Category Archives: Self Development

10 tips to avoid the Monday morning blues

imageIt is often hard to get going on a Monday morning. The commute might have been hell with over running road works or delays on your train.  You might be tired, have a hangover, or you might have had the best weekend ever and are suffering from post weekend blues.

But don’t take it our on your colleagues at work. Try these 10 tips to make Mondays better for yourself, and your colleagues:

  • Listen to energising music on the way in to work. Choose music that lifts your spirits and makes you feel great. Don’t turn the volume up too high if you’re in a train though. You may ruin someone else’s day
  • Wave and smile thanks to others.  if someone lets you in at a traffic queue, smile and wave your appreciation.  Even if you don’t feel like it, smile. You will lift your own spirits with your fake smile, as well as others.
  • Be positive.  Say a cheery good morning to folks as you go into the office.  Ask how they are. If someone asks how you are, don’t just say ok.  Try to think of something cheery to say in response. You might lift their spirits too
  • Ignore negativity.  Don’t let someone else’s bad day become your own. Remember, it is not your problem. Stay cheery and ignore the grumps.
  • Do your most productive tasks first. You’ll do them quicker and the day’s jobs will seem less onerous.  Do the jobs you like and you will be in a better mood to do the jobs you don’t like.
  • Remember why you are there.  You work to achieve your financial goals, security, to go on better holidays, to change the world in some way or to help people out.  Whatever your drive is, do it with gusto and remember, your work helps you achieve what you really want from life.
  • Don’t work too long at work.  Working all hours of the day or night tires you out and makes you miserable. You’re home life will suffer and your productivity will go down.  Work can get along just fine without you. You are not indispensible.
  • Keep things in perspective. A problem at work is not your problem entirely, no matter how much a grumpy boss tries to tell you it is.
  • Remember it is your job, not your life. Try to keep a balance between the two and don’t let work get you down.
  • Enjoy yourself. the day will go faster and it will be Tuesday before you know it!

Credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

6 tips on Setting your goals and sticking to them

File:Basketball Goal.jpg


Setting your goals is easy, sticking to them and achieving them is much harder.  So why do some people fail and others succeed?

We have different motivations for setting goals.  to get fit, lose weight, get the project finished, run faster, further, for longer, become more organised, less cluttered, more healthy, less anxious.

So what differentiates success from failure?  I think it falls into 6 main points for success.  Follow these 6 points and see how you get on:

  • Self awareness: Monitoring how well you are doing on a regular basis such as tracking your run or your weight loss with an app that tracks your progress.
  • Understanding: Finding out as much as you can about the project, chance of success and failure.  Knowledge brings understanding and clarity in goal setting.
  • Belief:  How determined are you to succeed in your goal?  Do you really believe that you can succeed or is there a nagging doubt lurking in the back of your mind stopping you from believing yourself?
  • Uniqueness: Are you the only one to have achieved this goal? The first one to climb the mountain, or the highest, deepest, farthest. Setting a goal that is unique in some way may spur you on. Of course, if you have never ran before, or lost weight, then this could be your own unique goal
  • Gaming: is your goal part of a team goal? Are you an integral part of the team and your success leads to the whole teams success.  Often working together to achieve your goals can spur you on.
  • Visualisation: What does success loo like to you? Can you see it?  Imagine yourself completing your goal and remember the feeling.  It will spur you onwards.

When you get to your goal, celebrate your success.  Try not to set another goal more difficult than before. Take some time to bask in your success and revel in your achievement before setting your next milestone. Enjoy your success…

Credit: Prettybea

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Introvert leaders can thrive in extravert environments

I’m not much of an extravert which surprises those that see me in public social environments.  I can hop between introversion and extraversion quite easily.  I’m happy on my own and in crowds.  I’m probably an ambivert.

Introverts tend to have a hard time in the workplace.  They are often encouraged to attend brain storming meetings when they want to retreat behind their laptops and concentrate alone.  Introverts don’t tend to get many leadership positions, and when in leadership roles, are often criticised for being aloof and uncommunicative.

But being in large groups, brainstorming, often doesn’t unleash the truly innovative ideas.  Sometimes your best thinking and problem solving occurs when you are alone with your own thoughts and space to develop ideas.

Susan Cain who says “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.” is an introvert.  She argues that unstructured, cafe-style meetings can often bring out the best in introverts, rather than huge group-think type environments where the extraverts battle to have their say.




Often the best ideas we have are when we’re alone.  Even total extraverts need some downtime and some ‘me’ time. Discover your hidden introvert.  Stop giving introverts a hard time.

Put that device down, stop using social media to see the noise of the world.  Listen to the silence, pick up a book.

Recharge those batteries and create the next big idea…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Stop tolerating the bad stuff and start living!


I’m a lot more tolerant than I used to be.  I’m much more calm and relaxed than I was 20 years ago.  i’ve learned to let things go.  I’ve learned to be authentic, I’ve learned to be me.


So several points on this blog post by Mark and Angel really resonated with me.  In being more authentic, I tolerate less destructive things in my life.  If you want to read the original post, the link is above – but here are my factors to succeed…

People who bring you down. – Don’t spend time dealing with people who are like emotional vacuum cleaners.  They suck energy out of you and grind you down until you are as miserable as they are.  Rise above it and keep calm

A work environment or career field you hate. – You’re at work a long time.  Surround yourself with people and leaders you respect.  Do work you enjoy and love.  Don’t get embroiled in politics, back biting or bitching.  It’s ok to say no.  Do not let yourself get bullied.  It is your job – not your life…

Your own negativity. – You have the power to change the way you feel.  Every new day can be a fresh start.  Celebrate the beauty of the new day, the drizzle, the crisp cold mornings, the fresh wind.  Enjoy nature.  Find something small to enjoy and turn around the cycle of negativity you’ve got into

Unnecessary miscommunication. – If you don’t know what someone wants ask them.  Ask for feedback.  Be kind with feedback.  Make someone happy, not frustrated with you.  Try to diffuse anger

A disorganized living and working space. – Tidy desk tidy mind.  Spend some time doing your life laundry and clearing out things you no longer need. Physical clutter often relates to emotional clutter.  See how much better you feel when everything is in its place

Pressure to fit in with the crowd. – Be your own person.  Try not to get talked into things you really don’t want to do.  It’s easy to say no – and very satisfying when you have done it.

Fear of change. –Feel the fear and do it anyway.  You might love the new way of doing things.  Do something every day that scares you – you might find that you’ve found something new you love

Being unprepared. – You will avoid the terror of getting things wrong and the humiliation afterwards.  If you’re prepared for anything, then you can conquer the world..

Inaction. –There are three types of people.  Those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened.  Be one of the folks that makes things happen…

But most of all – be yourself.  You’re the best at it, and there is no one that can take your place…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Credit: Noah Sussman

Over sharing on Social Media Increases your anxiety

Its great to be able to find out what your friends are doing at all times, from any device, using any platform.  We no longer need to pick up the phone any more.  All we need to do is log on to Facebook and find out whatever we want about our friends.

But is our obsession with each other fuelling our insecurity.  Finding out what our friends earn makes us unhappy.  Seeing Facebook updates about fabulous holidays, amazing experiences, lavish meals and wonderful family occasions can make us feel inadequate that our own lives aren’t quite as perfect as theirs.


Our children behave differently too.  They no longer communicate with their friends, preferring to use Facebook for status exchanges. They seem to have an innate knack for multitasking – and seem to overcome the hidden cost of multi tasking.

Its pointless getting too worked up about what others are doing and sharing online.  As Forbes notes, Don’t waste time being jealous

I’ve long been concerned about over sharing on Social Networking sites.  I didn’t feel like I had anything important to say – even though this data is a goldmine to data analysts

Perhaps as Daniel says, we should take steps to alter our behaviour on Facebook and try to rely on real world relationships.  Becoming more productive with email means closing the interface down on your desktop whilst you focus on work.  Perhaps setting aside designated times for communicating on social media, focusing on the task in hand and rekindling your person to person relationships will bring you the rewards you want and reduce your anxiety.

…Or perhaps we should disconnect from the people that make you anxious, insecure and jealous and focus our attention on the folks that really matter to us – face to face…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Fear of failing: Turning negatives into positives


I’m really scared of flying.  Honestly.  People don’t believe me when I tell them as I fly so often for my job.  I’ve done 8 flights in the last month and I grit my teeth and ‘get on with it’. I used to think that getting on a plane was the bravest thing I did in my day to day life but I’ve realised that there are many other things that take a huge amount of courage too.

If we don’t have courage we fear so many things in our life. And that fear seeps into our personalities and makes us appear negative to the world.

“I can’t, I’m not, I won’t” are all statements of negativity that drag us down and make us fear things that we shouldn’t fear.  Voicing our fears makes us appear negative to those who listen to us.  And we appear negative to them when we talk.

We hate to receive criticism from our peers.  I know the old cliché that all feedback is a gift, even feedback well meant can hurt us deeply.

Its a wound that cuts for a long time too.  Its hard to remain positive when someone, however well meaning, tries to help us.

We take it to heart.  We mull things over, and we over analyse what we could have done differently. We torture ourselves and we try to rewrite the past.  We make ourselves miserable because we want to be perfect in the eyes of our peers.  But we can improve our experience by being a little more positive about the experiences that we fear.

What is the worst thing that can happen to you?  You’ll find that the reality is never as bad as you fear.  You have nothing to fear but fear itself.  Knowing this can turn your negativity into positivity.  Facing your fear – like my fear of flying can make you feel incredibly brave.

I try not to tell people that I’m scared.  I try not to pass the negativity I feel from failing – or my fear of failing -  on to others.  But sometimes my fears get the better of me.   I’m impressed with how my good friend Bruce Lynn embraces failure and is happy to talk about it.  I’ve always admired his really positive outlook on life and the courage in which he faces his fears and talks about his failure.  Perhaps the 2 are linked.

I try follow the mantra from the pick the brain blog: ‘”This too shall pass” and by getting on flight after flight I’ve started to convince myself that my fear of flying is diminishing.  I really believe that, so I’m able to face each flight with a lot more positivity.

And strangely enough, it’s made me much happier about all of my other fears.  I’m turning my negative experiences into positive ones and my fear is going. 

Perhaps my profile tagline ‘Blonde and Brave’ has turned out to be a self fulfilling prophecy after all…

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Inspiration and motivation

imageThis is such a great post from the life optimiser blog.  I often dip into this to pick up some inspiration and get ideas to motivate me.  Read the full post from life optimiser here to get the main points.  I’ve captured the main headings below – and added my own interpretation to the headings.


So this is what I think you need to get your motivation and inspiration..

1. Be decisive:  Say what you mean to say and do what you say you’re going to do.  Don’t prevaricate.  There is not enough time left to waste time by indecision

2. Act like you mean it. If you’re committed to something – show your passion, show your commitment to a task –  and do it!

3. Draw from inspirational words of wisdom. These might be from a friend, or from someone famous,  My own mantra is “you can do anything you really want to do – if you believe in yourself enough”

4. Stand on the “shoulders of giants.”  Find a leader and follow them, get your guidance from your friends and mentors.  Follow good examples of leadership, discard bad examples from your life

5. Play the favourite scenes in your mind. Imagine what winning feels like.  Imagine success.  it will make it easier to achieve when it happens.

6. Shift to the future. Don’t dwell in the past.  You can’t change anything there.  Move on.  Get over it.  You’ll feel better when you do

7. Connect to your values. Live your values.  don’t compromise.  your conscience won’t forgive you…

and one of my own…

8. Believe in yourself.  Others will follow your lead and start to believe in you too.  Your self belief will motivate others.


The life optimiser post talks about getting your own inspiration and it’s inspired me to put my own thoughts down – which is a sort of recursive inspiration spiral for me.  But a really positive way to move things forward in your life Smile

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

WEConnect Europe Advocacy award

Sometimes recognition matters much more than money.

How often have you wished that your manager, or team leader would praise you for a job well done, a task well executed, or a project saved due to your quick thinking actions?  it doesn’t have to be a cheque, or a pay rise either.  Sometimes, an email to the team – or a poster on the wall would be all you need to make you feel that you’ve done a great job.

I’m no exception of course – only running my own business means that I have to get praise and rewarded from the clients I work with and the associations I’m in.

eileenb WEConnect AdvocacyIMG_1611

One of these is WEConnect.  WEConnect connects women owned businesses to corporates.  WEConnect is part of an international organisation promoting supplier diversity.  I attended the WBENC Women in business conference in Las Vegas this year and was wowed by the WBENC event itself.  I’m always promoting the advantages of the strong network in the corporate world where finding the correct person to do business with is often a nightmare. 

So I’m utterly delighted to win the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Advocacy award for 2011.  Its great to be recognised for the work I’ve done so far to get more members to sign up to become WBE’s

And yes – this does mean more than a financial incentive would from WEConnect.  I already benefit from the connection and the extra business connections I’ve made.  So all I need to do is to turn these valuable connections into purchase orders and invoices and complete the connection..

Still smiling.. Smile


Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Mind your body language: It says more than you think

We all say more than we mean to – and our mouths don’t usually say it.  I’ve heard that the further away from the face you look, the more honest people become.  imageIts relatively easy to hide your feelings on your face, but further down the body, your hands, arms and feet often give the truth away about what you’re really thinking.  Of course this guy gives it away completely with his whole body attitude, but there are other signs you can be aware of in meetings.  Open forum has a great post on 7 body language mistakes to avoid

Here they are:

1. Looking at your PDA

2. Clasping and rubbing hands together

3. Dressing messy

4. Clock watching

5. Arm crossing

6. Eye rolling

7. No eye contact

I’ve got a few more body language signs than this that I’ve noticed in business meetings and presentations.  No all of them indicate nervousness or are obvious anger signals.  Some of them are quite subtle – but, to me, they’re a really clear indicator of what the real meaning is for the meeting…

8: Leg jiggling.  This is a sure sign of impatience in others and yourself

9: Toe curling.  If you can see their feet and they’re in sandals or flip flops look for toe curling.  it means they’re being untruthful

10: Jiggling change in your pockets.  For presenters, this indicates that they’re nervous and need the reassuring noise to calm them

11: Looking down whilst lifting the chin.  this indicates superiority.  Don’t make the other person feel inferior by half closing your eyes and doing this move

12: Looking at your laptop / doing your email.  Obvious signs of disengagement

I particularly hate the “salesman hand rub” (number 2 above). I see it often at the start of presentations accompanied with “Right, lets get started then”. 


Which body language traits have I missed?


Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Confidence: Regaining your presence

What gives you ‘presence’?  I’m not talking about online presence here self promotion and advertising your online brand.  i think some people have it and some people don’t – yet.

I remember years ago, when I was 17, I’d arranged to meet my mother and my sister at a hotel in London.  They had arrived before me and were sitting in the foyer waiting for me.  It was really bright outside, dim inside the hotel and when I walked through the door my mother turned to my younger sister and asked “Is that Eileen?”

“Yeah” said my sister who couldn’t quite see me properly due to the sun “She looks like she owns the place”

When I was 17 I had ‘presence’  I had that unshakeable belief that the world was my oyster and that I could do anything that I believed I could do.  The unshakable confidence of youth.  And it showed.




Unfortunately, I spent a long time in a series of jobs, working for companies with managers that worked to suppress individuality and confidence.  To take away the self assuredness of my younger days.  For a time, I stopped believing in myself, I stopped believing in my abilities.

I stopped believing that I could…

And now, as a business owner or entrepreneur I’ve got my presence back.  I’m more confident and more self assured than I’ve been for years.  Some of my ex colleagues say I have my mojo back. 

So what changed?


I’ve learned that being confident isn’t enough, you need to be assertive

I’ve learned that its ok to say no when you believe something is wrong.

I’ve learned not to acquiesce so readily when the team I’m working with disagrees with me.  They have hired me for my skills, knowledge and ability, not for my agreement to their plans

I’ve learned to speak up when I need to drive a project forwards, or correct a factual inaccuracy

I’ve learned that being right doesn’t mean being harsh or cocky or triumphant.  Its about humility

I’ve leaned that a strong low voice and a smile beats a strident shrill voice every time

Don’t let people take your mojo away.  Have you got presence?  remember what you were like when you were younger.  If you were more confident them than you are now, then take control again and walk in like you own the place.

If you’re successful enough, you know, one day you just might do…

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.