Welcome our new Associate – Hedeel Mahdi-King

Less Ordinary Living is growing.

It’s my pleasure to introduce the new addition to our team, Hedeel Mahdi-King.  Hedeel has a range of experience from years in the city to running her own business.  She’ll bring her talent and knowledge to the team.

Here she is in her own words…

I’m absolutely delighted to join Less Ordinary Living.


I guess it’s no surprise I’m taking this step; I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family and was always up to my elbows in every aspect of running a business, right from the research and development stage through to the ‘what to do when things go a little off-plan’ stage.

I’ve paid my dues and spent six years working in they City as a corporate lawyer.

I’ve also spent some time running my own business, and seen first hand the challenge and excitement this can bring.

Over the last few years I’ve worked with a variety of people to help them turn their ideas into living, breathing businesses.  I’ve also helped established businesses grow and/or diversify.

Recently I’ve worked with people from professions such as law, banking, architecture, catering and e-commerce move into completely different careers such as agriculture, design and build, personal styling and event organisation.

My passion lies in helping others achieve a life they want, and most importantly, a life that they love to wake up to each morning – challenges, stretches and all!

I specialise in:

-    working with individuals who feel trapped take stock of their lives and create a more fulfilling reality (from small tweaks to complete revamp!).

-    helping people who want to be self-employed make the transition.

-    working with people to turn their ideas into living, breathing start-ups.

-    helping independently owned companies grow, diversify or consolidate their offering.

The buzz for me is in helping clients become more aware of their choices and helping them to make more positive, exciting, and yet still entirely pragmatic decisions.

All that’s left to say is that I look forward to working with some of you soon.


Our Top 10 Greatest Hits

Happy New Year

I hope 2011 is off to a flier for you.

We’re excited for the new year ahead and also in celebration mode.

We’ve racked up 100 posts over the last 18 months, so thanks for reading, commenting and making it so fun.

Here are our top 10 all time favourites:

Finding a happy and balanced lifestyle

1. If you’ve been taking life too seriously, discover 5 ways to enjoy the journey

2. What lessons can we learn from life – 5 Things I wish I’d known earlier

3. The Power of Simple – sticking to your most important priorities

Taking control of your career

4.15 Secrets to Career Success

5. How to Avoid getting Fired by George Clooney

6. Find out how well work is working for you and what you can do it about in this test

7. If you’re ready to make a change – five steps to your Career Escape Plan

Build a start-up business doing what you love

8. Why now is a great time to start your own business (even on the side)

9. Even more reasons to finally run your own show in 2011

10. Why you are the CEO of Me and what that means

Wishing you a happy, healthy and extraordinary 2011!

To get every new post and bonus material delivered fresh to your inbox, click here to be a subscriber.

Photo credit: Peter Becker (Flickr Creative Commons)

Launching a Successful Services Business on a Shoestring

Launching a Successful Services Business on a Shoestring Budget

Readers, thank you.

Over the last few months, many of you have shared your thoughts and time to help create Launching a Successful Services Business on a Shoestring Budget.

In my work, I’ve come across so many talented professionals who are excited by the idea of making a living from their skills and passions.  I also hear how taking that first step is tough and from new entrepreneurs about the feelings of overwhelm and the challenges they face.

That was my inspiration for creating Launching a Successful Services Business – to provide support and the critical information needed to get a business off the ground.  There is so much talent out there waiting to be unleashed and this is designed to get new businesses going.

I’m extremely excited and proud to have teamed up with Catherine Morgan of Point A to Point B transitions to create Launching a Successful Services Business.  Between us we’ve worked in the services world for 25 years and set up multiple services businesses.

We’ve both spent a lot of time speaking with successful entrepreneurs, budding service business owners and our amazing blog communities. This has helped us to zero in on the most important information and support needed to successfully launch a services business.

Everything was designed to address the key challenges we heard and to share the amazing lessons contributed by successful business people.  We also provided different types of support as we heard that you all learn and take in information differently.

We provide support to

  • Create your mindset for success
  • Overcome the overwhelming sensation of starting out on your own
  • Use the best free technology to set up a highly polished and professional business
  • Create a powerful brand that speaks to your target audience
  • Find your first clients and attract clients you love to serve
  • The package offers a series of focused daily emails providing inspiration, rich content from ourselves, bonus material from the best business minds and a step-by-step guide to launching.

    We also offer access to coaching support at the beginning and end of the process to give the energy and motivation to get a business off the ground.

    Finally, we’ll be running weekly mastermind calls where you can get Catherine’s expert support and also share your exciting progress and big challenges with other entrepreneurs starting out on the same path.

    The objective is get a new services business off the ground quickly and with as few overheads as possible.  We both know that every penny counts at the start of a new venture.

    I know that I wish I’d had access to this package when I was starting out Less Ordinary Living as it would have saved me a huge amount of time, money and anguish.

    I’m not huge on pushy marketing, so if this sounds like something you might be interested in please take a look at the Launching a Successful Services Business on a Shoestring Budget website to find out more.  You can also drop me a message if you have any questions.

    Finally, if you know someone who has been talking about setting out on their own, or who has just started a services business, please do pass this message and the link (http://www.successfulservices.info) along to them.

    And, thank you all again.

    Photo credit: U-G-G-B-O-Y (Flickr Creative Commons)

    Have you thought about starting a business?

    Launching a Successful Services Business on a Shoestring Budget

    Have you ever thought about starting your own business and making a living from your expertise?  It’s something many people think about yet few actually do.

    Here is my story which explains why I’m planning to create a package to help launch a successful services business on a shoestring budget.

    My experience

    I left my corporate job 2 years ago this week.

    I’d spent 10 years selling my time and skills to other people on behalf of a Big Four Professional Services Firm.

    That decade had been quite a ride and I learned a huge amount.  Yet somewhere inside me, I felt the desire to see if I could hang up my own shingle and do it all for myself.

    There was a feeling of giddy exhiliaration when I handed in my corporate pass for the last time and walked out into the brave new (entrepreneur) world.   Yet this was tinged with some serious concerns.

    Psyching myself up to make this leap had been a serious process.  I’d always had my resignation letter on “stand-by” yet never pushed the button.

    Leaving the cocoon of a regular salary, a full support system and all my lovely colleagues was a huge  – not to mention a decade of memories.  A great leap into the beyond.

    I also had a very limited budget to get things rolling and a desire to bootstrap my way to success.

    All by myself

    From a business standpoint I felt naïve in the extreme.  I was confident as a coach having spent quite some time in the corporate world developing my skills.

    Yet I had never had any experience setting up the infrastructure of a business, figuring out where to find my clients, knowing how to persuade them to buy from me (without that giant behemoth behind me).

    Most scarily I was going to a place where I had NO income coming in each month, and there was no-one else to help me change that (or to blame).

    In retrospect

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  Sitting here today, I can’t imagine a better decision to make.  I have a thriving coaching practice, work with amazing partners and enjoy the flexibility and freedom that being an entrepreneur brings.

    However I know that my journey from that triumphant day 2 years ago to today hasn’t always been smooth.  I hit most of the challenges that a new entrepreneur faces head on.

    I’ve learned many lessons about how to create a professional services business and find the clients I want to serve along the way.

    In retrospect, some of these lessons were very costly in terms of time and money.

    I chose a stupid name to start my business (Colosseum Consulting – people can’t even spell that), which put people off visiting my website.

    I spent ages using manual processes I should have used technology to automate which wasted countless hours.

    I spent too much time hiding under a rock because I had no idea how to find prospects and create a pipline.

    I blew golden opportunities to sign up new clients because I had no idea how to conduct a sales call.

    I don’t believe in regrets, but if I had my time over I would have wanted three things:

    • Better information to stop me from wasting some of this time and money
    • The dedicated support of someone who had trodden this path before to guide me past these pitfalls
    • Access to others in the same situation at the outset of their businesses to share ideas and support each other

    Make it so

    For this reason, the idea of creating a package to support professionals who are thinking about or ready to set up their own business really excited me.

    I know how valuable the lessons I’ve learned are and I wish I’d known them when I was starting out.  They would have saved me loads of money and more importantly a lot of precious time.

    So over the last few months together with my friend and fellow entrepreneur Catherine Morgan of Point A to Point B Transitions, we’ve been beavering away to build just such a package.

    I’m certain that what we’re creating would be of huge value to anyone setting up in business.  And we’re aiming to keep the price affordable, as every penny counts for an entrepreneur.

    I’m not going to launch into a huge marketing letter about this, so let’s just leave it there.   If this sounds of interest, just watch this space.

    Over to you

    This product will be designed for anyone interested in setting up their own business selling their time and services.  We’d love to hear your thoughts.

    What excites you about starting your own business?

    What are the biggest barriers you feel when thinking about setting up on your own?

    What kind of information would you like to see in this product?

    What support would be most helpful for you?

    Please do leave a comment and get in touch and we can make sure that Launching a Successful Service Business on Shoestring Budget helps turn lots of brilliant ideas into real businesses.

    Photo credit: asvensson (Flickr Creative Commons)

    Less Ordinary Living on the radio

    start-up, consulting, start your own business

    I had the privilege to appear on the Transitions radio show hosted by the amazing Catherine Morgan of Point A to Point B Transitions yesterday.  I thought I’d share the recording with you if you’re interested to hear more about my background and how I got to starting Less Ordinary Living.

    We had a great discussion that covered amongst other things: making an escape from the corporate world, how to find work that you’re passionate about and also how to set up your own business.  We also talked about a new product we’re developing to help you if you’re interested in turning your passion and ideas into your own business.

    Hope you enjoy listening!