Read this if your confidence needs a boost

As a result of changes in my personal circumstances, I’ve been thinking a lot about confidence recently; what happens when we lose it and how we can get it back. For the last six months in my life I’ve been knee-deep in nappies. I haven’t been focusing too much on my career. This is not just because I have run out of hours in the day. You see, when you leave the professional world, even for a few months, it throws you out of the rhythm. And soon enough you’re thinking, hold on, am I actually any good at my career? Does anyone in the working world need me or miss me? And those little doubts creep in until before you know it you’re in the midst of a full-blown confidence crisis.

Now, it’s kind of a workplace taboo to say you don’t feel confident so self-doubt in others isn’t always obvious, which is why I wanted to share my own story here. But, believe me, lapses in confidence are as common as Pret sandwiches in the workplace. I know from speaking to my clients that the most talented, smartest and dedicated marketing professionals often feel like they’re not good enough, like they don’t belong and as though they are doing or saying something wrong.

So what are we supposed to do when we have an attack of self-doubt? A common solution is to look for self-assurance from someone else. All too often, we rely on the praise of our colleagues, our social media likes, our friends’ kind words to pick us up again. But this is just a sticking plaster that soon falls away. It is not a firm foundation for self-belief.

Here’s what actually works, in my experience, when you come face to face with self-doubt:

First, acknowledge the issue. Write it down, explore how you feel about it. What happened? Why has it shaken you? How are you responding? Let your pen do the work, and don’t think too much about what you’re writing, just let it all out. You may well find that once you’ve seen the problem on paper it isn’t actually as bad as it seemed when it was circling endlessly in your mind.

See progress, not failure: We become more resilient from our challenges when we see them as learning opportunities, rather than mistakes. Try spinning the situation on its head so you think to yourself “I’m glad I did/said that because I’ve learnt xx from it”.

Bounce back: You’ve spent some time exploring what’s happened and what you’ve learnt. It’s time to move on. The way to do this is to explore the amazing stuff you’ve done in the last week/month/year. Believe me, there are loads of achievements, big and small, both within work and beyond that you probably haven’t given yourself credit for yet while you’ve been focusing on the negative stuff.

Get excited about the future: What’s next for you? Find things coming up that you are truly passionate about; not just in your working life, but in your personal life. It could be holidays, dates, art classes, work presentations. Notice what it is about these things that is lighting you up. For instance, are you driven by socialising or time alone? By using your imagination or by organising events? The more you start to notice what gives you that buzz, the more you can actively seek out opportunities that energise you, rather than drain you.

But please know that even with the above steps a confidence crisis doesn’t always disappear overnight. If you’re still feeling low or crushed or wounded be kind to yourself, know that what you’re going through is normal and that if you take the time to explore what’s really eating you up rather than attempting to ignore it, a stronger, wiser, more experienced and more talented version of you can emerge.

The best person to help you do this is a coach. Unlike those in your support network, who will offer their own solutions and a bit of tea and sympathy, good coaches have the training and ability to help you face the truth so you can move forward into your full power and potential.

Want to know more about upping your confidence levels? I’ve shared a short video over on my Facebook Group, Megawatt Community. Check it out and you’ll also get a little window into my own story relating to confidence, as well as my life out here in South of France, with a small cameo from Baby Jamie!

Yours in true support of your dreams,

Amy

I wish I’d known these things five years ago when starting out as a freelancer...

As I sit here writing the sky is cloudless, the sun is warming the patio and the pool is as blue as a Hockney painting.

I’m not on holiday. This is where I’m living at the moment. A villa in the South of France surrounded by vineyards and wild flowers. (It's my Grandma's, not mine but still it is wonderful).

Life can take you on some funny escapades sometimes. I would never have thought I’d be working from this dream location five years ago when I was sitting at my desk in a typical London office.

One decision to go freelance and spend some time working from Provence changed everything. It was not an easy decision to make. I had all the fears and doubts that you can imagine going through my mind about money, isolation, stability and career progression.

I wondered how I’d ever make ends meet and I thought to myself “who am I to do something so brazenly different when everyone else is working so hard?” However, I didn’t let these doubts take over and I went for it anyway. The five years I’ve had out here have been golden and my career hasn’t stalled. It has evolved along with me and I’ve learnt a huge amount about what I need to stay motivated and fulfilled.

But what about your story? Are you looking for change? Do you have a nagging feeling that you are not reaching your full potential in your job? Or living life to its fullest? If so, I have something special to share with you.

As one of my valued subscribers, I wanted you to be the first to find out about a video I've made covering the FIVE SECRETS TO SUCCESS AS A MARKETING FREELANCER.

If you have even the slightest inkling that a freelance career could be your way forward, you HAVE TO watch this video NOW so you can skip some of the rookie errors and go straight to a profitable, successful and fulfilling approach to freelance marketing. Equally if you are already freelancing you’ll find support tools and sage advice that you might not have come across before.

So, make that cuppa, dedicate the next twenty minutes to focusing on your future and I guarantee you’ll come out the other end motivated, excited and inspired to make a success of freelance marketing.

And if this is not for you but you know anyone who needs to hear these things, please share this video with them. Because we are all allies in this industry and should support each other on our journeys.

Till next time I wish you a fabulous week,

Amy

Amy Watt
Founder of Megawatt Coaching

Drinking my “Freelancer Fuel” (Otherwise known as a soy latte) in a Brooklyn deli

Drinking my “Freelancer Fuel” (Otherwise known as a soy latte) in a Brooklyn deli

When not to give up on your job (and how I found out the hard way)

It is not uncommon for my highly successful female marketing clients to be wrestling with situations where they aren’t enjoying their jobs. Perhaps the company culture jars with them, or their style of management is at odds with their boss’s, or perhaps the company doesn’t do enough good stuff out there in the world.

In these situations, the reflex action is to want to pull the eject cord and get the hell out asap. I know this because I was quite unhappy in a job at one point. I started looking for the exit signs (metaphorically, I mean, obviously I knew where the fire escape was). I wanted people to tell me it was time to go. But, I didn’t leave at that point.

Instead, I went to the boss of the company (not my line manager, but the person who actually founded the company) and explained that I wasn’t happy in my role. Because she valued me, she listened and together we thrashed out some alterations to my role and schedule that saw me go down to four days a week and shift some responsibilities.

While it was hard to swallow my ego and watch some of my comrades advance faster than me, it was the absolute best thing for me at the time. It brought the head space I needed to get a plan together for the future and remind myself of what I actually enjoy in life. The company was no longer sucking life out of me, instead I was breathing life into it. I became more creative, more positive and more relaxed. My work and my soul benefitted.

So, what am I trying to tell you here? The message is that if you’re not happy in your role it is not always about getting out and starting again somewhere else. Yes, this can be an important career move and I’d never condone staying in the same place out of fear or complacency. What I’m saying is there might be some upfront work to do before you jump ship that could either see you find your groove where you are or take you to a much better place in your career that you couldn’t see when you were down on your current job.

Ask yourself all of the below questions to stir up some fresh perspective on a lingering sense of unhappiness:

  • What exactly am I unhappy about here? What could I do about this? List out five options for taking action

  • Am I doing what I’m good at here? What skills and talents do I have that are currently lying dormant?

  • What makes me happy here? Can I find a way to do more of what I enjoy?

  • Who do I need to speak to about this situation? When am I going to have this conversation?

  • If I’m really honest with myself, do I know where I want to go in my career? Is this job a stepping stone towards my future goals? This last question is super important because if you can’t answer this you can’t expect another job, or your current boss or a promotion to make things better for you.

So, what happens now? Well, if you can answer these questions easily, then why are you wasting time reading this?! You know what you want - go for it! But if these questions are a little stickier for you then it is time to book that free coaching call with me and together we’ll get to the bottom of this dilemma so you don’t pull the eject cord and then realise you don’t actually have the parachute you need for a safe landing. God forbid.

To book your free coaching session before they fill up, follow the link.

Amy
xx

Amy Watt
Founder of Megawatt Coaching

If you can’t beat them, join them and stand proudly on your plinth!

If you can’t beat them, join them and stand proudly on your plinth!

It's all about the money (and I think I had it all wrong anyway)

Today I'm covering a big, important topic for my wonderful coaching clients: MONEY and how to get more of it!

For years I had neglected the importance of money in my life. I saw it as an inconvenient but essential thing that kind of ticked along. I was pretty disinterested in moolah as long as I had enough for the essentials and a vaguely decent quality of life. I rarely checked my bank balance and didn’t know the first thing about my pension.

Even when I became a freelancer I paid as little attention to finances as possible. My motto was that as long as I was in the black and putting aside a little every month then I was ok.

But all of a sudden this approach wasn’t ok. After having my daughter my financial needs were very different. S**t got real.

I’m certainly not telling you this to put you off freelancing (or having children!). I’m sharing my experience because I now understand how important it is to look after money. And that doesn’t mean gunning for the highest paid job in a role where it feels like you're selling your soul or compromising your lifestyle.

To grow my wealth I’m studying a very powerful course taught by the magnificent Fiscal Godmother. Here’s what’s working for me from her teachings. I’m pretty sure it will work for you too as I know how bloody talented you are and that you deserve the finest things in life:

Knowing that I have the potential to significantly grow my wealth: Not in an airy fairy, dreamy way but in a way where I get up every day and feel motivated and excited about how I’m going to grow my wealth based on rock solid strategies I’ve now put in place.

Tracking my spending: For all of July I have noted how much I've spent and on what. This terrified me as an exercise as I didn't want to have to justify costs I'd usually brush under the carpet. But it has made a big impact, I can now see plainly the difference between expenses that I could live without and investments in my health, wellbeing and career, where I will reap the benefits back tenfold.

Asking for more: This is so tough for many of us but I’m getting my head around the idea of rating my services in the communications and coaching space based on the value they bring to people rather than the hours I put in. The more closely my work connects to my sense of personal purpose, the more confident I am in the value I bring and the more lucrative (and fun) projects become. Also, by not undervaluing my work, I can offer better quality and more attention to my clients, as I don’t need to spread myself too thinly.

Setting clear financial targets: I have done some important calculations to figure out what I want to earn each month to give me the kind of life I want. While it still feels terrifying to commit to these targets, the fact I have them is making things so much clearer for me in terms of what to prioritise and what will drain my time and not pay dividends.

Talking more about money: I blame my inherent Britishness for feeling embarrassed to discuss this topic. But in all seriousness, the more I’ve started to take an interest in my finances and ask questions of other people, the more in control of growing my wealth I become. For instance, just having a conversation with my partner about investments we need to make for our daughter is helping me plan ahead. Asking my accountant about tax implications of airbnbing our place is shaping my future strategy. I really needed to stop being so vague and disinterested in money!

Getting serious about the future: I often encourage clients to envision a future where they’re living an ideal life. I’m not trying to predict the future but supporting them to broaden their horizons and inspire them towards action. I’m now going one step deeper into this and looking at exactly how much money I’ll need to set aside to create my ideal future. Calculating the cost of my future dream home, living costs and any luxuries I deem necessary. This has brought me to a scary sum but it is certainly a wake up call to get moving on the money front, Ms Watt!

What state of health are your finances in? I can promise that my juicy career coaching will support you to raise your salary, get you a better paid job or establish a sustainable freelance career in a matter of weeks, so your future is financially healthier and your work lights you up.

And if you have a buddy who works in marketing and is struggling with his or her finances for the love of God throw them a life line and forward this blog so they can book their free one-to-one coaching session with me this week. (Limited slots available - so be quick!)

Wishing you a most prosperous week,

Amy

Amy Watt
Founder of Megawatt Coaching

Rocking my Riviera look in preparation for the yacht I'll be buying in a year or two of focusing on growing my wealth.

Rocking my Riviera look in preparation for the yacht I'll be buying in a year or two of focusing on growing my wealth.

"I just don’t feel like a leader" (if that’s you, read this)

On this sunny day in Portsmouth I’m huddled over my laptop with the curtains drawn to block out the light because I have something serious to discuss with you: your leadership potential.

I know too many sh*t hot marketers who have hit a roadblock in their careers because they don’t see themselves as leaders.

They already possess many of the hallmarks of the best leaders: they love being part of a team, bringing out the best in others and are devoted to their work, but somehow they don’t feel good enough to take up the leadership mantle. I’m talking senior leadership, here - responsible for your own projects, big decisions and possibly even whole teams. Not just having your boss give you a piece of work and breathing down your neck while you “run it”.

How do I know about leadership when I am not working for a big company any more? Well, I make a point of hanging out with brilliant leaders in comms and marketing whenever I can. I study the ones that inspire me and talk to them about what makes them tick. On the whole I’ve found that they tend to be sensible, modest and interesting people, not intimidating or difficult. And when I speak to my coaching clients I know that they would make great leaders too, with a little more self conviction, direction and support.

If you don’t feel like a leader, but you really want to push yourself in your career, here are five things you need to know:

You ARE suited to leadership, even if you’re currently overlooked for those big promotions or new roles
As I’m sure you know, it isn’t those who bulldoze their way through that make the best leaders. Actually, more introverted, quieter types make brilliant leaders. They notice more, are more empathetic and more dedicated. But due to their personality they often take longer to step into leadership roles because they don’t push for them. (This isn’t just my speculation. Check out this article on why introverts make the best leaders by Susan Cain for more solid insights.)

To become an amazing leader, you need to work on yourself
Here’s the truth: no one else is going to buy into you as a leader until you believe in your own potential and have a strong sense of what the “future you” is going to achieve in their career. By building your understanding of what values you want to live by, what your unique contribution is and what you have to share you’ll become at least ten times more powerful when you walk into a room.

Even if you want to break free from the corporate world you’ll need to show up as a leader
When you go freelance or start a new business, it becomes even more important to tune into your leadership abilities, because to do well you have to become a leader in your field. This requires an inner conviction in your expertise and having the confidence to advise your clients, direct your business and possibly even to grow a team.

Becoming a leader is never going to feel comfortable (and that’s a good thing)
To be a leader you have to have strong conviction in your decisions. No matter how talented you might be, without this conviction you can’t step into the leader’s shoes. You’ll want to play it safe and defer to someone else, even though your instincts and ideas are probably just as good or better than your manager’s. You have to push yourself to speak up and take ownership. It isn't easy but it is exciting when the buck stops with you. And your learning curve suddenly accelerates so you are able to push yourself even further from there.

Here is your golden opportunity to find your inner leader
Now for the exciting part In October I am opening the doors for a new coaching programme aimed at those in marketing who are stallingbecause they either don’t know what they want or they don’t feel capable of achieving it. If you are mid-level (minimum 3 years experience in marketing or comms) and these points about leadership are resonating, we need to talk. On the coaching programme you will be supported by me and an incredible group of similarly talented marketing peers and together with them your story will change, and soon.

Hop on a free breakthrough call with me and by December 2019, you’ll be more motivated, better supported, more excited about your future and generally walking taller (and not just as a result of the new Leboutins your fierce self has chosen).

Sending warm wishes and good vibes your way on this sunny Friday,

Amy

Amy Watt
Founder of Megawatt Coaching

Of course, you'll also need a massive leather swivel chair to really boss it in your career...

Of course, you'll also need a massive leather swivel chair to really boss it in your career...

When your personal life is hit by major trauma, and your work suffers

When you’re in the thick of challenging life events career progress is, understandably, not front of mind. And yet it can be a real stress point because you still have to show up to work. (And usually don’t feel like sharing the full story with your colleagues or clients.) Having compared notes with my coaching clients, here are a few insights that I hope will help you to cope on those “mask days”, when you need a fake smile and a Dairymilk stash to stop the tears from coming.