Finding The Common Denominator

single mum's survival guide logoWhen I am not coaching, presenting or writing, I also run a business women’s networking group in my region called the Athena Network. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to meet, mingle with and mentor some incredible women in business. I’ve made many friends through Athena and have benefited from the wealth of expert resources available to outsource various aspects of my business and concentrate on the things that I love to do (because we generally do best that which we love and it’s better to find someone who excels at the things that you do slowly – or put off doing at all).

I also network to bring people into my own network. This morning I found myself having a very thought-provoking conversation with another coach. We were discussing what brought us to the position and profession we’re in today.  I was telling him about the Single Mum’s Survival Guide and explaining that it was my own personal experiences as a single mum which had prompted me to write my book. He asked me some very searching questions, including: “In all your relationships, what has been the common denominator?” “Do you always have to be the strong one, the ‘grown-up’ and does that give your partner permission not to be?”

Think about this now, from your own perspective. Has there been a common denominator in your past relationships? Do you always take a role, with your partner playing another? However different each new relationship is, can your own behaviour explain someone else’s and are you happy with the resulting situation?

All good coaching raises questions and of course it is the answers that we give which result in us finding our own solutions.

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Add Some Colour To The Sea Of Grey

I attended a business networking lunch today. Part of my coaching business includes advising people on the colours (and styles) that suit them best; it’s an aspect of my job I love and it’s something I’ve been doing for nearly twenty years now. Dressed in violet, which is one of my best colours (I’m a Spring, for those of you who know about all this), I scanned the room to find some other colour amidst the sea of grey and black that constitutes so many business wardrobes in the UK. Spotting a woman in a coral jacket, I immediately went over to strike up a conversation. Coincidentally, we were seated on the same table for lunch and as we took our seats we were joined by another colourful character – a nattily-dressed architect in a bright yellow shirt! We got talking and discovered that we all felt strongly that people should express themselves a little more freely and that adding a touch of colour to a business wardrobe would add impact and make people stand out from the crowd. On the way home I continued to ponder the confidence that wearing the right colours can give you.

I remember when my ex husband first broke the news to me that he was planning to leave us. I remember that at a time when my heart was breaking and I felt like melting into a grey puddle of heartbreak on the floor, all my years of training kicked in and I made a special effort on each of those dark early days of single motherhood to wear my best colours, to put a bit of make-up on and to present myself to the world as an elegant and glamorous woman, not the drab and dishevelled victim. The funny thing is, my (ex) husband -distracted as he was with his impending new life-actually noticed and commented several times how attractive I was looking in that surreal period before he finally left. I wasn’t doing it for him. I was doing it as a way of making myself hold my head up high, of showing myself and the world that I was a woman of substance and to add some colour to a world that was then so dark and grey. I would urge all single mums to give themselves that gift.

My book, “THE SINGLE MUM’S SURVIVAL GUIDE – How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a Happy New Life” is available to order now on Amazon and hits the shops on 1st July. For more details about my Colour Confidence Coaching, visit my website: