Moirs Chat

Putting yourself out there…

 

Soooooooooo.. how many of us do what we do because we have always done it? Lets face it, it’s the easy thing to do as it involves little to no brain power and very little effort

If it’s your job that we are speaking about then it’s perfectly normal to do a good job and stay under the radar.. a lot of bosses would be happy with you doing an adequate job and only completing your task list. But what could you be missing out on? The obvious thing would be promotion and all that comes with it – new job title, higher salary, more benefits for example. The less obvious things are a chance for change, re-energising yourself with new tasks, enhancing your skill set and connecting with others to increase your access to knowledge and experience.

As for our personal life what could staying under the radar do? In the extreme it could allow us to stay in an unhappy relationship.. or put up with a negative friendship.. but think of all the little things we could be missing out on – making new friends and all that it brings,  experiences & adventures, cake eating, cinema trips with friends, coffee dates, kicking the autumnal leaves on a brisk walk! 

We put ourselves out there a couple of months ago.. both as a company and personally…

Firstly I opened up Moirs to Stirling University MBA course and worked very closely with one of their students Khlayre Cairney, on a Business Transformation Project. I gave Khlayre access to our policies, procedures, database, figures and anything else that she felt was relevant. It would have been easier to not get involved and continue on as we have done for the last 12 years but here I was inviting scrutiny, outside opinions and questions about the future of my company.  The resulting report was fabulous and has been two-fold. It has backed up a lot of my ‘gut feelings’ but has also given us new insight into how we can grow as a company which in turn will increase everyone’s autonomy and job security.

Secondly came two award nominations – we’ve never put ourselves out there to this extent before mainly because I am a bit rubbish at getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper. This is where Khlayre worked her magic! After speaking with me comprehensively about everything she put both proposals together and submitted them to the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Association of Scottish Business Women. We made it to the next stage on both and this is where I had to put my head above the parapet and ‘endure’ interviews and present a power point presentation to a judging panel. Again I was inviting scrutiny, outside opinions and questions on my company AND myself.. a double whammy!

The world did not end, I did not internally combust, I survived! We won!  

We are now the proud owner of two awards…

Best Business 2017 Winner ( Association of Scottish Businesswomen )

Business Leader 2017 Highly Commended ( Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce )

Life is about new experiences, growing mentally and emotionally and getting to know yourself.. We always have choices and life will unfold according to these choices.. We can’t achieve any of this by making sure no-one knows who we are.. My advice would be to always say yes!

 

 

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Work-Life balance… it’s really important!

 

 

 

 

Holidays? Time Off? Self Employed? Not words that usually go together and lack of time off is one of the reasons that deters British workers from starting up their own business. Long hours and stress are the 2 other main reasons for hesitation in doing so.  75% of employees would like the freedom to run their own business one day with 51% citing work-life balance as the most attractive factor according to research by St James Place Academy.

One of the most valuable things I have learnt in my journey is the importance of looking after myself. I have owned and operated moirs cleaning for 12 years and for the first 10 years, any time off was sporadic and very last minute.. usually when I was so knackered and unwell that I was “forced to admit defeat” and lay in bed.

“forced to admit defeat” – That statement alone speaks volumes.. why do we think we are admitting defeat if we take some time off? Is it completely unacceptable to admit that we all need time off? Do we feel that we have failed or that we are weak if we aren’t running about at 100mph? Yes, Yes, Yes but it should be a big, huge Nooooooooo!

Amid running a business it is very easy to forget about work-life balance let alone realise that it is beneficial to have one. The habit of constantly being at work is sustainable only until the reality of mental and physical limits strikes.. in my case it would be a severe cold or a viral infection that would last for weeks and bring with it constant tiredness. When I was this tired, the decisions I made weren’t as they should be and any new business or future plans could have suffered.

Entrepreneurs are often celebrated for wearing multiple hats whilst tallying up numerous hours. But working without a break is a bad habit that can jeopardise your company, your health and the lifestyle that you are supposedly working towards.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” – Vivian Green

It’s easy to fall into the trap of overdoing it in the early days.. capital and cash flow are tight and we’re super enthusiastic and completely unrealistic about our abilities. Few people understand the principle of refueling – you get more done quicker when you step back and recharge your brain and body. Official studies show that performance increases after breaks – anything from a 10 minute tea break to a vacation. We wouldn’t expect our employees to work without either so why do we think we can?

Continuous time at work sets of reactions that include stress, fatigue and negative moods which in turn drains focus along with physical and emotional resources. The brains ability to stay self-disciplined wanes with each exercise of self control. Its a loss of resources that must be replenished or it becomes harder to stay focused, be attentive and solve problems.. think of New Year Resolutions, hammer it for January and you’ve lost the will to live by February!!

So how do we refuel – I’d say it’s a very personal thing – more importantly is that we actually do refuel. Personally I like to lift weights, run, torture myself with a bootcamp session, go for a walk.. none of which are particularly restful some would say, but for me it is more about shutting my brain off as opposed to being physically still. Sitting watching TV is not my thing –  The average state of a TV viewer is a mild depression, according to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow. Do anything, anything that takes your fancy, get a hobby, try a new thing, read a book, take a fitness class, do the gardening, anything that gives you respite from the stresses of your work day. Detaching from work with distractions at night reduces fatigue and promotes positive effects the next morning at work.

Productivity doesn’t come from being glued to your work every waking moment. It comes from how energized, focused and organised your brain is and this can only be replenished by taking a break. We are just like smartphones or iPods – we need to be recharged or we run out of juice. You shouldn’t slog through every single day.. life is for living.. eat the cake, take the adventure, book the holiday and damn well enjoy it!!

“I don’t think of work as work and play as play.. it’s all living” – Richard Branson

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Reaching the top…

Its January.. it’s freezing.. it’s pissing down.. it’s the time of year when everyone analyzes everything.. from checking your finances to reigning in your expenditure.. from reviewing the past year to planning the year ahead, January is well known to be the time for motivation, reflection and preparation.

Reaching the top in the world of anything requires a massive amount of determination, dedication and more importantly the ability to constantly ‘pick yourself up’. The world of cleaning is no different.. Planning – yes. Tracking – yes. Monitoring – yes. Adjusting – yes. Succeeding – yes. Failing – yes. All of the above on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis

day in the life of an entrepreneur

It doesn’t matter what business we are in, or what our background is, we all need to do the things mentioned above. The pressure that we put ourselves under can be immense and it’s a constant mind game to stay motivated. There is an underlying acceptance that we have to dedicate our lives to the pursuit of excellence and it is a very fine line between a healthy work/life balance.

One lesson I have learned is that all my competitors want the success that I do. Obviously we are all individuals and that’s what makes our business/company unique and it is our individual thoughts, flair and creativity that we can bring to our team that could well set us apart from our direct competition. Making sure we are surrounded by the right team and helping them to see the greater vision is a must. Our teams have to see the potential that we see and they must buy into the same vision. Without this, neither of us are good enough to reach our full potential.

Quote of an Entrepreneur – I wake up excited & terrified every day 

So it’s back to the mind games.. the attitudes that we have learnt, the personal attributes that we have and the behaviors that we adopt are all very relevant to reaching the top.. being prepared to change, being prepared for change are an equal requisite.. we can plan, plan & plan but if we cannot adapt then we will struggle to react to the pitfalls, let alone understand them.

So… have I reached the top? Definitely not.. however myself and my team are well aware of the journey ahead and what it involves.. intense psychological pressure, dedication, determination, hunners of planning, excitement and a few failures along the way.. we’re here to hit the challenges head on, embrace the stresses and laugh in the face of the failures.

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it 

#teammoirs #cleaning #housework #selfdevelopment #motivation #dedication #funfunfun #excited #terrified #reachingthetop

 

 

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Commitment v Attitude – can you have 1 without the other?

commitment

Commitment – the state of being dedicated to a cause/activity

Attitude – a settled way of thinking or feeling about something

Over the course of 2016 I made a commitment to Strathcarron Hospice to raise £500. At the time, running 4 Half Marathons, 1 x 10 Miler & 7 x 10ks over the course of a year seemed like a doddle and a bit of a laugh. Obviously I hadn’t quite thought it through!! Don’t misunderstand me as mostly it was enjoyable.. there was an awesome amount of laughs along the way but the training was fairly brutal at times and the motivation required to keep going was unreal.

My commitment & attitude changed frequently throughout the course of the year and I’m not sure what one wavered more.

There was an article recently published about mindsets – Fixed Mindset v Growth Mindset*. With a fixed mindset you believe you are who you are and cannot change. When you’re challenged this can create problems because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.. this rings true with some of my dodgy career choices/constant attempts at dieting/feelings of not being good enough which relates more so to my younger years. If you lack confidence ( which was definitely the case 20 years ago ) it is very easy to have a fixed mindset – lets you hang on to routine, stay in your comfort zone, avoid challenges and give up easily which leads us back to lacking confidence.. a vicious circle!

A growth mindset is more about a self belief that you can improve with effort believing that challenges should be embraced and treated as opportunities to learn something new. I have heard many times that the deciding factor in life is how you deal with setbacks

  • the greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising everytime we fall – Nelson Mandela
  • a setback is never a bad experience, just another one of life’s lesson – Richard Branson
  • I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work – Thomas Edison

Which leads me back to my original question.. Commitment v Attitude – can you have 1 without the other? No would be the short answer.

“Success is an attitude, a mindset, a decision, a commitment, a promise. A belief that it can be done, should be done and will be done”

Commitment and attitude go hand in hand in my opinion and I couldn’t have finished all the runs without both.. I’ve learnt a lot about myself in the last year.. while my feelings about the whole challenge did waiver across the year, I do believe that I couldn’t have completed all the runs without a positive attitude.. something that I try to apply to every aspect of my life!

Strathcarron Hospice provide specialist care, comfort and support for anyone affected by terminal illness.

For some people in the last few weeks of life, their strong preference is to be at home until the end. Strathcarron Hospice@Home carers provide practical and emotional support for families and carers who find themselves in this situation.

Strathcarron Hospice Befriending is for people that live at home with advanced illness and do not need the specialist care that is provided within Strathcarron Hospice

http://strathcarronhospice.net/

 

*( to read the full article click here )

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Are you scared of change?

butterfly-moirs

Are you scared of change? At various points throughout my life I have been scared.. In the past it’s been very comforting to have my diary planned out to within an inch of its life and I’m speaking about work and home life. Waking up at the same time, go through the same morning routine, go to work at exactly the same time, stick to your work diary as if your life depended on it, do your food shopping on the same day of the week – every week, buy the same food, cook the same meals, eat the same takeaway, meet your friends in the same place – on the same day – at the same time blah blah blah!

It gave me control and a warm fuzzy feeling that if I did this, this & this, the outcome would be that, that & that… how very dull, how very uniform, how very boring and how very safe.

Now we all need a bit of control and routine at some point and I’m not suggesting for a minute that we delete our diaries and rip up our plans but a little bit of ‘living on the edge’ is always good.. turns out I’m a bit of a rebel these days!!

According to a recent survey, 34% of small businesses/companies in the UK believe they will be out of business in 5 years if they fail to adapt their business model. This would be a classic example of The Insanity Thing –  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Soooooo what have they done about it? They have re-written their Business Plan and embraced change? They have analysed the market? They have a future plan? Well not quite.. 2% have have done the above, 98% are doing The Insanity Thing.

I do love a quote, so here is another one for you ‘A year ago, I would never have guessed my life would be the way it is now’. This is about embracing change, about taking a situation that you are not happy with and having the confidence to change it, about pushing the worrying to the back of your mind, about ignoring the fear and most of all – about living!

At Moirs, we have a plan…

Commitment has been made to invest in and develop the company infrastructure, allowing us to progress to digital based administration systems. Alongside these developments, significant investment has been made with regards to staff training, thereby ensuring we are focused on our key elements of quality and customer service, upon which the company is founded.

The final element on the horizon is the awareness that clients in their busy lifestyles may appreciate ‘one-stop’ approaches to all their cleaning needs. In response Moirs intends to create professional alliances with specialised cleaning providers on an associate basis as an additional feature of current services. Ease of access to services for our clients is the key feature.. watch this space in early 2017 for Carpet Cleaning, Driveway Cleaning & Handyman services.

Cariss Moir ( that’s me ;-)) the owner and energy behind the business says “This is a very exciting time for Moirs and although we have been incredibly successful over the last 10 years, we also feel that this is an opportune time for taking things to the next level. We are very aware that ‘what has got us here will not keep us here’ and therefore we are creating a step-change in what we currently do. We feel that investments we make will result in a better experience for our current clients, increase our client base, develop better relationships that we hope will be long term and provide an increasing higher quality service. Alongside this we wish to create a loyal well-trained and supported workforce that will take pride in being part of a successful and expanding business. I really feel that this is a time of great opportunity for Moirs”

‘If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies’ ( anonymous )

GO FOR IT… Whats the worst that can happen?

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2050 – The year the housewife will be obsolete!

How many times do you hear “a women’s work is never done?”

The days of cooking and cleaning may soon be over. In 2050, the traditional role of housewife could be obsolete, with robots taking care of all the arduous tasks around the home.

According to a report by Dr Ian Pearson, its predicted that furniture will adapt to a person’s bodyshape and clothes will clean themselves ( no more training the teenagers to work the washing machine ).

All this comes a century after home appliances freed housewifes from back-breaking chores, artificially intelligent androids will run our homes, enabling us to spend more time having fun and less time doing chores.

 

BB8

The more advanced technology becomes, the more we can focus on being human. Housewifes and Househusbands will have no need to tidy their home, with 80% of homes predicted to have emotionally intelligent robotic servants in 2050. Miniature robot tidiers are also likely, waiting until a room is empty and then scurrying around picking up small objects.

Without constant chores, householders will have more time to relax. Personally I would have The Fear if there were robots in my house ( too many scary movies I think, although BB8 is quite cute ).

It is all about having more time to relax and constantly striving for that better work / life balance. But you can have more time to relax right now.. by getting in touch with us and we will clean your home for you

Moirs T: 01324 624600 E: enquiries@moirsresidential.com F: www.facebook.com/moirscleaning W: http://www.moirsresidential.com/ T: twitter.com/carisspetal

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When you hire a cleaner….

Came across an interesting article the other day….

“When you hire a cleaner you expect your home to be spruced up and left in a pristine state. But this was not what one clients got. Instead, the ‘professional & reliable’ maid supplied by the cleaning company he paid got drunk on his whisky, damaged his sofa, soiled his carpet and fell asleep on his bed.

He claims he found £3000 of damage when he came home to ‘unbelievable chaos’. The cleaner was sitting on the stairs, reeking of alcohol and very drunk says the chap who lives near Milton Keynes. There was urine on the carpet while the cleaner was wobbling about trying to work the vacuum cleaner. After looking around he found a smashed jar of marinade smeared on the couples cream sofa along with ‘pen marks’. Upstairs they found that the cleaner had made full use of their double bed and a perfect imprint where she had laid down on top of it. She had also left her mobile phone on the bed. Further investigation revealed that more than half a bottle of Chivas Regal ( 12 year old ) had been drunk.

The chaos was caused in the space of 2 hours after the couple left the house at 10am and returned at midday, expecting to find it spotless. The client said he had paid thousands of pounds replacing the carpet, sofa and bedding and is currently threatening legal action. The cleaning company has refused to pay compensation, saying its insurance does not cover the damage as it was a criminal matter

Absolute Nightmare!! What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen.. We work in teams of 2 for security and Health & Safety reasons, we are fully insured, most of our staff have been with us for 2 years +, we supply all our own products and equipment ( so even if we were steamin’ we would be able to use the hoover 😉 Kidding obvs ), as far as we can, we will guarantee the same teams

What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen.. use a reputable cleaning company preferably from a referral, ask to speak with some of their current clients, ask to meet the management / owners of the company, inspect their insurance documents, generally do some digging and above all trust your gut feeling..

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Challenges for women entrepreneurs

Just 25% of single person companies and 22% of small firms are majority-led by women, according to FSBs report Women in Enterprise: The Untapped Potential. But it also found the level of self-employed women is up 40% since the financial crash in 2008. Challenges included balancing work and family life, achieving credibility and a lack of confidence. The report makes recommendations for improving support.

Skills that women thought would help them grow their businesses included business strategy, marketing and online/digital help.

What skills would you find most useful to develop to help grow your business?

Communication 22%, Marketing 55%, Business Finance 42%, Sales 37%, Business Strategy 56%, Administration 20%, People Management 31%, Decision Making 31%, Online & Digital 55%

From a personal point of view I absolutely love my job and on a daily basis it doesn’t cross my mind that I am in the minority. It is a constant battle to find a balance between work and home life but not necessarily in a different way from anyone else. I’ve experienced a couple of situations where I have felt uncomfortable but was more down to my confidence in my ability to do my job than anything else. Its sometimes difficult to believe in yourself and I do try to push myself out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. As for support, there is lots and lots of people out their that can offer their experience. I have a Business Mentor which believe me, makes me feel uncomfortable every time we meet.. in a good way as he is constantly making me think about my own personal development. On a positive note, I would suggest that everyone has a bash at running their own business.. its loads of fun!! Cariss Wedding Pic cropped

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Strathcarron Hospice Its a Knockout 1st August 2015

IAKO movie

Just click on the link above to see how much fun we are going to have..

Super proud to be the main sponsors of Strathcarron Hospice Its a Knockout Event.. held on Saturday 1st August 2015 at Callendar Park Falkirk, it guarantees to be a super day out for everyone

Come along and help us support Strathcarron Hospice!

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Business Mentoring and why it works!

Moirs-Cleaning-mentor pics

http://www.mentorsme.co.uk/useful-resources/mentee-case-studies/moirs-cleaning

An article on why Business Mentoring has worked for Moirs.. published on line and soon to be featured in Incommerce.. Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Magazine

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