ElectricLogic; bringing creativity and rationality together

4 December

ElectricLogic is a one day interactive workshop that brings creativity and rationality together. This event will help anyone looking to explore change and development for their business and themselves. If that sounds serious, you can think again!

This lively event is being organised by myself, Aisling Nelson and Gillian Horan from Business Consult. The theme of exploring change was triggered by a great conversation I had with sculptor Martha Quinn. We were talking about how important it is to only promote the type of work that you want to get more of. We then chatted about changes in business direction and how many of us need constructive advice and support in order to do this.

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the centre.”
Kurt Vonnegut

As business owners, we need to be constantly tuning our focus and direction. This might involve up-skilling or packaging our current skills in a new way. It might also involve moving in a completely new direction. The aim of this workshop to ask for objective feedback and insights from other business owners. Usually we ask for feedback from a loved one, colleague or a client. This feedback often comes with opinions and expectations. This exciting gathering should provide new ways of seeing our skills and stimulate ideas for possible new ventures.

So, this is the first of what may become a series of workshops. It will be an exploratory and fun day! We are looking for three more people to join us this Sunday 8th in The Casting Couch in Dublin. We’re asking for a contribution of €30 towards the venue hire and lunch.

Here’s a brief outline of what we’ll be covering:

  • Getting to know each other; your business, your passion, your skills, your brand.
  • Sharing ideas about changes in our business direction
  • Interactive exercises to offer constructive advice and new perspectives to each other
  • The day will develop into an exploration of what is necessary for change to happen
  • We’ll look at and share inspirational content and resources

What’s in it for you?

By the end of the day, you should have a fresh perspective on your business. You will have gained new insights, from talking with an objective group of passionate business owners like you. We’re also going to create a shared online forum, so that this group can continue to inspire and collaborate with each other.

Do you know anyone who would love to attend this workshop? If so, please drop me a line or leave me a comment below.

Date: Sunday 8th December 2013.
Venue: The Casting Couch, 3 Fitzwilliam Square East, Dublin 2.
Time: 10am to 4.30pm.
Cost: Contribution of €30.

Aisling and Gillian

I agree; we should all be an ‘and’.

17 September

I read a post by Jeff Haden recently, that had a big impact on me. It summed up what I believe and teach others; that it’s OK [and great] to be good at a variety of things. Jeff wrote a article called Why we should all be an ‘and’. He earns a living from several different occupations. But he finds that people react strangely when they hear that he is not just a specialist in one area. There’s an assumption that he can’t be good enough at any skill to specialise in it.

what diverse business skills do you have

I’m going to look at this idea from a different angle. When someone asks us what we do, we usually simplify it down to our specific skill. You might say ‘I’m a photographer’ or ‘I run a B+B’. Most of us don’t talk about our other areas of expertise; the things that make our product or service different from our competitors. When I talk about what I do now, I explain that I ran my jewellery business for fifteen years, learned how to successfully blog for it and now want to share the skill with others. I’m bringing other areas of skill to what I do now and I’m sure you do too.

It’s time for us to stop thinking that we ‘do’ one thing. Forget about paper qualifications and write down some of the additional skills you have, that help your customers. This isn’t marketing blurb; when you see these things from your customer’s view, you can understand why they would choose you over someone else.

I’m even taking this one step further; I’m actively connecting and collaborating with people who have different skills and interests to me. I guess that’s what the internet has allowed us to do. Find and introduce yourself to interesting folk online and then arrange to meet them for a chat.  It’s a major relief to realise that we don’t need to ‘know it all!’

Why being sensitive is good for business

15 July

Being ‘authentic’ in business today is really about being yourself. Nothing fancier or more complex than that. People buy from people they like or feel some connection with. When I first read the post below by Melissa Doran, it struck a big chord. She talks about her experience of what it means to be truly yourself in business.

Melissa owns a digital media company called Go Radiate. Her post below was first featured on the Digiwomen blog. She has kindly allowed me to share it with you here.

“As the youngest of seven, being called sensitive when growing up was never exactly a compliment. When I started my business I was very conscious of working against my sensitive side and toughening up to be ready for the business world. I read lots of articles about making pitches, how to sell, how to network, and I thrust myself into the so called “business mindset”. I tried to follow the advice of successful sales people and failed miserably.

I finally realised that all these techniques and philosophies, though they can work well for many people, were to me the equivalent of reading Cosmopolitan Sex Tips for Girls: interesting in themselves but in no way taking into consideration that fact that every partnership is different and completely overlooking the main element involved: making a meaningful connection with someone.

When I pushed too hard it felt like I was coming from a place of fear, trying to hold on, instead of coming from a place of confidence, what my mother would describe as “standing my ground”. As I let the business facade fall away and became gentler, more like my everyday self, I was able to attract clients that were perfect for me, clients that I could connect better with. Once I stopped comparing myself to the cliched image of a businessman and remembered that a, I am a business woman, and b, I am unique, I became more confident and my business began to slowly blossom.

I began to understand that my sensitivity wasn’t a weakness to be hidden away, but was in fact one of my greatest assets, helping me to build relationships with the people around me. In my work as a web-designer it helps me to listen to my clients and tune in to how they want their brand to be portrayed, and helps me read between the lines to draw out powerful details about themselves that they might not have considered before. In my work as a teacher, I need to be gentle with my students who may have made a big leap to even come in to the classroom to try out learning a new skill. And as a children’s illustrator and writer (still in the works!) I need to tap into my sensitive inner six year old and remember how I saw the world when I was small, so that kids will get a kick out of my stories and drawings.

I would like to read a business guide book that tells you that you don’t need to change personality to become an entrepreneur. You don’t have to ramp up your masculine side. Digiwomen have a head start on the feminine side but its equally relevant for men too. Forget the stereotypes and present yourself to the world as yourself, emotions and all, and watch as your business grows.”

Melissa, thanks for letting me share this article. I know that many people will relate to what you’re saying.

When it comes to business, it’s not about being perfect at all. Real people are much more interesting, don’t you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts; why not leave a comment below?

Connect with Melissa online:
Website: www.GoRadiate.com
Twitter: @GoRadiate
Read the original post on the DigiWomen website