How Being Brave & Being Decisive Could Transform Your Career Prospects

Being brave is often the hardest thing for women who are used to giving in to others’ will. When women have courage and make decisions that they stick to, they often find that people treat them with respect. Certainty is attractive. So next time you’re offered an opportunity you should TAKE IT. And if you aren’t sure you can do it, you can work it out later on. NB. Men are very good at this.

If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”
— Sheryl Sandberg

It’s worth remembering that it’s the things that scare us that are usually the ones worth pursuing. If it’s within our comfort zone it won’t move us forward. To find out how you can succeed, read the following report “Calling Women over 40! Why You Are Stuck In Your Career And What you Can Do About It” by Claudia Crawley & Ghazala Faizi.

Gender stereotypes come into play from early childhood and by the time women are in a career, these stereotypes become self-fulfilling prophecies where men are expected to be ambitious but women are penalised if they are. Men are expected to get leadership positions and earn more and women are expected to be led and earn less. When women are assertive or decisive they are called ‘bossy’ or ‘aggressive’ whereas men are praised for such behaviour.

Kathy Caprino, a US Career Coach notes that most women and some men find it difficult to promote their own abilities and speak up about their achievements and contributions in a positive way. This deeply rooted resistance and hesitancy costs them dearly and yet when women do behave in a competent and assertive way, they often experience critical feedback and reaction.

Caprino further argues that many women, despite being the main breadwinner, hesitate to invest in themselves to further their career as they feel they have to defer to their partner/husband to make the decision for them. They feel guilty spending on themselves and not on their children, parents, home, etc. She says she was shocked at the numbers of women who wanted to join career programs but did not in the end make the commitment. This is completely different to the men who approach her who say ‘yes’ quickly to working together.

Why do women lack the confidence, the power and the authority to make their own decisions about their own growth? Caprino exhorts women,“When it comes to personal and professional development (or anything in life for that matter), you need to make yourself the highest authority of your life, not your spouse, your sister, your boss, your partner”. 

The government has just appointed the economist and policy expert Dr Ros Altmann CBE as business champion for older workers. Did you know that there are currently around 2.9m people aged between 50 and 65 (state pension age) out of work in the UK? These workers are expected to become key to filling workforce recruitment needs as demographic predictions show there will be 700,000 fewer people aged 16-49 in the UK labour market over the next decade but 3.7m more people aged between 50 and state pension age. So now is the right time for women over 40 to be brave and decisive. You have never been more needed in the economy.

Women need to take more risks in the career decisions they make as not taking risks comes at a heavy cost. What used to be a career ladder is now more of a labyrinth where women have to find out what the unwritten rules of the organization are. You will need to show resilience and persistence as the journey through the jungle gym is anything but smooth for most women. Coaching can help women deal with this journey, mastering mindset issues and enabling women to take on challenges and stretch themselves.

Planning your career may seem a daunting and difficult task, but you don’t need to do it alone. Claudia Crawley and I are running a two day immersive workshop in September for women like you, over 40, ambitious and determined to do the high level work you know you are eminently capable of.

Find out more, click here.

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Why Should You Have a Career Plan?

Are you doing well in your career and would like to join the senior ranks of your organisation? Or are you ready to start up your own business but something always gets in the way? Perhaps you know that you should be in line for a promotion but it seems to take a long time coming. You know the career and position you ultimately want but can’t envisage how you will achieve it?

Did you know that nearly 50% of women don’t plan their career goals as compared to 33% of men (according to Penny Valk, CEO of Cedar)? Ruth Malloy says, ‘…… women are less deliberate than men in their career progressions, thinking, “I will learn, grow, and build my capabilities,” rather than, “I will create opportunities to learn X and gain experience in Y to get to position Z.”

Most people spend more time planning their holidays than they do their careers. In the old paradigm of jobs for life, opportunities provided by the employer determined the direction and pace of people’s careers. However, in the new paradigm you are responsible for your own career development and often training too. To find out how you can succeed, take a look at the following report “Calling Women over 40! Why You Are Stuck In Your Career And What you Can Do About It” by Claudia Crawley & Ghazala Faizi.

For many women, just showing up for work means finding a critical balance between domestic responsibilities for children, elderly parents or household chores and the world of work. However, as a woman over 40, you may find that at last you have the freedom to have the career you have always wanted. So how do you go about it? Having a structured career plan with actionable steps will help you climb the ladder or labyrinth you wish to navigate.

Why is a career plan necessary?

If you have no vision or goal for your future career, how can you achieve it? Two years down the road, you may be asking yourself why you are still in the same position. A career plan is an action plan with clearly identifiable steps you need to follow to meet your aims. Regular reviews allow you to take stock of how close you are to achieving your goals and any corrective action you may need to take.

Anne was struggling with the next step to take in her career.  She felt she was coasting in her job and wanted more but was lacking in confidence. She couldn’t see the wood for the trees and was confused at being passed over.  She had a great deal of experience that was taken for granted by her employer but she didn’t know how to progress further. Anne set her goal to join the ranks of senior management in her company and worked out a roadmap. 6 months later I found out that she had got there!

While planning your career may seem a daunting and difficult task, you don’t need to do it alone. Claudia Crawley and I are running a two day immersive workshop in September for women like you, over 40, ambitious and determined to do the high level work you know you are eminently capable of.

Find out more, click here.

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Confidence & Self Promotion: 3 Reasons Why Aspiring High Flying Women Need Them

Women have to be extr

emely confident in their own abilities and clear that they really want senior jobs. Despite being well qualified and having proven abilities, many women vacillate about whether they should even apply for senior posts. And self promotion is an absolute must for women who want to make it. Are you a woman who wants to make it? To find out how you can succeed, take a look at the following report “Calling Women over 40! Why You Are Stuck In Your Career And What you Can Do About It” by Claudia Crawley & Ghazala Faizi.

Here are 3 good reasons to build up your confidence and promote yourself.

1. Too often women find they need to ‘knock on closed doors’ whereas men are likely find the door open should they decide to apply.

Hewlett-Packard revealed that women only apply for open jobs if they think they meet 100% of the criteria listed; men apply if they think they meet 60% of the requirements. So why is this?

According to Peggy Klaus, author of ‘BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It’, , “It has to do with the cultural, societal, religious, and familial ‘myths’ that we’ve grown up with since we’ve emerged from the womb: about how we should behave, how we should look and how we should think. One of those myths is that women should not bring attention to themselves―that their attention should go towards nurturing, encouraging and “bragging about others.”

2.  Self promotion is vital even if there is a backlash due to gender and cultural stereotypes. You won’t get anywhere in your career without it. According to research, people who are comfortable promoting themselves tend to be more successful in getting through interviews and landing that dream job. Not only do they build stronger networks – they have greater success in business and throughout their careers”. So how should you ‘brag’ and feel ok about doing it?

According to Klaus, brag in a ‘gracious, graceful manner’. She says, “women have what I call a narrower band of acceptable communication and behaviour then do white men. (By the way, women and men of colour have an even a narrower band).”

She recommends that women brag through storytelling in a conversational way through ‘bragologues’. “Bragologues are powerful in getting people to think about you in just the ways you want. These pithy and entertaining “monologues” are woven together with a few memorable or impressive nuggets of information called brag bites―pieces of relevant facts, such as clients that you’re working with, how long you’ve been in the industry, or a project you’ve recently completed….Hone in on your accomplishments, successes, obstacles you’ve overcome, and other positive attributes”.

Here are 5 top tips for promoting yourself:

i)               Promote your value: Share the achievements and successes you bring to the table

ii)             Give examples: Share what you are passionate about and know a great deal about.

iii)            Keep it relevant: Think about your audience and be strategic in what you communicate

iv)            Toot the horn for others: When you recognise and publicise the accomplishments of other people it’s a win-win for all and indirectly promotes you too.

v)              Deal with disapproval: You may experience criticism and negative comments when you become the leader you always expected to be. You can reframe the criticism and deal with it. Shrug it off, resilience is key.

3. Confidence is a central issue for all women, even those who have reached the top. Even the amazing Sheryl Sandberg admitted that she often feels ‘not good enough’. We’re not too good at owning our successes and often put them down to luck or give others the credit. Women should own their strengths, skills and achievements and go out there and be seen AND heard.

While planning your career may seem a daunting and difficult task, you don’t need to do it alone. Claudia Crawley and I are running a two day immersive workshop in September for women like you, over 40, ambitious and determined to do the high level work you know you are eminently capable of.

Find out how you can get tickets, click here.

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Career Change: How ‘Laddism’ Deters Young Women’s Career Progress

The Gaming industry is now bigger than Hollywood in terms of its income and womens’ participation in what was a male only club is now half of all gamers. Gaming is riddled with caricatures of women as sex objects and this has alarmingly escalated to killing and hitting women in games for points, disguising them as prostitutes to make it acceptable. The gaming industry has been described as “toxic and hostile to women” and yet little attracts little criticism by wider society.

The British culture of laddism is not new but is still extremely pervasive. The sexist humour of many comedians today that some men and women laugh at serves to validate sexist behaviour and misogyny in society. Kirsty Wark in an Horizon program “Blurred Lines: The New Battle Of The Sexes” aired in May 2014, interviewed teenagers at a British school on the attitudes of girls and boys to sexual behaviour. Wark commented she was “shocked and distressed” by what she learned. At parties girls are regularly groped and feel they cannot speak up against it.

In school, girls hear sexist jokes daily and find that they are called sluts if they have the slightest interest in sex, whereas boys are regarded as men if they are very interested in sex. The societal culture of reducing women to sex objects and colluding in the acceptability of rape is having a devastating impact on our children in their formative years and this is where girls begin to learn not to aim high or to stand out for fear of being labelled negatively. As the culture of misogyny is widely prevalent today, young women’s career progression is being hampered.

The good news is that women in Britain are standing up to misogyny and fighting back. The Everyday Sexism Project forced Facebook last year to change its rules to forbid violent, misogynistic content on its site. Increasing numbers of people have challenged the attacks on Mary Beard. If we want our young people to grow up in a culture of mutual respect, Wark argues that we have to ensure that misogynistic views are not tolerated or gain a solid footing. Otherwise, she warns, “there will be destructive consequences for the next generation”.


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Career Change: Standing Up To Misogyny

There is clear evidence that high performing organisations have women at the top. Women make up over half of the UK population and account for 45% of the working population. Despite this demographic, women are not represented at most organisations at senior level. In fact, only 22% of FTSE 100 board members today are women. This situation has now become an urgent issue for the corporate sector. However, what is happening in the wider society in terms of a prevailing acceptance or tolerance of misogyny profoundly affects how young women, the leaders of the future, see themselves and their careers.

A BBC2 documentary by top journalist Kirsty Wark on 8th May 2014 provided valuable insight into the shockingly widespread culture of misogyny in the UK and the US. Called “Blurred Lines: The New Battle Of The Sexes”, the program looked at women’s achievements today in the light of the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s. The advances made by women in many spheres have led to a reactionary backlash resulting in a culture that still treats women as sex objects and trivialises sexual violence. Wark asks how, in our society today, has it become acceptable to be offensive to women?

She analysed the role of the internet in normalising and promoting violence against women. Women in the public eye are often subject to misogynistic abuse when they stand up and express their opinions. Professor Mary Beard was subjected to a campaign of unpleasant abuse via the internet last year when she appeared on the BBC’s Question Time as a guest speaker. When interviewed by Wark, Professor Beard stated that the attacks on her were vile and she considered them personal and political. She said that they would drive women from participating in public life.

Caroline Criado Perez in 2013 was threatened with rape and murder on Twitter after she campaigned for the author Jane Austen to appear on new British banknotes, that to date have been dominated by images of men. Two people, a man and a woman were jailed subsequently. Perez commented that it’s not surprising that even women attack other women as in her view, “this society is steeped in misogyny”.

If we as a society wish to encourage women to take senior roles and share in the decision making at the very top, we need to ensure that they live in a culture that is encouraging and supportive rather than one that is aggressive and violent towards those women who stand up for women in general to be represented and reflected at all levels of society.

If you would like assistance with your career change, contact me at or give me a call at +44 7563 563 254.

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Career Change By Not Playing Small

Are you at a crossroads in your life? Have you been intending to make some drastic changes to your work environment but somehow life got in the way? The time to make use of the opportunities out there is right here, right now.  Everything you have done until this point will help you to achieve your dreams.  It’s not important who you were before but who you are now and what you will decide to become.  All that matters is the present.

So what decisions will you make regarding your career change?  Whatever they are, let them be conscious, carefully thought through and powerful. Stand up to your fears and negative beliefs about yourself, identify them and get help to eliminate them.  It can be done and is being achieved by many people every day.  Who are you to act small when the world needs your brilliance?

Marianne Williamson says,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world….”

One of the common reasons why someone does not do work they love is they allow fears to rule their life. Many people have fears about themselves and ask, “Am I good enough?” Other common fears around careers are:

  • I am lousy at interviews
  • I will never get that job
  • I don’t have enough confidence
  • I have had no practice at interviews and will be terrified
  • I will forget everything when put on the spot
  • I can’t ask for the salary I want
  • How do I find what I love to do?

Get a coach to help you address all the above fears and more, reframe them and move forward in your life. They can then assist you in setting goals for your life, your career and other areas that are a priority for you.

Another reason for not achieving the life of your dreams is the reluctance to take risks.

However, as Tony Robbins says,

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten”.

When you take action, even if it’s taking small steps, since you’re heading in the right direction you have more chance of arriving at your career goal than if you do nothing.  Don’t let proscrastination hold you back from fulfilling your life’s ambitions.  If you plan for the risk, take consistent steps and ensure you have a backup plan, the risk will not seem so huge. Take a leap and make your choice at the crossroads of your life.

If you would like my support on this journey, email me at or call me on:

+44 7563 563 254.


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Career Change: Choose Yourself

I have just finished readying ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher, published in 2013. I highly recommend this book to career changers and to anyone else interested in personal development.  If you want to know how others have conquered their fears and obstacles despite what life has thrown at them, this book is for you.  It’s also your cup of tea if you are going through a tough time now in your life and need some inspiration and hope.

Altucher’s subtitle for the book is ‘Be Happy, Make Millions, Live The Dream’.  This particularly resonates with me because my first book, in its writing phase now, will be about why and how you should work in your passion.  Too many of us work in jobs that don’t fulfill us, or neglect our potential.  I believe you should be able to take your whole self to work, not only the parts the employer may want. When you work in your passion, you will be happy and at your most productive and creative.

Altucher argues that the middle class is dead, jobs are disappearing and every industry is going through transformation.  Therefore, individuals have to transform themselves too. He suggests “you have to choose yourself to succeed”. We are in a phase where ideas are more important than people and we have to choose ourselves for happiness. What he means by choosing yourself is that rely on no-one else to make you happy or bring you success. Take responsibility for your own life and career, whatever shape it may take.

Technology, outsourcing, efficiencies in productivity as well as the burgeoning temp staffing industry have all meant that the job era of jobs for life is in the past. However, today, hundreds of startups are being set up at a rapid pace and successfully stealing business from corporates.  Women entrepreneurs are a growing trend transforming the world of work as we know it. Everyone is an entrepreneur now or wants to be.

Altucher recommends you say “no” more often. He learned the “power of no” when he decided that there was more value for him when he enjoyed what he was doing rather than when he chased after every business project that came his way. For example, he used to say yes when asked to meet someone, or to have coffee with them, but does so no longer. There are so many reasons we say yes when doing so is not what we really want or need. How often do you say yes and wish you’d said no?

Shaa Wasmund, author of ‘Stop Talking, Start Doing’, says in her blog that when we say “yes” to the things that don’t engage us, it takes our time away from the people and the things we love. And it’s time that you said no to the things you don’t want to do or that you don’t have the time to do.  Instead say yes to what you enjoy and what brings meaning to your life. That’s why you should pursue a career where you have a passion.

Did you know that more than 60 % of the population want to change their careers but for a variety of reasons, many do nothing about it?  Some however, know that only their own actions and passion will get them to the new career.  The wisest know that getting a coach and mentor will get them to their destination much quicker and are ready to invest in themselves and their own development.

As a trained Executive Coach and Career Coach, I can accelerate you to your new career and support you through what can be a complex process.  If you would my support, email me at or call me on +44 753 563 254 for a free career assessment.  Wherever you are in the world, I can work with you through Skype and other technologies.


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Career Change By Shattering The Glass Ceiling

I was really shocked to learn that women make up only 17% of board seats at the top Fortune 500 companies despite being represented at much higher levels at middle management level. All these corporates have equality policies to increase representation from women, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, etc. to meet employment law.  So what is going wrong? And do you think it’s important that women make up half the board of a corporate to reflect their representation in the population? In terms of participation in parliament, women hold just 20% of the seats globally.

In the UK, last year only 3 of the FTSE100 executives were women. Employing more women in senior positions has the potential to increase productivity and boost profitability, says Jo Feely, Head of Consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index is an annual report that in 2013 highlighted that leading companies are failing to capitalize on the talents of women in the workforce. In the US in 2010, women earned 0.77c for every dollar earned by a man. The WEF’s Corporate Gender Gap Report 2010 is the first study to cover the world’s largest employers in 20 countries and benchmark them against the gender equality policies. 600 of the heads of Human Resources at the world’s largest employers were assessed focusing on economic participation and the opportunity gap.

Although most companies should have gender policies in place the actual practice demonstrates they are usually missing. The report says that it is clear that corporates are not doing enough.

As women are half the potential human capital available in any economy, the WEF argues that the “efficient use of this talent pool is a key driver of competitiveness”. As Professor Klaus Schwab Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF says, “Women account for one-half of the potential talent base throughout the world and therefore, over time, a nation’s competitiveness depends significantly on whether and how it educates and utilizes its female talent”. In my view, no country can afford to neglect the skills of their women and when they do, it’s to the nation’s detriment.

In 2011, McKinsey & Co. published a report that found that whilst men are generally promoted on their potential, women are promoted on past accomplishments. There are a number of reasons why women choose to remain at their current level or move on to another organization. It was been that women at middle management level were more interested in progressing to leadership roles than entry level women.

Women cited the following reasons for their lack of advancement, despite having confidence and wishing to progress: “lack of role models, exclusion from the informal networks, not having a sponsor in upper management to create opportunities”.

Sheryl Sandberg in “Lean In” 2013, argues that whilst there are considerable barriers that exist in external society that hold women back, women are impeded in their progress by internal factors too.  There was criticism last year when the book was published as many people believed Sandberg was blaming women and letting institutions off the hook.  However, her position is that both external and internal obstacles have to be overcome and women themselves are central to their own advancement.

I agree with this stance as this is not a simplistic problem.  Yet I believe that with more role models such as Sandberg and McKinsey forging the way, women’s advancement is inevitable.  The question is, how long will it take to achieve parity?  That will depend on how strongly you wish to shatter the glass ceiling.  With a coach/mentor, the process will be accelerated and less difficult.

If you would like me to work with you to help you smash the glass ceiling, contact me at or call me on +44 7563 563 254.


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Is This The End of Your ‘Job’?

In the UK we had great news in January about falling unemployment numbers and its positive impact on economic growth. House prices are starting to rise and some manufacturers are reported an increase in orders for their goods internationally.  This growth has yet to filter down to most households, however there are signs that there are more ‘jobs’ out there.

In the US, unemployment has also been falling. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in December 2013 unemployment rates were lower at regional and state levels. “Forty-two states and the District of Columbia had unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, six states had increases, and two states had no change.  The national jobless rate declined to 6.7 percent from November and was 1.2 percentage points lower than in December 2012.

Whilst the experts cannot agree that the US economy is improving, small advances are apparent. President Obama’s recent state of the union address expressed it too, when the president spoke about job growth and a housing rebound.

However, the issue now is that the old world paradigm of jobs for life, security with or loyalty to your employer is now defunct.  In today’s marketplace, employers are struggling to cope with the rapid pace of change affecting all aspects of their business.  Keeping flexibility over employee contracts and being forced to restructure regularly means that there is a downward pressure on wages and a huge turnover in personnel throughout the organization. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook writes that as of 2010, the average American worker has had 11 jobs from the ages of 18-46.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt warned business leaders recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos that increasing numbers of middle class workers would lose their jobs with the ongoing development of new technology. He said that the jobs problem would be “the defining one” for the next two to three decades and that it was not clear if workers would have the right skills to be re-hired. Mr Schmidt compared the situation to the industrial revolution.

 He called for more industry-wide innovation and said, “It’s a race between computers and people – and people need to win.”

 What does this mean to you, the job seeker?  It means that you now have to regard your future employment as your own responsibility rather than as a series of jobs determined by which employer hires you.  It means being proactive towards your own progression up the career ladder and creating your own personal brand.  For many workers, this means taking advantage of redundancy packages to set up their own businesses. They are now doing what they love, often for the first time in their lives.

Setting up your own business or creating a new career can be a long and complex undertaking. John Williams who wrote ‘Screw Work, Let’s Play’ (2010) argues that the digital revolution has turned us from workers into ‘players’ and encourages you to join the revolution. As the late, great Steve Jobs said:

“…the only way to do great work is to do what you love.  And if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle”.

If you are ready to do what you love to do and won’t settle, contact me for support on your journey at


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Career Change: Bedazzle in 2014


2014, create a new You and bedazzle all around you.
I personally find the beginning of the year an exciting time as I feel I have been given a new chance to achieve my dreams in the coming year.  I feel optimism and change in the air in January 2014 and believe that anything is possible. It’s interesting that there was a new moon at the beginning of January too, a great time to set positive intentions for the year.

Everyone is talking about resolutions or goals and how you can achieve them.  Even more people are discussing how few resolutions will be achieved and how most will be abandoned by February 2014.  So how can you ensure that you successfully fulfil your goals for your new career?

Firstly, think about what you really want from life as your career has an impact on all areas.  Do you know what your deeply held values are and are you meeting them in the work you currently do? Review your past career and think about what has been holding you back from achieving your ideals.

Secondly, are you aware what your passion is? Is there something you would love to do but do not expect to be paid for it?  Would you like to set up your own business but are not sure how or in what niche? Working with a career coach/mentor can help you clarify what your ideal career is. If you would like my support for this, contact me on  If you are not yet 40, I won’t hold it against you!

Thirdly, ensure that you set realistic goals for the short, medium and long term and that all your goals are framed correctly.  As our behaviour is affected by our subconscious to a large extent, it is important that our goals are supported by our subconscious and not sabotaged by it.  That’s why it is so important to write down your goal in the present tense as if it has already happened and give it a deadline.  For example, I have achieved my target weight of x by end of June 2014. Your subconscious will help you achieve it.

Do your goals resonate with you emotionally? Goals are more likely to be achieved if they affect you deeply and you have a motivation for achieving them.  For example, you want to work from home so that you can spend more time with your children. Make sure you have goals for the main areas of your life, e.g. career, health, finances, relationships, etc.

So now you have your goals, how can you ensure that you will succeed in achieving them?  Having a positive attitude is a pre-requisite.  To find out how you can develop and maintain a positive mindset, read my free guide.

However, you will also need to be persistent and take action regularly towards your goals through a strategic career plan. This will help you to organize the various tasks required and enable you to monitor your progress and to take corrective action where required.  Don’t leave achieving your goals to chance as that’s the way they will drop from your radar.  Invest in yourself and get a coach to motivate you, hold you accountable and inspire you to achieve what you have only previously dreamed about.  I know you can do, be and have anything you want! What will you choose for 2014?

Capture my support while I am still available, contact me at or call me on +44 7563 563 254.

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