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Down With Frogs

Follow Eden’s funny, dark, smart, occasionally tragic stories about the frogs you have had to kiss before you find your Prince or give up looking.

A different view of dating and break ups, Gruger writes women’s stories in the way their might speak to their closest girlfriends.

With stories including Fishing Socks and Sexy Boots, Meeting the Parents, Why On Earth Are They Single? The Reason I Don’t Eat Pork Chops and Day Out At The STI Clinic

“I laughed…I cried…a great read, thoroughly recommend”

“A fabulously funny read”

“I couldn’t put it down”

“Five star”

Inspired by…Teresa

Teresa_Dukes_Home

Today I am sharing why I have been inspired by Teresa Dukes of Dukes Consultancy. Teresa, is a trainer (over 25,000 people to date), an international speaker (USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Germany, Switzerland, Abidjan Ivory Coast, Johannesburg, London, Dublin, Barcelona, Bangkok and Thailand…I know right?) and Teresa has successfully coached National Speech Champions. In between all these accomplishments she found time to co-author the #1 bestselling book ‘World Class Speaking in Action’; and her second co-authored book ‘Women on Success’ is out March 2020… And breathe, yes, this woman’s got some energy!

Dukes Consultancy

I have been inspired by you because... you were the first female professional public speaker that I had ever met! and the way you told a story was captivating. Hearing you really got me thinking about the validity of my own stories, and made me realise that I could speak in my natural voice, an insight which has given me so much courage.

How did you get to where you are now: In 1999 I was working as an executive secretary in one of London’s prestigious utility companies, and was trying to find a way to advance my career into management; it proved difficult because of the perception managers had of the secretarial role, and I was held back by my lack of confidence in my ability to speak effectively not only at work but everywhere! This allowed people to control my future, my path, and my dream all because of my lack of courage to stand up for myself.

It was time to change from a shy timid secretary who followed others, to a strong, confident leader who people wanted to hear speak, and who people would listen to when she did. Joining and walking through the door of a speakers’ club for the first time was one of the hardest things I ever did – but it has also been one of the most rewarding.

Fast forward a decade, after amazing personal growth and promotions in my corporate career, it was time for me to take an even bigger step and became the founding Director of Dukes Consultancy – ‘Helping you Be Heard, Understood and Remembered’. I was now my own boss! who would have ever imagined that?

So, what made the difference? How did I go from a shy, timid secretary to running my own company helping others overcome their obstacles in confidence? Working with someone who not only believed in my abilities and potential, but who wanted to help me unleash them and make them real. In my case this just happened to be my boss, he took me under his wing and guided me through the pitfalls of promotion. It took 18 months of coaching and a lot of hard work, my journey took me down many different (sometimes very unexpected, sometimes hugely rewarding) roads; but together we broke down the perception of my previous secretarial persona, built my confidence and self-belief to a new level, and gained the acceptance of my peers. He helped me be heard, understood and remembered, and we are still in touch today!

Having a mentor who had been through a similar experience, and was willing to help me realise my potential was a powerful step in the right direction, and made me passionate about doing them same for the people I work with through my training and coaching.
Piece of Wisdom to share: The first step is the hardest, but as soon as you take it you will never look back. Look at people who have accomplished what you are aiming for. Look for resources that help you reach your goals. Identify a coach who is willing to help you on your journey. Set your goals and act - start making them a reality.

Resolution for 2020: I don’t make resolutions, I set goals! My three for 2020 are to publish a third book entitled: ‘Presenting at your Best in 26 Steps’. To increase the love of storytelling in business presentations; and to spend more time with my grandchildren!

Dukes Consultancy - Helping you be Heard, Understood and Remembered

TTFN Eden :-)

Inspired by…Fiona

fiona
Today I am sharing why I have been inspired by Fiona Kearns of Kearns Consultancy. Fiona, a Business Psychologist and Consultant helps overloaded business owners by helping them to gain clarity about business goals, to focus on the tasks that will get the results that they want, and she provides accountability so that they stay motivated and on track.

Find out about more about Fiona

I have been inspired by you because... of the energy, passion and balls, (I now know this is called being Bold), that you put into the talk that you gave on presenting yourself. Having been told to keep quiet for over forty years, in just over an hour you made me realise that the power of bold is nothing to be scared of. It needs to be embraced. It’s ok to saying exactly what you need – repeat that one hundred times until it sticks everybody….and that’s without even mentioning all the encouragement, and great ideas and butt kicking you have done on my behalf since. Fiona (deep bow) thank you.

How did you get to where you are now? Being bold has scared some people, but I have so much energy and passion for what I do it’s hard to hold back, and I don’t aim to be frightening! My professional journey has been quite the long and winding road, it probably started with my fascination for people, why they do the things that they do and trying to understand them more has been, and continues to be a driving force. My other big ‘thing’ is trying to better myself, I’m always trying to learn more.

Naturally like everyone else I've made some huge mistakes along the way! there was a time in my life when I needed a mentor to help me, but couldn’t find the right one. To be honest I may not have listened even if I had have found someone, but it made me feel very isolated and caused confidence issues that didn’t need to develop, and caused a great deal of stress. As a consequence of that when I work with people one of the bits of advice I always give is to organise your support - that is, don’t it the hard way! I want to help business leaders to grow their business and benefit from my expertise, and the mistakes I made have been a vital learning tool for helping others.

What’s your piece of Wisdom to share? There's no silver bullet, just keep going!

And what about a resolution for 2020? Stay focused on the numbers and keep going - see wisdom above ;)

If you would like to be inspired by Fiona Kearns, then pop over to her website, subscribe to her blog and download her free eBook – seriously why wouldn’t you?

Kearns Consultancy

TTFN Eden :-)

Inspired by…Melanie

Mel Fielden

Mel, I have been inspired by you because... you have such a quirky fun sense of style, that has definitely inspired two of my last hat purchases.. but also because of your desire to help and support women, including organising the very incredible Rise and Shine Summit, with everything needed to change your life and your business

How did you get to where you are now: Long story! I’ll try and keep it brief… after graduating with a degree in Environmental Sciences, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life! My father ran a company selling microscopes and offered me a job as an Area Sales Manager, selling microscopes across the East of England. I figured, ‘what the hell’, I might as well say yes and do that for a year until I have a better idea of what I really want to do. Fourteen years later, I’m still there having completed eight years in sales, four years as Company Director managing the day-to-day running of the business and more recently as Marketing Director.

However, with my father’s genes, there’s an ambitious streak in me, that started nudging me around four years ago, a year later I started my an eBay shop ‘MelBel’s’. Whilst doing this, and looking at Instagram I was drawn to stories of successful women, behind-the-scenes videos of running a business, and empowering posts. There were a couple of companies in particular that I absolutely loved; they were so unique in their style, branding and culture, making business fun whilst created a really supportive community, that I just had to be a part of! But they were in the USA and Australia. After some research that showed there was nothing like this in the UK, I made it my mission to create my own version of these companies for ambitious women in the UK. No more boring conferences or intimidating networking events. I wanted to shake up the UK networking and business conference scene and make business fun! Hence the birth of Pioneer Chicks.

Find out about Pioneer Chicks

Piece of wisdom to share: If you have a dream, don’t let complacency prevent you from going for it. To grow, you have to get uncomfortable and purposefully put yourself into situations that scare you. This is what separates the dreamers from the achievers. Get intentional, be brave and go for it!

Resolution for 2020: My resolution for 2020 is to remember to look after myself! With running Pioneer Chicks alongside the family business 4 days a week, all of my ‘spare’ time in 2019 has been put into growing Pioneer Chicks, sacrificing my own health. In 2020, I will be making an effort to have a more healthy lifestyle.

TTFN Eden :-)

Girls mean business

2020planner

Before you go out and buy the same old run of the mill diary for 2020 - STOP! This planner was recommended to be on our first meeting by my very fabulous business psychologist and coach Fiona Kearns.

One of my biggest problems has always been time management, being able to prioritise, and keep track of how and where my efforts are working (and not).

After Fiona told me about the planner I looked into it, and couldn't believe how useful it was going to be, all the included sections are detailed below.  And everyone who buys a planner gets access to an equally awesome Facebook group full of fellow planners, the level of support and encouragement I have already had and witnessed makes this my new favourite business group.

Girl's mean business - let's plan our future together

Marketing training section at the front including:
How to use this Planner section
2020 Year to View Calendar spread
Business Vision tutorial
Create Your Own Business Vision spread
Setting Your Targets tutorial
Annual Target Setter page
Super Customer Tutorial
Super Customer profile area
Social Media Picker
Sales Train Tutorial
Sales Train Planner
Topic List Tutorial and Planner
Blog Tutorial and Planner
Newsletter Tutorial and Planner

Monthly Planning and Tracking Bundles including:
Monthly Marketing Focus
3 most important marketing tasks this month
Monthly marketing challenge
Monthly Money Stuff page
Monthly Social Media Plan spread
Daily Sales Tracker Sheet
Daily Cash Flow Sheet
Monthly Target Tracker Sheet
Monthly Gratitude Log
3 Things I’ll Do For Me this month
Scary Thing I’m going to tackle this month
2 Notes and Ideas Pages
*NEW* Quarterly Tracking Pages

‘FABULOUS WEEKLY CALENDAR SECTIONS including:
Month-to-view pages and week-to-view spreads featuring:
National holidays for UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia & New Zealand
Daily checkboxes to help you keep track of anything from appointments to tasks or even how much water you have drunk
Today’s Sales box at the end of every day
Motivational message at the top of the left hand page
‘One thing I absolutely must get done this week’ section at the top of the right hand page
Weekly tracker for social media, marketing or anything else you want to track
Notes section
Mini calendar

REALLY USEFUL LITTLE EXTRAS including:
Notes pages at the back, ‘Useful Contacts’ page and 2021 year-to-view page. Oh, and in the 2020 Planner Online Portal you will find mindfulness colouring sheets to download and print, a printable Brain Dump sheet for when you’re feeling overwhelmed, a downloadable Blog Planner sheet to help you scope out your blogs and MUCH more. All included in the price!

Girls mean business 2020 Planner

TTFN Eden :-)

You are worthy

This popped into my inbox today, and proved tome how far I have come on my personal journey, I was definitely a yes but-er, but not no more!

You need to stop rejecting compliments, and learn to graciously receive and accept them. These words of wisdom are shared with permission from their writer, the ever lovely Natalie King, qualified Life, Confidence Happiness Coach, Goal Setting and Public Speaking Mentor, a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), and slave to 3 dogs.

"Yes, But!" Is this something you say? Or like me is this something you hear a lot when you give a compliment, the person responds with Yes, But!

Lately, I have come across this both in my coaching with clients as well as within my toastmaster's club. When a compliment is passed on and the person says Yes, But! with an excuse or their own reason why they cannot accept the compliment, it makes me so mad, as they are belittling themselves as well as the person giving the compliment. Sometimes I just want to boink them on the head!!!

Arguing the compliment does not prove a point. All it does is take away the joy of the compliment. I know that accepting a compliment is hard and that it can feel embarrassing to receive. Especially if we are low in confidence or self-esteem.

Have you thought that when you get a compliment to just say thank you? Maybe you feel shy, or undeserving of the compliment and the urge to say Yes, But! is there, just stop, pause and say thank you. It will mean so much to the person giving the compliment. Plus by you just saying thank you, and thinking about what was said, you can start to believe the compliment.

Now if you are the person giving the compliment and you get a Yes, But! Interrupt the person and remind them that you are genuine and you meant what you said, and ask them to accept the compliment in the spirit it was given. Maybe they are low in confidence and they just need a little reminder that they are a great person.

Enjoy all the compliments that you are given, as they are well deserved.

Natalie

Speak to Natalie King

TTFN Eden :-)

Best job ever

“Have you ever wondered what is the best job title in the world? (besides body oil application assistant to Tom Hardy)

Well I saw a badge a couple of weeks ago, that surely must be the one, and was blown away – no careers advice service ever told me this was an option.

Did you know that you could be a ‘Cheesecake Creator’ – me either, until I met Chetal Patel from Sopwell Pantry. Best job in the world, Chetal Patel your new best friend

Not only does this lucky woman get to make and test her own wares, she also creates her own flavour combinations for us to enjoy, inspired by her travels around the world.

Hmm Chetal is it wrong that we all want to be your best friend?

Say Hello to Chetal

TTFN Eden :-)

Flourishing and wellness

Another day another inspirational woman crosses my path, am I extra lucky? Maybe, maybe not, I have just got over my fear of being intimidated into hiding from strong women, running towards them so I can listen to their wisdom instead. I was really fortunate to hear a presentation given by Marie of Flourish Fit and Well recently about blue zones (the areas in the world where people achieve the most longevity, and how they might be achieving this). Never having heard about this before my mind was spinning with the ideas that Marie shared, do you know about your healthspan – the years you will have your health, versus lifespan – how long you are likely to live? It seemed to create a more accurate picture of how you can expect your wellbeing to pan out, by showing how your current lifestyle will contribute to how long you will have to live with ill health or manage health conditions in later life.

This is something I will be looking into and working on a lot more over the next few months, and when I do work out my HS v LS figures don’t worry, I will be sharing them, no matter how scary they might be…One of the things that Marie was quick to point out, is that all changes for the better are worthwhile, and her hand out ‘a week of health habits’ has got my ball well and truly rolling. 7 hours of sleep I can do, I have more issues waking up than I do dropping off, having the dubious accolade in my family of being ‘most likely to sleep through a war’. A minute of movement is easy to achieve with two dogs, so I am ok on that one, and my allotment means my half a plate of plants is an easy one, but healthy fats and perfect proteins I am not even sure what they are. If two minutes of mindfulness means being quiet and being rather than doing, then nope; and the only water I drink first thing in the morning is that which dilutes my coffee. Fortunately, when your bad habits are as bad as mine then the only way is up!

TTFN Eden :-)

It’s the future

Hey all, as you probably know by now I am working hard on my next book 'Laughing at Myself' which hopefully will come out later this year or in January 2020.  That feels utterly bizarre, 2020 is a futuristic time and now it's nearly here, must be a sign of getting old.  Anyway, so L-A-M is coming along well now, half the stories are ready for the editor (sorry Steph) and the other half is in final draft, just need a bit of tweaking for me to be happy enough with them.

This time last year I was rushing around like a lunatic the editor was on the phone for hours, the cover I wanted wasn't available, and it dawned on me that I had been so busy writing that I hadn't done enough marketing to let anyone know that Down With Frogs existed.  It was a baptism of fire, but what a lot of lessons learnt, and a lovely spreadsheet (yum spreadsheet...) that told me what to do when was born.  This time I have taken the lessons and worked more 50/50 on marketing and writing, and I haven't even looked at my beautiful chart, so I am guessing that by the next book (title currently unknown) I will be organised enough to use the chart and not have to think so much about having to do certain things by certain times, as the spreadsheet will run my life.

What an amazing life this is, I write stuff down that comes into my head and you read it.  #dreamcometrue, apparently hash tags have had their day - hey nothing wrong with being 5 to 10 years behind the times....

TTFN Eden :-)

Marketing and interviews

Crazy times - I have been interviewed four times this week, and have been asked some expected, cool and crazy questions, you will have to keep your eyes peeled (or click the  follow link) to be among the first to read the interviews when they are released.

One year ago I was working hard on my final drafts with my editor, wondering if this was really happening, was I actually going to publish a book? and then the day came when the proofs arrived, and it was impossible not to show a copy to everyone, and say 'It's me!'.  My friends have been the loving supportive crew they have always been, and the reaching out to speak about the book, and the process has brought me into the paths of even more interesting and inspirational women.

My life is not, and never has been perfect, but you know what? I fulfilled by bloody dream! and it feels amazing.  The fact that you are reading this, the words from my brain fills me with unadulterated joy, and I want you to feel it too.

What is your dream? and what would you need to achieve it?

TTFN Eden :-)

Doner Kebabs & heart attacks

Another day, another Doner, my confession to you is that I live in London, and I have never actually tried a doner kebab, never even been tempted not when drunk or when insanely hungry.  There may even be people reading this who have never even seen one.  Let me explain, imagine how you would draw a leg of lamb for a medieval banquet - bear with me, and then imagine it upside down, and that it is all light brown and wet look shiny.  Finally imagine it rotating, slowly.  This is a Doner kebab.  It is a marriage of meat scraps welded together with fat, doesn't that sound appetising? Husband said that his friend used to treat himself to one after a hard weeks work, I asked which of his friends this was? 'Oh you don't know him' he said, 'he died of a heart attack'.

Why am I explaining this to you? because today I am having the wealthy cousin of the aforementioned Doner - the Chicken Shish, chunks of chicken breast, peppers, mushrooms and onions on skewers and grilled over a barbeque grill.  So I am able to tell myself that grilled meat, and vegetables, especially when served with salad is a healthy option.

This is very much like life as a whole, in any situation you can make whatever choices you wish, but remember that the treat you believe that you deserve for your efforts can be what ends up killing your spirit (if not your body).  Maybe the real treat is looking after yourself, being your own carer and cheerleader - at - all - times - people - at - all - times.

Take you of yourselves

TTFN Eden :-)

Deafness and accents

Auntie Elda is a lovely person, I think, I say that I think because although I have known her my whole life, I haven’t actually been able to understand anything she has ever said. She has a beautiful, musical Southern Irish accent, it sounds gorgeous, but is absolutely impenetrable thanks to my dodgy hearing.

I think she must think I am quite ‘special’ too, given that I always just nod and agree with everything she has ever said to me, I imagine her going home and saying to my Uncle ahh poor Laura such a shame.

The one upside to this, is that Auntie Elda has always called me by my sister's name, so at least she thinks it is Laura who is the idiot.

Words in Progress Posts

TTFN Eden :-)

Down With Frogs

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
Surprise for the first time in my life I am early! Down With Frogs was due to be released on 28th August - but here is it today! 

Click on the blue button above to buy direct from my publisher

This collection of stories contains the humour, heartache and hope of the modern romantic relationship; Told in my easy conversational style.

Both the ebook and the paperback have been designed with a larger font, and wider spacing to be helpful to the dyslexic reader and those with literacy issues. I believe in inclusive - not exclusive

Enjoy! and please don't forget to tell your friends

Now available at Lulu.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple

---  Paperback coming soon --- 

TTFN Eden :-)