The rollercoaster continues!


In my last blog I wrote about how rubbish things had felt for me that week.  I promised myself that the following week I would be fired up, focused and fabulous.  So here I am ready to report back to you on how that has been.

I posted my blog on Friday morning and felt pretty flat, but after an afternoon of gaining some perspective, doing things that made me happy and taking some time for my mental wellbeing being I was feeling a little more positive.  I understand that to some people that will all sound a bit American but for me it works and let’s be honest, your general wellbeing is so important.  We should focus on that more often rather than simply being happy burning ourselves out.   Anyway as a result of some head space I then had a cracking weekend, doing simple things with someone who makes me smile.  This all set me up for a blinding week and that is what I have had.  So good that I am now writing this blog 3 days late!

A week ago today I drove to Newcastle to spend the day with my friend Sophie.  I mention Sophie in a few blogs.  To recap, we worked together at JL for a few years and she left after being made redundant 4 years ago.  Since then she has set up Smart Resourcing Solutions and in my opinion she is flying.  She is a great inspiration, motivation and support to have in my life.  Alongside being a great friend she has unofficially become my mentor.  Last Monday we had planned in time to go through my business plan, look at the financials, share experience and plan for my strategy day that I was having with my coach later in the week.  As ever, time with Sophie was thought-provoking.  I came away with a head full of ideas, actions, motivation and positivity.  It is really uplifting to spend time with people who get it!  I always love hearing about her plans and work and the highs and lows that she faces too.  Although to be honest it is a whole heap of highs right now for Soph!

I spent Tuesday focusing my head after the day in Newcastle and getting a strategy plan together to compliment my business plan.  I didn’t intend to do this but after I sent my business plan to Lisa (my coach) she sent me some thought-provoking questions and I decided to explore them fully.  They were so helpful in supporting me to be clear about my mind, emptying my head on to paper and to see everything written down.  That actually brings me nicely on to Lisa.  I have written about her a few times.  I have been working with Lisa as my coach for the last 2 months I think.  I didn’t know her before and this is the first time I have had a meaningful coaching relationship. Something that I can see and feel is making me a better person.  It is helping me to stay focused, hold myself to account, consider things I didn’t even know needed consideration, believe in myself, challenge myself and plan.  I came across Lisa via a post on LinkedIn and after an initial discovery call I knew that we could work together.

Thursday was spent with Lisa, she had structured the day exactly around my needs.  We have spoken often and in-depth and so she really understands my head and where I am at, what I am struggling with and how I tick.  This allowed us to have a really great 3 hours together.  We got straight to it, using my business plan and strategy document to help formulate my operational plan to being ready to launch Sparkle HR in November 2017.  As you can imagine, there is a lot to do and a lot to learn along the way but I can now 100% say I am ready for this!  My plan is set out and I can track how I am progressing confidently.  I posted on LinkedIn about my day with Lisa and I will say it again in my blog, if you are going through change, or simply need support with your development/progression then working with a coach can be a beneficial relationship to have. Investment in yourself is important and I can speak from experience now, Lisa is fabulous.  If you want to know more drop me a message.  Her name is Lisa Jelly and she offers a free 45 minute discovery call for anyone interested.

My parting paragraph for this week is to say, I am feeling in a good place, I feel that no matter what happens with this venture I am giving it my all.  That is all I can ask of myself.  Last week was a great week, this week is starting off that way too but as my previous blogs have captured, that can change at the drop of a hat at the moment.  For now, I am focussing on me, my future and my feelings.  That feels good, long may this fired up, focused and fabulous lady continue!

Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for everyone to see, it’s just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, “keep going.  You got this”

Love Laura x


Taking baby steps

Every day I’m trying to do something that is a small step towards creating Sparkle. I know it won’t simply happen over night. I know it won’t happen easily and I know it won’t happen by accident. I also know I’ve got a lot to learn about being the Director of my own company. As I said last week though, I put pressure on myself to succeed and my standards are set high. I believe that this will help me to make this a success but I have to keep moving forward. I can not afford for the time to disappear unutilised.

I’m spending all of my spare time reading things, asking questions, talking to people and getting involved in personal development opportunities where I can. I’ve opened my mind to areas of opportunity and chances to develop my skills even further.

I’ve had my first career coaching session this week with Lisa Jelly which was fantastic.  She’s someone I found via a LinkedIn post a few weeks ago and I suppose it has been another one of those lightbulb moments really. It is so useful to have a coach at such a key point in my life. I’m really enjoying that relationship, in Lisa’s words she wants to help me get clarity and calmness in my life. I’m up for that! So, what else have I been up to?

Well, I met a graduate at a CIPD event recently and I’ve since met up with with her in a mentoring capacity.  I’ve also signed up to the CIPD steps ahead mentoring programme and have matched myself with a student that I’m due to meet soon. I’ve supported a charity with a grievance and I’ve registered my company as a limited company and bought my domain name.

I’ve done lots of other stuff too but my point is this, there’s loads to do, lots to build and lots to learn but I have time to do it if I focus. I’m trying to stop the overwhelm crippling me. It would be easy to let it! My coaching with Lisa is helping me with this point actually!

There is so much I don’t know about being a business owner but in a short amount of time I already know so much more than I did! That excites me. The possibilities excite me. At least one thing is for sure. I know HR! I keep imagining how hard this must be for people starting from scratch. A new business and new services or product. It’s a blessing I’m taking my love and passion for HR and simply offering my skills in a different way to different people.

A couple of weeks ago I was sat thinking through what my purpose is, why will Sparkle HR exist, what makes me different? It was during this reflective moment that I remembered something I have learnt about in my current employment. That is a theory by Simon Sinek called the golden circles.  I’m sure many of you are familiar with this but if not check him out. His theory is simple but effective, in my opinion anyway.

It looks like this:

Simon says 2 things that are currently ringing through my ears daily.

  1. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
  2. The aim is not to do business with everyone but to do business with people that believe what you do.

So with that I set about thinking about my why for Sparkle. When I had completed that I felt so liberated. It felt like a huge achievement. I had purpose. I am now clear why I’m doing what I’m doing. That night I had a few celebratory cocktails with friends.  It felt like a very small but very significant milestone.  I will share my why with you in a future blog. It might continue to be tweaked slightly over the coming weeks so I don’t want to share too soon!

Thinking about the golden circles let me give you a great example. Take Katy, she’s someone who gives me beautiful HD brows every month. Over the years I’ve been to many salons to get my brows done. Why stick with Katy for the last 3 years? (and I will do as long as she is trading) Simple. I like her, she’s fun, creative, talented, ambitious and a normal woman with 2 young children. She has a huge ambition and a dream that she’s succeeding at. Why wouldn’t I want to support that. I don’t go to her because I have to. I go to her because I love everything she stands for. I don’t buy what she does. I buy why she does it. It just helps that I leave with great brows 😉

Interestingly enough my lovely friend and colleague Tom, sent me a link this week to a guy that has his own jeans company.  Tom knew it was the kind of thing I would love, me and him are similar in the way we work and where we get our passion from. So I knew I had to watch it. The guy was called David Hieatt. He’s similar in his approach to what I’ve been talking about here. He cares about his customers and he knows why he’s doing what he’s doing. He’s not in it just to sell jeans. He wants to offer employment back to his local town. He’s passionate about people not being obsessed with themselves and suggests that giving back is more important.

I could not agree more!

In a fast world don’t be slow – David Hieatt

Love Laura x

I know some pretty amazing people, lucky me! 

Hey everyone. I’ve been in Florida for the last 10 days and I’m feeling happy. It’s been wonderful. I’ve had a good balance of totally switching off and time to do some reading and planning for when I return. Actually I’ve been reading a book this holiday called the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, it’s about following your dreams. I can totally relate. I’m going to be honest, I have struggled writing this blog. My flow doesn’t seem to be there, I’m blaming the heat and excitement of being in holiday mode!

I’m in Florida with friends. Friends I’ve had since my early teen years actually. I went with friends but also came to visit friends who live here. I’m going to run with this theme for my blog this week as it seems fitting.

We all have at least one friend in life, some of us have more than others. I have enough to share around if anyone needs some?! Since I was a kid, I’ve held friendships close.  I care about others and I just love people. I get my energy from others, I’m not a fan of being alone and I love to chat things through. Probably why I love writing my blog actually.

I have been giving a lot of thought about the people in my life recently. You kind of rub along, admiring their talents, successes, their careers and families.  You feel proud of what they achieve and often aspire to be more like them.  You’re there to celebrate the good times and support them through the tough times. You learn from their mistakes and they learn from yours.  I don’t take that for granted but what I have never really considered is how key friendships will become as part of my journey to starting Sparkle. Having as many people in my life as I do I have some I see often, others less often and some hardly ever. Down to no other reason than circumstances. But that’s ok, what matters is, that you’re there.  In a world of technology it’s easy to stay connected if you really want to.

Two weeks ago I was having a random panicked moment and at that same time I had a text from Dino, a friend that lives in the Midlands.  He’s the kind of guy that’s bold, successful and great to learn stuff from.  (He’s also wicked fun!) Anyway, his final message in our conversation was this

Take this opportunity and grasp it with both hands! It may seem like a downer but it’s time to change your life and be in control of your destiny! You will do so well! I believe in you xx

I believe in you. Those four words changed my entire mood in seconds. It’s not just Dino that has said something to boost my confidence, support me, encourage me, lots of other friends have too. All at different points in time. I know I couldn’t do this without their unwavering support. For that, I’m grateful.

I’ve had friends contacting me with offers of their skills, advice, specialist knowledge. On all kinds of helpful things. I’ve had others contact me with possible leads for future work and then there’s the heaps of friends that are happy to listen to me waffle on about my excitement and fear over and over again!

So, without going on that’s kind of all I wanted to say this week. Cherish the friends you have, invest in them and care for them because you never know when you will need them.

There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little better.