Surviving the Pause of 2020

Surviving the Pause of 2020

“On the other side of a storm is the strength that comes from having navigated through it. Raise your sail and begin.” 
– Gregory S. Williams

Once again another year has past and what a crazy year it was!

Who would have thought that at the beginning of 2020, we would find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic and facing a year of lockdowns, face masks and virtual networking? When I look back over last year, I am confronted with so many mixed emotions because it really has been a year like no other.

Here at Pink Lemon HQ, we have tried very hard to carry on as normal; even though life has been far from normal. This has been not only for our own sakes, but also so that we can provide continued support to our clients. In a world full of craziness, it was important to us that business carried on as normal, which helped to give us focus and purpose during a time of unease and disquiet.

Looking back I believe that carrying on as we did was the right thing to do, but that’s not to say that Pink Lemon has not been affected. The first few months of lockdown were difficult because clients were having to make tough decisions about their finances. Businesses at all levels, across every sector were being affected and so of course, Pink Lemon was also impacted as well.

Now I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me emotionally because the truth is, it did. However truth be told, the lockdowns provided me with an opportunity to sit back, take stock and make significant changes to the business – changes that I didn’t have previously have time to consider.

Suddenly and unexpectedly (like a lot of people) I found myself with time on my hands, which was something that I wasn’t used to.

Since the business’s inception in 2017, Pink Lemon has become busier and busier, supporting more and more clients, and we had reached a point where we had very little time to work ‘on’ the actual business. I realised in the months that followed lockdown that I had been so caught up in trying to support our clients that I had completely lost sight of why I had created Pink Lemon in the first place.

It wasn’t just to make money; it was to create a legacy that had meaning and purpose. I loved working on projects that came our way but I soon realised during lockdown that I was constantly being reactive with regards to what I was being offered, and not proactive in making things happen. I had started Pink Lemon with a strong vision but I had not followed through on bringing that vision to life because I had got caught up in being ‘in’ my business. Now how many of you can relate to that?!

Over the past few years, the work that we have been doing at Pink Lemon has gone far beyond the realms of just branding. We have worked with so many clients, helping them to bring their brands to life online through the support of digital marketing. We have found that clients will often come to us for what they think they need and then leave with a whole lot more. We are holistic in our approach, which means that we provide a bespoke service tailored specifically to the needs of our clients. This has held Pink Lemon in good stead as the business gently moves in a new and exciting direction.

You see, I realised that trading time for money is not sustainable long-term. An illness could easily cripple a business and affect its revenue. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a team of loyal employees that can step into your shoes during a period of absence, then there may be rocky times ahead, because the truth is that we cannot create, nurture and grow a business all on our own: it’s just too much.

As ambitious entrepreneurs, it’s important that we find a way to create a more robust business that can survive when we’re not at the helm. If the pandemic has taught me anything it’s that anything can happen. No one expected a virus to sweep in and take over the entire world and yet the unthinkable has actually happened. This is evidence enough that we must start thinking differently about how we go about our business.

Now I am not saying that you must stop what you’re doing and change everything in your business, as that wouldn’t make sense (unless it does make sense for you in which case carry on!). The point is that we all have the opportunity to build our businesses so that they are more robust.

I am talking about creating digital online courses.

So why am I talking about digital online courses?

Because not only are we launching Pink Lemon’s digital learning hub to offer digital online courses, but we are also moving into a space where we can support clients in bringing their own digital online courses to life.

Creating a digital arm to your business is a really smart move as it helps to create passive income that can be generated literally whilst you sleep. Yep that’s right; there is actually a way to make money that doesn’t involve you being chained to your desk 24/7!

The reality is, if you facilitate a transition of any kind then you can create a digital online course to support your business to sell over and over again.

Now I am not going to sell you a dream because personally I don’t buy into the idea that you can ‘create a digital course and you can become a millionaire overnight’. Instead, our new offering is all about helping clients to create quality digital courses that can be sold with confidence and that provide realistic outcomes for students.

Now you may be thinking…

“well every man and his dog seem to have a digital course so how am I going to sell mine if a course already exists?”

The simple truth is that there is room for everyone because the world is a big place. How you approach your course topic will be individual because you are individual. We all have our own take on how we talk about what we do and it’s exactly the same with a digital course.

I remember being in year 8 at school trying to learn history, which I found really dull due to the way it was being taught. Half way through the year, my history teacher left the school and so we got a replacement teacher. That new teacher poured life into a topic that had failed to interest me up until then. I suddenly developed a newfound interest because of the way it was being taught.

Gone were the long, boring, tedious lectures. Instead there were discussions, role playing and colourful books that depicted the goings on in years gone by. You see, had that teacher not put their own personal spin on what they were teaching, I would never have passed my exams. It’s not about the subject, it’s about the delivery and how it resonates and connects with the student on a level that makes a real difference.

The wonderful thing about it is that everyone learns differently and so everyone will be attracted to different teachers, different courses, and different presentation. I loved my fun and colourful history teacher, but perhaps some of my fellow students preferred to be fed their history the old fashioned way? So yes, the course you’re offering may already exist in one form or another, but your delivery will resonate with different people: people who might otherwise have chosen to avoid the subject all together.

So what’s next?

Well the next step for Pink Lemon is to start providing access to our new range of services, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Perhaps the next step for you is to consider the future of your business in a new light. One thing’s for certain: it’s going to be a quiet Christmas and, however disappointing that may be, you owe it to yourself to make the most of a bad situation. So use this time to think about where your business is going.

We’re living in a very different world to the one we left behind in the last decade and it’s up to you to ensure that your business stays the course.

***Beta testers wanted***

I am looking for beta testers who are ready to begin their digital course creation journey. I have created an extensive Programme that supports students to plan, create, deliver and launch their very own digital course.

Please note that this is an immersive 1-2-1 Programme where you have full access to me on a regular basis where I will personally guide you through this process to ensure you achieve your digital course goals.

Due to the nature of this Programme, spaces are limited. If you would like to register your interest to embark on this Programme then please click here.

If you would like to book a FREE complimentary consultation to see how I can help you grow your business then please click here.


What is it really like to be a graphic designer?

What is it really like to be a graphic designer?

“Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

– Harriet Tubman

I was recently given the opportunity to speak at the University of the Creative Arts in Canterbury, and was sent a questionnaire about my business as a precursor to the event.

As a design graduate, the opportunity to speak to others who feel as passionately about design as I do was a great honour, and it occurred to me that there must be lots of students out there who wonder what it’s really like to run a business. I decided therefore to turn that questionnaire into a blog to give anybody interested in a career in design just a little insight into what awaits them after graduation day!

1. What do you like about your job/and what you dislike?

So this should be an easy question but actually it’s surprisingly hard because there are so many things I adore about my job!

The freedom of self-employment, the responsibility of being in charge, the people I meet… there’s so much to love! However, when I was forced to narrow it down I realised that my greatest passion is in the sheer scope and diversity of the projects I tackle. That, and making sales.

When it comes to what I dislike however, the answer’s pretty easy: I’m a designer not a mathematician, so the bit I dislike is accounts and bookkeeping! I have an accountant and a bookkeeper though, so my advice for new business owners is always to outsource the bits they hate/can’t do/don’t have time for. You have to speculate to accumulate and my ‘numbers guys’ have given me the time and head-space to really concentrate on growing my business. 

2. How/Where do you look for work/clients? 

You can spend a fortune on advertising, pay per click, billboards and the rest, but the key to getting good, quality clients through the door is word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to start slow and make sure you do lots of networking. Getting your brand known is the best way to ensure longevity for your business.

3. What would be your tip for networking? 

Always be yourself: authenticity and truth take you a lot further than trying to fit some sort of ‘ideal’. If you’re new to the game then just own it – people will respect you more for admitting your shortcomings and working on them, than for trying to bluff your way into contracts.

4. How do you promote yourself? do you think being present on social media is important for a creative?

Absolutely. Self-promotion is very important.

Creativity is a gift and it’s up to you to share it with the world. No two creatives are the same, and no two see things from the same perspective, so trust in yourself and your uniqueness.

As a creative it’s important to build a personal brand so that you get known for your craft. Social media is a powerful platform that allows us to share our story with the world. It allows us to showcase our services, but also to share a little of our personality and our drives. It can feel extremely vulnerable to put yourself out there, but at the end of the day, people buy people and social media is all about getting to know people. Embrace it.

5. What are your tips for anyone who is starting out?

Trust in yourself and your capabilities. Be brave and remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

Trust that you are enough and that your skills, knowledge and craft set you apart from other creatives. The creative industry can be very competitive so believe in yourself and never compare yourself to anyone else. We all see the world differently and it’s those differences that need to be embraced. Art is subjective after all – some people will love your style, some will hate it but that’s ok because you don’t want the whole world on your books!

Also be clear on what you want. Do you want to work at a design agency or work client-side? Do you want to become a freelancer or own a creative business? Having a vision and setting goals moves you forward in both life and career, and you’d be amazed at how many established businesses stall because, even after many years, they still don’t really know what they want.

6. How do you make sure you stay true to your style/tone?

It’s taken many years to embrace who I am. It was actually becoming a mum that really helped me to understand who I am and what was important to me.

My twenties were spent trying to make sense of things and trying to understand my place in the world and what I wanted. I realised 9-5 didn’t suit me and I was better off focusing on building a career that was aligned to the person I am than to try and fit into a premade box.

My style and tone is feminine, elegant, creative with a sense of fun, and my little girls have helped me embrace that. Again, not everyone likes that style: I’m unlikely to ever get hired by a funeral home or life insurance company for example! But there are lots of brilliant designers out there who could do a much better job than me for those companies, so I just concentrate on the clients who share my vision – life and business are much more fun that way.

7. How do you know what to charge for your work? How do you stay safe/make sure you do get paid for the work you do?

I cannot emphasise this enough: research and well written contracts.

Make sure that you have a well written contract in place before you start any project. Also take a percentage upfront so that if a client decides to become difficult, you have been paid in advance.

A good client will never question paying a deposit upfront as it shows commitment. Also, a lot of our work is front-loaded so this covers our time and keeps the cash flowing.

If a client is not prepared to agree to your (reasonable) terms then walk away. Save yourself a lot of grief in the long-run!

8. Do you think you need to work for free at the beginning?

I think in the beginning it’s important to build a strong portfolio of work which can be achieved from ‘free’ projects, but I urge you to do this with caution.

Determine what you want to get out of it first.

If it is going to provide you with your desired outcome then do it for ‘free’ but make sure you still have your terms and conditions in place.

Do not do any work without having your T&C’s.

Clients often push boundaries when it comes to the scope of a project. This is called scope creep and can happen without you realising it.

From very early in my career, I would create a Scope of Works document which outlined what was included within a project. This included deliverables, edits, timeframe, responsibilities and, of course, any agreed payment terms.  This held me in good stead and often protected me from being taken advantage of.

I still experience scope creep today, but always know your worth and know that any time spent is valuable.

I would also advise that if you do work for ‘free’ then make sure you get the client’s permission to showcase the work either in your portfolio or online. Also ask them for a testimonial to accompany the work and if you can, also create a blog about it so that you can start building up your online presence. This way any ‘free’ work that you do will have a value to you. It may not be cash, but actually it’s far more valuable, because it’s given you real work experience working as a designer for a client.

9. Do you have any tips on being professional?

  • Always present yourself in the best possibly way
  • Be polite and respectful at all times
  • Always deliver on your promise
  • Always be ethical
  • Don’t over commit or take on projects that are outside your skillset
  • Be honest about where you are on your journey
  • Develop a growth mindset. No one knows everything so be prepared to learn from others who have walked before you

10. What are some of the favourite past projects?

I love working on branding projects with ambitious clients who want to build a brand. These clients are really inspiring. They come at the project open-minded, which leads to great outcomes. It can be transformational for some clients. I have had four clients win Awards because they have embraced there vision through design.

I worked on a project at a design agency for a seafood restaurant. We were all given the job of branding the restaurant and the best design was going to be presented to the client. At the time I was a student at UCA, and working there part-time for free. I was working with all these other amazing designers but it was my work that got picked! It was an amazing moment for me that showed me I was on the right path.

11. We all know the current climate is a little difficult; do you see any positives?

There are always positives to be taken from difficult situations and right now is no different.

We have been given the gift of time and we need to use it in the best possible way. We can often lead such busy lives with very little time to sit down and reflect, consider and plan for moving forward.

There is no doubt that life as we know it is going to change and that we will soon be experiencing a ‘new normal’ however where there is change there is opportunity and that needs to be embraced.

Opportunity to see things differently.

Opportunity to create new things.

Opportunity to make your mark.

None of these things can happen mind you, if you don’t know what you want; so use this time to get clear on your vision for your studies/career/business.

Leaving University and starting out in the world is scary. We are told there are no jobs, but that’s not necessarily the case, and if you don’t come across the job you want then create it!

We live in a world of possibility and I like to think that I am proof of the power of pursuing your goals.

I started a business with no business experience. I had passion, drive and a need to create. Three years later I am doing what I love. I spent 12 years prior to being at uni in jobs that made me unhappy. For so long I felt I was ‘not good enough’ and yet I had these wonderful creative skills.

As soon as I realised that I could use my gift to build something meaningful, everything changed. That can be true for you as well, so embrace what is happening now, find the positive, look for the opportunity and be fair and kind to others.

What UCA said…

Design for the Future Event

“Karen, creator or Pink- Lemon Branding and Design joined the University for the Creative Arts’ Career and Employability Adviser, Nikki Martin for a special lockdown Q&A session with UCA Students where she shared her story of being a designer and branding specialist and her journey since leaving university.

Karen gave great advice and tips on freelancing, effective networking, using social media, developing commercial awareness, and maintaining a professional image.

Students were able to ask their questions about starting out in the creative industries and the feedback was fantastic.

We look forward to working with Karen again soon!”

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you.

What you believe, remember, you can achieve.”

– Mary Kay Ash

The Ultimate Branding Checklist


2019: end of year review in business

2019: end of year review in business

Do you have 2020 vision?

Well, as hard as it is to believe, 2019 has officially past and we are in to a brand new decade. It really does seem to have flown by in a flurry of furious activity don’t you think?

Here at Pink Lemon we’ve been non-stop with projects, awards, customers and big big plans for the future; but being busy has its good points and its bad points: I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get so busy thinking about what comes next that I almost forget the importance of looking back.

Writer Michael Crichton said:

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”

Ok so he was talking about the proverbial ‘bigger picture’ but personally I feel that this applies to marketing just as keenly. Take customer leads for example: you probably have some sort of system for registering where individual customers have come from, but when was the last time you really sat down and looked at it?

If you don’t know how your customers heard of you then how do you know where to put your marketing budget next year? Similarly, your social media engagement can be extremely telling – have you ever looked back at your Facebook to see which posts got the most shares? Or what about your web analytics – where are those clicks coming from?

You see, we really need to focus on our company’s history in order to make the most of its future, and it’s not just marketing that needs a close inspection.

What about your brand motivation?

I talk about this a lot: the ethos and goals you’ve set for yourself are at the core of your business. Yes the metaphorical goal posts are movable (if we’re too rigid we’ll never accomplish anything) but stray too far from your vision and you’ll find that your offering suffers. This can be especially relevant to new businesses, where easy sales and the promise of covering overheads quickly can mean that we end up with undesirable clients who don’t share our philosophy.

And speaking of sales: are you meeting your money goals or simply ‘making do’? and, if the latter, what can you do about it in 2020?

Brand Goals
For me one of the most importance jobs at this time of year is to conduct an informal ‘end of year review’ for my business so that I start the New Year with a bang instead of a whimper! If you’re like me you’ll want to make sure you’re on the right track from the very beginning of next year, but if you’re unsure of how to go about it, then I’ve broken down my process below:

My end of year review

  • MONEY Did you set a profit goal last year and, if so, did you meet it? Regardless of what time of year you usually do your accounts, it’s worth sitting down now and working out your finances so that you know what’s important and what’s in budget in 2020.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA Perform a similar analysis of your social media – look at what type of platforms and posts work well for you and at what time of the day/week your posts perform best. This can help you create a social media schedule for next year.
  • SUPPLIERS Who have you outsourced to this year? Are they worth dealing with in the future or do you need to change things up? Sometimes we’ll stick with suppliers out of convenience and not because they offer the best service.
  • THINK LONG TERM They say it takes an average of 6 months to see results from a marketing campaign so don’t read too much into recent efforts that haven’t yet paid off. Instead, think of where you want to be in 6 months’ time and use whatever data you have so far to formulate a plan.
  • DON’T PANIC! If this all seems a little overwhelming then seek advice from a professional marketer – we’re experts in guiding businesses in the right direction and an outside perspective can be invaluable at times like this.

We all need a little bit of help from time to time…

A key part of running a business is knowing when help is needed, after all, running a business can be very overwhelming. There’s always so much to do and just not enough hours in the day to do everything that needs to be done!

This is why we were inspired to launch The Visibility Hub so that we can help other small business owners find their way as not every company has a dedicated marketing department and not every business owner has the time or know-how to get maximum visibility for their brand. 

So what’s it all about?

The Visibility Hub is a monthly meeting designed to help start-ups and small business owners move forward in their marketing and brand building efforts. For just a small fee per meeting, business owners can get together with like-minded people and industry experts to share ideas, get advice on challenges and ask for guidance to help them take their business from ‘hardly noticed’, to ‘not to be missed’!

Each month will be themed around a specific topic and will feature Q&A session along with plenty of networking and the great thing is, there is no need to commit to attending every month, just pop along when you can.

Our very first meeting will be taking place at 10am to 12.30pm on Wednesday 29th January at The Innovations Centre, Chatham. Our guest speaker will be Kathy Hayman, The Loving Life Coach who will be running an interactive workshop to help us really nail those all-important goals for 2020. So if you are looking to really step up this year in your business then please do come along.

To book your ticket, click here.

Space are limited so book your ticket ASAP to avoid disappointment as this is one not to be misse


Lastly, and most importantly, I would like to wish you all a happy & successful 2020. With an entire year stretched before us, this year can be whatever you make it so kick fear to the curb and go for it.

Make 2020 YOUR year!

The Ultimate Branding Checklist


6 Lessons I learnt in business during 2018

6 Lessons I learnt in business during 2018

Whilst I am not too sure where 2018 went, I do feel as though I experienced 10 years’ worth of business in just one year, where so much happened.

2018 consisted of so many incredible highs and lows to the point where I was starting to feel as though I was on a permanent rollercoaster. However, I can honestly say, last year was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling years to date.

When I first started my business, I never considered the emotional investment needed, because in truth, I had no clue. I never had those initial conversations with friends about what is involved in starting and running a business because I didn’t know anyone who had taken the leap before me. My own leap was made in an impulsive moment and was done, very much in blind faith.

So here I am at the beginning of 2019, looking back at my business journey last year, feeling an overwhelming sense of pride, excitement and hope.

I feel proud because, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that I moved forward both personally and professionally. I really wanted to push myself last year, so I made sure that I took opportunities that allowed me to really step out of my comfort zone. I feel ‘excited’ because I have so many plans in the pipeline for 2019 and of course ‘hope’ because I hope that I can continue to build on the success I have been fortunate to achieve during 2018.

So, with this in mind, I just wanted to share with you 6 key things I have learnt last year (and boy have I learnt a lot!).


Lesson 1:
Our limitations are defined by what we tell ourselves is possible

Last March I was nominated as a Finalist at Kent Women in Business Awards (KWIBA) for the first time which was amazing experience and which took me completely by surprise because I wasn’t expecting it. However, what the experience taught me that by working hard, setting goals and staying focused, we can achieve the very things we set our mind to.

Of course, I didn’t need an Awards Ceremony to spell that out, however what it did do, was show me what was possible. I’ve never thought about chasing Awards, after all it’s what you do for your Clients that count, but this experience encouraged me to think differently. To think bigger.

As I write this, I have once again been nominated for the KWIBA 2019 by several of my Clients which I feel immensely proud about.

Lesson 2:
A goal without a plan really is only a dream


OK, I know this is a cliché but it really is true.

One of my biggest achievements last year was the event I put on to celebrate Pink Lemon’s first year in business. This came about from a discussion with a friend in July, over our usual coffee. I just happened to say that I was thinking of doing something to acknowledge my business’s first year and then before I knew it, ideas were flowing and then all of a sudden, it took on a life of its own. It went from being a small, informal gathering to a full-on ‘let’s book a venue’ event.

Pink Lemon 1st birthday
I realised I had an opportunity to create something that would really help position my business so I also decided to create a branding workbook that I could launch at the event. This workbook would then become a product that I could sell through the business.

I spent 2 very busy months over the summer working towards my two goals; the event and the branding workbook.

Both proved to be a huge success however going through this exercise, I realised two key things;

  1. I LOVE creating something
  2. The power of goal setting

Setting specific goals with realistic timeframes works because it really helped to keep the focus.

Branding Workbook

Lesson 3:
When the going gets tough, ask for help!


Whilst I enjoyed many highs last year, I did however encounter my first problem Client who refused to pay their invoice. In fact, they didn’t refuse to pay the invoice, they just went very quiet and suddenly became illusive… does that ring a bell to anyone?

When it happened, I had no idea how to really deal with it because I had never found myself to be in this position before. I have a very well written set of T&C’s so I was confident that I had everything sewn up on my part however this Client just became difficult.

So where do you go when situations like this occur? after all there’s no guide book paving the way for you.

Well, I turned to The Chamber of Commerce who were very supportive and helped me to deal with this situation in the best way possible. I was also put in touch with a debt-recover business who also helped me. I am so thankful to both who guided me through the process in an efficient and professional manner.

Yep, this was one lesson I most definitely learnt from.

Lesson 4:
Community over competition


Blog quote
Over the past few years I have met many people who I now consider to be good friends because networking has allowed me to meet people who are on the same journey as I am. I really value these friendships because they have helped to keep me on track during the past year.

When I first started working for myself I didn’t know anyone who was going through the same challenges of starting a business, so I found it quite isolating however by going networking and meeting like-minded people, I have been able to forge relationships which have really benefited both myself and my business.

I think it’s really important to surround yourself with people who get what it is your doing and that lift you up when all you want to do is fall down. I now believe that building your tribe is essential for both personal and business development.

I found that just by catching up with a like-minded business owner for a chat over coffee can stimulate some great ideas which is how my branding workbook came about.

I have now built an inner-circle of business friends that I turn to when I need support, advice or simply to rant! I believe investing time in the right people can really help you and your business to move forward.

I try and stay away from people who take energy away from me. As an empath, I always want to help and give however sometimes that can prove to be quite detrimental because it can leave me feeling exhausted and lacklustre. It’s ok to protect ourselves and in business we must. Our energy is what is important so it cannot be given away so freely.

Lesson 5:
I really do know what I know and it works!


Last year, I had been fortunate enough to work with an array of different size Clients, across many industries and sectors. This has led me to create my own unique framework that supports the work I do, so that I can deliver a quality service each time.

What I realised is, that this can only be achieved when you are fully connected to what you do. I had a pivotal moment this year where it just all made sense to me; why I am doing this and who I am doing this for. When you are able to connect the dots, what you do suddenly becomes a lot more powerful.

I am now really excited because I am currently in the process of planning for 2019; I intend to take all my successes from last year and build on them.

One thing I have done already, is partnered with an accountability buddy who is at the same stage of business as I am. We will meet every month where we will talk about specific areas of our business. We will then set goals and then meet every month where we will be accountable for doing what we agreed.

Lesson 6:
Believe in yourself, you are enough


Find the magic
How true is this but how many of us actually believe it?!

During 2018, I embarked on a course of hypnotherapy because I felt as though I needed help with my confidence. I was feeling overwhelmed, stuck and I could feel my self belief start to waiver due to business-related challenges. The treatment proved to be incredible because it completely shifted my mindset.

Within a few short weeks of starting the treatment, I felt better and my focus became sharper than ever. It’s one of the reasons I was able to create my event because I started to believe in myself again.

I learnt that the moment we start to really believe in ourselves, that’s when the magic happens!

So, what now?

As I mentioned earlier, I am now in the planning stages of this year. I will be launching my ‘Finding Your Brand Zest’ workshops in March which I am incredibly excited about. I want to help other business owners move forward and grow their business. It’s important to me to help others and it’s one of my core values. I will also be doing more public speaking so that I can tell my story and share my message.

I want to take this opportunity and wish all my readers an amazing 2019.

Don’t ever be afraid to dream big… decide on what it is you want, set your goals, create a plan and then focus on working hard to achieve them.

We can create the life we want, we just have to commit to the journey and enjoy the ride!

Get in touch

The New Year is a perfect time to review where you are in your business and to plan the year ahead. If you feel as though your not attracting the right audience or that your branding is looking a little tired and in need of some added flavour then please get in touch here as we offer a FREE consultation to discuss your requirements.

How to cope when things don’t go to plan!

How to cope when things don’t go to plan!

If there’s one thing I have learnt during the past 2 years of being in business is that it’s one hell of a rollercoaster ride and that you need to hang on for dear life…

The effect it has on the emotions is incredible; one day I could be on cloud nine, feeling as though I can take over the world because I have just won an amazing Client and then literally the next day, I could be feeling as though the world is about to end because something has happened that has tipped the balance.

My poor husband. Not only has he had to become my soundboard for all my big ideas, dreams and aspirations but he’s also become my Counsellor because unfortunately, as in life, not everything always goes the way I’d like it to. Like most Entrepreneurs, I set out with all these big intentions however life has a funny way of throwing curve balls so despite all the best planning in the world, sometimes things just don’t go to plan.

Now if you are anything like me, this can lead to frustration… because as a creative person, I am also very much a perfectionist. It’s a trait that can be a blessing because it does mean that I am a very detailed, focused & goal-driven person however it can also be a curse because – like most perfectionists – I place very high expectations on myself which is not always a good thing.

You see, I started my business primarily because I wanted to be around for my two young girls. My eldest daughter was starting school and I wanted to be there to drop her off in the morning and pick her up at the end of the day. I did not want to have to ask permission to attend her Sports Day, School Play, Sharing Morning or any of the other countless demands placed on us. I felt that it was my right to be there regardless as I had gone through the excruciating pain of giving birth to her and as a knighthood wasn’t on the table, this was the next best thing!

Juggling life
I certainly didn’t want to have to justify taking the time-off or be made to feel guilty about it – there’s enough mum guilt going around. I am very ambitious however my ambition now has a place behind being a mum. So, like many mums (whether running a business or not), I spend most of my time crafting the skill of spinning lots of different plates.

Never-mind the demands of trying to run a business, hell that’s easy compared to keeping on top of the list of school demands. Seriously, my daughter has now been a school for 2 years and the amount of stuff I have to now try and remember is enough to drive a sane person crazy!

So, what do we need to do to help us cope when things don’t go to plan? (other than running to the fridge, grabbing a huge tub of Häagen-Dazs and hiding away under the duvet for a considerable amount of time, which let’s face it, when you have kids, it’s just not an option!).

Below I have listed 5 top tips which I find help me to maintain a little control in this crazy world…


OK I admit it, this isn’t always easy for me. I do sometimes struggle to see the bigger picture when I am trapped in a situation that I find upsetting or one I don’t feel in control of. Despite the counsel provided by my very patient husband, sometimes it takes time to see that the world is still spinning.

I’ve since learnt that taking time out to process and deal with whatever has happened works best. This also prevents rushing in with a reactive response which can sometimes make the situation worse!

It’s ok to sleep on a problem as often things don’t seem so bad the next day.

positive action
Life can be hugely challenging whether you run a business or not however what I find works really well is taking positive action.

First, it’s about identifying what’s wrong – what’s making you feel the way you do? Once you understand what it is that is making you feel upset, stressed, anxious etc then taking a positive step forward is going to help shift how you feel.

Now I know this sounds easy on paper, however there is always something we can do despite how small it is. In fact, sometimes taking small steps forward can help shift the mind causing us to feel better because at least then we are doing something positive to regain control.

Whenever I feel something isn’t quite right, I try to pinpoint what it is and what has caused it. If it’s something that someone as done that has upset me, then a simple conversation with that person can help resolve the issue. I’ve realised that sitting on hurt feelings and letting it fester does not do any good because I end up being caught in my own head thinking the worst. Sometimes it’s just simply miscommunication so try and find a positive way to deal with the issue.

Coffee with friends
This is a must! I guarantee that whatever is going on that is making you feel down, a coffee (and cake) with a friend is wonderful. Us humans are social animals therefore we crave positive interaction so where better to find it than with a friend.

A good friend doesn’t judge; they listen, they care and most importantly they help us to gain clarity. If you are really lucky; they even make you laugh and you know what they say, laughter really is the best medicine.

Take time out
If you are at a stage where you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider taking some time out for yourself. Self-care is really important; if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of everyone else?

Your head needs to be in the right place to cope with everything that business or life has to throw at you. You need to be operating with all cylinders otherwise something will just give.

Take some time-out, do something that you love that will help you to switch-off. Go for a swim, take a walk, sit and listen to your favourite playlist, go to the cinema… whatever it is ‘just do it’ as Nike would say, I promise you, you will feel a million times better.

It’s so easy to sit and fester about a problem especially when there’s no clear route forward. Switching off can often lead to the answer because when we stop obsessing about finding a solution and focus on something else, the solution will often present itself in other ways. 

No control
I remember attending an antenatal appointment when I was pregnant with my first daughter.  I was discussing my birthing plan with my midwife, which of course, was completely mapped out. I remember her asking me ‘do you like to be in control?’… who me, nah… she laughed and told me to prepare myself as things were about to change and control as I knew it, would be no more.  2 kids later and boy, was she not wrong!

I really hope the above tips have helped even if it’s just in a small way. It’s important to recognise that not everything works out – it doesn’t mean failure, it just means you have tried and it’s not right for you. Whatever you do, don’t give up – just see it for what it is then move on.

You see, no matter how much you plan, sometimes the Universe has other ideas for you. Just go with it and see where it takes you because life does have a funny way of working itself out whatever that may mean.

And to be honest, if all else fails… just breathe and eat cake!

Do you have any tips on how to cope when things go a little off-track? please do share…