How to Present your best self at Expo’s

How to Present your best self at Expo’s

I love going to Business expo’s, it gives me such joy to be around inspiring business owners and entrepreneurs. To observe, to listen to get curious and experience everything that a potential client does in those situations. It’s important to be on the receiving end of a sales script, presentation, learning opportunity to keep growing and developing and interestingly enough, seeing where you can add value and noticing how far you have come.I went to one recently, which inspired this post to share with you what I learned and experienced, which will hopefully have you diving on into attending an expo and knocking it out of the park!

So let me tell you what I initially observed….

  • Almost everyone at each of the stands appeared pretty nervous, none of them came alive doing what they were doing and it surprised me.
  • Very few of the exhibitors seemed confident in their purpose for attending, were they selling their service or product, or building a relationship. Their approach seemed a little directionless…
  • Most of them didn’t seem excited to be there, like genuinely, I felt their uncomfortableness
  • There didn’t seem to be a plan, an intention, a direction of purpose for the expo and it’s layout, that was easily communicated or understood…

You don’t need a fancy stand or stall to stand out, when you love what you do you glow!

Now do not get me wrong, it was great, they were great and Im hoping they all got what they needed.But it made me see clearly some things they could have all done to up their game, from a customer or collaborators point of view, and I want to share those with you.Because I’ve been there, I’ve been an expo stall holder and it’s nerve racking – there’s more people there than your ideal client and you’ve got a certain amount of time to make an impression and impact. And starting a conversation when you’re an introvert is intimidating and exhausting! And I can so clearly see now how I could have improved my exhibiting skills and approaches before the event. So I am grateful for what I observed yesterday, for what I learnt and for the growth it showed me in myself and my business.

Here are some pointers for you to consider

  • Set your intention for the day, who do you want to meet, what do you want to learn and what do you want to give?
  • Get clear on who you want to attract, what you want them to know and how you want to continue the conversation after the expo. If you know this, you’ll be far more confident in your approach.
  • Connect with each person, do not see them as a prospect or a potential sale. Treat them as a person and be there to share your accomplishments, your expertise as a gift, a conversation.
  • Ask relatable questions, practise a few opening lines with a difference. Everyone else is asking ‘what you do?’, ‘what brought you to the expo?’, ‘what are you looking for?’. Instead ask what that person needs and try to help them find it. Give more than you expect to get, set the tone for the interaction with you.
  • Know your why, know your story and share it. It’s all well and good if you have a membership you’re selling to a program but qualify me, tell me why I’d need it & how it would make my life or business better. Choose me! Make me feel wanted and special!
  • Ask if you’d be open to following up with you. Don’t just take business cards, it’s so impersonal. Go the extra mile and connect. Be the person they remember from the expo for all the right reasons.
  • Read body language while interacting, be more interested than reciting your stuff. Ask how the persons receiving the information. This is a great way to do Market Research!
  • Make sure your signs are easy to read and tell me quickly what you do. So I know if I want to chat about it.
  • You are the expert, have confidence in your accomplishments, be proud of your results or products. Get into this space and connect with people from this space, this is your zone of genius, you’re compelling, passionate & purposeful from this zone – show this You to the expo!
  • Be your Brand – dress for success, you want to stand out and look and feel fabulous. Do not get lost in the crowd! (But layer because you never know on temperatures)
  • Consider your giveaways and be clear on who they are for and why, do not make it too easy to enter, you want people winning who actually want to work with you. So also consider if they have to stay until a certain time to win on the day, or buy a low level offering to be in to win. Do not make it a free for all – stand firm in your offerings and value your gift and make sure each entrant is intentional also.
  • When collecting emails ask if people want to sign up for your email subscription or to hear about offers. This is the best way to know who you’re targeting and have permission to further contact them. Business cards are too simple, get them to write for their commitment to being followed up with.
  • Request that they like your social media pages, make it easy to find you, maybe have them do it there and then to get an extra entry into your prize draw, think outside the box to engage with people and stand out from all the other exhibitors.
  • You don’t need a fancy stand or stall to stand out, when you love what you do you glow!

If you’ve not done an event like this it is such an amazing opportunity to participate in, I highly recommend it. It enables another level of growth and discomfort, but I believe the more you experience and expose yourself too the better you and your business become!

I hope this has given you something to think about when you next present yourself and your Business at an expo!

With Warmth,

Alison xox

Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring and Conscious Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.

Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.

Check out more on Alison Callan on her WebsiteFacebook and LinkedIn pages.

Why do we even need Mindfulness?

Why do we even need Mindfulness?

What’s the fuss with Mindfulness? Surely it’s just a fad, fleeting and unnecessary…? Well from my point of view it’s most definitely necessary and if we keep living the way that we are, it’s going to become even more critical to integrate it into our routines in order to be well – emotionally, mentally and physically, while maintaining our expectations, standards and optimal performance.
Life has become quite busy, in fact with the technology advancements the world is a lot smaller, we work 24/7 and we expect things immediately. Yet as humans we have not evolved to this level of constant processing, we need sufficient sleep, a nutritious diet, exercise and believe it or not time to recharge, take stock and consolidate information, plan.

That’s where Mindfulness becomes necessary and what in fact creates the balance we need in the world we live in, to function at our optimum.

What largely makes our humanness and sets us apart as unique, is our experiences and our emotions. Up until now in the main, our emotions have been brushed aside as unprofessional or inconvenient, too difficult to manage, time consuming, something that may, in certain circumstances, even be medicated or suppressed. However, what if we were to embrace our emotions, accept that in fact they can be utilised as an asset in navigating everyday life. Understanding them in the first instance is key, and they are different for each of us, but they do have a significant impact on our being.
Emotions start with a thought, one that can be triggered by any number of experiences, conversations, sound, visuals etc. And given what our brains can process in a second and conjure up, a lot of emotions can be experienced without proper comprehension. Yet once an emotion is felt it has a chain reaction of physical manifestation and even behavioural urges and actions. For example, imagine embarrassment creating a blush reaction and then your arms immediately cross over your body and you have the urge to escape, hide, or change a conversation topic etc. All of this can happen in a split second, without your full awareness if you are not tuned in to the trigger you experienced, thus explaining what caused the chain reaction. Which may not in fact be related to what was occurring then, in that moment, but was of a similar experience to something you previously went through and your brain is recalling in detail what manifested as a result. Recalling connections that appear to make sense, and have been experienced before. Without due diligence of self, and self awareness, which has become more infrequent today with multi-tasking and juggling, it’s possible to get caught up in emotions that tend to rule your day, as opposed to being merely part of it!
Mindfulness enables us to take the necessary quiet time, a pause, or even micro-pause, within the day, that we need to give ourselves the space to process what we are experiencing and start choosing our responses as opposed to habitually reacting. Or trying to ‘fit in‘ with what we perceive as ‘socially acceptable‘ or ‘normal‘, but in fact doing what we feel is right in that unique moment.
Our emotions build up throughout the day and often times they are ignored and as I acknowledged they remain lurking only to sneak up on us at moments of heightened stress, frustration and angst and exacerbate a singular incident due to the built up emotions from experiences that occurred prior. If continuously left ignored this build up creates unconscious habits and feelings associated with certain situations.
By adopting Mindfulness practices or pauses you start to notice the emotions you experience throughout your day and choose to address them and retrain your behaviours towards situations and individuals as a singular event. This gives you a greater control, resilience and you become a force of adaptability. No longer allowing your brains neural pathways to lead the charge, no more taking things at face value. You master a greater sense of self awareness enabling you to rise above adversities more frequently, choosing your responses.
The bridge that Mindfulness creates for us to address our emotions and feelings is so key to leading a balanced and present life. But Mindfulness has so much more to offer to us, than just this one benefit. Mindfulness, within it’s definition reminds us to be observers, curious and kind. To remember to approach situations, people, challenges with a sense of genuine curiosity and kindness for ourselves and others, allows us to be less assuming, less judgemental. And when we change our approach in this way we are open, able to see each incident, conversation or experience for it’s own uniqueness, without labelling it prior to it’s occurrence just because we’ve had prior lessons previously.
It has become increasingly more common today for people to have decided on outcomes prior to experiencing them, which does not allow for learning, growth or the absorption of new information to be assimilated. And we often like to prove ourselves right as well, so making an outcome fit our prior expectations feels good, even if it’s an outcome we would not truly like, the feeling of being ‘right’ is deeply satisfying.
So practising a Mindful approach throughout your day enables you to be observing, curious and reminds you to be kind. It is not a natural state for us to live by all that often but with practice we can re-train ourselves to shift our emotions, approaches and detach from that which does not serve us.

So how can you bring more Mindfulness into your life?

  • Start your day with Gratitude, when we are in a state of noticing what we are grateful for we begin our days with more energy, positivity and that enables us to be more resilient to what may transpire.
  • Notice your emotions, become curious as to when they arise, what they are expressing to you. With this knowledge you can start to understand them and manage them so they do not overcome you.
  • Practise Curiosity, ask meaningful questions and notice how people respond to your interest in them. A lot of times we make assumptions even during conversations and do not ask the obvious questions. You may be surprised that the answers are not what you expect.
  • Listen to what is occurring around you. Listen in the silence, in the noise and to your conversations. A lot is assimilated through listening, but most of the time we are not present to it fully.
  • Practise kindness, to yourself mostly – when we are kind to ourselves we are more tolerant, understanding and appreciative of others, as we are our own worst critic!
  • Get outside, put down the electronic devices and take some time in nature, fresh air and enjoy the space.
  • Meditate, through simple breathing practises where you focus on your breathe, by repeating affirmations, through listening to the sounds around you while you are still. There are many ways to practise meditation, this will centre you and have you feeling healthier in mind, body & soul.
  • Remember that you do not know everything, you are still learning and each moment brings new opportunities!

If you are feeling called to reconnect with your inner world, so that you can start to show up in your outer world as the very best version of yourself. Then you need to check out my self study on-line program Me, Myself & Mindfulness. This program will have you using Mindfulness techniques, simply and seamlessly integrated into your life, it will ask you the hard questions that you need to become clear on in order to achieve your own personal sense of Success and have you start to build a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.

With Warmth,

Alison xox

Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.

Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.

Check out more on Alison Callan and 3C Coaching on the WebsiteFacebook and LinkedIn.

What is Your Brand and Why is it Important – Whether You Are In Business or Not?

What is Your Brand and Why is it Important – Whether You Are In Business or Not?

What exactly is a Brand? I’m sure you’re familiar with some big and well known products like Coca-Cola or Cadbury’s, even Bentley or Apple. Each of them has a distinct Brand, but they are selling products right?

Yes, however those products appeal to certain people and repel others. So surely your Brand is all about connection with Customers or Clients, as well as being well known for logos and image. Well, from my perspective, especially from working with Conscious Aspiring Entrepreneurs, it’s a little more than that….

Breaking it down, and a really great way to remember the impact that your Brand has is to imagine it as that ‘something’ that you’re noticed or known for.  So that after you’ve left a room you’re still remembered and known for that special ‘something‘.

Whether you’re in business or not, your Brand is a critical part of your identity. It dictates how you like to be seen in the world, as well as how the world sees you. And I certainly like to focus more on authenticity of how you want to be seen in the world, as much as how you are seen, because YOU alone are experiencing the moment – your Brand is the imprint, the essence and mark that you were there!

Maybe you’re known for a visual aspect like the person who always wears beautiful glasses, a particular colour combination, always having perfectly placed hair (even when it’s blowing a gale!) or even make-up. And writing this list I can think of specific friends and peers who totally fit into each of those categories, they immediately spring to mind! Either way they are each utterly unique and probably oblivious that to me they are synonymous with that one thing. And what if I said to you that each one of those people were in fact not in Business at all, but they certainly had characteristics and an identity that surrounded them and was so much more to me that what in fact they do.

Now friendship is much more open, lengthy, personal and there is a level of trust and confidence that’s built over time with a relationship that’s formed that’s mutual. You have shared experiences and long conversations which create a bond. Yet becoming a Brand is far more common today especially through social media, so it’s important to notice how you are portraying yourself. It is becoming much more common now within Organisations and Corporations to build a Brand for yourself to get known, in order to be a remembered individual so when opportunities arise, YOU are the person that springs to mind immediately. And this is so much more important now for those in Business. What do you want to be known for? And how do you portray that to others through the things you say, the way you respond and how you leave people feeling.

There are plenty of people out there advising on the best way to connect with your ideal Client, your Boss and your network of influencers. But remember, we talked about Brand and what in fact it is, which is what you are known for, remembered for, by colleagues, peers, Clients and Customers etc, when you aren’t even in the room. So let’s take it one step further, how do you create the connection for people to know you for something if you cannot create those shared experiences or have those lengthy conversations? And when we are talking about getting promotions, establishing client relationships and selling – Well, perfect hair, makeup or a killer logo won’t cut it on it’s own.

So let’s talk about Value. When you consider anyone that you know who has an identifiable Brand they have usually gotten known for something in particular. They have most likely provided significant value through work, advise, experience, product or outputs. Consider a Brand like Nike who specialised initially in running shoes, they provided expertise in becoming a leader in that market with an exceptional product. But you can start contributing Value when you ultimately know your strengths and what you are good at. Apple is one Brand who knew what they were good at and keep improving the product time and time again, to give Value to those who are specifically on team Apple. Once you’ve identified your strengths you can work towards them and use them to your advantage, these are the things you are likely already known for, so start to leverage from that place. See your strength in the value you can give to others.

And have you ever considered the feeling that you want to leave people with once you’ve parted ways on each occasion, or at each interaction? You will probably all know what I’m talking about when I say there are again some people, friends, colleagues and Business influencers who just enter and leave a room with either a positive or negative essence. Now stay with me here, because this is a significant part of your Brand in regards how you make people feel, and it is a very little known aspect that people actively talk about. But it is crucial when you are winning hearts, minds and influencing people. Do you leave people believing that you have utter unwavering confidence in what you do and can deliver, or do you leave them feeling as though you are willing to try and are a little nervous of the prospect or challenge? Again take the time to think of people that you are inspired by at this point. And ask yourself after each interaction with that person, be it from a formal meeting place at work, or via an online presence or in a social setting, how do they leave you feeling? Motivated, inspired and light, confident, important and valued or annoyed, heavy and down? Most likely it’s the former (fingers crossed!).

So have you ever considered then, how you want to affect people’s emotions and more importantly their feelings? And I mention feelings because they last the longest and remain attached to memories, which assist the process of identity and Brand recognition. So let’s compound this thinking even more now and have you recall a wonderful memory something that made you feel excited….. See what I did there? I immediately attached a feeling to the memory to assist you in identifying, most likely a happy one. So whether you like to consider feelings a part of the Branding process or not, they are critical in defining how you are known and most importantly remembered!

I know from experience and the numerous Clients that I work with who want to get significant promotions, move Companies or be headhunted for Leadership roles, benefit greatly from having a recognised Brand and using it as a way to connect with others.

So how do you start identifying your personal or professional Brand? And then what?

Follow these steps to get your Brand awareness and identity cemented!
  1. Value – get to know your strengths, be honest with yourself, ask your friends, colleagues, Clients or Customers, Managers and Trusted Advisors and note what they say. Then whittle them down into what you know to be your strengths. Choose your top 3 and define them. Notice what it is about them that makes you strong within that area of specialism or expertise. And then define what it is about those strengths that you enjoy. It’s so important to enjoy the process of adding Value and playing to your strengths.
  2. Identity – This can be broken down into many areas, but for here I’m discussing the 2 main areas to focus on:
    • Visual – This is how you are physically seen in the world, be it through having fabulous glasses, always wearing pink or being renowned for wearing a suit. One of the first things people notice is appearance, and this goes for Business logo and Branding also, so be consistent and be very comfortable in your choice of visual branding. Again if you’re not sure what people might initially notice about you then ask some trusted friends and advisors. Ultimately you want to be comfortable with how you show up visually in the world as self-confidence and self-awareness is a great look on everyone!
    • Language – What words do you use, and what words do you want to be known for? Tag lines and strong sentences about what you actually achieve, deliver and produce make very compelling talking point, Clarity for yourself initially and build confidence. I know someone who uses the word Awesome all the time, because its seen to be part of the excited, high vibe and accelerant he wants to be in the world, it lifts his vibration when he uses it, aligns him with his mission and tells others what a positive person he is! Now if this repels certain people that’s ok, we are not meant to please everyone, and whittling down your circle of fans is preferable, so do not conform – be the true you!
  3. Personal Identity Affirmation – This is for you, a way to set an intention and be very clear about who you are and how you will be seen in the world, as well as incorporating the essence you want to leave people with when you are no longer in the room. This is a statement that affirms to you;
    • Who you are,
    • What Value you Bring through your strengths, and
    • How you enable others to Feel.

Repeat this to yourself many times a day, setting your intention of your Brand before you even interact in your day. Use it as a morning ritual practice as well as a daily affirmation – this is a way of being, becoming who you truly are.

Comment below and let me know what your Brand is, and how you’re using this information to affect action and improve how you are seen consistently in the world.

And if you’re keen to work with me to gain real traction to mindfully align with your mission and create conscious business with purpose, confidence and ease. Check out my 12-month Transformation Program. Which will give you weekly Coaching, support from other aspiring entrepreneurs, opportunities to collaborate, a safe space to test, challenge and improve your Business and your Life so that you can better serve the world through aligning with your own personal mission.

In the meantime, know your Brand and get comfy with it,

With gratitude,

Alison xoxo

Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.

Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.

Check out more on Alison Callan and 3C Coaching on the WebsiteFacebook and LinkedIn.

What I learnt in the Silence

The prospect of going on a silent mindfulness retreat was quite exciting to me, especially when I booked it. The allure of a sense of peace and stillness appealed. Over the past few months I came to notice the desire within me to be quiet. I had found talking, socially, to be so energetic, draining and it took up so much time and didn’t always convey what I was trying to impart. Not to mention the noise of everyday life, it was deafening at times. So for me, some time to be in silence felt like a luxury and a very rare opportunity.

However, after a while I began to question it, the experience in itself, especially when I was telling people my plans. I started to wonder what would it be like? How would I interact? What would the other participants be like? And what was their motivation for wanting silence? And why when I talked to others about it did they seem to think it was likely to be difficult or unnatural? So many questions, and my ‘monkey mind’ was having a field day!

It’s quite natural for me to question, I am used to it and I understand it and can observe it for what it is – thank you Mindfulness! I recognise it now as my thirst for knowledge, impatience and excitement mainly. I have a keen neural pathway that kicks in regularly, which is wanting to know the outcome before experiencing it. But through self awareness and acknowledging myself and my mind, it’s come to be an enjoyable part of the process. Especially when I step outside the norm, adventure past the boundary of my comfort zone into unknown territory.

The venue was lovely and commanded silence in it’s very stature. The surrounding bush was still and inviting and the birds’ song created most of the sound waves. A sense of peace seemed to be a fabric of the buildings foundation. And aptly so, the centre was called Aio Wira, Peace Wheel.

The silence wasn’t immediate although each of us as we arrived were probably more reserved than we would have been, knowing what was to come. So we got to know about one another in the very usual ways, learning about our careers, families, experiences and sharing our anticipations over what this retreat would come to offer us.

The silence began on the Friday night, after group introductions, a mindfulness practise and a greater understanding of the weekends agenda. And at this point I was ready, although I later came to realise all the questions I should have asked that I didn’t think of at the time. For instance, would it be frowned upon to use my laptop to journal? Could I use my phone to write messages if I couldn’t speak? What was the protocol for apologising or saying thank you or excuse me, where did our manners come into play? And my resistance around forgoing my politeness, in the most conventional of ways, was startling.

My experience of being silent with a group of people came easily, or so I thought. I didn’t find that I blurted words out at all unexpectedly like some, nor did I find it hard to make eye contact if I didn’t feel the need. After the settling in period I actually felt free. For me, the settling in period lasted a few hours and I actually noticed that I started to experience worry. Not at all what I was expecting. Worry about what other people were thinking – which was a shock to me as I’m acutely aware of how I cannot control that, nor should I want to. However, I digress. I was worried about not being able to explain my behaviours to those around me, apologise if I was in their way and hadn’t realised or what they might be thinking about me or judging me on given the fact we were all mostly strangers. It was a shocking revelation and not one I much liked in all honesty. Immediately I felt disappointed that I hadn’t already worked through this, as I assumed I had, I doubted my previous work and the release of the worry surrounding others opinions long ago. However, I realised what I was doing and through the discomfort I practised what I teach – and I’m not an ideal student, but I went with it anyway.

To move past the settling in period and become at ease, with my underlying worries I made the conscious decision to adapt wherever I could. I started to actively listen more, notice body language and make more eye contact to connect. I tried to pick up on subtle cues to answer my worries and adapt to enable more ease for others. That’s when it came to me. This was my weekend, my time to connect with myself not navigate others ease. I needed to find my own.

With that I relaxed, I accepted me in that moment by moment situation, knowing that everyone there was focused on themselves too and the silence was an aid. I did what I wanted, within reason, so as to be considerate of others, but to look after myself. I found myself hugging these strangers, my companions in the silence, to say thank you for their kind gestures, smiling a lot to connect, I noticed that I wanted to compliment people on their beautiful habits, of movements or features. Yet I didn’t need words, we could laugh at silly things that happened, organise walks together without words, share with each other the sights around us if one of us might have missed seeing a rare bird.

For me the things that I learnt most in the silence were, that:

  • There is actually never pure silence, in the extreme. There is always a sound of something no matter how faint if you are still to listening.
  • I was totally right, talking does take up a lot of energy!
  • You don’t need words to console or comfort someone, your presence is support enough.
  • There is so much noise, even the small noises become deafening when you’re still.
  • That it is necessary to gather thoughts, be still and disconnect from technology driven sounds to appreciate the beauty in nature, the sounds from within.
  • That connection isn’t always through verbal communication, closeness comes from a shared understanding and appreciation of a person’s journey and respecting it.
  • Compassion for oneself is a generous gift, and easier to receive without outside influences.
  • You never know what someone else is thinking whether you’re speaking to them or not.
  • There is no magic answer awaiting you in the silence, but it is pleasant and something quite extraordinary to do.
So where to now, for me and silence?

Well I have a greater appreciation for it and I will respect and enjoy it when I find the rare times when it happens. And I will also aim to notice it when it happens (hopefully a couple of times a week).

The experience was eye opening in what it brought up for me in regards my concerns over judgements from others and how I dealt with that. I have a greater capacity for acceptance of myself and my concerns when they may be brought up, and I know that I have the ultimate ability to control them, if I choose to.

But one thing is for sure, as I write this, I have missed hearing my kids say ‘Mumma’, my husband and the dog snoring in unison and the laughter that we have at our home. So after three days away, I truly cannot wait to see and hear my tribe again!

With Warmth,

Alison xox

Alison Callan is a Mindfulness Consultant, Life, Career and Business Coach. Committed to creating positive and lasting change for individuals, teams and organisations through Mindfulness.

Check out more on Alison Callan and 3C Coaching on the WebsiteFacebook and LinkedIn.

7 Ways Coaching Can Improve Your Business Game

7 Ways Coaching Can Improve Your Business Game

As a small to medium enterprise business owner you will have no doubt heard of coaching, but you may not have taken the time until now to explore the significant benefits that coaching can bring to you, your team and ultimately your enterprise.

I completely appreciate that coaching may seem like a luxury at first glance, as there is a time commitment required as well as monetary investment. Both of which are precious commodities when you are running your own business. However, here’s my perspective as a Coach on why your investment could ultimately be significantly worthwhile on multiple levels.

Firstly, let’s take a look at coaching in its most commonly associated form, from a sporting perspective.  As a business owner, at CEO/ Director level the buck starts and stops with you so let’s look at a solitary sport for now in this example, running.

Are you out for a jog or are you planning a marathon? From a coaching perspective the intent and clarity required to answer this question informs the approach and outcome. You see, in the first instance a jog can take you anywhere, you don’t need an excessive warm up regime, or to plan your breaks or meet a time limit. Your primary goal is on planning to exercise with no specific long term investment in the outcome of that jog or where it might be leading to, you’ll see how it goes. With a marathon however, a lot more is involved, it requires planning, commitment, training and mental preparation as well as having all the necessary gear. Most marathon runners set expectations and have made significant lifestyle choices to meet their goal. With this in mind most invest in a Coach to train with, to raise their awareness, focus their mind-set, shed light on blind spots and develop some fundamentals directed at enhancing their performance and meeting their goal. Same thing in business. High performers have Coaches to raise their game.

Here’s my couple of cents worth, or in fact 7 of them, on the value of working with a Coach at a small to medium enterprise level in business.

1. Focus

A Coach is skilled in creating the space to enable you to get clear on what’s important, to uncovered your core drivers and reminding you of the visions you’ve created, and how your present focus is aligning you purposefully, by asking the hard questions to challenge your perspective, known ability and consequently shed light on any unknown quantities for exploration where deemed appropriate. All the while ensuring you are working towards your required outcome. Your Coach is keeping the focus of the outcome in sight to align your discovery to what you need to achieve.

2. Setting goals and reaching them

Being a visionary and blue sky thinker is greatly required in business, but being able to relate those visions to specific, measurable and timely incremental goals is key to making the vision a reality. A Coach is accustomed to challenging, motivating and driving honest and relatable thinking into this process to support you in setting your strategy for success.

3. Accountability is crucial when working towards something

A Coach is a great partner in creating your strategies, testing your commitment to achieving your goals and checking the practicalities of your assigned actions through powerful questions that challenge your thinking, boundaries and expectations.

4. You can brainstorm and bounce ideas off your Coach

A truly great coach enables a safe, confidential space removing all judgement, preconceived ideas of right and wrong to allow you to open up to truly original, fresh and forward thinking concepts. Things you might have dismissed or resisted due to your personal self-limiting beliefs or fear. Through coaching you get to follow your thoughts through via answering powerful questions and create links, and master a self-awareness that you could have previously overlooked.

5. Provide opportunity for reflection

With a Coach you can explore what you’ve done, and what you’d like to learn from it, replicate or give a wide birth too in the future. Your Coach will hold a mirror up for you to ask the hard questions to get you to see different perspectives, possibilities and opportunities. In this space you can identify and break negative or damaging cycles, expose any self-limiting beliefs, patterns and shine a light on where your focus is needed to achieve more of what you want, and discard that which you don’t.

6. Be real and exposed

Who can you be truly real with about your business, talk about your vulnerabilities, concerns and actually be confident that the person you’re confiding in has only the best intentions for empowering you to develop strategies to build, strengthen, stabilise and grow? It can be hard to carry the fears or concerns single-handedly and will eventually take its toll, but there is no need to struggle alone with this. Once shared with your Coach you’ve given yourself permission to take action and deal accordingly without concern that you’ve impaired your credibility or reputation.

7. Team engagement

Working with a business Coach enables teams to become more efficient in their thinking as a collective. Creating a space for teams to engage in challenges together, devising team led appropriate solutions that everyone is signed up to is the Coaches focus. Allowing the team to recognise evolution, flexibility and adaptability in ever changing circumstances – thus building resilience, compassion, empathy and a collective desire to succeed.

The common theme in working with a Coach is that the Coach is there for you, driven by the outcomes you value, they are not personally or professionally attached to a specific outcome, they are impartial and that is how they are able to ask the hard questions and challenge thinking and beliefs through curiosity not judgement or expectation. It is crucial that there is a co-active collaborative way in which you and your Coach engage to build the level of trust, openness and honesty required for you to benefit fully in all of these aspects.

So the value of coaching resides in the mental toolbox the Coachee learns and develops throughout the coaching relationship, the resource of mental strategies that can be called on and applied in a multitude of different situations. All of which have been designed and developed through personal discovery and insights gained through the coaching process, helping to navigate toward success both personally and professionally. And as I said earlier a professional athlete works with a Coach to bring out their best performance, it’s the same in business!

With Immense Gratitude,


Alison Callan is The Clarity and Success Coach for Aspiring Entrepreneurs, as well as an Internationally Accredited Coach and Mindfulness Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker.

Committed to helping You mindfully align with your mission to create Conscious Business with Purpose, Confidence and Ease. So that you live a life you love and deserve with Clarity through Conscious Creation.

Check out more on Alison Callan and 3C Coaching on the WebsiteFacebook and LinkedIn.

3 Steps to Remaining Productive, while Transitioning to Autumn

3 Steps to Remaining Productive, while Transitioning to Autumn

Have you been noticing insects creeping into the house lately, maybe you’ve remarked how the mornings are significantly darker now and even the winds temperament has changed. These are all the subtle environmental changes occurring to remind us that autumn is approaching.

Have you noticed how your moods or body might naturally be preparing for these changes also? Are you feeling slightly more tired, slower and needing to refuel more? Maybe even becoming prone to the odd sniffle?

Well, now is the exact time to notice these subtle changes, acknowledge and contemplate the need to adapt to them. Naturally when there is less light in the day and the temperature is colder we want to stick closer to home, stay warm and sleep more. Our diet changes also as we eat more hot meals as opposed to salads, in line with the seasonal produce that’s readily available.

So why do we feel that our personal and professional expectations should be consistent?

Human beings are made to be flexible, changeable – in accordance to our environment. In our digitally dependant 24/7 world we forget that our standards and goals are not always easily consistent to achieve and that we need to allow for cycles.

This is crucial in successful planning especially in business, although oftentimes the focus is solely on calendar events and not necessarily on the environmental and seasonal impacts on staff productivity, sickness and motivation.

The good news is that now you are starting to notice these changes, you can plan to adapt accordingly. Here’s my 3 step process to enable a smooth transition to the winter months while still feeling and being productive!

1. Notice and Acknowledge

The first step in adapting here is to notice what is occurring to you mentally and physically?  Where are you at, are you seeing or feeling any subtle changes or are your preferences changing. And acknowledge what of these differences are related to the change in season.

Bringing your awareness to, by noticing and acknowledging the shifts you may be undergoing naturally allows you space to choose how you want to respond. This gives you a greater sense of control by enabling you to realise you have an array of available options to you in regards making any necessary adjustments. Choices open up.

2. Priority Review and Impact Assessment

Now that you have acknowledged there are natural subtle shifts occurring for you, this is a great time to review your personal and professional routines and reassess your priorities. Then you can assess the impact of switching up priorities and what effect that this may have on your routine, your habits and your productivity. For example;

Review your exercise routine, is it still highly important to you to maintain your fitness level and current routine as it stands? Maybe, if honest with yourself you will have to call more on your willpower to keep up with your classes that seemed so easy when it was light at 6am, but may be harder to go to in the dark. Once you have reviewed the importance of exercise in your life it maybe that you review the impact of doing less exercise would actually mean for a less satisfied you and so you assess your alternative options and decide that maybe you adjust from an outdoor activity to an indoor one.

Re-prioritising is such a key factor in giving your mind and body the permission to adapt as we naturally want to, without the guilt associated from not being 100% motivated, productive and alert. You are entitled to rest, reprioritise and renew!

3. Allow and Plan

Allow yourself to slow down and be in pace with the changing season, prepare for the darker days mentally and physically. Readdress your long term goals, for this upcoming time as you have now processed that you may not naturally be able to keep up the pace that you once were, nor may you feel inclined to. It is the natural order of things that autumn sets in to make way for the new and you too need the down time to do the same.

Get creative, reassess your progress on your personal and professional plans, where are you heading, have you made progress or procrastinated. Take stock and plan for the future once more. This mental workout and dedicated time to planning increases your motivation and desire to get stuck into making changes, and you will be surprised how little steps during this time and reserving energy will set you up to make bigger impacts later on to get you closer to your longer term goals.

Use this time to purposefully readjust, allow what is to be, get kind with yourself and curious about your changing needs as opposed to judging. Be adaptive, considerate of yourself and allow and nurture change. Some additional things to consider before the winter snap takes hold:

  • Consider supplements to ward off ills, having some vitamins on standby, echinacea or naturopathic or homeopathic remedies, maybe even some lemon, honey and ginger.
  • New decor or a change in your rooms layout of furniture, physically showing a change in environment, reminding you of the shift that has occurred.
  • Consider your heating options, get firewood delivered, buy a new heater or dig out the hot water bottle to get ready for the chill that may come – take your time doing it. While acknowledging that you are prepping ahead of time to take care of all aspects in your life.
  • Dig out the slow cooker and readdress your kitchen essentials, tins and herbs so you’re all stocked up and ready for good old batch cooking!

The time you put into noticing and preparing for these subtle changes to take hold will help you get mentally ready for the onset of the winter, and the natural change to come as a result. Give yourself this time to be quiet, to slow down and recharge ready for the Spring, when you will naturally want to spring into action and put all your good ideas and plans into play.

I would love to hear what you notice during this time of transition and what changes you put in place to prepare for it, let me know in the comments.

Alison Callan is a Mindfulness Consultant, Career and Business Coach. Committed to creating positive and lasting change for individuals, teams and organisations through Mindfulness.

Check out more on Alison Callan and 3C Coaching on the WebsiteFacebook and LinkedIn.