Sunday, 6 August 2017

Actual Things People Say When You're Self Employed

Reflecting on a conversation with my mum last week - who has a habit of calling me in the middle of the working week - I realised, I'm frequently on the receiving end of well-meaning comments because I'm self-employed.

Not that I'm keeping track, but these are some actual things people have said to me in the two years I've been self-employed. 

Many of these comments have come from close family members (not just my mum!).

Anyone who isn't self-employed, and never has been, generally has no idea what it means to run your own business. 

Even people who have been self-employed don't really understand what you do because you don't have a shop front, employ other people or rent an office somewhere - therefore it's not a real business...


There's some absolute classics here...

  • "What do you do at home all day?" (Mum said this last week on a Tuesday afternoon phone call!)

  • "I don't know what you do, but I'm sure you're very good at it."

  • "Oh, I assumed you had kids and you were doing this to stay busy while they're at school?"

  • "You just drink coffee with your friends all day."

  • "But you don't work many hours, you're not employed full time, are you?"

  • "But you don't sell enough books, do you? No one makes money from selling books."

  • "Why don't you get yourself a nice little part time job?"

  • "So, you're unemployed then?"

  • A caller comes to the door... "Day off today, then?"

  • "It's nice that your husband supports you while you pursue your hobbies."

My answer to all these is usually an incredulous look, quickly corrected into a polite smile and an, "Erm, well I run a business!"

What about you? 


Recognise any of these?


If you're self-employed; what well meaning, ignorant or just plain patronising things have people said to you? 






Monday, 17 July 2017

The Crippling Blank Page - One Tip to Get Writing

The toughest part of writing is getting started.

Having ideas is one thing, committing them to paper is quite another!

Ideas is not something I struggle with - I wrote about my 5 current book ideas back in May.

I'm still yet to make a decision on what fiction project to start next. Instead, my writing time has been filled with creating content for my upcoming eCourse - Build Your Blog. 10 step by step workshops to grow your business by blogging.

I've blogged about getting the creative juices flowing in the past too - 'Conquering Creative Constipation'.

But, there is one quick tip I want to share with you about how to get going in the first place. 

How to start on the journey into writing regularly, and building those all-important regular writing habits we must have in order to make progress with our writing project - be they creative or otherwise...

Whether you're writing a book or writing a blog, writing regularly, little and often, is the only way to do it!

Watch the video here:

One tip to get you going with writing: 

Write unintentionally! 

Happy writing!

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Seven Tips to Publicise Your Book - A Guest Blog

I'm delighted to host a guest on the blog this week.

I met Angela Belassie at a netwroking event in Bristol and she was full of so many great tips and ideas for small businsses, and writers, to get some quality PR. 

Angela set up PR The Write Way to do just that, and I'm proud to share just a small example of her knoweldge and tips to help authors get their books noticed.

Over to Angela...

 Seven Tips to Publicise Your Book.

So, you’ve written your book and are now set to have it published. Congratulations!

You will probably want to shout about it from the rooftops - letting as many people as possible know how and where they can get a copy.

One way to do this is with some good old-fashioned PR; this can include sharing a press release with various press publications, including in print, online and broadcast.

Here are seven tips to write a successful press release to promote your book.


It is ideal to plan in advance and have the press release ready prior to publication. Bear in mind some publications are monthly – or even quarterly – and it would help to send the press release to them ahead of time. Be aware of the various publications’ deadlines.

Tell Your Story (not that of the book!)

The press is generally more interested in people than products. Focus on the inspiration behind the book, rather than a chapter-by-chapter account.

For example, Inge Dowden wrote The Happy Worker and talked about the adversity she had overcome, which had led her to want to help others.

Inge thought the press wanted to know about the content of the book, but I helped her see that they are more interested in the personal story.

Similarly, Yvonne Bignall drew from her life experience when she released ‘Suck it Up or Change.’ 

Use Statistics

Statistics can add weight to your article. Finding research which backs up the findings behind your book may help with its promotion.

In another press release, Inge uses statistics to show that most people quit their jobs in January – but this may not be the way forward. Instead, her book gives some options.

Share Your Credentials 

How are you qualified to talk about the subject matter in your book? Talk about the experience you have in the field and any relevant qualifications.

Inge has worked for multi million pound corporations both in the UK and abroad.  Over the last 10 years she has helped hundreds of clients make career changes, create profitable businesses and achieve a good work/life balance.

Yvonne is an award-winning personal development educator and life motivator for both lifestyle and business. 

Do not be afraid to promote your skillset.

Share Your Success to Date

Consider any successes you have had which you could share in your press release.
For example, Yvonne’s book was a number 1 best seller on Amazon. This adds credibility and encourages more people to buy the book.

If it is prior to the book being released, then you could look at successful case studies.


In today’s busy newsrooms it is unlikely that reporters will have the time to read and review your book. Instead ask your network to write reviews and share the positive feedback in your press release and on social media.

Cast the Net Wide

Target a range of publications which are relevant for you. If you live in Bristol, for example, target publications in that area. Also consider community publications and trade press which is relevant to your industry.

Angela Belassie has enjoyed a successful career in the media industry for more than 10 years – as both a journalist and PR consultant. She set up PR The Write Way to help small to medium sized businesses get widespread coverage.