My lovely husband presented me with 40 postcards for my 40th birthday, each with a different challenge. One of them was ‘drive a 2 seater sports car’. I love driving, but have spent my entire adult life behind the wheel of various compact hatchbacks. As much as I may aspire to a sports car, you can’t fit baby seats in the back.
We have friends with suitable vehicles but I wouldn’t borrow one for fear of scratching it, denting it or even breathing on it wrong. Which is why I found myself at the Lotus factory in Hethel, Norfolk, for their ‘Elise Experience’.
It seemed as if the Christmas decorations had barely been taken down before the Easter eggs appeared in the shops. It will, finally, be Easter this weekend and we can celebrate this Christian festival by consuming vast quantities of chocolate and worshipping a giant rabbit. Or something.
I find that my daily life brings me into regular contact with cheaper, mass marketed brands, particularly those designed to appeal to children.
I can never resist an invitation to link up with another writer and Mummy Barrow is one of my favourites. When I saw her blog about her desk this morning and her invitation to show mine off, I set to work. So, here’s my (rather messy) desk. As you can probably see, my efforts to keep it to work items have only been partially successful so far.
- My inbox – OK, I don’t actually have a box but my wise old owl keeps an eye on everything, especially my notebooks which have all my client information and exciting plans in them.
- Diary – I would be lost without it.
- Laptop – I’m a freelance writer working from home so absolutely nothing happens without this.
- The folder with the tax receipts and my accounts book.
- Tea mug – I turned 40 last year and this was a present from my Mum. My Dad died in 2010 and she knew it was exactly what he would have chosen so it’s a present from him really.
- Other people’s business cards – I’ll find a better way to store them eventually!
- Extra TV – my husband makes software for TV companies and always needs an extra screen if he ever has to work from home.
If anyone else would like to share their desk with me (or mine with anyone else) feel free to link!
Why does your business need to blog? Blogging is one of my primary marketing tools. It’s cheap, effective and shares your expertise with your customers without beating them over the head. More importantly, it shows that there is a person behind the branding.
As my regular readers hopefully already know, people ultimately buy from people. The term ‘faceless corporation’ isn’t usually applied by anyone who has had a good customer service experience. Simply put, sharing content which shows the human face of your business increases engagement and the likelihood of a continuing relationship.
If you aren’t a parent it might have escaped your notice that it was World Book Day on 3 March. I packed my two small people off in their favourite dragon and monster costumes, books grasped in their clammy little hands. I know these ‘awareness days’ can seem like a bit of a gimmick, but I love the innocent optimism of WBD. When I asked my eldest what he wanted to dress up as he jumped up and down with excitement, reeling off a list of treasured stories. Even better, they had characters easily served by costumes we already owned.
I grew up in a house full of books, largely thanks to my grandad, who worked for Hodder and Stoughton. I can’t imagine living in a house without bulging bookcases so my children are also being raised on an endless diet of stories. It’s easy to think of a ‘story’ as being the stuff of childhood, making way for literature when we grow up, but I don’t think that’s the case. Every message we send out into the world is a story. I believe that it’s hugely important to remember that when creating business communications.
I’ve just come back from a week in the French Alps. When a friend heard that I was going to be trying skiing for the first time she suggested that my husband encase me in bubble wrap. (Thank you Kim!) Given that I am a world champion in falling over this was not entirely unreasonable. As regular readers will know, my husband’s birthday gift to me was a list of 40 challenges. (If you’re not a regular reader, catch up here). Trying skiing was included on the list and I was persuaded that a family holiday to a suitable resort was preferable to an indoor centre in the UK. Ironically, even stress relieving packing material would not have prevented me from injuring myself at the end of my first lesson, falling over whilst attempting to use a drag lift and being, well, dragged.
Later on, after a visit to the pharmacy and with the right side of my body in a fair amount of pain, I reflected on my day and wondered a) what there was to do if I was really crocked and b) whether I wanted to try again if I recovered in time. Would I be chickening out if I decided, on the strength of one lesson, that skiing wasn’t for me?
Here’s what I learned