Posts

We’re living in a digital constellation: connecting us in an easily explored galaxy…

 

If you come across my Twitter profile you will find it says – We’re living in a digital constellation: connecting us in an easily explored galaxy – and this was wonderfully proved when on 9 September I spoke to a group of first year MSc students who are studying Creative Entrepreneurship at Vilnius University Business School in Lithuania via Skype about PR, brands, social media and being online.

Technology is truly connecting us and serving us well, as from my London office I was able to zoom in and share my experience with these business students, who are all budding entrepreneurs.

The one thing that struck me from my talk and something I learnt is that Twitter is not that ‘big’ in Lithuania and not as widely used, as it is here in the UK. One of the questions asked, was should they still spend time on Twitter, if people around them from their local communities were not using Twitter. My answer was ‘YES!’.

The internet and social media platforms allows us all to think bigger and wider than our local communities, hubs and sectors. Our clients could be sitting in other parts of the world, so beam your message out. This is globalization at its best without the carbon footprint!

Photo Credit: Mauco Sosa

Working With LID Publishing

It’s September and it’s back to school and back to writing…it has been a busy, happy summer of juggling school holidays and work. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t exhausting, but it has been fun to include my 10-year-old in my business life and that I also have great flexible clients. This leads me on to say that I have been working on some great and interesting book campaigns for LID Publishing, the fifth largest publishing house for business books in Europe.

One of my favourite campaigns has been the Chinese Entrepreneur Series, which are five books: Jack Ma & AlibabaMa Huateng & TencentWang Jianlin & Dalian Wanda; Dong Mingzhu & Gree; and Ren Zhengfei & Huawei. Many of China’s successful entrepreneurs have become huge celebrities not just on China’s mainland but globally, attracting a legion of fans. Their appeal is not just down to their charisma, huge personal wealth, but has a lot to do with being stylish, confident business leaders who have inspired China’s growing aspirational middle classes.

The authors of these books are leading business writers in China, who all had direct access to these influential businessmen and their businesses.

This LID’s China’s Entrepreneurs Series is the result of a unique Chinese-Anglo collaboration between China Translation & Publishing House, a member of the China Publishing Group Corporation, one of China’s largest publishing companies. Further titles in the series are planned, to make it the most expansive international series about Chinese entrepreneurs.

I love working with LID, as their books are all good reads and never boring; and as a company they are always doing something different. If you love business books, then check out their new book club!

Photo Credit: LID Publishing

That Cheeky Question: Can I Pick Your Brains?!

I wrote about this, two years ago now, but felt I needed to revisit it again, as it is one that always creeps in under our business boundaries. While I am a firm believer in paying it forward, helping others and I enjoy giving advice, I write articles, tweet, Facebook and share daily – why is it that someone would think it’s okay to ask if they can ‘pick my brains?’

I often find that these ‘cheeky asks’ are from others who are gathering as much free intelligence and knowledge without wanting to pay. You can’t come to a professional and ask them to work for free; but that’s exactly what you’re doing when you ask to pick someone’s brain.

Why would someone think, I would want to give away my knowledge for free? When there’s training, reading, costs of memberships so I can network, attending conferences and mastering my skills – all this costs me money; and like any other business I want to protect my investment.

It makes no business sense for me to give away all the knowledge that I have acquired and use to make my living. I charge my paying clients very good money for my expertise and results.

I know this is a topic that many in business are also up against, as when I first posted on this subject a few years ago, many responded and commented saying that they too were fed up of people asking them the same – ‘can I pick your brains?’.

So, for all of us out there – our knowledge has value. We have invested time and money into learning our skill, we are experts and it’s not good business for us to give it away for free. Be strong and say politely no.

Photo Credit: NO MORE and Mariska Hargitay 20623 | by tedeytan

’Thinking of You’ Joni Sledge… #RIP.

This morning (12 March, 2017) I woke up to the sad news that Joni Sledge has passed away at the age of 60.  I am a big Sister Sledge fan, loved their music; ‘Thinking of You’ became my anthem from the age of 16 and I spent my disco years making memories to Sister Sledge.

So, it was my biggest personal moment to have been able to interview Joni Sledge a few months ago about her hopes for change and women’s empowerment. I could not believe that I my 16-year-old self would have this opportunity years and years later, reinforcing my belief that life is full of surprises and serendipity.

Here’s the full interview…’Thinking of You’ Joni, RIP.

 

Photo Credit: Photographer: Camilla Camaglia/Sister Sledge WAMOW endorsed by Joni Sledge

International Women’s Day: #BeBoldForChange

 

This year there is so much for us to shout about and our voices to be heard on, from – equal pay, supporting women in business, Trump and more. This year International Women’s Day on 8 March is asking everyone to #BeBoldForChange, urging us all to help forge a better working world – a more inclusive, gender equal world.

We know that progress has been slow and that we need international action to accelerate gender parity. The World Economic Forum predicts the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186! This is just too long to wait. This 8 March provides an important opportunity for ground-breaking action that can truly drive greater change for women.

There are many initiatives and people doing vital work to help create this needed change, and I had the opportunity to interview Jane Shepherdson, MBE, a leading figure in fashion retail, former CEO of Whistles and prior to that, Brand Director at Topshop. Jane supporting young designers through the London College of Fashion’s Centre of Fashion Enterprise and has helped promote Fair Trade fashion to a wider audience as a Board member of Peopletree until 2013.

Jane is also Creative Advisor to Oxfam and a patron of the charity Smart Works, a service that offers free professional clothing and job interview training to women. I spoke with Shepherdson about her role at Smart Works and what this charity is all about from her perspective. Read the full interview.

Photo Credit: International Women’s Day