These are people that I’d like to sit down with over a pint and pick their brains.

But, I realised the other day that all the people I follow are men. In other areas, I find that I lean towards the female – for example, I listen to more female singers than male. And when it comes to fiction my favourite authors are female. Not that I don’t like male singers and authors, it’s just that I like a strong female role model … if I’m having a low energy day then I listen to Madonna to give me some extra Raargh.

So, it suddenly felt wrong that in business I’m not following any women. After all I’m a woman and I run a business! So, I started looking for some inspiration and came across this interesting article on the Guardian website: Imposter syndrome and time issues: why women don’t write business books. And, you know what – my business library is a bit lacking in women business writers. It’s not that there’s none, but it’s a bit male-dominated.

Is it because, as the article suggests, there are a lack of books written by women, or is it because for some unconscious reason I’ve been leaning towards books written by men. Hmmm, neither explanation is very inspiring.

So, I’m actively looking for:

1. Some BRILLIANT business books by some brilliant women (I’m just finishing one now and will post a review shortly)

and

2. Some great blogs written by women on the subject of business / productivity / self improvement

Come on ladies, I know you’re out there.

Great time management article

Just found this great article on time management by TentBlogger: My Time Management 101. Definitely worth a read.

Every now and then I try categorising my tasks as:

but end up with everything being ‘Urgent & Imporant’ or ‘Not Urgent But Important’. I guess everything seems important to me! Is that because I only do important things (probably not) or just that I have difficulty seeing anything as not important?

For example:

Both of those I would put in the ‘Not Urgent But Important’ box, but it’s clear which one needs to get done first. Problem is I end up with 50+ tasks in the ‘Not Urgent But Important’ box and then I start struggling with how categorising them in that way helps me. Oh dear, time for some time management angst…

Actually, the important thing is that I know what needs doing. I’ve got a system that I trust to record all my tasks, and, yes there’s a lot of them, but they’re not going to get forgotten. I just need to review the list regularly and make sure that the most important things get done first.

Relaxed on the inside?

How’s this for achieving relaxation inside and out? Last night I downloaded a guided relaxation recording to help me sleep. It was doing really well – had started at my feet and worked up to my head and I was really beginning to feel the benefit. And then the narrator started on the internal organs – being told to relax my intestines was just too much for me. I’m sorry but being told to relax my insides would have been enough for me, discount cialis without naming my organs. Is it me or is that a bit weird?

Think I need to find a different recording…

How to improve your productivity

I think it’s fair to say that improving our productivity, generic viagra efficiency and time management is one of my obsessions. Can never resist reading something that might give me some pointers. With that in mind I was thrilled to find an article this week about improving productivity for web design businesses – it’s like the article was written just for me! As it turns out the article is equally relevant to any small business so I highly recommend it. Here’s a blog post I’ve written on the Webfooted Designs blog about it: Great article on producitivity.

Back on track

I’m pleased to say that we’ve got our worklog back on track. Digging out the previous week’s backup did unearth a couple more missing tasks but I’m now feeling much more confident that it’s up-to-date. The lesson I will take away from this is to not mess with Excel filtering on a vitally important spreadsheet – from now on I’ll always work on a copy if I want to manipulate the data. Not the most efficient way of working, sovaldi sale but much more efficient than having to recreate a broken spreadsheet!

Technology or human error?

I’ve just discovered something rather worrying. We track our current task list on a spreadsheet which we call our ‘worklog’. It’s a central place for us to record everything that needs doing, drugstore whether it’s client work or business tasks, which we can both access. The idea is that we have a reliable place to track the jobs we need to do rather than keeping it all in our heads or on random bits of paper. We’ve been using it for a few years now and it’s worked really well for us. Until this morning…

What I discovered this morning is that a load of what was in there has been duplicated and a load of other stuff has gone missing (and not because they’re tasks we’ve completed). Eek! I’m trying to figure out if it’s something I’ve done but there’s so much wrong that I can’t see how I could have accidentally done it without noticing. Or is it because I was using some filtering to inspect different parts of the list? But filtering a spreadsheet shouldn’t mess with the data should it?

What’s going on??

I’ve spent the last hour removing duplicate entries and brainstorming anything that should be on there … but the whole point of it is that I shouldn’t have to remember everything so I’m sure there will be things I’ve missed. Might have to dig out last week’s backup, but of course that will only give me what was included a week ago, a lot of which we would have done anyway. Am also going through emails from clients to make sure I’m not missing anything there.

What a nuisance!

The importance of business planning

My last post was a review of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People last September – now that doesn’t make me feel like a highly effective person! But I’m still here, check still reading lots of business books and working hard at my business.

The last year has been an interesting one. We moved into our office last June and our finances instantly took a turn for the worse. But we didn’t let that stop us. We tightened our belts and did some serious financial planning to make sure that we started bringing in enough money to cover costs and our living expenses. As a result I feel much more in control of our finances and have got a detailed budget for the different areas of running the business. And I’m pleased to say that business has picked up again and our finances are looking healthier than they have done for quite a while.

The last few months we’ve had a lot of work on, here so we’ve mostly been keeping our heads down and working at keeping on top of our workload, but this week has sparked off a new phase of business planning. Wednesday turned into an “Emily you MUST do some business planning” day. First thing was my weekly business breakfast at Tregenna Castle, St Ives where we were given inspirational talk on branding by Joy of Approach (thanks Joy!). We (that is myself and my partner) then went off for a meeting with a business mentor – this was a guy we’d met a couple of times before but hadn’t seen for a loooong time. It was great to catch up with him and as always he was overflowing with ideas on how we can develop our business.

The result of this is that we’ve agreed to set aside a half day each week to concentrate on business planning and implementing the ideas – with the focus on taking action. It’s not that we haven’t been thinking about business planning for the last six months, but we do tend to get caught up in working for the business rather than developing the business. So, now we’re looking at things with renewed vigour. Let’s see what we can achieve!

Been on holiday … to Cornwall

Are you ready for a bit of a sob story? We had a holiday to Spain planned this week. It was going to be our first trip abroad for about five years. My parents flew out a few days before and we were to join them on Tuesday for some serious relaxation.

But … the French decided to strike on exactly the day we were to fly out so our flight was cancelled! As there are only two flights a week from Newquay there wasn’t an awful lot we could do about it. So there went our Spanish holiday.

However, cialis canada we decided to make the most of it. We live in Cornwall after all which is the perfect place to have a holiday anyway. And we’ve had some glorious weather. So we’ve been real tourists for the last few days – went for a wander round Newlyn and had an icecream from Jelberts; went for a walk along the coast to Botallack and had dinner at the Queens Arms (yum); and had a day out shopping in Truro, illness with lunch at good old Fodders.

Not quite what we had planned but a really chilled out few days. Back to work with a vengeance on Monday!

Nearly managed it

I’ve got a confession to make. I didn’t fully complete the last week of my 28-day marketing program. I kept putting it to one side and then all of a sudden it was the end of the week. At the weekend I went through my list and was pleased to be able to tick some of the actions off, cialis usa things which I had just naturally done, here but I’d completed nowhere near as much as I had planned.

It’s a bit disappointing because I’d been sticking to it so well and I missed out on that feeling of satisfaction of having kept to it to the end. However, I’m still feeling very positive about the whole thing. I exceeded the goal I had set myself (certain number of new prospects) and could really tell that my activities were having a positive effect. Definitely worth doing.

So, I’m planning another 28 days to start in a couple of weeks time. I’m going to keep the activities that were obviously working and try out a few new things. Now that I’ve used the book a few times I’ve got to the point where I’m adapting it to suit how I work. I’m going to use my own tracking sheet as I wasn’t finding the book’s way of doing it to really worked for me – wasn’t giving me an idea of how much of the week’s program I’d completed. I’m also going to skip the daily pep talk. I can see what the author intends with that but I think that after having read it a few times it’s losing its impact.

Looking forward to making a start on the next 28 days!

Those extra special touches

I found myself doing something last week that I never do. I placed an order with a cold caller. Really, viagra generic I never ever do that – hate cold calls and never buy anything over the phone (or on the doorstep for that matter). But last week I did.

Actually, from the point of view of the caller it was probably a cold call but at my end it was much warmer. Why? Because I’d already heard of the company and at one point had considered buying from them but for some reason never got round to it. He also phoned at exactly the right moment as I was needing to order some stationery (he was phoning from an office supplies company). In fact at that exact moment I had a slip of paper on my desk in front of me saying ‘buy printer cartridges’. So, he was onto a winner wasn’t he? I knew the company, I had wanted to use them and I had a need for their products.

So I ordered a couple of things on the spot. Not a massive order but we generally don’t need much stuff. The order promptly arrived the next day along with a packet of chocolate biscuits – now they know the way to a girl’s heart don’t they? And that’s really the point of this blog post. It’s the special touches like that that really make a difference. I’d already had a good experience through placing the order but I’m really going to remember them now aren’t I? And I found myself talking about it at my business breakfast on Tuesday – not because I consciously thought ‘let’s plug my new stationery supplier’ but because I wanted to tell everybody about the biscuits.

In case you happen to be in Cornwall, the company I’m talking about is Office Smart. I’ve only placed the one order so far but it was an excellent first impression. Now, I wonder if they can help us with our filing cabinet problem…

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