Hi Everyone! Life is whizzing by at an astronomical rate, so I do hope this newsletter finds you in good spirits and looking forward to December. If you have followed any of my tips over the last few weeks, then I know you are all prepared for your December Christmas timetable, got your Snow Policy in place, your social media systems & strategies sorted and even created online packages for you to serve your clients with over the Christmas break. And, maybe, you have even got rid of a few toxic classes and clients to make way for new, fresh projects ready for 2014. If you have you are amazing! Well done. Thanks to everyone who takes the time to feedback, especially from those of you who were surprised to hear about my meditation practice. It’s kind of like training, I’m building up every day and doing a few minutes longer and really getting into it in a fashion. I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way, it’s all about doing what works for you, but I’m 100% enjoying it and it certainly brings clarity and focus to your day. I would never have thought I would have gone down this route, but I certainly recommend it, especially if your life seems to be spinning faster and faster out of control. There are some fab meditation apps and loads of guided meditations on Youtube. I am really enjoying Wayne Dwyer, Marianne Williamson and, of course, Gabrielle Bernstein. All of who have tons of free videos and content on Youtube. Tweet me @RachelHolmes if you are inspired by any of those greats works.
Passion and Authenticity on Social Media
You know how much I love social media. I love connecting with people, friends, customers, clients and anyone and everyone, and I feel it’s been such a gift for us fitness professionals and group X Instructors. Generally speaking, we all love people. We enjoy helping, inspiring, supporting and teaching health and fitness, which is why we got into this job in the first place, and now, as social media has become such an integral part of life it’s another fantastic medium for us to reach out and help more people with our messages and skills. So, why are some Fitpros social media buzzing away with lots of interaction, comments, which ultimately turn into super successful marketing for their services and getting people into classes, and other fitpros just not making it happen on social media?
It comes down to passion, energy and authenticity. Every single Tweet and Facebook and message that you post has energy behind it that the reader can feel. If someone is down or they are just posting stuff for the sake of it, you can feel that downbeat energy and no one responds. It’s a lifeless post that goes nowhere. Whereas, on the other hand, you can feel the heightened energy when you read a post that the author is literally typing as fast as possible to share a message that they are so passionate about.
Maybe you experience that when you read an article or even this newsletter!
When you post about something you are super stoked about, you can literally “feel” that positive energy and that’s what draws people in to interact with you…Don’t you agree?
Here are some tips to maximise your social media exposure and interaction:
Post when you are feel positive, happy, upbeat and energetic – This energy is felt by everyone who reads it and compels them to get involved. If you post when you are feeling bad or negative that energy is also felt, so make sure you are in a good place when you are posting. It really shows.
1.Authentic -Be YOU on social media. Be authentic and post from the heart, know exactly what your brand is all about and who your audience exactly is. YOU KNOW YOU – people come to your classes because they love you! Make sure that every single facebook post or tweet is an authentic extension of YOU, that will be picked up by your audience and it will grow and grow. People buy from people and your audience really wants to get to know you, so always be authentic at all times.
2.Identify your Audience – Do you REALLY know who your audience is? Who are you talking to? Do you have a clear vision of who is connecting with you on Facebook? Well, if you have a page you can see the insights, Facebook is very good at telling you exactly who is reading and interactive with you. You get all of the stats eg Facebook tells me 97% of my audience on my KSFL page is women and 44% are aged between 33 – 45 with 32% 46 – 57, which is a really useful set of statistics to have. This helps me create the right messages for my audience and get more interaction.
3.What is Your Story? People LOVE to know how YOU got to where you are today. Use story telling on social media and tell your audience how and why you created your business. We all have a great stories of how we got into fitness, what motivates us, probably loads of obstacles we have had to overcome to get to where we are today, so use story telling to build your brand identity. Your audience will love this and really respond to it.
4.Clarity – Once you have worked out who your audience is then enjoy helping and passing your great knowledge on via social media. This clarity and authenticity on who you are speaking to will really get more and more people to engage and interact with you and ultimately buy your products and come to your classes.
5.Entertaining – Be entertaining on Social Media, let your personality and humor really come though.
6Check your energy and pay attention to how you are feeling before you post.
I’d love to hear if this article helps you on your social media quest. Tweet me@RachelHolmes
Pure Energy Have done it again with some amazing music to see you though the end of the year.
Christmas Party Mix – As Christmas appears to have begun, why not get this gem to help get everyone in the mood. http://www.pureenergymusic.com/product/pure-energy-80s-party/pe755
80’s Party – 80s music is always a favourite with all ages and this mix is no different. It’s so versatile you can use it for Aqua, Seniors, Body Conditioning/Toning, LBT and Low Impact.
It’s that time of year again when I stick my neck out and say what I think potentially will explode in 2014. Let me know if you agree Tweet me @RachelHolmes
1.Fitness Instructors working with local businesses – A big one for me personally. Working with local companies getting the workforce fitter and slimmer.
2.Fitness & Beauty working within beauty salons and hairdressers to provide transformation packages.
3.Smaller Freestyle Days – Organize your own freestyle days with local Instructors or book a presenter to come and be involved in your local day.
4.Clients want smaller, more intimate days where you offer specialist classes, have food tasters, giveaways etc in nice studios and venues. This is something you could do monthly.
5.UNDER 5’s – I always have felt this is a HUGE market that so very few have tapped into successfully. Local classes for Under 5’s with cool branding has huge potential, it’s a market really waiting to explode
6.Zumba Step? I mentioned this on the Choreographytogo page and received 100’s of posts on the subject. Could this help relight a step fire for freestyle as well?
I’d love to hear what you think will be big in 2014 Tweet me @RachelHolmes
Finding Your Space
by Jo De Rosa
Thank you for your great feedback over the past few weeks. I am so glad you are enjoying my articles, and hope I can support those ready for transformation!
An update on last week’s story before we go into this week’s meditation. I received a message from our hotel customer that I told you about last week:
Just to let you know that we went to the hospital for my pre chemo bloods on the way home and don’t know what Dominic put in that green smoothie but it certainly did the trick as they were way up and the best they had ever been!!! LOL.
We had a lovely break and take on board your advice re. positive changes we need to make to get through these next few difficult months learning some Yoga and making some further dietary changes…….”
The power of the mind is incredible and you can make whatever changes you want just by believing you can. Meditation connects you to yourself and the place within you where your innate desires, wants and needs reside. By separating yourself from your ‘normal’ outer world and connecting to what I call ‘essence’, you create space.
Imagine a world where, no matter what happens, you are protected by an invisible shield. Life bombards you with it’s worst, but you are cocooned within the womb of space: someone shouts at you whilst you are driving; a colleague misconstrues a comment that you made and gets upset with you; a family member thinks that you are being selfish for something that you did; the queue in the post office is so long that you are going to be late for your next appointment; so many bills come in on the same day that you have no idea how you are going to pay them etc…..
How nice would it be if all these things no longer really affected you? It’s like they bounce off your protective layer that sits around your shoulders. You know that life is sometimes great and sometimes tough. Sometimes we experience sadness, loss, ill-health and fear but also happiness, laughter, joy and love. It’s all part of the human experience and rather than fight with it we embrace it all and allow it to be just so.
How To Find Your Space
Try to spend a little time with yourself everyday. When I say this I mean: turn your phone on silent, shut the dog out and find a quiet corner in your home. It is imperative that you find yourself the perfect place!
Warm, cosy, candles, incense, cushion, blanket, quiet……it all makes you think,
“I can’t wait to meditate!”
This space will become your inner sanctum, the place that you can retreat to whenever you need, to feel safe and supported. Try to ensure this is YOUR space, and not available for anyone else in your family (unless you invite them in). Ideally your cushion, candle and blanket will stay there permanently so that you can sit down in your special area whenever you need to.
You could have some inspirational books present, or a Buddha statue, or anything else that makes you feel connected to your ‘essence’.
Sit down on your cushion keeping your back straight, perhaps against a wall for support. Cross your legs or stretch them out in front of you if that is more comfortable. Close your eyes and start to follow the breath into your body and out again. Notice where in your body your breath reaches in each cycle, and as soon as you realise that your mind has wondered away bring it back to your breath.
Meditation is simply being in the present moment, and drawing the mind back over and over again. It’s simple, but not easy! The mind is going to travel into numerous thoughts throughout the session, and that is fine, just bring it back to your breath as soon as you become aware that you have wondered away.
Thoughts are just things that move through your mind, they are not who you are. They reside at the surface of the mind, and in meditation we move our brain activity to a different deeper part of the brain, leaving the surface-stress-section behind and descending into the peace-area. We actually change our brain every time we meditate.
Now imagine that you are swimming in the ocean. It is warm and calm, and even if you can’t swim, for this visualisation you can swim and this is very enjoyable. Feel the temperature of the water and the movement as it pushes you about. Notice the taste, smell and sound as the water splashes against your skin. Can you see clouds in the sky? And how blue is it and the ocean?
Sometimes life is like this: calm, smooth and fun.
But then the wind picks up and the water gets rougher and you start to get pushed around. It’s raining now, and the wind is even stronger! The waves are crashing all around you and you are now being thrown around!
Sometimes life is like this: rocky, out of control and chaotic.
So we are going to drop down underneath the surface of the water and descend downwards towards the ocean floor (for this visualisation you can breath underwater). It is quiet and peaceful down here, and the deeper you get the calmer you start to feel. Notice how much more at peace you feel the deeper you go.
This is what we are doing in meditation: moving from the surface-stress-section down to the peace-area.
Descend deeper still until we reach the ocean floor. And as we sit here and look around at the fish, the colours and the sand, we look up towards the surface and see that the storm is still raging up there. It’s still raining and there’s even lightening now striking the surface BUT WE ARE NOT BEING AFFECTED BY IT DOWN HERE!
We have created SPACE between us and the storm, us and our thoughts, and us and our current dramas.
Embrace that space, enjoy the peace, and befriend the connection to self.
Spend 5 minutes or 30 down here in this quiet place, being with your breath and staying present to what you are feeling.
The analogy shows that just as we have created space between the surface storm and the ocean floor, so too our thoughts are at the surface of our minds and they can pass through without us needing to create a story around them. Just for this short amount of time see if you can let go of your thoughts, and simply be with your breath. They come in, you acknowledge them, and then you let them go.
When you are ready swim back up to the surface, knowing that you are different now. You come back with a different perspective, and the space you have discovered within yourself in the last few minutes can now be applied in your everyday life. You have your protective cloak on now which is soaked with a natural repellant to stress, and are happy in the knowledge that everyone experiences a whole range of emotions, situations and challenges but no longer feel like a victim to them -rather a survivor in this amazing world we live in.
If you would like to listen to a recording of this meditation, then there are two meditation downloads on my shop link (below) costing £10 each, with the Ocean Meditation being on the first one: Beginning Your Practice At Home.
Good luck and let me know how you get on! x
Copyright: Jo De Rosa 2013
There’s No Place Like Home
By Andrew Crawford
As winter sets in, the coal and chopped wood has been purchased, it’s time to prepare for the festive period, the winter nights, the mulled wine, evian water and the hibernation period.
Today I am covering ‘Working From Home’
Why are you doing this Andrew?
Well, this subject comes up regularly in conversations and even tonight whilst answering questions. So I thought it would be a good subject to discuss the various aspects so you are fully aware.
If you use your premises both as a home and as business premises, for example massage, PT or Yoga, the total expenses of the property need to be adjusted for the private use. Legislation will introduce a fixed scale which can be used for the private use so that the business element of the expenses will be relieved.
Expenses incurred for BOTH business and private purposes
Expenditure for a mixed private and business purpose is non-allowable expenditure. An example would be the cost of travelling to town to bank the business takings and do your private shopping at the same time.
If you can separate the expenditure between business and private purposes, the business part is allowable. So, if you use a car separately for business and private purposes, the proportion of the expenses that relates to:
business use is allowable
private use is non-allowable
You normally work out the allowable business and non-allowable private proportions based on the mileage covered for each.
The home has a dual role for many of you self-employed people. It is where you live and also where you carry on some or all of your business. Even if you carry on most of your business elsewhere you are still entitled to a deduction for the part of the household expenses provided that there are times when part of your home is used solely for business purposes.
Many of the bills for household expenses cover both business and private use. For example a self-employed person who uses electricity both privately and for business will normally get one electricity bill. A single bill does not mean that the whole of the expenditure is disallowable. The part of the cost attributable to business use is allowable.
You can deduct the costs of maintaining your business premises – including rent, rates, heat, light, repairs and insurance. You can also deduct the business part of these costs if you run your business from home.
Some costs relate to the whole house and have to be paid even if there is no business use. These include costs such as, Council Tax, mortgage interest, insurance, water rates, general repairs and rent. ??If part of the home is set aside solely for business use for a specific period then a part of these costs is allowable. It will normally be appropriate to apportion these expenses by area and time. Some particular points are considered below.
If the business use is covered by a separate policy then the cost of that policy is allowed in full, with no part of the household policy being allowed. ??Otherwise, an appropriate part of the premium can be allowed.
The council tax is a tax on property. In principle it may be allowable in those instances where other property based expenses are deductible. If business use is established the appropriate proportion of the tax may be allowed under the normal rules for the deduction of expenses.
If part of the home is used solely for business then an appropriate part of the mortgage interest is an allowable deduction. Repayments of capital are not allowable. ??
Part of the rent is an allowable expense when the home is rented and part is used solely for business purposes. ??A sole trader cannot charge a separate rent to his or her own business. This is because individuals cannot rent property to themselves. The allowable expense is the proportion of the rent paid to the landlord that is properly attributable to the part of the home being used solely for business purposes.
Repairs and maintenance
A proportion of the cost of general household repairs and maintenance is allowable in line with the proportion that the house is used solely for the business. Examples include the general redecoration of the exterior or repairs to the roof. ??Repairs that relate solely to part of the house that is not used for the business, such as decorating a room not used for the business, are not allowable. Equally if a room is used solely for business purposes then the cost of redecorating that room is wholly allowable. ??
There are some expenses where the total bill may vary with the amount of business use. They include cleaning, heat and light and metered water. ??If the claim is small and there is only minor business use of the home, for example you write up your business records at home, you may accept a claim based on any reasonable basis. ??Where there is significant business use it is appropriate to apportion such expenses by reference to the facts of that usage.
The facts may result in a higher proportion of costs attributable to either business or domestic use. ??For example, a cleaner may clean the living rooms but be under strict instructions to leave the office alone. In this situation, the payments to the cleaner are not an allowable expense.
Heat, light and power
A proportion of the heating and lighting costs of a room used at times solely for business purposes is allowable. The proportion should reflect the facts of usage. Where usage is minor, such as the occasional writing up of records, you may accept any reasonable estimate consistent with such minor use. ??You should take into account the number and nature of any power consuming items involved. A commercial photographer working from home using specialist studio lighting will have a much higher business expense for electricity than a trader writing up records once a week in the spare bedroom.
The cost of business calls is allowable. Also allow a proportion of the line rental (based on the ratio of business use to total use). This proportion should reflect all aspects of use, including incoming calls, though in most cases reference to itemised outgoing calls will provide a reasonable and acceptable measure. ??Care should be taken and a flexible approach adopted when considering the level of apportioned business expenditure, relating to all inclusive packages offered by telephone and broadband providers.
Expenditure on an internet connection (including broadband and wireless broadband) is allowable to the extent that the connection is used for business purposes. Where there is ‘mixed’ (business/non-business) use, follow the approach used for telephone rentals.
Metered water charges
In cases of heavy usage the business part of the property may be separately charged (and so fully allowable) in which event none of the domestic cost is deductible. ??In the case of minor business use of the premises, such as writing up records, there is no business use of water and so none of the water charge is allowable.
If there is only minor use, for example writing up the business records at home, you may accept a reasonable estimate without detailed enquiry.
?I have covered most of the common areas that may apply to your own businesses. At some point I will give you some examples to demonstrate the principles to be applied. ?
Children in Need beats record total after raising £31m. Do you think the fund will miss £10m if we gave this as aid to the Phillipines kids?
Oh…..if you like ties, rush out and grab those bright coloured ones with matching silk hankies for Xmas……..Tie Rack is going …!!!!
Tie Rack, the loss-making international accessories chain, has begun a nationwide closing down sale across its remaining 44 UK stores.
The chain grew to 450 stores globally at its height in 1998, but now has just 82.
The UK stores are all expected to close on 27 December……I can smell a bargain…!!!
Tie yourself to your home and claim for it.
Andrew James Crawford
Have a wonderful Thursday
Get in touch Tweet me @RachelHolmes