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22

May

2012

Whether you’re trying to impress, wanting to keep them as clients or merely wish to say “thank you for your loyalty” entertaining clients and business guests is a sure way to get the message across. Taking them out for dinner is a safe option; providing the venue, whether a restaurant or cafe is up to your guest’s expectation and will suitably impress them. Going somewhere exotic can be nice, especially if it’s not somewhere your guests are likely to have been but be careful if you’re not terribly familiar with their likes and dislikes.  It could end up as a dismal failure. If you can afford it, aim for something that is a cut-above average.

The better option, however, would be to find out what your client likes and dislikes. A sumptuous dinner will be the bee’s knees for some, but others might find them boring and unimaginative. If your client is more active, or perhaps a bit of a risk taker, try something totally different.  Have you ever thought of taking a client on a hot air balloon ride, swimming with sharks or skydiving? Wine tours and tastings can be fantastic for relationship building and generate “non-office” discussion, but remember not to drink and drive.  Book a driver for the day (that would be me!)

Ultimately, where you decide to entertain your business guests and clients is dependent on three main factors:

  1. What is the purpose of the entertainment?
  2. Will business discussion need to be had?
  3. What does your client like to do?
Sky diving might make your client go “Wow!” but is not terribly conducive to nutting out a contract. On the other hand, sitting opposite someone who is clearly bored and would much rather be scaling a rock face isn’t much fun either, and won’t do anything for your relationship with them.

Most importantly, whatever it is you decide to do, make sure you have booked and made the appropriate reservations, and have covered all possible external bases – is accommodation required? Who pays for parking or travel? What else do you need to do?

Get to know your clients a little more and think outside the box … then WOW them!

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08

May

2012

In the last few posts we raised some pretty big questions about life, the universe and everything.

I’ve given you some ideas on how you might find answers to those questions.

If you’re still at a loss, or your brain is racing and full of ideas, perhaps it’s time to slow it down and gain some focus.

Meditation is a fantastic tool, not only for finding focus, but it will help you relax and can have significant positive effects on your health.

You may think that meditation is just for hippies, or spiritual types.  In fact, anyone can do it and there are a lot of resources to teach you how.

So, what is meditation? The simplest explanation is that it’s a way of emptying your brain of the constant noise of thoughts by using the rhythm of your breath as a focus.

Relaxing you brain through meditation allows it to have a rest and, with regular practice, you will improve its ability to process information and make decisions.  You will learn how to dismiss unimportant and distracting thoughts, as well as identifying what is really important to you.

Some great ways to start meditation include:

  • Buying, or borrowing a book, for example “An Illustrated Guide on How to Meditate” by Matthew Johnstone;
  • Buying or borrowing some CDs with guided meditation and relaxation exercises;
  • Enrolling in a short course at your local community centre or TAFE;
  • Practicing yoga in a group, as this often includes a meditation component.

Happy meditating!

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01

May

2012

You’re in your 30’s and single, your career is everything.

You’ve been building your skills and reputation for years now, your work may feel easy, but the passion is no longer there.

Or perhaps you feel stifled.  Your ideas feel tired, you are not excited about the new project and you are no longer interested in learning about new trends in your chosen profession.

Does that sound like you?

If it does, maybe you are asking yourself, “Am I in the right job?”, “Am I working for the right company?”, or “Am I working with the right people?”

Being dissatisfied with your career could simply mean that you need a new challenge with a new company, where you can learn new ways for doing things and meet new people.  Or perhaps you would like more responsibility and are ready for a big promotion.

On the other hand if:

  • you’re constantly bored, or
  • frequently sick, and
  • groan at the thought of yet another day at the office,

then perhaps it’s time to re-examine your life goals and aspirations.

This doesn’t mean you have to quit your job immediately and look for an alternative career.  Especially if you’re not sure that that career might be.

Some things you can do include:

  • taking a short course at your local community centre of TAFE college in a subject you are interested in,
  • looking for a similar job in a different industry, or a different job in the same industry, which uses all your transferable skills, as well as giving you the opportunity to learn something new,
  • make an appointment with a professional career counsellor, who can help you explore some options,
  • if you have a hobby you are really passionate about, explore the possibility of making it into a full time career and a sustainable source of income.

The possibilities are endless…

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24

Apr

2012

 

For many career women, particularly single women, the big 30 kind of sneaks up on them. You are busy building your career, or exploring the world, or perhaps building your social networks (otherwise known as partying).

Before you know it, you enter your thirtieth year and something starts to happen in your mind.  Your biological clock may start ticking louder and louder, or your childhood and adolescent dreams may resurface as you ask yourself,

  • “Am I really where I wanted to be?”
  • “Is this how I imagined myself at 30?”
  • “Have I done what I thought I would do by now?”
  • “What happened to my dreams?”

It is no surprise that the book “Eat, Pray, Love” proved to be such a resounding success around the world.  Women in their late twenties and early thirties closely identified with the author as she put her life on hold and began exploring her goals and dreams.

Apparently a lot of women tend to enter some form of therapy or self-development as they reach their thirties.  They may feel a vague sense of dissatisfaction with their lives and want to explore ways of improving their lives.  Perhaps they come to a fork in the road and really need to question who they are and what they want to achieve.

So what can you?

Talk to friends about their life goals.  Try to remember your aspirations as a child or young adult.  You may want to decide on some milestones you’d like to achieve before you turn 30.

  • Perhaps take that trip you’ve always dreamed of.
  • Learn a new skill you’ve always wished to have.
  • Start saving for a deposit for your dream home.
  • Consider whether children figure in your future and how you might change your life to accommodate that commitment.

Perhaps now is the time to follow your dreams….

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10

Jan

2012

Happy New Year to You All!

As a treat, for first post in 2012, we welcome Bernadette Leahy who is the Single Gal Over 30 Finance Whiz. Enjoy….

In lieu of Prince Charming prancing into any single, 30 something gal’s life, (hopefully he won’t be prancing, a confident strut would certainly be equally acceptable!), there is some ‘secret women’s business’ that must be attended to.

Uh huh, big, fat, secret women’s business. No questions asked.

If you want to ensure that you have your financial “goodies” plucked, perky and taunt as ever, (rather than being the floppy, saggy kind), ready for whatever – or whoever – is going to come charging into your life, well ladies, please listen up.

I think we’d all agree here, that when you’re a single chick, your friends and your social life are what adds the va-va-voom to life.  I know, I know, sure there can be the occasional dalliance that comes your way (hmmm, sexy to boot too). But if you do wake up bleary-eyed one morning to find yourself, shock-horror, single in your 30’s, it’s all going to be about how we spend our time, honey.

Saturday morning brekkies with the girls, Thursday night dinners, Friday night champers and the occasional splurge on some mighty fine heels online can definitely be yes, fun.  With a capital F.

Ka ching.  Ka Ching… 

Visa bill in and I owe what?  Breathe….  Slowly….

Unfortunately, this single thing doesn’t come cheaply. If there isn’t some hot-blooded man by your side that you are navigating the financial maze with, it’s you and you alone, who has to come up with the goodies to cover everything. The fixed stuff.  The ongoing stuff.  The fun stuff.  Every month.  (I’m getting a head ache…)

However, it’s when you become in such hot demand that you find your sweet tush searching for coins down the back of the couch for your morning coffee, it can a bit of a rude awakening.  There are certain realities to how far your budget will stretch and what we single ladies can – and can’t do.  God damn it!

It can be an expensive gig this single thing!

I’m certainly not suggesting that you “suck it up” and live your life glued to the couch under house arrest, only occasionally getting out and ‘doing your thing’.  Without question ladies, it is a big MUST that we grab life by our painted nails and suck the bejesus out of it.

But before we pucker up to get ready to suck like there is no tomorrow, we have to be a bit smart here. Yes, smart.  So, here are some things I think you ought to know, to ensure that you are a sassy, financially savvy, hot little piece of work.

Read on ladies!

1)      Drinks are on me?  Uh…no.  Not this time

You know what I am talking about.  Is it you?  Yes you? Are you always the girl who, at every outing with the girls, grabs the bill from the table and pulls out your glittering, well loved, pink credit card, offering to pay for everyone? “Drinks are on me!” you cry, as you secretly wonder if your run of good luck is about to come to an embarrassing end.

Don’t get me wrong.  It’s a wonderful thing to be able to be that one that pays for all your friends with a meal or a drink or two.  Kudos to you. It feels good.  For a bit.  And then it starts to hurt.  And believe it or not, it can be kind of embarrassing, for the person on the other end if it happens all the time.

Please don’t fall into the trap of always offering to pay. Allow your friends to have the opportunity to repay the favour.  It feels good!  For everyone.

2)      Know what you’ve got 

ATM’s are everywhere, baby.  Winking at you.  Daring you to take out your hard earned moolah at any opportunity. They are on every street corner aren’t they, seducing you in?  Or so the banks would lead you to believe.

So, I made an executive decision.  Whenever I pulled my hard earned money out of one of those little ATM’s, I’d take out an amount.  This amount would be exactly what I knew I needed for the ‘fun stuff’ for the next fortnight.  That was it.  Not a penny more.  And once she was gone, she was gone. And I will tell you this ladies, when you realise you only have a couple of those orange ones left to get you through the weekend, mark my words you will spend it wisely.

So choose a figure ladies – and hang your hat (or lacy bra) on it!  And stick to it.  No questions.

3)      Be desirable.  For all the right reasons.

Ok, so maybe it is true.  We women want to be wanted. But when being wanted turns into some cringe-worthy, erratic behaviour (i.e. stalking!) that makes us stand out for all the wrong reasons, that’s when you have to hope you have the foresight to stop (or you have some friends who hide your car keys).

It’s no different with our moolah.  When it comes to financial matters, please ensure that you are a girl who stands out, for all the right reasons.  If you want to start dating someone (a bank), show them that you are a chick they want to be in relationship with.  Not just for the short-term but for the long-term.  Don’t be the girl who they see as worthy of the one night stand.

So what does this mean?  In money terms, consistent savings – check. Good work history – check. Bills paid on time – check. It’s not rocket science but sometimes so easy to let slip. Manage those financial goodies of yours and manage them well.

Amen.

So ladies, that’s it from me for now. Hopefully enough to get you thinking, But you have questions?  Savings. Seriously savings…what are they?   I have to choose?  Really?  But how do I get it to stretch?  Bla…bla…bla….

Well have no fear ladies, help is on the way!  Log on to my website www.getmoneybackproject.com.au and sneak in your email address.  I will then shoot out to you the 5 hot tips in gory, juicy detail, about all this secret financial stuff for you, the sexy single 30 something that you are! 

Ciao, ciao for now.

Bernadette Leahy

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