2013 has been an extraordinary year for me. I’ve totally transformed my business, taking it in a new direction, with the help of a huge range of brilliant people, books, organisations, services and blogs that have inspired, motivated and informed me. So here are the Time Wizard Awards 2013: the very best of the best.
Influence of the Year: Wendy Kerr, Corporate Crossovers
I initially worked with Wendy Kerr this year on her Elevate course, a mastermind-style programme aimed at women, like me, who have left the corporate world to set up their own business. It transformed what I’m doing, and, even more importantly, my thinking about it and how I go about getting things done. Some of my biggest leaps forwards wouldn’t have happened without her encouragement and gentle pushing, and I certainly wouldn’t be in the same position I am now without her. In particular, when I’d become very stuck about launching my first live course, it was a conversation with Wendy that clarified exactly what I needed to do and got me moving. I’ll be working further with her next year, and I’ve no doubt I’ll be pushed, supported and encouraged with her massive experience and skills as a coach and consultant. www.corporatecrossovers.com Twitter Wendy Kerr
Book of the Year: Maximum Willpower by Kelly McGonigal
Why do we so often make short-term decisions that go against our long-term goals? And how can we improve our self-control to make better long-term decisions? Those are the fundamental questions that Stanford academic Kelly McGonigal addresses in 2012 book Maximum Willpower. I was riveted by her combination of brain science, psychology, medicine, behavioural economics and real-life examples. Whether she’s looking at why are dieters more likely to have affairs, or why health warnings on tobacco packets more likely to make you smoke, she’s never less than entertaining and fully practical. For me, it set off a whole new area of thinking about what success means and how we get there, and how we sabotage ourselves. I’ve recommended it to more people than any other book this year, including clients, friends and business associates. www.kellymcgonigal.com
Marketing inspiration: Mike Monday
Mike Monday was an international music producer and DJ (beating his own inner resistance to get our of ‘struggling musician’ status) before becoming a successful coach, specialising in working with musicians to get music out of their head and into the world. Even though I’m not at all Mike’s target, his marketing has consistently stopped me in my tracks. I’m giving his this award because it was one of his marketing pieces, and a subsequent conversation with him, that clarified a lot of things for me about where I’m going and how to get there. www.mikemonday.com
Organisation of the year: Women Unlimited
I’ve been a fan of micro-business organisation Women Unlimited for a long time, but it’s been a consistent presence in my life this year. Their spring conference is always one of the highlights, with founder Julie Hall unfailingly putting together a programme that always gives me months of inspiration. I’ve been fortunate to be one of their regular bloggers during 2013, and honoured to be part of their podcast series. I have a great deal of respect for the way Julie runs the business, continually reinventing and reinvigorating what Women Unlimited does. www.womenunlimitedworldwide.com
Discovery of the year: Meditation
I’m not sure at what point meditation became part of my consciousness this year, since the idea seemed to be coming at me from all sorts of different places and people. It was Graham Allcott of ThinkProductive who put me onto online service Headspace, which gave me a practical starting point. I’ve found learning to step back from busyness, and start to train my brain in a new way of dealing with the chaotic, permanently ‘on’ situation of daily life, has been nothing short of transformational. www.headspace.com
Website of the Year: www.Chris Ducker.com
Even though I’m passionate about delegation and outsourcing, it can sometimes seem a bit unsexy. But Chris Ducker has made his career from making it essential, through his various Philippine companies including his VA headhunting service Virtual Assistant Finder. Chris gives simple, practical, advice on all manner of small business issues, with a brilliant weekly blog and a host of extra resources. His book Virtual Freedom is due in April: I’m going to be clearing space in my diary for it. His site is also beautifully designed and presented, and always a pleasure to use. www.chrisducker.com Twitter Chris Ducker
I’d love to know the people, books and other things that have shaped your year. Do let me know in the comments below.