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Welcome to the Beyond the Kitchen Table podcast. And I'm delighted this week to have my first guest on after the rebrand, Ali Tate. Ali Tate is a woman who wears many hats and I'm going to let her explain them to you because I'm just not sure I could keep up, to be honest. So first of all, welcome, Ali. Thank you so much for having me, Marie. I'm really pleased to be here. You are welcome. So, first of all, please tell us what you do. The hats that you do wear. You're right. I do wear several hats. Um, but mainly my overall thing is about helping business owners to thrive and grow in their, both their business and their life. And I help people go from overwhelmed to organized and get clear on what they want to achieve and also the steps to get there. And I do that through workshops, um, simple step by step programs, one to one coaching and mentoring. Now, the other hat that I wear is I also, um, run Mums in Business Network, MIB Network, which has, which is a subscription membership where we meet once a month for in person and also online networking. And we have a group in Tunbridge Wells and in Sevenoaks. Fabulous. And in fact, I am a member of the Sevenoaks branch and have been for quite a long time. And we're going to come on to talk about networking and community in particular. Um, but it's a fantastic group. And I do talk about John's podcast from time to time. So it's great to have the person behind. The, the group on here to talk to. So, and can you tell us a little bit about how you got into doing this? Because I'm guessing you haven't always done this. I haven't indeed. So before the world turned upside down with COVID, um, my main business was running a corporate event management agency, which I'd done for 17 years. And my whole career prior to that, well, the majority of my career had been within the events world. So corporate events, um, reward recognition, um, exhibitions through to all sorts, client entertainment, sponsorship activation. And, um, Basically, I work with many big brands from major banks through to car manufacturers through to fashion brands and everything in between. But clearly that was the wrong sector to be in during COVID. So everything shut down and I didn't run an event for 18 months, which was unheard of. And I actually saw my garden growing in the summer, which was amazing. So, um. I obviously had to pivot quite quickly and I set up open water swimming sessions at Hevercastle Lake and then I was thinking and I had been thinking for a while it was time to change what I was doing. I've been in events for so long and I really knew that I wanted to change and have my next chapter. And, um, so I did lots of research and then, um, retrained as a business and a personal performance coach. Um, and I, pulled together all these different elements that I own and talents and qualities that I had learned and used and grown with throughout my life. And I'm really passionate about helping small businesses to grow and be successful. Um, and particularly love helping busy working parents. I'm getting organized because a few years ago I discovered myself as sole care, a sole provider, um, with two teens and trying to juggle everything. So used to having lots of balls in the air, used to having a number of companies going. I've started a number of companies over the years, including a giftware company, all sorts of things. Things. And I've sort of culminated all those elements in together. And then at the beginning of this year in January, I bought, um, mums and business network, uh, which really sort of pulls together all those elements as well. It definitely does. And I think one of the things that we, as women often forget is how many skills we've built up over the years. And partly in our corporate careers and also especially having children, you get a lot of different skills and they can be applied in a different area. And I love the fact that you may have hit a roadblock in your events business, but. That wasn't going to stop you. It's just an obstacle on the way to be overcome and that you pivoted so nicely. And in fact, I thought you'd been doing coaching for a lot longer than you have been doing, because I think it's the culmination of all of the life experience that you have, that you bring to that business. Yeah, and also I think another thing is I've always had an absolute fascination, um, with psychology and life coaching. And also my dissertation was about the life cycle of a small business and how that goes through and the effect of the owner on that business and how that changes over the time and experience. So there's been definitely been an interest in those all areas. Brought it all together. Um, and I guess in a way, part of working with companies when they're putting together events of any kind is a lot of the time you're guessing under the business objectives of what they're trying to achieve and their visibility and why they're doing those events. So you're, you're sort of coaching them through that process and consulting with, with, I used to go and consult in some of the larger financial. Organizations as well. Um, so yeah, it just pulls together all those elements. Definitely, and obviously that events business is different dealing with big businesses than dealing with small businesses. How have you found the transition to dealing with smaller and more local businesses? Um, I have to say I thoroughly enjoy it because it's so fantastic to see these businesses whether they're right at the beginning, you know, a lot of people say, Oh, I've just, I've literally bought a domain, I've got an idea, I bought a domain name to watch these other businesses grow and develop and the pace that they go at and equally how people Managed to grow that around their own lives as well to get that fulfillment from those businesses. Um, and I suppose you're sort of far more at the cutting edge and you can really help people develop and move forward and grow both personally and with their businesses. So, and I work with, you know, just solopreneurs or mumpreneurs, um, and entrepreneurs, but also I do have some clients who have slightly bigger companies, um, where sometimes I get involved with, uh, their... Their managers as well to keep that business on track because it grows because You know companies move some companies can move quite quickly and that can outgrow Um a founder's knowledge as well. So it's helping them keep track of that but um, yeah, it's amazing to watch what people Both create and start and and how they progress and their success and just watch people come alive as they do that It's absolutely And what similarities and what differences do you see between the smaller local businesses and the bigger businesses that you've dealt with? Well, it's really interesting because You do hear of many of the same things that come out. People, um, whether they're running a bigger business or a smaller business, a lot of people have never done something like that before. So you do hear from people, I feel like I'm winging it. I'm not quite sure what to do next. They feel very overwhelmed. They can find themselves procrastinating. They want those sounding boards. They want to brainstorm. So there's many, many. themes that run through, whether it's a smaller company or a bigger company, which I always find really interesting. But then of course, with a bigger company, that can then go back down to the next level as well, where they also, those managers of departments also have a growing department and sometimes feel that they need that assistance. So definitely there's similar themes. Um, I would say that definitely in the earlier stages of business, you've got, people have got that real drive and they're very clear about what they want to achieve and where they're trying to get to. And you then tend to see, um, as people, as the companies get a little bit bigger, they've almost met those goals, and then they're not quite sure about what that next step is. So there's, there's almost a pause where people have to reassess and go. Okay, where are not? Where am I? What's next? And how do I get that? And so there's these little platforms as companies grow that you often see. I think one of the key things which you mentioned is when you're, when you've come from a corporate world to running your own business, it can feel very lonely and you don't have. Those colleagues around you that can act as a sounding board. And so it's really important to have a support network in order to be able to, well, just feel like you're not winging it the whole time. Can you talk a little bit about having a support network as a small business owner and why you think that's important? I think it's, I think you're, you've hit the nail on the head, you know, that loneliness in business and also not having that same structure around you can be quite disconcerting, especially at the beginning until you get into your stride. And you, when you work within a company, you're so used to having people sort of bounce off or just talk to during the day or just say, I'm thinking about this or. to sense check things. And I do agree with you. It can be it's quite hard. And so to get this support network around you is absolutely key. Um, and that can be, um, you know, that's support in your business, both you getting support from people, but you supporting other people. It's the interaction with people. Um, it's throwing ideas around. Um, it's also there's the other side of that. There's obviously, you know, people that support network around you can also be your cheerleaders. They can pick you up when you feel a little bit down. Um, they're like minded people. Um, so they understand. Understand what you're going through as well, because sometimes, you know, you might be talking to your mom, for example, they've got no idea what you're talking about. True. And they'll sort true err on absolutely They err on the side of caution. And you know, sometimes you want people to share your wins with and say, I'm so chuffed, I managed to do this this week, or whatever it might be. Um, and also as a result of that, you get the, the cheerleader side. You then get to be known as the go to person for, for example, for websites, for yourself, and very, you know, we often come across your name in, I don't know, Facebook group or something, where you get referred and you get to be known as that go to person. And that all comes from your support network that you build around you. And also, I think there is an accountability side. Sometimes as well. Um, I think that can be there if you seek it out too. Absolutely. And I think one of the things that I've noticed from being in different groups, different networking groups, is they all have a slightly different angle to them. So some of them are slightly more training focused, some of them slightly more networking focused. Some of them are slightly more sales focused, some of them slightly more corporate, and. I think one of the things which I struggled with for a while is the fact that they're not all the same, and you've got to find the right group or groups for you, because sometimes you'll want, I'm in several groups and I get different things from each of them, but I know talking to other people in other areas, they often struggle to find the right group for them. Can you maybe explain a little bit about how you should go about finding the right group and, and knowing what the right group is for you? Absolutely, I completely agree, agree with everything you say, um, because I think it's really hard sometimes to find which group and also there's quite a lot of nervousness as well at times, people going to new networking groups, but I truly believe it is, it is a try, try, different ones out. And obviously now we've got the online networking side as well as the in person and, um, and everything in between as well, actually. So I think it's really, it's that classic find, uh, phrase of find your tribe. But also I think you've got to be really clear on what do you want to achieve from your networking, the time you're going to spend networking, because that also affects it because if you want to go to, you know, that really serious one where you're, you know, giving your elevator pitch and You have to provide two referrals a week, and it's very referral based, et cetera. That might suit you, one part of your networking strategy. Also, there's the other side of it, where you do really want that support from like minded people, and you get that support network around you, as well as any training. Um, and I think it's really... important to try things out, but I also think you're quite right by having a bit of a mix of networking groups is really, really helpful. But also, as you go through your business, things also change. So, you know, you can, and, and new groups start up in different areas, or you might want to extend your area out a little bit, or you might get too busy. So I think it's a really key It's a really key part of definitely at the beginning, finding, finding your support network around you, finding people who will cheerlead you and refer you is part of being visible as well. Um, I think that's such a key element of it. And, you know, there are brilliant opportunities for connection and collaboration with other people and with like minded business owners. So I think it's try things out, see what's around, keep your eyes and ears open as you move through your business journey as well. And, and also make sure that you are going to them and you're comfortable enough to actually talk about your business as well. Um, because it's no good going along and sort of chatting about everything but your business. It's finding that group where you are truly comfortable about say, this is what I do and encouraging that with other people as well to talk about their businesses. Definitely. And I must admit, I went to the chamber of commerce, um, a couple of months ago, and I've been talking about going for a while and I've always shied away from it because I thought it wasn't quite the group for me. And it was really interesting going somewhere that was out of my comfort zone and where I didn't know many people. And one of the tactics that I have used before is to go along with somebody that you know. So at least when you walk in the room, you don't feel like a complete lemon. The group is not very welcoming because some of the groups are incredibly welcoming, mums in business for one, but some other groups you walk in and everybody's talking in their own cliques. And it, you've got to be quite brave to go up and start talking to people. And I can do that, but it's so much easier if you've got somebody else with you to, to give that support. I a hundred percent agree, and I think there's some other tips about that. If you arrive there a little, little bit early, if you're nervous or a bit anxious by arriving a little bit early, that means you are not walking into a room that is absolutely full of people. So if you, if there's a few people in the room, it's, it's sort of quieter and it's less overwhelming, and you can go and find somebody to talk to. And very often the hosts aren't quite as busy. So they will talk to you and then if somebody comes in, they'll immediately connect you with somebody. And I think that can be, um, very helpful because I think you're quite right. It can be a little bit, it can be overwhelming and you can feel quite anxious, but actually there's a few tricks like going with somebody that you, you know, going a little tiny bit earlier. Also having a look, very often you get sent a list of who's attending early. So do a little bit of research and work out who do you want to speak to? Who do you want to, to find out more about? And go with that sort of view in mind that you're going to be as curious about other people and their businesses as you possibly can be. Cause that makes conversation flow a bit easier as well. That's a really good point about being curious about other people's business rather than going in and trying to sell, which some people certainly try and do. But the best conversations are ones where you are asking questions and you get to understand what other people do. And they're more likely to remember you if you have asked the questions and they've talked about themselves, then if you. Just try and sell to them when they, they might remember you, but they don't necessarily remember you for the right reasons. And, and one of the things which I try and do afterwards is follow up with the people that I've spoken to at a networking meeting. I don't always do it, but if it's been somebody new, I try and follow up and just say, you know, these are my details. It was lovely to meet you. And if I can ever be of any help, then just let me know. And I think, are there any other tips that you can give in terms of. You know, networking and making the most of those networks, sort of gone from support to networking and often, often they are the same groups that your support group and your networking group is one of the same. Sometimes they're separate, but sometimes the one in the same, but are there any tips that you can give for networking effectively? Yeah, definitely Networking is a funny word because it's actually, I, I think networking is all about connection. Um, and it's really about opening those doors to relationships. So I think you're quite right. It is about support and relationships and networking with potential clients, but also, um, and it's about. Starting those and also growing them because it's a long term game. These things are, you know, it's, it really is a long term game of this connection. And also, I think part of that is thinking about what can, what can you give to other people and how can you help others? So using that place of curiosity and really finding out about somebody else and what they do and what sort of clients they are looking for, or what, what do they need. What do they might need some help with or what are they struggling with can then help you say actually do you know what you need to speak to so and so or so and so would be really good and and put people together because that's also how you know that's how those relationships deepen and how they grow um so never think of it as a you know you're not going to go to a networking and have a one hit wonder and just go oh fantastic and sells people because That's easy, but I also think it's so key about making sure that you do make sure you go and talk to people who you don't know, because once you've been going for a while, it's so easy to sit in that comfort zone and you've got great relationships and they're a bit deeper and you know that these people who are cheerleaders and all the rest of it, sometimes it's safe to stay with them and you literally have to go, you know, great to see, I'm going to come and catch up with you later. And make yourself go and talk to other people or go where somebody, somebody you know is, who's with somebody you don't know, because then they will introduce you always, which is a good way to just start that ball rolling to grow your network. And if you're right at the beginning, you know, just say to yourself, my aim is to go and meet three new people or five new people and connect with them afterwards, just to follow that through, or even meet for a quick coffee if that works. Um, And I think, you know, it's important to remember not to, nobody likes sales jammed down their throat or a conversation dominated by what somebody else does. So it really is, think about it as connection and conversation, um, and that flows much, much more easily. Um, and I also think it's, as you said before, about investing the time both at a networking event and also afterwards so that you've made the most of it. You've invested your time by going, you've spoken to different people, um, you've been clear about mentioning your business without it being too dominant within the conversation, but you've got across what you do and then you followed up afterwards. I think they're really key elements. It's amazing how many people have said to me, well, I went to such and such a, uh, networking meeting. Um, and it didn't work for me and you see, because I didn't get any sales from it. And certainly I had sales from not every single networking meeting I've been to, but. Each group, which I have invested time in has ultimately led to sales. Sometimes it can take a long time. And certainly there are people I've met at networking meetings, and it's been two or three years later that I've got a sale out of it and which is, you know, fantastic, but you, it is a long term game. It's not like putting up a billboard ad and getting some kind of immediate return. I'm not sure that happens anyway, to be honest, for most service based businesses, it is about the relationships. And so I think you've got to give them time as well. I think you're absolutely right. I mean, I think that, um, you know, networking and connection is part of that whole visibility and marketing piece. They all go together. It's just one area of that. And. It takes a minimum of six months, I reckon, to start, you know, getting those depths of relationships and, and those connections and collaborations are a really key way of building that visibility and building those connections as well. And I think it just, it, it takes a bit of time to get that moving forward without a doubt, but it's so worth it. It's so worth it, particularly in a You know, I, I find, um, you know, within the local area, those people around you. You know, it's, it's amazing, it's amazing the power of you all together and it's amazing to be part of something that's so inspiring as well. I completely agree and it's interesting because I've certainly found that I love having the support network, especially locally, people who just get it and who can get excited with you or can understand when something hasn't gone as well. In a way that family, and other friends who don't run their own businesses, they just don't get in the same way. I find it invaluable for that. And secondly, sales and thirdly, being known as something. So a really good example this week is the fact that on a Facebook group, somebody asked for a website designer. And I think it was four or five different people, including you, Ali, recommended me and I think three of those were clients. And then to people I know and who I've done business with, but weren't actually website clients. But you get known as the person for whatever it is that you do, and it takes time to build that up. But certainly I have found it being invaluable for all, all three of those. So thank you. I want to change. Track slightly and you talked about the fact that you also help people go from, I can't remember what you said, overwhelmed to organized in business. And as we come to the end of 2023 and start to look into 2024, I guess the first thing is, what can people do at this time of year when things really start to get busy? And especially if you've got younger children and you've got nativity plays and you've got Christmas parties and you've got all sorts of things going, going on, um, what can they do to keep everything on an even keel and finish the year strong, I guess, first of all. So I think. You're up, you know, this time of year from September through to December is crazy busy and everyone comes back from the summer gets back into September and it's almost got a new year feel hasn't it and it's quite and Then people come in all guns blazing Well, some people are dragging their feet back into into autumn and some people coming all guns blazing But it very quickly becomes quite overwhelming and, um, all people and all find themselves really procrastinating. So I think there's, um, about trying to keep on track. I think sometimes we can rush around being real busy fools, can't we? And we're not quite sure what we're doing and we've got scattered thoughts everywhere and we're trying to grab hold of it all and we're trying to keep on track. So I think there's a major part of, um, first of all is just having that little bit of a pause. So just, just pause a little bit if you're feeling like that and, and literally take a breath and, um, just slow down a little bit and then just step back and go, okay, everything is here. And just literally taking stock of where you are and brain dumping it all so that you can literally, instead of being in your business, we're so busy caught up with the day to day. Sometimes we forget that actually you just need to step back a little bit and work a little bit on your business rather than in it. And particularly with this time of year, it doesn't even have to be, you know, a massive step back. It's just working out, okay, what are my priorities and what am I trying to achieve? And then planning that in over the next, you know, October, November, December as we hurtle towards Christmas time. Um, and the end of the year. So I think there's that element there and being able to just step back and go, okay, fine. How, what have I achieved in the last month? What am I doing in the next three months? What am I working on next month? Planning out what you're doing each week. So on a Friday, for example, I have a, um, a membership from Business Accountability Club membership where we do a planning session each week, which is literally to force people almost to do that step back and go, okay, what's coming up in the next week? What are my main priorities? And then plan that in and also then planning it each day, because that allows you, if you've got a million things going on, you want to keep moving forward in your business. And even if it's the tiniest, simple step to move forward. By being super intentional with your time and saying, okay, I've planned my day. And tomorrow I need to do a maximum of these three big things. And it might be just one thing, but by doing that and being intentional, I'm really focusing on that particular thing. Then that will help you move forward in your business. And it also makes you feel better. And it makes you feel like you're actually achieving things because you're going, okay, I know that I want to do that. I've got all these admin bits here and I'm going to batch those together. I've got my, I don't know, social media, and I'm going to batch that together so that you then can go in this block of time. I'm going to focus on that. I'm not going to multitask, don't be pulled in by the multitask min. You can't just focus on one thing. And then really, once you know what you want to do, you can be intentional by sort of deciding. Um, and then detach from everything else and just do that one thing. And that can really help when you've got so much going on. Um, a lot of people find the accountability side is so key to them when they run their own business and they've got a lot going on. If they find they've got overwhelmed, it helps to work, you know, whether that's in a, you might be in a network group, you might have an accountability buddy, you might have a coach, you might be in a membership. But that accountability can really be key to help you stay on track when you're very overwhelmed because it almost makes you, it makes you think about it and it makes you work out what you're doing and makes you work out what your priorities are that can help this sort of scattered thought feeling. Um, so yeah, I would definitely say that the being intentional, decide, detach and do, and then just focus. are really key, but underlying that is all the planning. Before you do it. Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's also at this time of year, you have to be kind to yourself as well. I always have my Friday to do lists for the next week. So I do something similar. I plan the next week, usually on a Friday, sometimes on a Sunday. And I have, I have an enormous list. And sometimes you can set yourself up to fail by having. Too many things to do. So I think you have to be kind to yourself and let you say, work out which are the priorities. And I think one of the things which was a game changer for me is at the end of each day, I actually write down what I've achieved. Yeah. And because sometimes. I don't want to do what's on my list and I end up doing something completely different, but it's something that needed doing. And to have done that, it feels really good. And sometimes you can just forget. So sometimes you're reordering things. Maybe that's just me. But at the end of the day, writing down what you've achieved makes you feel a lot better and more motivated to do something the following day as well. Certainly helps me. Yeah, I 100 percent agree with you. So that review side, we're all, many of us are so busy. You can sometimes think, well, what have I actually done? And you don't know because you don't take any time to just have a look at what you have achieved and what you've done. And doing that can really build that momentum. It's really motivating to do that. But I think you're quite right. I think, you know, it's so easy to get, um, just unrealistic about what you can actually achieve in the time that you have available. A classic case of that last week when I wrote out what I had to achieve, I found I had a number of hours and probably triple the number of tasks that I could fit into those hours. So I think it's, I'm with you, I prioritize my list and just go, I number it one to four. And if it's number one, I plan that across the week, and that makes a difference and then I can get to the number twos because if it's three or four. It's not urgent and important. So, but you sometimes can get some of those things which aren't urgent and important and they suddenly become urgent and important. So sometimes just put batching in a bit of time, even if it's an hour to just tick off those little tiny things that have been hanging around for months can actually Be helpful because it stops that they're moving into that stress zone. So, um, yeah, definitely agree. That element of being kind to yourself, being realistic. I'm really knowing what is priority. I'm really keen. And as we go into 2024, we all think next year is going to be completely different. I'm going to be really organized and I'm going to be much more productive. Um, what are your, what are your. tips for going into 2024 and planning what you're going to achieve in the year. So I think it's super key. Um, I, it's, I think it's a huge thing to spend a half a day or a day out, which seems so indulgent. If you're a business owner to spend that time, it will make the biggest difference to your business. If you can actually really have that overview of what you're trying to achieve in the coming year. And, um, and that's. In all areas, that's thinking about your strategy, and that's got all the different areas, sales, marketing, you know, processes and systems, um, you know, whether you need extra help, because if you know what you're trying to achieve, it's best to get that help in place earlier rather than later, your finances, your cash flow. And it sounds super serious and super heavy and like a heavy business plan. It's not like that at all. It's actually taking that time. to step out, work on your business. Um, it allows you to really look forward and work out. Are you going where you want to go? What's working? What's not working now? What do you want to do more of? What do you want to lose within your business? And it allows you to sort of work out those. Those main priorities for the coming year, but also that then helps with the stress and the overwhelm because it allows you to create a more simple plan because business isn't complicated. It can be simple. If we allow it to be by being really clear about what we're trying to do and where we're trying to go. Once you've got that simple plan you can then set those goals, which will help you keep moving forward. And a tiny bit of progress is better than no progress. But if you add that up every week or every day, over 12 months, that's enormous. And it will change your direction. It will change how you work within your business. And I always think of it as a bit like a sat nav, isn't it? We wouldn't suddenly go, I'm driving to Edinburgh with no idea how to get there. Um, well, let's go up into the north of Scotland because it's easy to know which metal ways to catch, but to go on. But, um, You know, we wouldn't think of going on a journey without planning our route, and if we need to stop or pause on the way, or if we need to take any details. And it's exactly the same, just think of it as these are my simple steps I'm trying to get to here by Christmas 2024. That sounds a bit scary. Um, but it means that you don't get lost and you can plan how you're going to get there. So it doesn't have to be too complicated. And I love there's a brilliant quote by James Clear and it's When making plans, think big, and when making progress, think small. And I love that quote. I think it's so apt about planning ahead for your next year. I love that. And I love the analogy. I think you can apply it to the vehicle that you're driving as well, and that you wouldn't go to the north of Scotland in, well, I was going to say something else, but probably an electric vehicle, actually. An electric car. You would, you know, you wouldn't, you wouldn't go on a, on a, A push bike, well, unless you're my husband, in which case you probably would do, but for most of us, you need the appropriate vehicle and so it's investing in that vehicle, it's also going to get you there and get you there in a timely manner, because ultimately you can probably get there eventually, but you wouldn't do it, you know, walking or on a bike, um, and do it any, any point as quickly as you might want to, if you want to get there quicker, then you need to make sure you've got the right vehicle to do it as well. Completely agree. And it's, it's having that. brain space to be able to do that as well. And if you're caught up in the day to day, it's hard to find that brain space. You need to just give your, your head a bit of space to think and think it through and scribble and make sure that everything is in, in place for you to get where you want to in the right vehicle, as you say, definitely. And I agree with you in terms of getting away from your desk to do that. So definitely, you know, getting out of. Out of the same building going, even if it's a cafe or a spa or something for the, for the day to, to plan that on your own or, or with others, or I've just got a chair in another room sometimes that I sit and scribble in, but certainly not at my desk. Because when you try and do it at your desk, it's your brain seems to function in a different way. It seems to be thinking about the here and now rather than the future, or maybe it's just my brain, but certainly that's, that's how mine works. I so agree, and also, I find it, and quite a few of my clients find this, if you, um, if you have a big A3 piece of paper, or a number of pieces of paper, and you're actually physically writing it, and writing those thoughts down and planning, sometimes that can be really interesting to help you get everything down. And I do quite a great, I do an exercise where, with some clients where we have post it notes everywhere. To capture all of that and then we can reorder it and um, it's, it's really interesting if you try and do that on a computer or at your desk, it just doesn't seem to flow in the same way. It's a really interesting scenario. And I know there's definitely been some research, um, particularly with the overwhelming side where the physical act of getting things out of your head onto paper acts as this sort of decluttering method and I, I think that probably follows through when you're trying to plan out a year because you almost get everything out of your head and that then gives you that space to then be able to think ahead and work out what you want to achieve in that, in that time coming up. Yeah, it's funny. I, I tend to plan in quarters. I do plan across the year, but, um, one of the things I like about planning across the year in, and then in quarters is that you can separate the bigger tasks across the year. And certainly if you don't achieve them in the first quarter, you can just keep putting them back, which is possibly why we end up with quarter four over well, when you suddenly realize all those things you'd plan to do at the beginning of the year. But it does give you, it gives you a bit more time and space to achieve the different things that you want to achieve across the year. Yeah, I totally agree because it's some, and also having a view of over the year gives you those real top headlines. Then you can plot out, okay, in Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4, I want to have achieved, you know, my aim is to achieve that, that, and that. Those are my priorities in the quarters. And then you can then bring it right back and just do the next quarter and the months across that quarter. And then once you've got your month, it's then so easy to plan your weeks. Because you've got an idea and it's not too overwhelming because you know that, I don't know, that online course is going, you want to launch is actually Q4, it's not Q1, even though you're excited about it and you're thinking about it. That's the way, because what you've got to concentrate on is this bit now, which might be, I don't know, growing your audience to be able to launch. an online course or, you know, if you want a new product, what do you need to do? And you want to launch that new product in, I don't know, Q3, got to source it, packaging, marketing, all those things. So it's a really, that's, it, it just. It's almost like getting all the pieces of the jigsaw, writing on all the pieces and then putting them in the right order. That sounds very apt as we come up to Christmas. Christmas is a time of jigsaws, definitely. Um, before, I've got some quick fire questions, but before we get onto those, Ali, can you let people know where they can find you, your, your website and your social media handles? Yeah, of course. So, um, I'm going to give you two. I'll give you Mums in Business and Ali Tate Coaching. So, um, it's Ali Tate and I'm taitcoaching. co. uk is my website and that's the same on social media. And then for Mums in Business, it's m i b Network. org. uk. And I'll share that with you, Marie, so you can go in there. I will put it in the show notes. Yeah. Um, and then on the socials, it's, it's Mums in Business Network on, um, Instagram. And MIB network on Facebook and also on LinkedIn. Fabulous. Thank you. Um, nearly forgot about LinkedIn there. Um, so just to finish, a few quick questions. First of all, um, a favorite business book of yours? Favorite business book. Well. I think I've got, I've got two. Is that too greedy? No, I let you, I let you have two. Okay, so I absolutely love Eat That Frog, um, by Brian Tracy, which is the quickest read or quick, quickest listen on, um, But what I absolutely love about that book is it really is about eating the biggest, hairiest, ugliest frog stroke task. Um, first thing in the morning, the one that will either move your business forward or the one that you just don't want to do. Get it done, get it out the way and move forward. And I love the simple, the simpleness of that, but it's so true. Um, and then the other one that I absolutely love is actually, because I listen to audiobooks all the time, love audiobooks, is, Chet and Prosper by Denise Duffield Thomas. And the reason I like that is I love her ethos. But we can build a business in any way we like that suits our lives. You don't have to do it the way everyone else does it. And I absolutely love that. And it doesn't have to be massively stress stressful. How can you make your business as fulfilling and as easy for you as possible and to fit around your life? And I really love that about that book. I think it's great. Oh, fantastic. Um, thank you for those and favorite podcast. It doesn't have to be business. Again, well, I obviously listen to yours, Marie. I also listen to, well, I listen to Denise Duffield Thomas. That's a weekly one, as is Lisa Johnson's, um, one. I like their podcasts, but on a non business one, I actually love British Scandal podcasts. They're absolutely brilliant, especially for a long drive. And, um, I, I love those. Those are really good. So that's British Scandal. They're really good. I've not heard of those. I presume they are, what they say on the tin, they are scandals. They are, and it goes, absolutely, and it goes from everything from the perfumer affair to, um, Camilla Gates to, uh, the canoe man, you know, who disappeared and it's four or five episodes and they go through the story and then at the end they do interviews and it, they are brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Very good for driving a long way. Excellent. And finally, a piece of business advice. Um, I think sort of continuing in the theme that we've had today, um, messy progress within your business is still progress. It's just that keeping moving forward in very small steps and taking, you know, even it's one tiny small step forward every day. It's something to keep that consistency going. Fabulous. I love that piece of advice. That is so true. We often demand perfection, but actually just making progress is all you need to do. Absolutely. Thank you so much, Allie. That's been fabulous, as I always knew it would be. Um, but thank you so much for sharing so freely with us all today. Thank you so much. I've really enjoyed our conversation. It's been fantastic. Thank you.