A Letter To My 15 Year Old Self

P!nK sang about conversations with her 13-year-old self (from the album I’m not dead). It’s hard to remember exactly what I did and how I felt at 15. I know generally that I was a rebel, unhappy with my lot, and felt trapped and constrained by my age. All my friends outside of school were older. Some had already left school and were working, going out at weekends etc. I wanted to be grown up already, but what I didn’t realise at the time, how emotionally Continue reading →

New Year, New Health, New You

Happy New Year! How was your 2015? Did you achieve your goals? Did you make progress with your dreams for your life and work? Those of you who have been concentrating on your health will know how difficult it can be to keep the momentum going. Looking forward to the New Year So what do we need to consider when we embark on the New Year ahead? Firstly, we need to decide whether we are going to change something, or if all is well, to improve Continue reading →

Happy Christmas from The Smart Train

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas… …and best wishes for 2016! Happy Christmas from Elaine at The Smart Train. Make this your challenging year, nothing is too hard to accomplish – it simply depends on your perception. I thought I might be too old to learn to ski, but I committed to it anyway at the tender age of 43. I am heading into season 3 now, and for the first time, really looking forward to moving from beginner into intermediate level. I still have a lot Continue reading →

Gratitude: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 10

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip for Christmas No 10: GRATITUDE Be grateful for all your success and learning curves for 2015. There is no such thing as failure, just lessons to be learned from, and appropriate measures to be taken to improve areas that require improvement. Again, mind-maps come in really handy here, just draw out all your personal and professional successes Continue reading →

Silence: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 9

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip for Christmas No 9: S ~ SILENCE Silence is golden! Or just very quiet. OK, so you are still running around like mad, trying to get everything done. So you promised yourself. So what! There is not a chance on this universe that if you keep going 90 KM an hour, you can suddenly stop at 5pm on Continue reading →

Action: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 8

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip For Christmas No 8: A ~ ACTION Or lack thereof! There are 4 sleeps to Christmas. How much have you left to do? Enough to take 10 working days? Are things feeling a little pressured right now? OK, then it’s time for the SMART Stripper! Take out a piece of paper. Either as a Mind-Map or a Continue reading →

Management: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 7

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip For Christmas No 7: M ~ MANAGEMENT I am not talking business management or people management here, but self-management! Here’s a thought: You cannot respect another until you respect yourself. Agree? OK, here’s another: You cannot love another until you love yourself. Agree? Some won’t agree with this statement. Try this one: You cannot parent a child Continue reading →

Tedication: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 6

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip for Christmas No 6: T ~ TEDICATION Ok, so TEDICATION is not really a word, but it comes from dedication, with a TED spin-off. We get our inspiration from many sources: books, DVDs, TED Videos, colleagues, celebrities, our customers. However, more importantly is that we inspire ourselves. Without self-inspiration, everything else is just influence. And if Continue reading →

Social Media: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 5

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip for Christmas No 5: S ~ SOCIAL MEDIA Get talking, get into the conversation. Why is Social Media so important for your business? Simply because: It is another way to communicate your message It is another medium to use to connect with your customers It is another medium to use to connect with future customers It Continue reading →

Insight: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 4

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip for Christmas No 4: I ~ INSIGHT IN PEACE, PREPARE FOR WAR IN WAR, PREPARE FOR PEACE SUN TZU This very simple message was missed by many during the boom decade in Ireland of 1996–2006. Those in business must realise the importance of vision, enthusiasm and planning. Yet many of us fail to visualise where our business Continue reading →

Review: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 3

This month we are running with a great series of TOP 10 tips for your business survival for the traditional break, and on into the New Year. Business Tip for Christmas No 3 R ~ REVIEW Review your Business Plan! Yes, I said Business Plan. You remember that document that you threw together in a rush to get something together for the Bank, Enterprise Board, Start Your Own Business Course??? Well, that document should be the soul of your business. What can it do for you, Continue reading →

Holiday: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 2

H ~ HOLIDAY Make sure you factor in some R&R into the holiday period. Some Business owners will use the "holiday" period as a perfect procrastination and distraction excuse to delve into tasks that were not meant for December, or that have been put on the long finger and have suddenly become urgent. Be aware of your limitations and be wary of "panic" setting in.

Charity: Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas – No 1

Hi there – Welcome to The Smart Train’s Top 10 Business Tips For Christmas, imperative for the survival of your business (and you!) This time we are going to count down (or up?) to Christmas with our great series of TOP 10 Tips for getting your business ready for the 2015 wind-down. We are running with the theme of C.H.R.I.S.T.M.A.S for this year. So here we go – going to kick off first with a very quick tip on CHARITY: Business Tip for Christmas No 1: C Continue reading →

How To Provide And Receive Effective Feedback

Feedback (sometimes referred to as positive criticism) is a process in which the effect or output of an action is ‘returned’ (fed-back) to modify the next action. Feedback should only ever be used as a basis for improvement. It should not be mistaken for negative criticism and vice verse. If feedback does not provide learning or a chance to improve, then it is being communicated as negative criticism. “Admonish your friends privately, but praise them openly.” – Publilius Syrus (35 B.C.) Why is feedback important? Continue reading →

How To Easily Control Your Time Management

Have you ever had the experience of watching something unfold before your eyes and have no control over its outcome? You know it greatly impacts you and yet you cannot control certain elements, meaning you can feel a combination of helplessness, panic, loss and disappointment. The list goes on, and one common theme with these words is the negativity of them. I had this experience recently, having found myself caught up in travel related aviation strikes. This meant I was able to complete the bulk Continue reading →

How To Handle Social Media In Just Two Minutes Each Day

Our guest post this month is from the extremely talented Social Media and PR consultant Marie Ennis O’Connor. Marie challenges you to manage your social media needs in two minutes a day. Yes only 2 minutes a day! Read on to find out HOW you can easily handle your business social media updates in just 2 minutes a day… One of the things I hear most frequently when I teach social media workshops is “but I don’t have time to do it.” My response? If Continue reading →

Enjoy Your Vacation While Keeping Your Business Safe

Your Business Vacation Are you planning a break, a holiday, or business vacation this summer? It’s great to get away from it all, but without advance preparation, you may find that you are not “quite” as away as you intended. Interruptions such as phone calls, IM messages etc, can prove to disrupt what should be a proper break away from work. While you attend your “Zen silence meditation” for a week, or “Sit on the beach, drink cocktails and read 6 novels” for a fortnight, Continue reading →

How To Grow Your Business With The Right Mindset

Our guest post today is from Irish Coach Mairéad Kelly,  tackling ‘head-on’ the current challenges felt by many working mothers who are trying to juggle work, home and motherhood. Mairéad offers an alternative approach to grow your business with the right mindset and systems in place, as a working mother. Guys, this is an important one for you too… There are currently more mums setting up in business than ten years ago. I deal with quite a number of them every year and one thing they all Continue reading →

How Better Parenting Is Better for Your Business

Our guest post today is from the wonderful Val Mulally, international Parenting expert, author of “Behave – What to do when your child won’t“, and founder of Koemba Parenting. Val has been running courses in Ireland for many years, and is launching her successful Parenting programme based on the book, in an evergreen online format. She shares with us today her insights into balancing parenting with running a business: Parenting versus working? Are you a busy entrepreneur? Are you juggling parenting within your busy schedule? Are Continue reading →

How To Best Enjoy Life After Redundancy

Our first guest blogpost for April is from Tom Hickey, a true survivor of many life changing events. Tom writes candidly for us today about being made redundant after 42 years working with the same company. He provides great learning from his experience, and gives tips on how to handle redundancy… Last April my employer, Irish Examiner, was looking for voluntary redundancies. After 42 years I felt restless and knew I wanted to leave. The newspaper game was changing and my role as sub editor was Continue reading →