#AnEmpowered2019 an anthology of community wisdom

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Hello folks,

I’ve been so touched by the contributions to my #anempowered2019 Instagram invitation and there have been some beautiful and thought provoking posts from so many in our lovely community I had to share some.

Whilst there are far too many to share all of them, I’ve picked, entirely at random, a few posts aired in response to the ‘lessons i’ve learnt’ prompt. I feel there’s so much collective wisdom here it deserves not to be lost in the either.

Thank you to all those who have shared and continue to voice their much valued perspective. I’m looking forward to more in this series throughout the year.

The images in this blog post have been taken from the posts on instagram, please head on over to the individual accounts for all photography credits, links are included with each comment.

The lovely Jenny of  lightly.love

The lovely Jenny of lightly.love

Let’s kick off with the lovely Jenny of Lightly.

“What I’ve learnt from 2018”

My biggest learning I think 💭 is to go with your gut
You know deep inside what is true for you; you above all people know what your capabilities are, what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses.

It is absolutely fine to look around for inspiration and to stay in the game - but above all else we each have something very special to bring to the table - so own that and bring it...in abundance 💫

(see Jenny’s original post here)


Victoria Murray - Your branding photographer, has 4 bang on no nonsense tips in her lessons from 2018.


1 - quiet the negative voices around you. You know what is right for you and your business. Trust you gut.

2 - believe in yourself. You can’t expect others too if you don’t.

3 - go for the ‘unreachable’ goals and aspirations. You’ll surprise yourself by what you can achieve.

4 - be present. Most creatives start their own business because they want more. More time. More work-life balance. More happiness. Don’t lose sight of that and fall into the trap of being consumed by this business you love.


Susanne Geert shares her commitment to no Zero days…

Image by  Susanne Geert

Image by Susanne Geert

The biggest lesson I learned from 2018 is quite simple that what really works for me is: 
DECIDING TO NOT HAVE ZERO DAYS. ☆ 
It’s something I made a deliberate choice about when I faced the fact that building a business is not that easy. Not a surprising knowledge. But being in the middle of the struggle is something else than knowing it’s gonna be challenging. ☆ 
On a practical level not having zero days means that every day (weekends and holidays not included if we talk business) I do SOMETHING that moves me in the right direction. ☆ 
When I have days where I find it difficult to move my business forward in the pace I was hoping for or when I experience resistance I make focus much more simple by chopping it down to bite-sized tasks I can do to move in the direction that inarguably will move me towards where I want to go. ☆ 
It can be large or small assignments. But even just editing one image to put in my portfolio or here on Instagram: If I know that this will be a step in the right direction towards the business I hope to run then I am doing right (in contrast to wrong - taste the words). ☆ 
Of course, this doesn’t mean I am not allowed to take breaks and holiday where I don’t work. But this way I both make sure I move forward and that I don’t blame myself for procrastinating. Blaming ourselves never build great businesses - large or small. ☆ 
On the very practical and tangible side of business (maybe you have to be a photographer to fully understand this one…). 2018 was also the year I learned myself to do action food photos both being the photographer and the model in front of the camera at the same time. Not that easy but fantastically useful if you get this skill under the skin🤗


Capture of the Beautiful Eleanor of Creative countryside by her husband @thewelshhouse

Capture of the Beautiful Eleanor of Creative countryside by her husband @thewelshhouse

My dear friend Eleanor of Creative Countryside has this to share.

I think the biggest lesson I'm taking into 2019 is to always look for the light. I've taken some huge leaps of faith with Creative Countryside - some have paid off, others have flopped, but I've learnt heaps from from those things that haven't gone so well. I'm still learning that it's ok to make these mistakes, that it's all part of the journey.

You can find Eleanor’s original post here.


My beautiful and inspiring client and fellow coach Kate Happle shares what she’s learnt this past year.

Kate Happle,  find here posts here

Vulnerability- no one expects you to be perfect, in fact people (including clients and business connections) will build a deeper trust and relationship with you when you allow them to see that you’re not. .
The biggest wins in small businesses come when you finally let go and embrace who you truly are, rather than who you think you need to be. .


There is an essential sweet spot of balance between consistency/organisation and inspired spontaneous action, in all areas of your business. Finding it may be the holy grail, but looking for it will improve your business and your life immeasurably in the meantime.


There is no one right way to make a business successful. Even in two businesses that to all intents and purposes look the same from the outside. Every business and every business owner is different, their own values, priorities, skills and passions making up the ecosystem that is their own business universe. Embracing and balancing your own ecosystem is the only way to make your business thrive.


I love working with, supporting and coaching passionate business owners. At the beginning of the year I didn’t know just quite how important that was to me. Now I do.
Thank you 2018 for the lessons.


This is the word of the year for the lovely Becky Kilsby of Freestyle Careers,  read her blog post about it here.

This is the word of the year for the lovely Becky Kilsby of Freestyle Careers, read her blog post about it here.

Becky had an incredible 2018, it was a time of big change she shares learnings from her perspective.

This was the year I learnt to put trust in myself and went full-time into my own career change coaching business!
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Like many career changers, I’d spent months of spread sheets, courses, personal reflection and activities to ensure this really was the best path for me. I was already an experienced career consultant and career coach so knew the theory. Putting it into action for myself was another thing.
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So I also learnt to ask for help – to work with inspiring coaches who believed in me long before I did myself.
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I learnt techniques for handling my inner critics who loved to pipe up about how I would be penniless, homeless and friendless if I went out on my own, ‘threw away’ a secure and well-paid job .. for what?
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And I learnt – above all else – that to live a fulfilled life it is ESSENTIAL for me to stand in my highest values, get perfectly clear about my purpose and to act on that knowledge. .
Once I’d learnt that, the rest was easy – because I then stopped tormenting myself. I was certain this was right for me and knew I could serve my new clients by helping them find the courage and belief to discover what fulfillment means to them.
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I’d learnt what was most important to me, I could see how to live these values, I could handle my gremlins – I was free to go and design the life I yearned for.
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And yes, I’m loving it! .
I’m still learning lots about running a business, handling the negative voices, trusting myself more and believing the risk is worth it. .
What makes me so sure?
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I feel fully alive in my life and my work. How wonderful is that?



The lovely Julieanne Murphy-Steedman @heairloomisland made this contribution and I love it!


My biggest lesson learnt from 2018 was that it’s ok to say no. When I started working for myself I said yes to pretty much any work that came my way, because, well, you need to make money right? The hard thing with this though is a lot of time you end up taking on work that you don’t feel amazing doing, you don’t always end up getting paid what the work is worth, or you end up stressed out (like taking one two giant projects during the summer when I mom full-time, that was slightly stressful- lesson learnt there!) I went into 2018 deciding that I would make an effort to think about the work that came my way and take on what would be a good fit.

It was really hard at first because my first reaction to everything is to be grateful that someone thought to ask means want to straight away say yes. Slowly as the year went by it got a big easier and you know what, it made me feel way better to work on project that I felt really great about (plus I think my family life has really benefited from me being less stressed.) So, here’s to saying no - so that you can say YES to the good stuff!


From Annas post -  find it here

From Annas post - find it here

Anna @wild_moor_alchemy writes:

I think the biggest learning for me was that if I am going to come down with a bad case of comparisonitis, it serves me best to compare myself to the me of a year ago, or two, or five. Looking at what other people in my industry are doing, or other creative entrepreneurs, and using that as a stick to beat myself with brought me to my knees once or twice in the last year. I’ve realised it is more than ok to go at my own pace, and that my space in the world can only be filled by me.


And there you have it folks a few snippets from what has been a thoroughly rich and thought provoking prompt in our #anempowered2019 series. If you’d like to see more of a roundup of some of the other posts let me know and i’ll be happy to oblige. Thank you to all the wonderful souls who have contributed. Here’s to a truly empowered 2019!

With love

x

Elizabeth CairnsComment