Tag Archives: advice

Ten of the best pieces of advice about life you’ll ever need

The last six or seven years feel like they have been the most eventful years of my life. There have been terrific lows and amazing highs. I’ve learnt a huge amount about who I am, what motivates me and what makes me truly happy. I’ve met some wonderful people and some not so wonderful people. Friends who have built me up and given me strength and other people who have given me painful lessons in life. 

As the year turns from one to another, here are ten of the best pieces of advice about life I’ve learnt over the years. I first wrote these lessons down in 2014 and they are as true today as they ever were.

Ten of the best pieces of advice about life you’ll ever need –

1. The reliable things in your life are reliable until you take them for granted, then your whole life can shift. Don’t take people for granted.

2. Small people grow, they continue to be adorable in different ways, but cherish each moment, because each day they’ll be a little bit older and a little bit different.

3. Work and money can be scarce, but when you really need it, the universe somehow provides it, be thankful and don’t say no, you never know what it will lead to.

4. Good friends are awesome and can be relied upon to buy you a brew and cheer you up with a natter, or an impromptu delivery of Milk Tray in TGI Fridays on your birthday.

5. Don’t bore your good friends to tears with the same old story. Recognise that you’re a stuck record and change it. Only you can change the tune you play.

6. People you love go away, but they will always be part of your story.

7. Say yes to things you would have previously have said no to. It can open new doors for you, or teach you new lessons or be a mistake you can learn from. Mistakes are ok.

8. Drink less, stay in, cuddle the people you love, tuck the small ones in and read them a bedtime story. Watch them sleep, hold that memory to your heart.

9. Look after your back. Keep moving, keep exercising, take your pills, power through. You’ll never be as good as you are now, so don’t let pain stop you.

10. Stop. Look at what you’ve got. Hold hands, smell the flowers, listen to the birds in the trees, admire the sky, put your head on his shoulder. Tell him you love him and mean it.

Ten of the best pieces of advice about life you'll ever need

Ten things 2014 has taught me

If 2013 was a year of drastic change and a bit of drama, 2014 was about appreciating what I’ve got and learning to be me again. Here are some of the lessons 2014 has taught me.

1. The reliable things in your life are reliable until you take them for granted, then your whole life can shift. Don’t take people for granted.

2. Small people grow, they continue to be adorable in different ways, but cherish each moment, because each day they’ll be a little bit older and a little bit different.

3. Work and money can be scarce, but when you really need it, the universe somehow provides it, be thankful and don’t say no, you never know what it will lead to.

4. Good friends are awesome and can be relied upon to buy you a brew and cheer you up with a natter, or an impromptu delivery of Milk Tray in TGI Fridays on your birthday.

5. Don’t bore your good friends to tears with the same old story. Recognise that you’re a stuck record and change it. Only you can change the tune you play.

6. People you love go away, but they will always be part of your story.

7. Say yes to things you would have previously have said no to. It can open new doors for you, or teach you new lessons or be a mistake you can learn from. Mistakes are ok.

8. Drink less, stay in, cuddle the people you love, tuck the small ones in and read them a bedtime story. Watch them sleep, hold that memory to your heart.

9. Look after your back. Keep moving, keep exercising, don’t let pain stop you. Take your pills, power through. You’ll never be as good as you are now, so don’t let pain stop you.

10. Stop. Look at what you’ve got. Hold hands, smell the flowers, listen to the birds in the trees, admire the sky, put your head on his shoulder. Tell him you love him and mean it.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Life lessons

Doing Bartering Battle – Top Tips

A couple of weeks ago I attended the webuyanycar Negotiation Academy in Manchester. I did promise in an earlier post that I’d put together a list of some of the top tips from the day. So without further ado, here are my top five tips from each speaker.

Dr. Sandi Mann, Expert in Social Psychology. Haggling With Confidence

  1. Ask: What have you got to lose.
  2. Be aware: Avoid being lured into ploys that get you emotionally attached to an item and don’t fall for limited availability offers. These are rarely genuine.
  3. Body language: Watch out for ‘leakage’, when your extremities – hands and feet, give you away. Learn how to hide these tells.
  4. Make friends: Engage the salesperson as an individual. Ask a few questions to disarm them and they’ll be more likely to do you a good deal.
  5. The power of silence: If all else fails be quiet – we all hate awkward silence and retailers included will do anything to avoid it!

Tarlok Teji, Retail Expert and Visiting Teaching Fellow at Manchester Business School. What retailers think when you haggle

  1. Time it right: Car dealers have monthly targets. Go hunting the last weekend – or even the last day – of the month for the best deals as they try to hit their quota.
  2. Research: Use the Internet to see if the product you want is cheaper online. If it is, take the evidence to the till and see if they’ll price match.
  3. Limited time only: Never buy a big ticket item on impulse. Go home, double-check it’s credentials and only come back if you’re sure it’s right for you.
  4. Finance deals: Financing is often the biggest source of profit for a retailer. Always double-check their interest rates with one from your bank.
  5. Added extras: Ignore the offer of added extras and instead concentrate on getting money off the final sale price.

Martin Chrimes, Independent Financial Advisor. Buying a big ticket item

  1. Budget: Set a realistic budget that anticipates future costs.
  2. Keep schtum: Never reveal our budget – not even a between figure.
  3. Borrow: Research all financing options available – and ensure repayments are feasible within your monthly outgoings.
  4. Competition: Never buy from the first retailer you visit and don’t be afraid to play them off against each other.
  5. Invest time, save more: Separate your old car sale and next car purchase rather than part-exchange. A car dealer has margins to meet when he part exs – you’ll either get an inflated price on your old car or a discount on next. But not both.
  6. Walk away: Most importantly, be prepared to walk away. You don’t want to resent a big purchase and neither do you want to go into debt.

Richard Evans, Head of Technical Services at webuyanycar.com. Essential checks on a car forecourt to make sure you’re paying what the car is worth.

  1. Colour panels: Stand 2m away from the car and check the panels match. If they don’t, work has been carried out – ask what and why.
  2. Dashboard: Make sure no lights are illuminated when you run the engine. Especially engine management, anti-lock brake and airbag lights as they point to problems that are very expensive to fix.
  3. Integrated satnav: Make sure that a disk is there. If not, it’s useless and a replacement is costly.
  4. Tyre tread: Beware of anything that is less than 3mm as they will need to be changed.
  5. Air conditioning: Turn on and test it to avoid an uncomfortable or costly summer!
  6. Service history: Check the paperwork is correct by calling the garage last to see it.
  7. Mileage: Check the stats add up by visiting www.gov.uk/check-mot-history-vehicle.

Ok, so there were 7 top tips from Richard Evans, but they are very handy tips I hope you’ll agree.

So what are you waiting for? Happy haggling,

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the Negotiation Academy, given a scrummy afternoon tea and my travel and childcare expenses were covered. 

An Open Letter to a Friend

small unremembered acts of kindness

I saw this quote last week after we spoke and I wanted you to see it. I wanted you to know that your life has meaning and is full of achievements. Achievements are more than just things on your CV and trophies in a cabinet. Achievements are not what make you a good friend. Your small, unremembered acts of kindness. You are kind, considerate, loving and giving. You are a good friend.

Mistakes can always be forgiven and if not they can be reconciled. They might force painful change. Change can and often is painful and life altering. But life has taught me, hell, even you’ve taught me that sometimes painful change is needed in order to find a new, different kind of happiness.

Whatever storm you are riding it will pass. Whatever storm you are riding I am and always will be here for you as your friend. Life is full of storms and upsets, but I know more than most that a good storm can be worth the wreckage. I know who my friends are and who I can turn to when I need them. You may not think you need anyone, but you do. You really do.

I don’t want you to ever think that your life is nothing, because to some people your life is everything. Please don’t look back and wonder what the point was, what you’ve contributed. You’ve lived a life and done many things, met and been loved by many people. You’ve done good and bad things. We all have. Your bad things are no worse than a lot of peoples bad things. You’re not unique in that.

Your greatest achievements, your biggest contributions are your beautiful children. They are your lasting gift to the world. Never forget that.

So carry on with your small, unremembered acts of kindness. It all gets paid forward in the end.

Your friend, always,

Jane xx

 

Negotiation Academy – How to do bartering battle

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea – yum!

I didn’t do very well at school. Well, I did well enough but my heart wasn’t in it. School for me was a bit boring and the lessons felt a bit irrelevant. They also never, ever, ever served afternoon tea.

I was intrigued this week to be invited along to the webuyanycar Negotiation Academy. Like any good schoolgirl I arrived with a brand new notebook and a selection of pens (though regrettably no pencil case with “I heart Robbie Williams” etched on it in blue biro).

The Negotiation Academy was a 90 minute masterclass in the very swish Great John Street Hotel in Manchester. With a delicious afternoon tea thrown in to soften the educational blow, I sat down and was taken on a whistle-stop tour of all things negotiation, not hostage negotiation, but haggling with retailers negotiation.

Sandi Mann

Dr Sandi Mann

We were lucky enough to be treated to some words of wisdom from experts who really were experts and seriously knew their stuff! I already “knew” Dr Sandi Mann, we both write for the same magazine, and whilst we’ve never met we have nattered online a few times. She’s brilliant, so engaging, interesting and was the perfect person to kick off the afternoon.

Sandi is a specialist in social psychology and ran through a host of top tips for negotiating with retailers including playing good cop/bad cop, using body language to your advantage and my favourite tip, just ask, if you do it with enough (polite) confidence, you might just get away with it.

Following Sandi was Tarlok Teji, a Retail Expert and Visiting Teaching Fellow at Manchester Business School who, with over 30 years’ in industry revealed the sales tricks and treats used by retailers. Including getting your timing right, retailers usually have monthly targets, go shopping at the end of the month and they’re more likely to offer a discount to bag that sale! Tarlok packed a heap of really useful information into just ten short minutes.

Completing the indoor section of the whistle-stop negotiation tour was Martin Chimes. Martin is an independent personal financial advisor and in his ten minutes on the hot spot gave some fab straight-forward sensible advice such as, set a realistic budget that anticipates future costs, NEVER reveal your budget to the retailer, do your homework before leaving home and when it comes to finance for big ticket items such as cars research all the options available, don’t just go for the finance plan available from the retailer, you could save £££s!

Richard Evans

Richard Evans

We then bundled ourselves up against the freezing weather outside to spend a bit of time with the lovely Richard Evans who is Head of Technical Services at webuyanycar.com. Richard has been a mechanic for 31 years and there is literally nothing he doesn’t know about cars. Nothing!

Richard showed us how to inspect the panels on the car to see if they’d been replaced by looking at the colour of them, as well as checking out the bolts on the inside of the doors which could indicate that it’s been in an accident or been modified in some way. He gave a raft of top tips including checking no dashboard lights are illuminated when you run the engine and double checking that the mileage stacks up by visiting www.gov.uk/check-mot-history-vehicle brilliant tip that last one!

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the Negotiation Academy, given a scrummy afternoon tea and my travel and childcare expenses were covered.