Joanne has been running her own businesses for more than a decade now and specialises in helping small business owners develop a successful entrepreneurial mindset.

Being an entrepreneur requires emotional resilience and clarity of purpose, together with the willingness to get the job done even when you don’t feel like it, and to know how to resource yourself when you don’t have the skills or the time to do the job yourself.

These are key areas where solopreneurs, mumpreneurs and startups often get stuck – holding on to control in areas they should let go, and not taking sufficient control of areas that can’t be fully delegated if you want to win in business!

Above all, Joanne helps her business coaching clients to stay in tune with their “Why” and their passion for their business while achieving a healthy balance in their working life.

She believes in doing work you love, and loving the work you do!

body confidence girl mirror

Body Confidence: why it is so important in business

Your body confidence is your tool for making your mark in the world.

Minds and hearts alone won’t do it – we have to have a body to act through.

Think about it… we need

  • eyes to see,
  • ears to hear,
  • a voice to speak with,
  • hands to create, and help us to relate.
  • We need all the underlying structure to work for us to work – lungs to breathe, stomachs to fuel us, legs to take us from place to place.

It is through our body that we experience our world. We collect and filter sensory information through our many nerve endings and the brain, and through this information, we make sense of our experience. So in an immediate sense, I hope it is immediately obvious that having a good relationship with our body will lead us to better care for it, which in turn will set us up to be a better channel for our businesses.

But there’s a little more to it than the fact that our body is our physical avatar, our way of relating to and acting in the world. And that’s this:

The body is an energetic magnet to draw what we desire towards us and through us into reality.

That’s a bold statement, isn’t it? And what does it mean?

From an energy work perspective, there are four key energetic flows to know about and work within our lives.

  1. Firstly, we have the manifesting flow. The manifesting flow is the ability we all have to bring our inspiration through into reality.
  2. The liberating flow is the ability to rise above the humdrum detail of survival and reach towards self-actualisation (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).
  3. The receiving flow is the means through which we allow ourselves to receive love, kindness, generosity, friendship and all the good things that we have coming our way.
  4. The giving flow is the one through which we give those same things – our love, care, kindness, empathy and support.

The body is the magnet that draws the manifesting flow into being. Think about it. Think about a recent innovation you’ve had in your business. It started as an idea – which you began to contemplate and think through, bringing it into your being through your crown chakra. You looked at it from all different angles (third eye chakra). You began to check it out with key influencers (your throat chakra). All the time it’s taking more shape.

At some point, you became committed to the idea (heart chakra). You began to take the necessary steps to put it into place (solar plexus chakra). You went to work to create it until it ‘felt’ right (sacral chakra). And finally, when everything was ready you gave birth to it (base chakra). That’s the manifesting flow – which moves fast for the simplest of ideas, and for those who’ve mastered it, and which can take months and years, even a lifetime, for things of more import.

We give birth to each new change in our lives in this way, and energetically we can make this process easier by creating a safe ground for our desires to take root and grow, just as the physical womb provides the safe environment for a foetus to grow.

If we have safe ground or home, for our desires, it is far easier to draw them in and we become a more efficient channel from inspiration to reality.

And that will make us considerably more effective in business.

So that’s one energetic and yes, an esoteric, reason to develop a truly loving and cherishing feeling towards our body – it creates a safe and loving home through which our desires can be born. We experience more alignment (which is what makes channelling our desires into reality possible), and we experience less resistance. We become better at both receiving and giving, which too makes us more efficient and effective – knowing what our boundaries need to be, setting and holding them for example; delegating where we need to; creating teams that play to individual strengths and so perform better overall. We also through our much-loved businesses move towards our own self-actualisation.

But what else? What of the more prosaic but nevertheless absolutely critical elements of how body confidence affects your business?

Well, firstly total ease in yourself creates ease in the people you are with.

We mirror and amplify each other’s state, so when you are with someone, you will know whether they are comfortable in their own skin or not. That means other people will sense whether you are too! You want your clients to relax into your expert care – whatever service or product you provide. They can only do so if YOU are relaxed in yourself, which is more fundamental than just “not currently stressed”.

Being at ease will help you become a better speaker, communicator, marketer, and deliverer of your service. Why? Because you will see an improvement in intuition (less interference to fight through), better decisions (same reason), better self-esteem, better relationships.

Being at ease with yourself is a core secret to charisma, alongside being totally present. You will become magnetic. And it will become possible to own the rooms you walk into just by being YOU. And when you can do THAT, clients will flock to you.

So, how do we do it?

The first step is to recognise how profoundly programmed we are and to PROTECT YOUR THOUGHTS.

We are bombarded with incessant messaging through the media, through peer pressure, possibly through our family, even through our literature, art, and other cultural expressions. What are the messages? Well, it seems to me I’m permanently stuck between being not enough of something and too much of something else:

Not thin enough, too vocal.

Too demanding, not fit enough.

Not pretty enough, too emotional.

I don’t fit into the small box that’s been designed for me, so I am judged for the too-muchness that spills out of its confines. I’m sure you have your own rock and a hard place too.

If you’re not sure you agree about the messaging, think about this. The apparently objectively most beautiful people in the world are regularly dressed and made up to create an image and then photoshopped like crazy afterwards. So it’s not even a REAL standard of beauty. It is, in fact, a completely unattainable one because it’s NOT real.

So, it’s time to remind yourself with diligence that these are not attainable ideals, and also that they are not YOURS.

What would YOUR beauty ideal be?

Secondly, identifying your own particular brand of judgement will help you know how to fight back against the specific voices in your head.

Think about it now… in the not enough / too much stakes, what do you tell yourself? Got some ideas? Ok then – pick one that really annoys you. Where did that originally come from?

You see it’s probably not even YOUR idea. It is almost definitely something that somebody somewhere along the line said to you and you took it on board. Whether that was a member of your family, a friend, someone at school; or picked up by comparing yourself with someone else, or overhearing a conversation, or hearing something on the radio or picking up something from TV. Was it really yours?

Babies don’t get born into the world with body shame. We pick it up along the way. Well, it’s time to stop perpetuating these self-denigrating myths. Each time we keep them going we distance ourselves from our body further. Instead of being on the same side we make an uneasy ally at best, or an enemy of our own vehicle for getting things done in the world. How silly is that?

So, we’ve set up guard against the wider societal pressure; we’ve identified our own troop of tripper-uppers.

NOW, what do we do….

Let’s just get rid of them! Let’s clear them out. Give them the old heave-ho.

There are so many ways, but one way that I’ve absolutely loved is EFT – emotional freedom technique which you might know as tapping. If you know it, you can use the prompts below to help you clear these old judgements. If you have never done it before or need a reminder, here is a link to a fantastic practitioner and his getting started advice – Rick at Thriving Now.

Tap using the fingers of one hand on the places named below; fill in the detail where I’ve put [xxxx] with the judgement you would really like to let go of…

  • The side of the other hand: Even though I [xxxx], even though I really [xxxx], even though I hugely [xxxx],
  • Top of the head: I’m open to the possibility that [something less judgemental and more open]
  • Eyebrow: I’m willing to see if [something new or different in the situation or about you]
  • The side of the eye: if just maybe [are more redeemable than you originally thought!!]
  • Upper lip: [then begin to set up a positive alternative that you could credibly believe instead]
  • Chin: [reaffirm the positive statement, either with new words or repeating the same]
  • Collar bone: [continue to affirm the new for the rest of the places]
  • Under the arm: [continue to affirm the new for the rest of the places]
  • Top of the head: [affirm once more the new]
  • Breathe in and out…..

The more fun and completely ridiculous you’re willing to be in your judgements the better (because they are what you are secretly thinking anyway).

THEN, having cleared out all the old rubbish, we want to make a decision to think new thoughts about ourselves.

Make a decision RIGHT NOW that when you look in the mirror you will ONLY notice what works about your body and what you love about your body and affirm it to yourself out loud. Perhaps you like the wicked sparkle in your eye.  Maybe you’re grateful to your feet for walking you from appointment to appointment today. Perhaps instead of seeing a soft tummy, you think how grateful you are for the babies that soft tummy represents. Perhaps you always had a soft tummy and you realise that its part of your essential gorgeous womanhood. I don’t know what the trigger points are for you, but you do. Take care of them (literally).

And finally, the icing on the cake is that the very best way to develop your body confidence is to do more of what your body loves.

Eat the food that makes your body feel best. Sleep the sleep your body loves. Exercise the way your body most enjoys. Have the sex your body most enjoys! And do what you love. Give your body pleasure and not only does life become a whole lot more fun, but your body and you will also be best friends and it will work SOOO much better for you.

And if you need help getting your body confidence back, book a coaching session with me now. It will be my privilege to help.

You will never reach your business goals if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.

Today share this Business Magic speech about reaching your business goals with you.

Welcome to a new year! I hope last year was excellent for you, but even if it wasn’t we get to use the new year as an opportunity to start over and my job is to help you master your 2018 ninety days at a time. So if there are any lingering gripes and niggles from last year, let them go completely once and for all, and let’s start the new one with a fresh slate!

My goal in this blog is to encourage you to change the way you plan your business if you are not already a 90-day planner.

If you are, there may be some suggestions that allow you to tweak and improve your existing process.

Why 90 days? Because we have a tendency to overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in three or five. Rockefeller worked on the basis that you plan your 3 – 5-year strategy and then you plan your operations in quarters (Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Verne Harnish).

The 3 – 5-year strategy keeps your goal in mind and can be quite a high level. I have a 20-year goal to make my retirement from poetry and art; a 10-year goal to have established a community for spiritually driven health and wellbeing practitioners; a 5-year goal to be running a yoga and coaching franchise. The goals are high level and can be achieved in a whole variety of ways, but I know what I’m aiming at and I can take action towards them without shutting off other opportunities. For example, I know that I need to hone my skill as a writer and an artist now. It may take 20 years to get the skill to be really good.

Once you have that overall destination in mind, you can break it down into what needs to be achieved this year, and then that is broken down into quarters. What specifically needs to be done this quarter to take me towards that one year, 3 years, 5-year goal. 90 days is long enough for you to get things done, but not so long that you kid yourself you have time to play with. [Who doesn’t sometimes think oh, I’ve got all year to do that, and then get to September with a huge list of things they committed to but haven’t done yet? And isn’t it the case for everyone that there are surprise events, challenges and opportunities that if you are running a longer planning year knock you off track purely because you get distracted in dealing with them?]

So quarterly chunks are manageable, measurable, accountable amounts of time, that require you to FOCUS on what’s important at that moment, and if you stack them together they will add up to real change and forward momentum.

90-day planning:

  • Assumes you have a 3-5 year goal which guides all your business planning
  • Requires you to focus down on what’s important in your business right now: my preference is just 3 goals so that I’m forced to prioritise ruthlessly
  • Is memorable. You only have to remember what you’re working on for these 3 months. You only have 3 goals that are relevant right now.
  • Makes decision making easy. Does this fit within my 90-day plan or not? If not, don’t do it or delegate it.
  • Stops you wasting time. If it isn’t on purpose for your 90 days, don’t do it or delegate it. If you chase two rabbits, both will escape!

So… who is struggling with a bundle of resistance? What’s that resistance about?

Focus gives you a feeling of being control, of running your business the way you want rather than it running you, it improves confidence and clarity, and frankly, it makes a far better impression and so improves your customer and client attraction. It combats overwhelm (if I only have to remember 3 goals, not 27 that helps),  and it provides a clear decision-making structure. And above all, it builds self-esteem.

Why? Because you will begin to prove to yourself just how much you can do when you focus, instead of either feeling like a headless chicken or a hamster in a wheel – completely on track but going nowhere because the track has no end.

So let’s take a piece of paper and divide it into quarters. Label the quarters 1/2/3/4 for the four quarters of the year. Think about the 3-year plan, and what needs to be done THIS year towards that plan. Then think about what has to be done first. Write the 3 most important things in q1.

Now go back over it and check if you’ve written things down that you would truly LOVE to achieve, not just what feels logical. You’re more likely to achieve across the board with items in your plan that are purely for the joy and satisfaction of achieving them.

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing that you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.” Steve Jobs

Life Coaching is a successful technique for turning your life goals into reality.

With Joanne Sumner, life coaching means discussing and overcoming any attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that are in the way of your personal development.

Whether the hurdles are in your personal or your professional life, Joanne is there to guide you, and to support you with realising your goals in your life journey.

A coaching agreement is made at the beginning of the coaching relationship for honesty, a willingness to be open and a commitment to achieving agreed steps and outcomes.

For further information on individual coaching appointments, contact Joanne. Appointments may be in person, generally at The Alexandria Healing Centre in Ealing, West London, or by Skype

2019: The zen of January.

It’s that time of year when everyone is making their new year resolutions, or proclaiming how they won’t be or don’t believe in making new year resolutions – and it can get a bit sanctimonious on both sides! So how about this? Read more »

Money mindset: what if abundance comes first?

A couple of years ago, I spent some time reading A Source of Miracles, by Kathleen McGowan, and I found her take on abundance very interesting. The part of her question that arrested my attention was

“what if abundance came first and deserving second?”

Read more »

Being resourceful, creative and whole: what if we are all naturally like that?

When I was training as a coach, we were invited to see our clients as naturally being resourceful, creative and whole.

Whatever the client might feel, whatever evidence of stuckness, we were to regard the person as a whole; as capable of finding their own solution; as endlessly creative and able to generate new possibilities and thinking. Read more »

How to turn a pessimist into an optimist

It’s a golden oldie in the positive psychology world, but I still swear by Dr Martin Seligman’s process on how to turn a pessimist into an optimist (check out his book Learned Optimism).

Dr. Martin Seligman's "Learned Optimism" teaches us how to turn a pessimist into an optimist

Dr. Martin Seligman’s “Learned Optimism” teaches us how to turn a pessimist into an optimist

The founding idea is that pessimism is escapable if you know how.

Dr Seligman points out a simple causal relationship between what we think and what we feel.

Our thoughts dictate how we feel. Our feelings influence how we act. Our actions have consequences. Those consequences create a new set of thoughts. The thoughts we have again and again over time become the beliefs or the mindset that create the lives we lead.

The good, in fact, the absolutely great news, is that we can learn how to turn a pessimist into an optimist.

By doing so we can improve a whole range of life, health and success outcomes!

How?

  1. Think of a situation that is current but not drastic. Describe it in a few sentences.
  2. Is your description factually accurate? Re-write it until you have the most neutral possible description.
  3. Write a list of all the thoughts you have about this situation and yourself in this situation.
  4. Go through and highlight the most powerful negative thoughts. Making a list of evidence for and against these beliefs.

Ask yourself:

  1. What is the effect of the negative beliefs in terms of how I feel, what I say and what I do?
  2. What would happen if I changed them to something more empowering? [You may also like to note the effects of positive beliefs you’ve identified in terms of what you feel, say and do.]

Check in with how you feel in your body, mind and spirit after this disputation.

Repeat this process with any subject matter where you want to change your mindset.

Notice when you’re making sweeping negative statements. In fact, that’s a hallmark of pessimistic thinking and won’t serve you.

Read more: What is a mindset?

What is a mindset?

Mindset is one of those terms that people bandy about but actually, what is a mindset and why should we care?

A mindset is an established set of attitudes. Or: A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. Read more »