Stop financing your DIY efforts!

Time for me to walk the talk…

Stop Financing Your DIY Efforts  //  Zest e-Biz

At the end of last year I did the fantastic Coping With Jane ‘Web Celeb’ course. During our one-on-one coaching session Jane stopped me (mid sentence) and asked,

   why are you planning to invest in a graphic designer for your eBook when you haven’t yet updated your website?

People will be hooked by your eBook and you’ll be directing them to a website that does not truly represent how amazing you are!

Needless to say I took this great advice on board and starting preaching it to my own clients, stressing the importance of sound investment in their business image.

One of my favourite bloggers, Kelly from A Life Less Frantic, often talks about synchronicity. Well I experienced my own ‘aha’ moment last week when a couple of messages from the universe came into alignment.

I received the weekly blog from the CEO of the local chamber of commerce which asked the question:

   Are you footing the bill for DIY?

Then I had a session with one of my coaching clients and we got talking about her website. I heard myself reiterating the key points I’d learned from the Web Celeb course as well as some tips I picked up from a HerBusiness podcast recently and this question came to mind again.

So I asked my client…

   How many hours do you think it would take you to update your website?

Double it (as these things always take twice as long when they are not one of our key strengths, face it) and then multiply that by your hourly rate.

Both of us sat there in silence for a moment.

There is no way in hell I would I pay a graphic designer that much to update my website, let alone design a new whiz bang one with all the fruit!

I think my client had a similar reaction.

Then it hit me! How can I have these conversations with my clients and then hope that any new prospective clients will engage with me based on the state of my current website.

What am I waiting for? I have a fantastic rapport with my graphic designer who recently did my logo.

So I made a pact with myself. I’d write about this and publish it as my first blog post for 2014 to hold myself accountable, and to prove that I do in fact walk the talk 🙂

I emailed Liv yesterday restarting the conversation we had late last year about a new website design. Just this simple step gets me excited! I get to hand over this massive weight on my shoulders and get on with running my biz more effectively. No more 2-3hr sessions at a time updating and re-trying four times to get something aligned just right by myself! Hello new professional website!

Already I feel like I have so much more time on my hands to do the things I AM good at, like developing my strategic plan, writing my next eBook and connecting more with my amazing clients.

So I’ll ask the question again,

   How much are your DIY efforts costing you?

Please leave your answer in a comment below if you are looking for some get-off-your-butt-and-do-something accountability, and support of course 🙂

2012 : Mindfulness in Business

Mindfulness in Business - Zest e-Biz2011 Reflection

The 1st Jan 2012 marks 4 months in business for Zest e-Biz.

On reflection I have achieved a lot, far more than I ever expected. But then they say ignorance is bliss and I definitely found it easier to overcome moments of fear in the beginning than I do now…

In summary:

–  Zest e-Biz was officially launched on 1st Sept 2011

–  I was published alongside authors of The Secret in the Adventures in Manifesting book series.

–  I have built up a database of email subscription followers

–  I featured in the Women in Business section of the Pilbara Echo in November (

–  I held a book signing event at the local Angus & Robertson (now Collins) bookstore

–  I now have paying clients, wahoo!


Plan for 2012

People all around the globe are currently making, or being encouraged to make, New Year resolutions in their personal lives, at work and in business. With the new leaf that turns as a new year begins, all the motivation and willingness can often result in a number of ambitious goals.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve decided to focus instead on just ONE main goal for the year… don’t ask me what it was specifically last year as I can’t remember, but I know I tried to narrow down my good intentions to one thing.


Mindfulness in Business

For me 2012 is going to be all about mindfulness: in business as well as body and mind.

I feel very grateful for the things I achieved in 2011. However, I feel a hint of anxiety that things may become overwhelming all too soon, instead of thrilling and exciting as I stand on the edge of chaos.

So 2012 will be the year I focus on mindfulness.

What do I mean by mindfulness…

Jim Collins talks about a “culture of discipline” in his book Good to Great.

“Entrepreneurial success is fueled by creativity, imagination, bold moves into uncharted waters, and visionary zeal. As a company grows and becomes more complex it begins to trip over it’s own success…”

He goes on to explain that a lot of companies turn to management systems and bureaucracy to deal with the problems that arise from rapid growth. However, Collins suggests that a combination of “a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship – you get a magical alchemy of superior performance and sustained results”.


Rinsing Your Cottage Cheese

Jim Collins and his team found the continual use of the following words throughout their research of truly great companies:

disciplined,  rigorous, dogged, determined, diligent, precise, fastidious, systematic, methodical, workmanlike, demanding, consistent, FOCUSED, accountable, and responsible.

His team dubbed this the “rinsing your cottage cheese” factor.

For me mindfulness symbolises being grounded. Soaking up the excitement and buzz from new things, but also taking time to reflect, analyse, and focus on what is most important so that distractions are easily removed.


What is the one thing you plan to focus on in 2012? Does it revolve around “rising your cottage cheese” or are you at a different stage in business growth/life?


Image sourced from via Kylah on Pinterest

What is Your Hedgehog Concept?

 what is your hedgehog concept - Zest e-BizJim Collins, best selling author of Good to Great makes reference to Isaiah Berlin’s essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox” to illustrate his point about simplifying what it is that:

  1. You are deeply PASSIONATE about,
  2. You can be BEST IN THE WORLD at, and
  3. Drives your ECONOMIC ENGINE

The Hedgehog and the Fox

“The fox is a cunning creature, able to devise a myriad of complex strategies for sneak attacks upon the hedgehog. Day in and day out, the fox circles around the hedgehog’s den, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. Fast, sleek, beautiful, fleet of foot, and crafty – the fox looks like a sure winner.

The hedgehog, on the other hand, is a dowdier creature, looking like a genetic mix up between a porcupine and a small armadillo. He waddles along, going about his simple day, searching for lunch and taking care of his home.

The fox waits in cunning silence at the juncture in the trail. The hedgehog, minding his own business, wanders right into the path of the fox.

“Aha, I’ve got you now!” thinks the fox. He leaps out, bounding across the ground, lightening fast.

The little hedgehog, sensing danger, looks up and thinks, “Here we go again. Will he ever learn?”

Rolling up into a perfect little ball, the hedgehog becomes a sphere of sharp spikes, pointing outward in all directions.

The fox, bounding toward his prey, sees the hedgehog defence and calls off the attack. Retreating back to the forest, the fox begins to calculate a new line of attack. Each day, some version of this battle between the hedgehog and the fox takes place, and despite the greater cunning of the fox, the hedgehog always wins.”

Are YOU a Fox or a Hedgehog?

According to Berlin, people can be divided into two groups: foxes and hedgehogs.

Foxes pursue many ends at the same time and see the world in all its complexity. They are “scattered or diffused, moving on many levels”

Hedgehogs simplify a complex world into a single organising idea, a basic principle or concept that unifies and guides everything. Anything that does not somehow relate to the hedgehog idea holds no relevance.

The Hedgehog Concept

How to Explore your Hedgehog Concept

Jim Collins suggests taking three bits of paper and listing separately:

  1. What you are TRULY PASSIONATE about – i.e. what gets you excited, motivated, or angry i.e. what really fires you up? What did you love doing as a child?
  2. What are you BEST IN THE WORLD at – i.e. what are you genetically programmed to do? Note: this list won’t always contain the same things as those on your deeply passionate about list.
  3. What drives your ECONOMIC ENGINE – i.e. how is that you measure value? It may not be financially, it could be the number people influenced, or the number of lives saved or improved.

Then he suggests you give the three bits of paper to someone independent and get them to identify the interception of your three circles.  Finally Jim Collins highlights that know you are nearing the interception of these three circles when you can get up everyday and say to yourself:

“I feel that I was just born to be doing this”

“I get paid (by the economic denominator of your choice – see point #2 above) to do this? Am I dreaming?”

“I look forward to getting up and throwing myself into my daily work, and I really believe in what I’m doing”

What is your Hedgehog Concept?

Whether you are interested in personal development or development of your business, do this exercise with three bits of paper and see what you come up with. I’ve started my lists a couple of times, although usually I tend to leave the ideas floating around in my head… so this afternoon I plan to get everything down on paper, then ask a couple of people I trust to review them for me!

Remember, you are not aiming for the perfect intersection of the three circles in your first attempt. Instead, try the exercise to better understand each of your three circles (which can grow and change over time) so that you can work towards that intersection.

Image sourced from