What To Read This Christmas

I honestly can’t believe that this time in a week it is Christmas Day.

Are you ready for it? I think I am!

I wanted to share with you a list of the books that I have read this year in case you wanted to curl up on the sofa at some point with a good book.

And yes, I really have read 49 books this year.  I aim to read one personal development book a week and can quite easily read a light hearted book in a day if on holiday.

If you only have time to read one book then I would recommend  ‘The Sleep Revolution by Arianna Huffington’. I think we live in a time where a lot of us just aren’t getting enough sleep and the consequences of this can be huge.

If you have time for a second then definitely ‘My Story by Jo Malone’. It is possibly one of the most interesting biographies I have read, I really couldn’t put it down.


Non Fiction 

  • The Sleep Revolution – Arianna Huffington
  • Female Breadwinners – Suzanne Doyle-Morris
  • Get the Presentation X Factor – Tina Coulsting Carter
  • Frazzled – Ruby Wax
  • They F**K You Up: How to Survive Family Life – Oliver James
  • Leading – Alex Ferguson
  • Why Now is The Time To Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Ask Garyvee – Gary Vaynerchuk
  • My Story – Jo Malone
  • A Path appears – Nicholas Kristof & Sherly WuDunn
  • The Fire Starter Session – Danielle La Porte
  • Screw business as usual – Richard Branson
  • The Storytellers Secret Carmine Gallo
  • The Glass Wall – Sue Underman & Kathryn Jacob
  • Secrets of Six Figure Women – Barbara Stanny
  • Flip It – Michael Heppell
  • Busy – Tony Crabbe
  • Raving Fans – Ken Blanchard
  • Taming Your Gremlin – Richard Carson
  • An Entrepreneurs Guide to Book Marketing Success – Georgia Kirke
  • The Happiness of Pursuit – Chris Guillebeau
  • Your Best Year Yet – Jinny Ditzier
  • The Go-Giver – Bob Burg & John David Mann
  • The 100 Year Life – Grafton & Andrew Scott
  • Option B – Sheryl Sandberg
  • Will it Fly – Pat Flyn
  • Moments of Truth – Jan Carlzon
  • What to put on your LinkedIn Profile – Naomi Johnson
  • Thinking Fast & Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  • The ACT of Attraction in Business – Tamsen Garrie
  • Do The Work – Steven Pressfield
  • Why You Need a Business Story & How To Create It – David Sloly



  • Night School – Lee Child
  • The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  • Confessions of a Murder Suspect – James Patterson
  • Confessions The Private School Murders – James Patterson
  • 16th Seduction – James Patterson
  • Speaking in Tongues – Jeffrey Deaver
  • The Husbands Secret – Liane Moriarty
  • No Where to Run – Nancy Bush
  • Pay it Forward – Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Before I Let You In – Jenny Blackhurst
  • The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson
  • Friendly Fire – Patrick Gale
  • More Than You Can Say – Paul Torday
  • The Wrong Side of Goodbye – Michael Connelly
  • The Five People you meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  • The Way Back Home – Freya North
  • In the company of The Courtesan – Sarah Dunant

I would love to know what books that you have read this year and which ones you would recommend.

Time to Reflect on 2017

Well, here we were heading to the end of another year. Before the festive season gets into full swing it is a good time to reflect on how the year has been for you.

Take the opportunity to look back on what you’ve learnt, what you’re proud of and what, if anything, you feel needs to change in 2018.


I hope 2017 has been a great year for you. But, as you go through the questions below, be sure to celebrate the successes – however small they may have been. And, if something didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, then don’t beat yourself up. Simply celebrate the good things and let the other stuff go.


So, sit back with a cup of tea, or maybe a glass of festive cocktail, and mince pie and enjoy reflecting on 2017. Then prepare for an even better 2018!


  1. What three things are you proud of achieving in 2017?
  2. What five things are you most grateful for in your life?
  3. What new skill have you learnt?
  4. What was the most important lesson you learnt?
  5. What was your favourite book and why?
  6. Describe your 2017 in 5 words.
  7. If you visited some new places in 2017 what was your favourite?
  8. Which five people did you most enjoy spending time with and why?
  9. What have you learnt in your career?
  10. What was the best compliment that you received this year?
  11. What did you try for the first time this year?
  12. What worries turned out to be unnecessary?
  13. What was the funniest moment of the year?
  14. Which two things would you do differently?

So, that’s your reflection of 2017. I trust it’s helped you to take stock.

Looking forward to 2018.

  1. Which one goal do you most want to achieve?
  2. What do you hope to achieve in your career?
  3. Which one place do you want most to visit?
  4. What skill would you like to improve or learn?
  5. What one thing do you want to change to improve your work life balance?

In January we’ll focus in more detail on how to set goals so that you achieve them but for now celebrate everything that you’ve achieved – no matter how small – and have in your life.

In the meantime, I hope that you have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

Happy Thanksgiving


To celebrate Thanksgiving I am offering a Black Friday deal.


I am offering a 1 hour coaching call over the phone at an amazing discounted price of just £47, normally it’s £100, if you book before the 5pm on Monday 27th November 2017.

Are there goals that you set yourself that you haven’t yet achieved?

Are suffering from imposter syndrome and it’s holding you back?

Achieve those goals or remove those fears so that you end 2017 on a massive high.

Drop me an email HERE and book that session.


I also wanted to share with you a blog on “five ways to make a good impression in a new job” that I have written For This Women Can.

You can read the full article HERE on their website.


Hope to see this evening for my Twitter chat from 8-9pm where we’ll be discussing tips to survive (and enjoy!) the Christmas office party.


Five Ways To Make A Good Impression In A New Job



How to survive office Christmas parties!

It’s that time of year again – the office Christmas party is fast approaching.

Love it or loathe it?

Career enhancer or career killer?

Please join me on Twitter next Thursday 23rd November from 8-9pm where we’ll be discussing tips to survive (and enjoy!) the party.

Today is World Smile Day

Today is World Smile Day® and this year’s theme is ‘little acts of kindness’.

So today I am sharing three videos from my Facebook page that focus on kindness.

What can you do to celebrate World Smile Day and spread kindness?


3 ways to be kind to yourself

We’re all pretty good at saying kind things to others, but are we kind enough to ourselves? Take some time to be kind to yourself, recognise your achievements and boost your self-belief.

You can watch the video on how to be kind to yourself here.

3 ways to spread kindness 

Emotional well being is so important when our lives are so hectic. The video focuses on how to be kind to yourself, in this video I am giving you 3 tips on being kind to others.

You can watch the video on how to spread kindness here.

3 kind things to do in the office 

Look around your office and see if a colleague could benefit from a coffee or a helping hand. You can watch the video for more ideas on how to be kind in the office here.

Tips On How To Find A Mentor

I am delighted to be in this month’s Institute of Directors magazine giving advice on how to find a mentor. If you are looking for a mentor then you can follow the tips below to help you look.

Take some time to consider all your reasons for wanting a mentor before you start looking for one. This way you’ll have a better chance of finding the best match for you and your needs.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What do I need from my mentor? Do I have a specific challenge, issue, or goal that I’d like support with?
How often do I want to meet? Once a week or once a quarter?
Where and when can we meet? Is it in person or on the phone?
Why would someone want to mentor me? What can I do to help them in return?
Will I send an agenda or information before the meeting so they know what I want to discuss?
How long do I want the relationship to last? Is it to achieve a certain goal or for twelve months and then review?
How will I know if the mentoring relationship is successful
How and what can the mentor do to challenge and inspire me?

It is also good to be clear on the difference of a mentor and a business coach. A mentor is more about building a relationship, developing and inspiring you where as a business coaching may focus more on performance, what is currently stopping you achieve your goals and potentially solving an immediate issue.

Once you are clear on what you want from a mentor consider looking for them from two areas – first someone that you haven’t yet met but truly inspired by. The second, someone from your network, that you have built a relationship with and they know how you work. Not everyone will have the capacity to be a mentor so respect their decision if they say no but ask if there is anyone that they recommend and they could introduce you to.

Lastly, you may also wish to consider becoming a mentor yourself as you will learn so much from the experience.



*First published in the Director Magazine

45 Career Boosting Tips

Are you looking to accelerate your career but you aren’t sure where to start?

Follow these tips to advance your career, they are relevant whether you’re nineteen and looking for your first job or you’ve been working for 20 yrs and looking for your first director role.

So here, in no particular order, are my 45 career boosting tips:

1 Grow your Network
2 Be pro-active
3 Don’t get too down when things aren’t going your way
4 Don’t burn bridges, you never know who you will encounter again throughout your career
5 Take advantage of opportunities that come your way
6 Set career goals
7 Volunteer
8 Do a secondment
9 Work overseas
10 Get outside your comfort zone
11 Build long term relationships
12 Keep your skills up to date
13 Give before you get
14 Embrace a positive mindset
15 Spend less time on social media and do some work
16 Take the StrengthsFinder assessment at www.gallupstrengthscenter.com
17 Find your own unique voice
18 Invest in your own learning
19 Persevere
20 Join a company that has opportunities for you to grow
21 Listen and learn
22 Ask for feedback
23 Learn to manage upwards
24 Ask for a pay rise
25 Take a lunch break
26 Attend courses and gain certification
27 Be true to yourself
28 Start creating an exit strategy. What would you do if…
29 Recruit for behaviours and attitude then train for skills
30 Get a mentor
31 Be a mentee
32 Don’t be afraid of change
33 Recognise the value that you add
34 Get help to develop a career plan
35 Understand your values
36 Work out what drives you
37 Do what you love and ensure you do more of that!
38 Find an employer that aligns with your values
39 Don’t take things seriously
40 Don’t compare yourselves to others
41 Be authentic
42 Ask Questions
43 Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date
44 Use your holiday allowance
45 Get a coach

If you have any more tips to accelerate your career then please do comment below.

How To Get A Good Night Sleep

I spent a recent weekend reading the book ‘The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time’ by Arianna Huffington and it gave me the idea for this blog topic.

If you haven’t read the book then I urge you to buy it now in paperback form. That way you can read it in bed without the distraction and added stimulus of it being on your phone.

I know that I’m a morning person so I don’t struggle to get to bed early and get a solid 7-9 hours sleep a night – at the weekend in particular.

Yet we live in a society that sacrifices sleep to fit in everything else that we have to do. The end result being that far too many people struggle to get a decent night’s sleep. There are too many distractions and it’s all too easy to continue watching your favourite programme on Netflix. Or perhaps you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) and continue checking your social media when you’ve gone to bed? Not only will an hour have passed before you know it but you’ll find it hard to get to sleep because you haven’t unwound from the day. As this Huffington Post article discussing the book says: ‘Advances in technology have allowed us to pull back the curtain on what’s going on while we sleep, but technology is also one of the main reasons our relationship to this fundamental part of our existence has become so compromised.’

7 Tips To A Better Night Sleep


So, if you wake up feeling tired, grumpy, irritable and wishing that your company offered a duvet day then follow the tips below to help you get a better night’s sleep.

1. Exercise
Getting some exercise during the day, if only a walk as part of your commute to work, will help prevent you feeling fidgety later. It will also help you unwind at the end of the day.

2. Bed Time

When you’re deciding what time to turn out the lights work out what time you need to be up and then add at least 7.5 hours to lights out time. The amount of sleep needed will vary for each individual. I’ve now worked out that I need 8.5 hours each night to feel properly refreshed come morning.

3. Remove Electronics
Remove the TV, phone and any other devices that may emit a sleep-disturbing blue light. That will also prevent you from ‘quickly’ checking Facebook and losing an hour before you can blink.

4. Have a routine
There’s a good reason why so many parents try and have a routine for their children of bath, milk, stories and lights out. Because it works.

As adults, we don’t feel that we need such a routine. But if you’re struggling to get to sleep then there’s surely no harm in trying one to see if it helps? Try having a bath with Epsom salts, spraying your pillow with some lavender spray and reading a paperback or doing some mediation before settling down.

5. Drinks
We all know that caffeine, alcohol and sugar can keep us wired so try reducing the amount that you drink and eat especially late in the afternoon and evening.  Cutting back on the sugar is definitely the biggest challenge for me as I do enjoy some post-dinner chocolate and Netflix. But my sleep certainly suffers as a result.  I now have a Pukka Night Time tea to help me get ready for bed.

6. The Bedroom
If it’s possible, remove any objects that create light and get black out curtains or blinds. They’ll help with the earlier sunrises during the summer. Check the temperature of your room and make sure it isn’t too warm or cold as either may cause you to wake up.

7. Massage or Reflexology Treatment
As a treat, I sometimes have an amazing lady come to the house on a Friday evening and do a reflexology session. I sleep so well after, plus it helps me turn off the computer at 6pm and unwind from the week. Why not see if there is someone in your area that does home visits or a spa that is local to you?

8. Turn off the brain
The biggest challenge for most of us is how to turn off the brain and not wake up in the middle of the night worried whether you sent that email to your boss that you were supposed to.

There are a several things you can do that can help with this.
Firstly, do a brain dump and write down everything that’s on your mind at that moment. Whether it’s what you’ve got to do at work the next day or remembering to make lunch for the kids. By writing it down you reduce the likelihood of waking up worrying about it during the night.

The second strategy is to start practising meditation. If you’re new to this I recommend trying the App ‘Headspace’ as it has a free 10-day trial.

Lastly, start writing a gratitude journal and record three things that you are grateful for that day. This will help put everything in your life into perspective and help you relax and sleep better.

NB: If you haven’t read Arianna Huffington’s other book Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life then I recommend that too.

If you’ve got some great tips on how to get a good night sleep then comment below. I’d love to hear them.


Best Practices That Can Drive Your Career

Real women: Kerinda Ibbotson, Sales & Marketing Director, The Cardinal Group

Kerinda has worked in the corporate world and is now a director for a medium-sized business.  We discuss confidence, motivation and resilience at work and what she has learnt about career progression.

Confidence at work

I think that the key to managing confidence is overcoming fear.  You need to work out what you are afraid of and once you have done that you can start to overcome it.  It’s important to remember that everyone has an Achilles’ heel, no matter how important or successful they may appear.  We all fear something, whether it’s public speaking or failing at an important task but once we’ve accepted that we’re all just human, the right attitude will result in growing confidence.

I believe it’s important to select strong, confident women as role models.  Social media can limit your confidence as women are bombarded with celebrities’ ‘perfect’ lives.  Follow just a few strong women (especially sportswomen and business leaders), read their books and learn how they developed confidence.

I’ll never forget a talk I went to years ago called ‘Walking Tall’ by a woman called Lesley Everett.  She stressed the importance of image and personal branding and remembering what she said has given me confidence.  If you want to be taken seriously you must dress appropriately and be remembered for what you say, not what you were wearing.  Make sure you look and smell the part – this also applies to men.  I found this useful advice particularly when I worked in a male-dominated environment and I needed the confidence to get my voice heard.


Motivation and having a positive attitude are part learned, part personality.  If you want to be successful, you need to set yourself goals and develop good techniques and habits that will keep you motivated.  I’ve learned that it can take as little as three weeks to develop a new habit so if you’re aiming for a particular goal, repetition is really important.  Never giving up and driving yourself even in the darkest days are when you know true motivation.  But I do believe motivation is in all of us and sometimes we need help to find it.


A former boss used to tell me that you’ve got to let people fall over and get a few scrapes and that makes them stronger.  That was a tough role for me as I was left to make my own mistakes but this taught me resilience and perseverance.  Like a boxer, you have to get up and fight again.  If you strongly believe in something, who is anyone to say you can’t do it?  However, if you find yourself working in a male-dominated environment like I did, be a strong woman in a ‘man’s world’ and don’t try to act like a man.  Develop mental toughness.

Career progression

The three things that have really helped me progress my career are:

  • Self-belief – telling myself that I CAN do something
  • Self-motivation – telling myself that I WILL do something and learning not to give up
  • Perseverance and mental toughness

My advice to other women would be ‘don’t be so hard on yourself’.  Make sure you have some downtime, some mental stillness and practise mindfulness.  This can be easier said than done, but it’s so important.  Also, have an ‘outlet’ – this could be a friend, partner or coach.  Someone you can just be yourself with, share your vulnerabilities and fears with and someone who won’t judge but listen.

Mentoring and coaching

I have used both mentors and coaches at work.  Some have been paid for by the organisation and some I have hired myself.  Both are useful because they help bring an outside view, a different perspective, they challenge the individual and help reframe negative thoughts.  Another advantage is that they can help design a strategy to get you to where you want to be.

I preferred working with coaches that I hired independently as I felt they were more effective – they were away from the day-to-day business and had experience of a broad client base.

Do you have any other advice for women seeking to accelerate their career?

My advice would be:

  • work out your goal – what are you trying to achieve?
  • know when you’re in the wrong job and when to walk away
  • understand what fears are and how they can be overcome
  • focus on what you need to do
  • be realistic
  • take time out
  • don’t be a product of ‘over-coaching’ – and remember too much advice can also be a bad thing
  • be yourself, not a diluted version of you
  • don’t beat yourself up
  • try not to over-think things
  • try not to listen to your negative inner voice
  • surround yourself with people who radiate energy, not people who are ‘energy vampires’
  • remember to give yourself a pat on the back
  • eat well
  • exercise and look after yourself
  • practice yoga, mindfulness and meditate
  • indulge in a guilty pleasure at least once a week – whether that be a chocolate bar, getting your hair or nails done or watching some trash on tv!

Good luck!thumbnail_Kerinda

10 Tips To Improve Your Career

Are you looking to accelerate your career but you aren’t sure where to start?

Follow these 10 tips to advance your career.


slides of a pitch deck-3