As the New Year has come upon us, Lockdown is still in the midst, hence we have to decide what to do whilst we are in isolation before the boredom sets in.
Like with all New Years past and present, it is out with the old and in with the new. We make promises to ourselves that the in the New Year we will quit smoking and go on diets, but what if the new chapter waiting to be written does not have to be just about New Years Resolutions but about significant life changes that can set the stepping stones to something much bigger.
Obviously taking care of our bodies is very important and we also need to take care of our minds. Watching films back to back will take your mind off things but it is short lived and you do not come out it any wiser unless of course they are educational documentaries. I agree we need to switch off and unwind and that is the only time we should have for watching films. The rest of our precious time should be put to good use. Do something that occupies our minds, such as learning a new language, new skill, craft or trade.
A New You and New Year Resolutions only means one thing, do something that you will be remembered for, not only will you be helping yourself you will be writing your destiny and passing it down as a legacy.
Here is a list of things you can start doing and my own recommendations. Remember only you can make the change and there is nothing stopping you making it happen other than your imagination.
Learn a craft.
Types of crafts
Ceramics and glass crafts, tile making to mosaics.
Flower crafts (Wedding Bouquets to Flower Arranging.
Leatherwork (Make handbags, belts and purses).
Houseware, Basket weaving (also called basketry, basket making).
9. Paper crafts include: Paper marbling, Origami (paper folding), Papermaking, Cast paper, Decoupage, Papercutting, Iris folding, Paper embossing, Bookbinding, Quilling, Papier-mâché, Paper model, Parchment craft, Calligraphy,Scrapbooking. (I have an idea consider designing colourful organiser/journal inserts in various designs, I have noticed there are not many outlets selling a wide variety. Check out Etsy for inspiration. Design the inserts by themes, nature, fashion, children, doodle colouring in, motivational etc).
13. Write a Book, an autobigraphy, fiction or screen play or become a content writer.
14. Write some songs or some poems.
15.. Start Baking or Cooking (Deliver meals on wheels to your local community). Sell cupcakes or birthday and wedding cakes. Do tutorials on YouTube. Volunteer to help vulnerable people.
16. Do home repairs ( help the elderly with their gardens or maintenance whilst keeping to social distancing).
17. Learn to Draw & Paint. (Become a Fine Artist, Cartoonist or Illustrator).
18. Learn photography be the next wedding or commercial photographer (master photoshop) – Learn Drone Photography and Videography, (Landlords, Estate Agents (Real Estate) want virual tours of their properties).
19. Set up a stock library of images to sell online.
20. Learn to Play the Guitar or any musical instrument.
21. Learn Gardening, grow herbs and vegetables (enter into competitions or sell online homemade chutneys jams and preserves). Teach Lessons on Gardening on YouTube.
24. Make your own furniture and home decorations (sell online).
25. Master Yoga and Tai Chi – Teach Yoga and Tai Chi Online on YouTube.
26. Learn to Dance and Teach Online Dancing Lessons.
27. Learn SurvivalTechniques.
28. Sew Home Decor or Toys and Curtains, Patch Photo Blankets, Cushion Cover etc. (Turn your childs favourite outgrown outfit into a toy or patch blanket). Sell Online.
29. Learn to overcome shyness and gain confidence.
30. Learn to be a motivational speaker or consultant.
31. Learn First Aid.
32. Impove Memory Skills.
33. Learn Marketing.
34. Learn Search Engine Optimisation.
35. Learn Coding and Website Design & Development. (Start a blog and monetise it).
36. Learn Money Skills and Budgeting.
37. Learn about stock markets.
38. Learn a new trade, open university, udemy and edx.
40. Learn About Aromatherapy. Make your own Homemade Soap, Spa quality bath bombs, Bath salts, Body Butter, Soothing creams, Exfoliating body scrubs, Moisturizing body lotions and sell them online.
41. Start a Sport, running, boxing, martial arts, weight lifting, caving, pot holing, etc (be competive run marathons and join sporting events when they return). You have plenty of time to train.
42. Learn Business Skills, offer networking and lead generation.
43. Restore Old Furniture.
44. RestoreVintage Cars & Motorbikes
45. Learn about Antiques. (Sell Antiques online).
46. Set Up a Car Boot Sale (Regulations Permitting).
47. Be a collector of coins, stamps and memorabilia (sell online).
48. Learn Nail Art and Teach Online
49. Learn Wine Making.
50. Make Music.
51. Learn Programming
52. Learn to be a tattooist
53. PerformingStand Up Comedy
54. Proof-Reading and Editing.
56. Offer a Concierge Service.
57. Design a Magazine.
58. Make T-Shirts, sell online.
59. Painting & Decorating.
60. Washing Windows.
61. Flipping Houses.
62. Buying and Selling.
63. Create & Edit Videos.
64. Create & Sell Pet Clothing.
65. Learn & Offer Engraving Services
66. Become a Computer Technician.
67. Offer Translation Services.
68. Home Staging.
69. Dog Walking.
70. Dog Training.
71. Learn Meditation.
72. Make Time Capsules.
73. Candle Making.
74. Magic Tricks & Card Tricks.
75. Urban fruit picking.
76. Journaling (Write Articles For Newspapers).
77. Fostering Animals.
78. Make Miniatures.
82. Learn Archaeology.
83. Learn toPlay Chess and enter competitions.
84. Learn Feng Shui Decorating.
85. Learn to Crab.
86. Shell Fishing & Collecting.
87. Fossil Hunting.
89. Fishing, fly, spear, rod, ice.
90. Car Racing.
92. Rock Climbing, Bouldering.
94. Reviewing Products, Services & Gadgets.
95. Building Electronics.
96. Become a professional Alcohol Connoisseur.
98. Collecting Military Paraphernalia.
99. Boat Making.
100. Robot Making. (AI).
101. App Development.
102. Storm Chasing.
103. Whittling. (the art of carving shapes out of raw wood using a knife).
104. Star Gazing.
105. Lamp making.
106. Learn to become a chocolatier.
107. Learn to do Pottery.
108. Learn Acting.
109. Learn Film Directing.
110. Model Ship Building.
“Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today”.
Stop procrastinating and putting things off, becasuse the longer you leave things the longer it will take to do something about changing your life for the better.
If you feel depressed with low self esteem, read some self hep books and reach out to organisations that may be able to help you. Talk to your GP.
If there are obstacles in your way learn how to get round them. No one is going to help you if you do not help yourself.
I hope I have given you some ideas to help you blow the blues away. Do take inspiration on Amazon and see what people are selling from handmade gifts to finding the ideal book to help you learn. You can find pretty much anything on Amazon from learning a new language to learning how to code.
Whatever your forte from drones to drills, you will not have any trouble finding what you need on Amazon.
Tis the season to be jolly. Christmas Holiday Season is meant to be filled with happiness and cheer, with social gatherings and celebrations and gifting. But this year is like no other.
Aswell as all the things that some people are not looking forward to this time of year, we have the added bonus of the Coronavirus Covid-19 Pandemic and limited houeshold meetups.
For many people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety.
The demands of making your Christmas perfect may cause us to be on the verge of a mental breakdown with rushing around shopping for gifts, food and outfits as well as organising parties. Even having more people than normal can cause us to be stressed as we want the turkey and trimmings to be impressive and we have to be protray everything is hunkey dorey even though we may be having a nervous meltdown. If we have to balance entrepreneurship on top, we can end up feeling overwhelmed.
Most CEO’s if you ask them how their business is doing will without a shadow of doubt say “Everything is Great”. No one wants to admit failure or tell the real truth. Being honest by saying your business has problems is a sign of weakness and no one want to look stupid or inadequet for failing. Some people are just waiting for you to fail just to say “I told you so”, hence CEO’s will always show they are doing great.
Entrepreneurs are:2x more likely to suffer from depression
People who normally do not view themselves as depressed may develop symptons, such as:
Depression, crying a lot or wanting to stay in bed all day
Induldging in too much alcohol
Wanting to Isolate
Balancing your home and your business can lead to a lot of tension. Christmas is also a financial burden with us over spending or not budgeted properly and perhaps not having enough funds. Sometimes it can be difficult to gift a large household and extended family and friends. It is this time of year that people spend by maxing out their credit cards. However whilst spending it does not hurt in the short term, however when it comes to pay at the end of the month in the long term that is when people feel they are in hot water and start to get depressed even more.. Knowing how to budget your money will either make you or break you.
People do not look forward to Christmas for a number of reasons:
Financial Burden & Obligations
Loneliness (perhaps they have no family or friends)
Grief (the loss of a person through death or breakup can be very traumatic and painful to handle)
Mental Health Issues (Depression, PTSD, Anxiety) Perhaps they do not want reminders of the past
Social Disconnection (finding it hard to socialise)
Not getting along with some family members and the awkwardness of reuniting once a year
Dealing with alcoholism surrounded by people who are drinking
Paying Christmas Bonuses (no having enough funding)
Having your business restricted due to pandemic regulations causing you to have financial difficultues (businesses closing for good or laying off staff)
Not being able to travel because of pandemic regulations
Illness, not being mobile (disabled) or may be in hospital
People expecting life changing surgeries and are worried about the aftermath and are living an uncertainty such as organ transplants or heart surgery
How to overcome Christmas Blues
Set goals and have a plan of action, prioritise the most important things on your schedule of things to do
Budget your finances (Do not overspend)
Pace yourself do not bite off more than you can chew
Be realistic with your expectations, do not raise yourself up for disappointment and compare your day to previous days
Ask for support from your network of family and friends ask them to bring a dish if your struggling financially, everyone loves home made food and treats
If you are lonely volunteer to help other people in the same situation as yourself. Network with organisations that specialise in getting lonely people together at Christmas or volunteer to work over the Christmas holidays
If you have friends or family struggling with alcoholism make your celebrations alcohol free
If you know of an elderly person home alone at christmas spread some Christmas Cheer by gifting them and looking in on them to see if they are ok
Make handmade gifts which will save you money, write handmade notes for old people and neighbours, leave notes around randomly for strangers to pick up (secret santa speacial message notes) Send out emails and messsages and e-cards
Make your own decorations, there is a picasso in all of us
Make some time for yourself, pamper yourself or as I do each year, I always buy myself a Christmas present so that I am never disappointed.
Make an effort to contact friends and family that you may not have had the opportunity to connect with because of distance or pandemic restrictions (Set up Video calls)
Personally speaking I do not look forward to Christmas other than maybe going to a fancy restaurant (which is not going to happen this year) or viewing the Christmas lights and visiting the Christmas Markets.
Christmas will never be the same again and I miss the family congregation that we spent the holidays at my parents house. Since they have gone I only have my daughter and the cat, so Christmas can be lonely at times. She is in a relationship so I find I am sharing her with ther boyfriend.
I do not bother with Christmas decorations as who is going to see them anyway and do not like to socialise so I concentrate on what matters the most to me and that is my business. Before you read in between the lines I am not interested in getting into a relationship, have been burnt too many times.
Not everyone I am connected with is Catholic or Christian, I am fortunate to also have Muslim friends so its not as if I cannot reach out to anyone if I wanted to.
I cannot bring my parents or my brother back but I can move on and have set myself some goals which I am striving to acheive. I want to make changes to my life and I know nothing stands still so I know with perserverance when one door closes another one opens.
I must admit I do not foresake Christmas Dinner regardless if it only dinner for one, I will splash out with all the trimmings and the extras and have the best of the best and feast like a Princess.
Remember there is always someone that you can chat to over the holiday period, you do not have to do it alone. If you are struggling you can phone the Samaritans on 116 123
I wrote on my other blog about Mental Health Amongst Entrepreneurs and there are some useful links should you need some support at this difficult time.
My Favourite Treats, Should Anyone Want To Gift MeAre:
Your Reputation is the key to your success. If your reputation is tarnished how do you make it squeaky clean again?
Warren Buffett’s famous quote on reputation goes like this: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.
Our reputation can be damaged via our personal lives through melicious rumours, this can start in school onto higher education, it could be at work because of competive co-workers who are jealous of your performance or it could be unhappy customers writing bad things about your Brand. In some case it can even be political. Whatever the circumstances we have the power to create our own destinies and by confronting the issue head on we are one step closer to regaining our good image back.
Reputation may be falsely advertised with personal attacks, customer complaints and blatant falsehoods but what if what was said was true how do you recover from that? How do you restore your brands reputation?
If you find untrue content published, you can take legal action against the perpetrators. However if the content is damaging and true there is little you can do to remove the content other than to bombard the internet with lots of good news.
Slander can cause irrevocable damage against companies and individuals. Slander is when content is published to be untrue and or misleading causing defamation of character spoken oral or written communication with the intent and unjustly harm the reputation and usually constitutes a tort or crime. In the late 19th century, the expression “yellow journalism” was used and described by New York Press editor Erwin Wardman, how newspaper moguls, specifically Joseph Pulitzer II and William Randolph Hearst, would use misleading sensationalized news article to improve circulation. Randolph Hearst was the subject material that inspired Orson Welles to make the film Citizen Kane, based on the influence and corruption he acquired in the 1920s and 1930s.
A damaged reputation may be difficult to recover from or repair. That is why protecting you brand is so important, Getting your good name back is not always easy, but it can be done with patience, determination, and perseverance.
If the truth is out there is little you can do to take it down, but you can bombard the internet with good and positive news. If you continue filling the internet with good things your bad reputation will be old news in no time at all. Time is a healer as they say.
A bad reputation is potentially temporary providing you can continue to have positive things written about up consistently.
Never forget what damage has been done but always remember people care less over time. After all the world does not stay in the same place all the time, people have other things to talk about and providing you are meticulous with positive news eventually your bad reputation will be history.
Think of this this way your bad reputation is only what happened today or yesterday, but you can make a difference by not carrying on into the future. Your bad reputation can continue manifesting if you do nothing, but with the right resources you can make it a thing of the past. Research shows that, contrary to popular belief, when compared to other means of social evaluation, reputation matters measurably less than other factors.
Remember, focus on the things you can control, not the things you can’t. What content has been published cannot be unpublished but the more content you have written that is positive will eventually outweigh anything bad.
Consider addressing the world about the bad content and make you views known. If there is no proof of the statements that have been published and is pure speculation directed at you consider a way that can help you rectify any misunderstandings. Perhaps there are other entities that may not be directly linked to you that have disgraced your honour, yet people have come to a conclusion it is your own wrong doings that have caught media attention and you need to set the records straight. Discuss with people openly about what has happened and regain peoples trust.
The secret is to change how others think about you. Sometimes you just need to control the perceptions of others. People need to be programmed to see things in a different light. Reinventing yourself and showing people a new you and by consistently showing a different perspective on what would have been once thought as bad will encourage people to talk about you in a positive manner.
Whether your reputation is true or false try to denounce accusations as lies as quickly as possible. The longer you leave it the more chances of you being labelled and associated to this atrocity. Be assertive not aggressive, and make sure you spread the word that you have tried to defend yourself. If you do nothing the finger will be pointed your way. Ask other people to help set the story straight. The longer this bad reputation exists, the harder it may become to fix. Clarify any misunderstandings. Be outspoken when challenging lies.
A good way to improve your reputation and regain trust is to do show you are a good person and go out of your way to be kind and do good deeds.
However, doing too much too quickly can backfire and you must be steady with your pace and be consistent. Its no-good holding and event you need to hold several. There is no quick fix. You cannot come across as desperate a people will see through you, which will damage your reputation even further.
1). If the bad reputation revolves around you alone do nice things for your family, friends and co-workers or your local community. A good way to do good deeds is to do some volunteering work, this is especially helpful in your local communities with elderly or disabled people.
2). If the bad reputation revolves round your business do good deeds for your employees and your customers.
3). If the reputation revolves around something bigger (An Entity) then there are steps you can take to try to resolve the problem and I have a consultation white paper of suggestions for anyone wishing to contact me.
The key to getting rid of your bad reputation is to impress others. Go above and beyond your call of duty. Do impressive things and in turn you can improve how people see you. Gaining peoples trust and respect which is earned can go a long way towards improving your reputation.
Evaluate your social circles, change your life and your beliefs. If you do bad, only bad things will come your way, do good things on the other hand and only good things will come your way.
If the problem is at work and you are caught in a toxic environment this can lead to depression and a poor work performance. You need to tackle the problem head on and if you cannot resolve the problem alone speak with your superiors or HR. A work environment which encourages an unhealthy work-life balance can make it seem that a hardworking, dedicated person make look they are lazy and not performing well, but there could be underlining problem that could cause others to perceive a person differently. Evaluate your workplace if you think you will never fit in because of the perceptions people have about you and after offering an olive branch to make things right, things have not changed consider changing career paths. You cannot make yourself ill by simply being in the wrong job with the wrong people.
When trying to get rid of a bad reputation which is a stigma attached to you try to change yourself. Try to see yourself through the eyes of others, if you do not like what you see, consider changing your mindset. We need to retrain our brains to think differently and it easier said than done as we are creatures of habit. However, making gradual changes in our mannerism and in our thought process and our behaviour eventually people will start to notice.
If you bad reputation is surrounded by who you are and what powers you have, and people are immediately fearful of you try to change your persona to be a loving and kind individual.
Seek professional help, from specialist advisors and consultants. Life coaches or a spiritual guides also can help you transition into a different person. Never be false and always be true to yourself. By starting with yourself and believing in yourself only you can make those changes without being superficial. This will carve the steppingstone to a brighter future.
Once you have mastered your own new strength you need to make people believe in you. Rebranding yourself does not necessarily mean renaming yourself it just means you can change the social stigma to be a more positive one.
By monitoring your reputation online you will help eliminate any false truths and will prevent prolonged damage to your integrity.
The quickest way to see what has been written about you or your brand is to go online and search the search engines results pages (SERP). Monitor your Google Analytics and look out for unusual performance anomalies in your site traffic.
Manage Google Alerts for all your titles using brand names, product tags, popular misspellings, competitors, senior team leaders and key industry terms and popular search phrases.
Evaluate if whilst trying to defend yourself it will cause more harm than good specifically if the damaging content published can be used to gain even more traffic. Consider if the site is a blog where subscribers can leave comments. Do not fuel the fire.
It is common knowledge that there are three laws for reputation management which are authority, authority and authority. The more popular you are, the easier it is to gain authority of your brand be in personal or commercial. A sure-fire way to gain authority is by building a social media reputation with a strong following. The followers must be authentic legitimate people that have subscribed to your social media pages or on blog posts.
You can also build your authority by networking at business intro events or public speaking. You could even be a sponsor, or you could join charitable organizations. Whatever strategy you use if the media is filled with good deeds you are doing only good things will come out of it and your bad reputation will be a thing of the past.
Remember if you are honest with people, people are forgiving and can learn to trust you again. Be the bigger person and own up to your wrong doings, apologise if you can and address the elephant in the room. However not everything is black and white and not everything that has been written about you can be swept under the carpet hence you have to show people you are not as bad as everyone is making you out to be.
Have you noticed at political rallies how politicians pick up babies to show the world they have empathy and can relate to normal folk? Politicians for example have both good and bad followers so see how they deal with the public and follow suit.
When dealing with your brand reputation try to control to conversation using social media platforms to clarify any misunderstandings, reduce complaints and build a fan base at the same time. Monitor not just the public but more closer to home your employees complaint platform such as www.glassdoor.co.uk there could be other sites in your region, do your research and find out what people are saying about you and your brand. Limit the possibilities of people buying up domain names with your brand name and writing controversial things about you. Own all the variations of your website URL, including negative versions (avoidthisbrand.com).
Be quick to apologize to customer complaints. Remember a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people and 13% of very dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people. Bad reviews spread like wildfire. However happy customers who have had their issue resolved will tell about 4-6 people about their experience.
Be authentic and never make up excuses or try and blame the problem on someone else. Always be transparent when handling customer complaints and if you have had bad press do not shy away and hope the problem will go away on its own it wont unless you do a press conference and address the issues.
Gain positive feedback from influencers who can help boost your personal image.
Most importantly, reward loyal customers, influencers and internet marketers. Make your clients and supporters feel appreciated by giving them exclusive content, products or experiences.
Finally, be patient, building a good reputation doesn’t happen overnight whereas rebuilding a damaged one is going to take even longer.
Be in control of what is written on the internet whereas it may take millions of dollars and years to build a a good reputation, it only takes a few minutes to create a social media account and potentially ruin a company’s brand and reputation.