What I loved about reading “Jo Malone – My Story”

This weekend’s glorious sunshine gave me the perfect excuse/reason to read the book Jo Malone, my story from the luxury of my garden lounger. I of course knew of Jo Malone before the book and recently I had learned more from a podcast with the equally inspiring Karren Brady and also through an interview she did on Loose Women.

Aside from the synergies of the colour red popping up in the book and the new brand (red is also my branding and my go to colour) and the equal apparent love of a Chinese takeaway to celebrate something or to have as a treat, there were many take aways (pardon the non intentional pun!) from this book in terms of business, working mums and entrepreneurialism. Her battle with Cancer was understandably tough but she fought it and beat. Both my parents have battled with and beaten Cancer so its good to hear more stories with good endings.

Here are some of my highlights, without giving the stories away.

– Jo’s attitude if you don’t like something. Change your mindset, change your situation or accept it. I agree! Hard to do sometimes but this is often the simplest way to make change.

– When you mentally paint the worst case scenario, then the risk doesn’t feel so loaded and the leap not as daunting. Again, so simple but yet so true.

– The usefulness of life stories and a back story. I would love to help young entrepreneurs and pupils in schools to learn about business to help them on later life as as well as for business related examinations. I think I heard Jo mention the need and desire to teach “business” in schools and I agree with her as a business owner and as a mum. If you ever need help or support on getting this to happen Jo, I doubt you will given your knowledge and experience, but I would be willing …

– Jo’s tongue in cheek reference to what SME stands for, Seriously Motivated Entrepreneur. Working for yourself is great but it can also be lonely and hard to get yourself going somedays so what she says when applied pays dividends, literally sometimes.

– The importance as a business person to realise that going back and putting things right is not admitting failure but guaranteeing success further down the line. I have heard a similar lesson from Theo Paphitis as the #SBS conference.

– And lastly, the 5 heartbeats to a successful business: Inspiration, Innovation, Integrity, Ignition and Instinct

In summary, a highly recommended read by someone who gets things done from someone who also strives to get things done and make things happen!


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Having celebrated 10 years, what lessons have been learnt?

Small business marketing advice and support from Pinpoint Marketing

As you may know, Pinpoint Marketing (and me, Nicole), celebrated 10 years of trading back in May of this year. This is something I am very proud of.

It hasn’t all been easy and plain sailing and there were times in the early days that I thought about getting a job. But, as I am a determined women and because I wanted to get away from the corporate world and work with small businesses to offer “proper” marketing, I never gave up.

I have worked in all sorts of markets, during the day and weekends/evenings and made mistakes. I have also had many successes and learnt an awful lot.  I have also understood the possibility of the elusive work life balance whilst being self employed. I now also respect the fact that if I don’t get the work in or do it, it won’t get done unless I ask for help, paid or otherwise.  Self employment can be the harder option for sure, but then the results and the wins, is all yours!

So what or who has helped me? I cannot make a list of people as it would crash the website, but in general, areas that have helped and supported me are:

  • friends and family
  • the Athena network – for training, support, new business and advice
  • clients who took a chance on me initially
  • training courses and social media pages
  • business books and programmes

As with everthing, lessons are always learned when doing something new or something out of your comfort zone. Lessons I particularly recall are:

  • you cannot be all things to all people
  • be honest and know your limits eg don’t overpromise and then under deliver
  • grow and learn and take on different viewpoints
  • outsource what you cannot do or things that you alway put off
  • experiment, try and track
  • review, review and review …

So that has been my last 10 years in a very short summary. Here is to the next 10 …

Thank you to everyone who has been on this rollercoaster with me.

18 ways to organise your business better in 2018

Time management and project management marketing support by Pinpoint Marketing

Without being big headed, I often get told in my home life and working/business life that I am very organised, quick to respond and always on the ball. I am lucky as this come naturally to me. So how can you be better organised in 2018 to improve your business, productivity and results! Read Nicole Martin’s top 18 tips:

  1. use a diary, online or offline whatever method suits
  2. block out time each week or month to do monthly marketing activity like scheduling social media posts, newsletters etc
  3. block time out before and after meetings to allow you to prepare and follow up promptly
  4. outsource tasks that take you ages or that cause you angst
  5. evaluate your systems and look where you can use technology to save time eg online accounts etc
  6. automate your marketing! Use online software like Mail Chimp to automate client contact, reminders, keeping in contact etc
  7. use sign-up forms for database sign ups to avoid manual input
  8. block write content when you are feeling creative
  9. Schedule posts and newsletters in advance when you have a quiet day
  10. use your phone or outlook for reminders
  11. Ask advice to fellow business owners on what they do
  12. keep a note of hours you spend working and on what. This will allow more accurate quoting
  13. could you do more Skyping or phone calls to cut down on some travel time to meetings
  14. use Dropbox to share files etc to save some time emailing
  15. use templates to refer to and copy and paste to save doing everything from scratch every time
  16. be kind to yourself. You can only do what you can do!
  17. remember to keep time aside for yourself!
  18. don’t spread yourself too thin!!

If you need any marketing advice, project management or marketing automation support, ask Pinpoint Marketing!