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You can set up your business with some business coaching

How do I start my own business?

As a business coach and a business owner, I get a lot of people telling me they’d love to work for themselves. Many people ask me how it’s done. So I thought I’d share my story, insights and knowledge. Here are the questions you should ask yourself:

 

Why do you want to work for yourself?

Knowing exactly why you are choosing this path can be helpful. Try to think about what your top 5 core values are for your business practice. This is basically your vision for your business and will help you decide if you are doing this to try to be more in control of your life and schedule, or because you want a business venture, or because you like the idea of being able to wear PJs and work from home! Here is a list that is nowhere near exhaustive.

 

Should you ease into it or throw yourself in?

People often ask if they should quit their 9-5 job and begin being their own boss. It depends entirely on the industry in which your business is location and your financial needs. It also depends on whether or not your boss will let you go part-time whilst you set up your new venture. If you are someone who values financial security, then you might prefer to ease yourself in. If you are someone who just wants to work in your current job until you are ready to launch, then that might be seen as the middle group.

But if you are someone who thinks that, unless they take drastic action, they won’t actually do it, then possible throwing yourself in completely might be right for you. But only you can know what is right. If you are unsure, I suggest you get some business coaching before making such a big decision as quitting your 9-5 job!

 

 

What practical things do I need to know at the start?

Once you decide on an industry, your business location, and your core business values, you can get started! You need to register your business with HMRC so that you can start paying tax. It is advisable to get an accountant, particularly for the first year. This is because, for the £250-400 you spend on an accountant, they will be able to advise you correctly about what you can claim against your taxes (expenses and business set up fees) and what you cannot.

 

You should also make sure you set aside enough of your income to pay your tax and NI. HMRC require you to pay your tax bill in the January following the last tax year. (I.e. for the tax year April 2018- April 2019, you pay your tax bill before the end of January 2020.)

 

I would also advise you to have a website and social media pages to promote your business. You could also get references from former employers to show to your first clients before you have any testimonials or online reviews. Once you’ve been in business a while, as clients you are working with if they would mind writing a review.

 

Many people also advise you need a marketing plan and business plan. These are particularly important if you have investors, as they will want to see that you have ensured your business will grow year on year.

 

Let’s Go!

If you would like some business coaching to help you get started, please email hello@bexharper.com

 

 

person achieves their goal and celebrates on a mountain top!

How to determine your core values

Core Values?

Values drive our aims and goals in life. They help us to sort out what is important to us and where we need to direct our focus. Pick your top 5 values for living your life (and another 5 specifically for your business or career). See if, in your current situation, you are truly achieving the life you want with these values.

You can do this by writing down examples of how each of these 5 values appear in your life, at the moment. If they don’t feature in your life currently, write down one step you can take towards achieving this value in your life. The more values you are currently including in your life, the more true to yourself, your dreams and your moral compass you will be.

The aim is to get all 5! Our goals and values change, so it is useful to do this exercise every year.

Here is a list of key values:

Acceptance

Achievement

Acknowledgement

Adventure

Aesthetics

Appreciation

Authenticity

Balance

Beauty

Being active

Bliss

Caring

Career

Clarity

Comfort

Commitment

Compassion

Community

Co-operation

Confidence

Contentment

Courage

Creativity

Curiosity

Daring

Dedication

Detachment

Determination

Devotion

Diligence

Discipline

Discernment

Empathy

Empowerment

Energy

Enthusiasm

Excellence

Exciting

Fairness

Faith

Fame

Family

Financial independence

Flexibility

Forgiveness

Freedom

Friendship

Fun

Generosity

Gentleness

Goodwill

Grace

Gratitude

Growth

Happiness

Harmlessness

Harmony

Healing

Health

Honesty

Hope

Humility

Humour

Inclusiveness

Independence

Insight

Integrity

Influence

Intelligence

Intimacy

Introspection

Intellectual growth

Intuition

Joy

Justice

Kindness

Knowledge

Leadership

Learning

Love

Loyalty

Maturity

Money

Nurturing

Openness

Orderliness

Participation

Partnership

Passion

Patience

Peace

Performance

Prosperity

Purpose

Recognition

Relationships

Reliability

Respect

Responsibility

Reverence

Risk taking

Sacrifice

Serenity

Service

Sharing

Silence

Spontaneity

Strength

Status

Support

Success

Trust

Truth

Understanding

Unity

glasses onto of a laptop to indicate taking a break, resting, and self-care is happening rather than work

Why are we burning ourselves out?

I’ve previously written a number of posts about health and wellbeing. However, there is still one thing that baffles me: why are we burning ourselves out? Well, for one thing, our fast-paced modern society expects everything to happen immediately. We want that person to respond to our text or to get things done all at once. But, unfortunately, one thing that hasn’t changed: there are only 24 hours in a day!

Over the past 10 years, I’ve taken numerous steps to trying to improve my wellbeing and quality of life. I’ve given up drinking caffeine, set regular goals to be sure I am going in the right direction. I’ve decluttered my life significantly to only keep the things that make me happy. In fact, you could say, I’ve done it all. But I’ve noticed, through coaching others and my own journey one thing in particular. This is how, once high achievers finish one goal, they go onto the next one without taking the time to appreciate what they have accomplished. Subsequently, many high achievers find themselves burnt out, developing chronic illnesses or even life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer or heart disease.

So what’s the solution? Well, there is no one or easy answer to this. But definitely getting to grips with the stressors in your life; carving out free-time to get a clearer work-life balance and celebrating your achievements can all help. A journal or workbook can help.

Here are some suggestions for journaling to helping you achieve this:
  1. What are you grateful for today?
  2. What self-care are you going to do for yourself tomorrow?
  3. What would you really like to be praised for today?
  4. How can you be forgiving today?
  5. Which tasks can you delegate, delete or delay?
  6. Will the world end if I take today or tomorrow off work?

These can be powerful questions for helping you to run a business, pass exams, manage a project, or just cope with a job that you hate. It’s important to enjoy your life. Life is short and no-one died saying they wish they worked more hours! So, if you are really struggling, reach out to friends, family, a therapist or life/business coach and see how you can get the support you need.

Like most therapists have their own therapists, most coaches have their own coaches. I could have coaching on anything, but I specific choose to focus on health and wellbeing in my sessions with my coach, because I feel that once you are feeling energetic, healthy and calm, the rest falls into place: be that your business, your love life, your parenting, your job. In order to do any of these well, you must be well. So, for me personally, health and wellbeing are a must.

Good luck, and if you do decide you would life to try a discovery coaching session, drop me an email: hello@bexharper.com – I look forward to hearing from you.

Why Your Business Needs A VA!

As a business coach, I have helped numerous people set up small businesses. At the start, you have the exciting thrill of setting up your project. But as time goes on, the workload can become overwhelming and it is harder to get a desirable work-life balance.

One solution can be hiring someone to do your admin, but employing staff can be extremely expensive. So, more and more businesses are contracting VAs to do their admin work for them, because, as VAs are self-employed, they pay for their own taxes, insurance, equipment and CPD themselves.

VAs can manage your invoicing, taxes, email inbox and blogs for you, but they can do so much more than that! Everything from arranging your business trip, to creating twitter posts, and from formatting documents, to scheduling meetings with clients, they are the jack of all admin trades and the master of many!

Passing on admin to a VA can give you a better work-life balance. Business coach Bex Harper explains how hiring a VA can help your work-life balance. Passing on admin to a VA can give you a better work-life balance. Image: photo of two women, relaxing on a wooden deck, instead of working.

Benefits of having a VA

The many benefits that outsourcing your work to an VA include:

  1. creating more time for yourself (to spend relaxing) and your business (to invest in increasing your turnover)!
  2. efficiency by outsourcing work to someone who is an expert in administration and organisational systems.
  3. giving yourself the mental space concentrate on tasks that attract the greatest revenue for your business.
  4. know that someone is on-hand and having someone to psychologically be present to support you. This can combat the feeling of being alone if you are a sole trader.
  5. having peace of mind that someone is dedicating themselves to the tasks you find time-consuming, boring, or just aren’t so good at!
  6. to decrease the amount of tasks you are juggling and having to remember: the more you have to remember, the more likely you are to be stressed!
  7. knowing that you can earn more money in the time you would be up to your neck in paperwork, as a VA can often do admin tasks far faster than us non-admin types!

When you outsource a task to someone, it is important to make sure you are comfortable handing the work over to someone and that you are happy to leave your business in the hands of someone who is trustworthy. It is also important to make sure you contract around what you want and what your expectations are for your VA. As, every business has different needs and if you are investing in getting a VA, it is important to make sure your VA is able to handle your needs.

My Recommendation

Lots of people ask me who handles my business admin and, for other small UK-based businesses, I’m very proud to recommend HMR VA Services. They provide a professional and friendly service, and have excellent contracting and clear communication. To find out how they can help, drop them a line today, on 07375119311, or email: hmr@hmrvaservices.com.

Kick-start Your 2019 with your Coaching Workbook!

Get Your Coaching Workbook Here!

 


YES, IT’S HERE – IN TIME FOR THE NEW YEAR!

Coaching workbook to change your life and achieve your goalsMy ‘year ahead’ planner and coaching workbook helps you to get really clear about what you want out of your life and what your goals are for 2019 and beyond. Asking important questions in a clear and fun way, this is the perfect way to treat yourself and practice self-care. This really has the power to change your life for 2019 and beyond for only £9.99!




Christmas and New Year Closure

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching wishes you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and a fantastic 2019! We will be closed on the following dates:

22nd December 2018 to 2nd January 2019 (inclusive)

If you need to contact us via text or email, you shall receive a response on 3rd January.

31 Free or Cheap Activities You Can Do This Summer For Fun

There are often times in our lives when we have to watch the pennies and feel the pinch in our wallets. Here are 31 free or cheap activities you can do this summer for fun:

 

  1. Do a Youtube meditation, or take an online kick-boxing, dance or yoga class
  2. Read a book (or several) – borrow one from a friend or a library
  3. Take a walk somewhere new – we often fail to take the time to explore places in or near our own neighbourhoods
  4. Check out free museums or galleries in your local area – most places in the UK have free or very cheap galleries or museums.
  5. Host a potluck boardgames evening – get guests to each bring a dish and a boardgame.
  6. Hula hoop or play ball games in the park
  7. Have a movie night – find a friend who will let you use their Netflix account or pick up a DVD from a charity shop and get some popping corn for around £1 to make your own popcorn in a pan on the stove.
  8. Learn a language on Duolingo – impress your friends with your skills!
  9. Invite a friend round for a catch up – you just need some refreshments to keep them well-fed and watered.
  10. Listen to an audio book or some upbeat music whilst you clean your house – kill two birds with one stone!
  11. Do a Parkrun and meet new people.
  12. Make a movie or music video with friends – dress up and wear silly outfits and put on ridiculous accents.
  13. Host a potluck murder mystery night – you can get a free murder mystery set and get guests to each bring a dish.
  14. Take a bubble bath – listen to some music whilst you relax those cares away!
  15. Try Geocaching – go on a treasure hunt and explore the wonders of Geocaching
  16. Have a picnic or a BBQ – raid your cupboards and see what you can make and take with what you already have!
  17. Write a song – if you are musical and think you don’t mind the silliness.
  18. Go for a swim (local public pools can be relatively cheap)
  19. Draw or paint a picture (if you already have art equipment) or make home-made greetings cards.
  20. Play an online computer game.
  21. Play at an open mic night – if you have talent!
  22. Write letters to friends you haven’t see for a while (as you’d only have to pay for the postage stamps!)
  23. Make a coffee at home, put it in a travel cup and go sit somewhere beautiful to enjoy the outdoors whilst sipping your drink.
  24. Go for a bike ride – feel the rush of the breeze against your face.
  25. Go to a Pride parade – even if you aren’t LGBTQ, these are still fun.
  26. Write a bucket list of 50 things you want to experience in your lifetime or a “Be, Do, Have list”– then close your eyes, daydream about what it would be like, and then set to work working out which 3 you’d want to do first! Then make a plan of how you can do them!
  27. Go to a free open house day at your local gym or have a free ‘trial gym day’.
  28. Go to a a free talk, poetry reading, book launch or any other free literary events – Eventbrite often have some advertised.
  29. Go stargazing – take your blanket and lie down somewhere where you can easily look at the stars.
  30. Call or Skype that person you are always meaning to ring but never find the time – show them you care.
  31. Bake bread, cakes, pancakes or muffins and have a lazy jazz breakfast.

Morning Success: How to Start your Day with Joy and Gratitude

So every morning I have a three-part routine. Inspired by the likes of Tony Robbins and Hal Elrod, I developed a routine that works for me. Elrod has a five-part routine which consists of silence (meditation), affirmations, visualisations, exercise, reading and scribing. Whilst he says to just do each one for 5 minutes (i.e a 30 minute routine), I find it hard to switch between tasks due to my dyslexia, so I felt his routine was a bit too complicated for most non-neurotypicals.

I therefore started my own take on this.

Mediation

I began my routine of meditating by using Headspace’s app, which gives you 10 days for free. This was the easiest for me to do, as I was able to be reminded by my phone. But once my free trial was up, I had to get creative if I was going to continue without spending money on this new habit. So, I spent some time searching for mediations online that made me feel comfortable and arranged them in a playlist in order of length. I did this so that even if I didn’t feel like meditating or didn’t feel like I had time to meditate, I would still do a minute or two. Here is that playlist. 

Hearing affirmations whilst exercising

Standing in front of the mirror ready to tell yourself that you are amazing can be very awkward, weird or even downright creepy for some people. I would also imagine that the idea of doing affirmations does not really excite most people. For me, it was also about time spent on this task. Therefore, I decided to do my 5 minutes of yoga whilst listening to tracks that did the affirmations for me. There are three that I use, depending on my mood. I have one for gratitude, one for financial affirmations, and one for general affirmations, depending on what has come up for me during my meditation. For example, if I find during my meditation that my mind is wandering towards worrying about finance then I choose the financial affirmations. I sometimes just listen, and other times I repeat the affirmations after I hear them. Particularly if I hear something that I do not yet believe to be true (either because it isn’t or because I am having trouble accepting it).

A jazz or story-time breakfast

I then go and make my breakfast and whilst I slowly savour my first meal of the day, I try to remain grateful that I am one of the lucky people in the world to wake up with food in the fridge / cupboard. I usually have a pink grapefruit and toast, muesli with fruit, or porridge with cinnamon. During this, I listen to one of the audiobooks I am currently enjoying or my cheerful jazz playlist. I then write my ‘Most Important Tasks’ list for the day, if i didn’t do it the night before. And then I kick-start my day!

This whole experience takes me between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on how much time I spend on each, but if I wanted to meditate for just a minute and then only do 3 minutes of yoga with affirmations, I would be able to do it in 15 minutes, including eating my breakfast.

Everyone has 15 minutes in the morning to take care of their needs. Invest in your own growth. Treat yourself to time to be alone with yourself and your thoughts. No-one else will.

maths algebra practice

Group Coaching Workshops

Bex Harper Tutoring and Coaching is launching some new group coaching workshops for this summer – one is aimed at children going into Years 5-7 and the other is aimed at parents who have children of all ages. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions you might have. See below for full details!

 

Stretching for Secondary: Success Workshop

Studying for the 11+, doing SATS and starting secondary school can be immensely stressful for many children. This workshop looks at the key skills children going into Years 5-7 must develop to be able to increase their chances of success at secondary level. I have closely observed both the relationship between language, beliefs and actions in my coaching practice and the patterns of achievement being closely linked positive mindsets as a private tutor, school teacher and lecturer.

 

This coaching programme, aimed at students about to go into Years 5-7, is suitable for those high flyers who suffer from feeling anxious or worried about their performance and making mistakes, as well as those who feel that they are unprepared to begin their secondary adventure.

The workshop will:

  • help them to understand how to prepare for exams.
  • help them to understand how to cope with exam stress and anxiety.
  • provide them with a mindfulness tool kit.
  • give them experience of being coached in a group setting.
  • develop skills such as teamwork and critical thinking.
  • teach them life skills to make friends in new settings.

This workshop only has a very limited number of places, so make sure to book well in advance.

Dates and times: Wednesday 29th August 2018 (2.00pm -5.00pm)

 

 

Unlocking Potential: Parents’ Coaching Workshop

This workshop is designed specifically for parents who want to know how best to encourage and assist with their child’s learning and educational growth. I have closely observed both the relationship between language, beliefs and actions in my coaching practice and the patterns of achievement being closely linked positive mindsets as a private tutor, school teacher and lecturer. Because of this, and because no-one is too old to learn and grow, I have constructed this workshop specifically for parents who wish to aid their children.

We will:

  • learn about language patterns and how they affect the way we think and perceive ourselves.
  • learn how values, self-talk and self-confidence develop from a young age and the impact these have on progress in school.
  • discuss current problems and solutions children and teens face in school today.
  • how you can support your children and teens in building their confidence.
  • how you can foster reflective behaviour patterns in your children and teens, so that they self-reflect on their progress.
  • discuss praising for effort rather than for achievement and the benefits of this.

This workshop only has a very limited number of places, so make sure to book well in advance.

Dates and times: Wednesday 29th August 2018 (6.00pm -9.00pm)

 

More information about the workshops

Location: The Tuition Pod, at The Holy Trinity Church Hall in Southchurch

Investment: £35.00 for each workshop

For enquiries or to book your place, please email: workshops@bexharper.com

Please also check out my workshop for students in Years 10-13!

N.B. For the workshops to go ahead, there must be at least 4 people registered on each one.

Dealing with Exam Stress and Anxiety

Lots of people suffer with exam stress and anxiety but here are a few ways you can help prepare yourself for exam season. If you are in the midst of university finals, GCSE and A-Level exams, or if your children are preparing for the 11+ exams, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Time out – Whilst studying is important, it is even more important to keep a healthy work-life balance. What this means is making sure you take time out of your week to do things you enjoy, such as sport, music, relaxation and watching your favourite shows. Particularly the night before an exam, you do not want to be studying, but making sure your bag is packed for the day and that you are sure you have everything you need, and then do something enjoyable, before getting an early night.
  2. A healthy diet and lifestyle – making sure you drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and that you get enough protein, is important for your exam-ready brain. Often when we are stressed, our bodies crave sugar, caffeine or alcohol. Whilst we feel our bodies want these, it is actually the sensation that it provides for our bodies that we crave – the energy boost or the feeling of relaxation. Instead make sure you fuel your body with foods that will benefit you, and drink plenty of water.
  3. Aromatherapy – Many will agree that lavender essential oil can be relaxing, but some say rosemary helps with concentration and memory, too. I know many people who have taken a cotton handkerchief with them to an exam that they have previously dabbed lavender and rosemary oil on to keep them calm. Either way, make sure avoid essential oils if you are asthmatic or pregnant and check with your doctor if you are concerned.
  4. Breathing exercises and meditation – apps like Headspace which teaches meditation, and apps or Youtube videos of nature sounds (rainfall sounds, ocean waves, etc) can be calming and allow you time out from your daily life. Giving yourself just 5-10 minutes a day can be very beneficial to your health.
  5. Exercise – exercise is extremely important for realising the feel-good hormones that relieve stress and improve your mood. Exercise has been proven to help combat depression and anxiety and recent research has found that exercise that involves being immersed in nature has an even bigger effect. So hiking, camping, beach walks, digging over the allotment, gardening, visiting botanical gardens and other outdoor fitness activities such as running can greatly improve your mental health. Remember to always check with your doctor that the exercise you do is suitable for your physical health.
  6. Sleep – Making sure you are well rested and have plenty of down-time before bed is essential. The blue light from our computer, TV and smartphone screens sends a signal to the body that tells us to be awake. So apps like f.lux or Twillight can help dim your screens and get you ready for bed. Try to avoid watching anything too exciting, scary or mysterious before bed so you won’t be wondering as you try to sleep who the killer is in your latest crime drama! Try taking a hot bath, reading before bed and make sure you have a light snack, such as a banana or some toast, and a small glass of water before bed to avoid hunger and dehydration.
  7. Be prepared – Don’t stay up late the night before an exam. Be sure to start your revision with plenty of time (weeks or even months before your exam) and stop the day before at no later than 5pm. Have a nice dinner and do something relaxing and enjoyable with friends or family in the evening, pack your bag and make sure you get an early night.

 

Good luck and please feel free to get in touch if you feel you would benefit from tutoring or coaching by emailing me: hello@bexharper.com

 

 

N.B. Whilst I am an experienced tutor, teacher and coach, I am not a therapist, counsellor or mental health professional. If you are concerned about your mental health, always speak to your doctor, or if you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a suicide helpline.