Its been a funny old week…….deleting the negative & relishing the positive

Last week was a strange one in that it was undoubtedly filled with highs and lows.

From a work perspective, all of our prospecting looks so much closer to paying off with a high profile partnership in the pipeline. Even better is that they are a charitable organisation working to make lives better making them a great cultural fit with what we’re trying to do in terms of raising the bar within our industry. We still have a little way to go but the fact that a very large organisation would be willing to even consider a small family business such as ours surely means a small win for the other little firms out there trying to chip away at their markets.

So, lots of work to do to prepare for a planning meeting with said organisation………or that was the idea. Got a call from Nursery last Tuesday (every parent has that heart sinking moment when the nursery number comes up on your phone) to say that the little monkey had a very high temperature. Thankfully the grandparents (my afternoon childcare saviours) were able to go and pick him up which was very fortuitous as it ended up being my last day in the office for the week. Viral tonsillitis is pretty horrible as it turns out. Poor little thing was absolutely knocked out and slept all day – but only in my arms. As horrible as it was to see him feeling so under the weather, I can’t deny that unexpected cuddle time wasn’t all bad.

It took him a good 5 days but he’s back on his feet and back at nursery today. And he’s starting his transition into the 18 months plus room too – yikes, where did that time go? As something of a late developer in the walking stakes (he’s rather selective as to when he chooses to do said walking!) it will do him good to be with some older kiddywinks but this means that as he is no longer in the baby room, he most definitely is a toddler now. Its all going way too fast!

I managed to leave the house on Saturday for a day of shopping on with my mum and sister to celebrate mums birthday. So on the train we hopped (me slightly hanging from no sleep for the previous 3 nights due to poorly boy) full of excitement for some shopping, eating and prosecco drinking. The best laid plans and all that. Train was an hour late, food at Jamies Italian was what I would politely term as ‘slightly over cooked’ and relaxed shopping was a mad dash around Zara and John Lewis before grabbing a Costa for the return journey in order to sober up from the speedily consumed Prosecco. But it was still fun!

The hubby and I had already been out for a delicious meal on the 13th February to celebrate an early valentines and 5 years since we had got engaged. Therefore, February 14th was planned to be a Waitrose Valentines meal in with more prosecco and Tom Jones (the hubster loves The Voice UK). But then the oven broke. So we made the most of it, raided the fridge and created a carpet picnic. An excess of carbs and cured meats was accordingly devoured.

Whilst I could focus on all the things that were a little off plan, I’ve decided to focus on all the good stuff, after all, there was plenty. I’m not sure I’m as disciplined as to do a weekly gratitude list (though I love the concept), deleting the negative and relishing the positive is certainly something I am going to try to be more disciplined about. And consider last week to be a funny old week with a smile on my face.

Is your Gym Working Out for you?

I’ve been a member of LA Fitness, on and off, for about the last 14 years. Like most, I had the occasional curiosity about what other gyms may offer me and tried Total Fitness (an expensive community sports centre) Fitspace (where there’s no frills and no service), David Lloyd (soooo overpriced with the only extra being on an site Costa with way too much cake on offer). So I stuck with LA Fitness. And then Sports Direct took over.

There was much talk before spin classes about how they might reduce services in order to make a quick buck. How they were going to be getting rid of the pool which was so good for little people to go in due to its sloping lead in. And then, new members were being offered much reduced membership fees. Its fair to say that we regulars were up in arms……..inbetween working up a productive sweat obviously!

Well, to be honest, its still very early days but today I had a great example of customer service from the Lincoln South West Club. I queried my membership fees and within 5 minutes and a quick update of details my membership will now be £25 per month. Brilliant. Also, was updated that the club is to be re-furbished next week with a new bigger spin studio, an extended gym area and a much needed update to the changing rooms. Plus, the pool is staying, hurrah.

I do really think the club will be much better as a result of the takeover from a functional and visual perspective but I do think that Sports Direct could do much more than that. Customer engagement and communication during the process has been limited………..well, I received just the one letter letting me know there would be a brand change. I really think they could be missing a trick here. Our club in particular has a pretty good level of regular and loyal members which can really be built on. Rather than a cosmetic refurb of the gym, how about making it a club again, a community. Engage with the membership, consider encouraging more social events and maximise the onsite Café facilities (& subsequently revenue), bring people together for some team charity events (great for morale, good causes and PR). I think what I’m saying is don’t just chase chase chase the new memberships, retain the existing members, build on their loyalty and, because lets face it that we’re talking about a business here, increase the spend per head per visit by offering some additional services, activities and engagement opportunities – everyone wins.

Lets see how the refurbishment goes, but I for one am uncharacteristically excited by a competitive membership fee and improved services – which is a very rare thing all round!

Liebster Award!

The very lovely has very kindly nominated me for the Liebster Award – hurrah!

I’ll be completely honest, I had no idea what this was to start with but after a little reading it appears to me to be a very neat way for fellow bloggers to support others and also to reveal a little more about ones self

As with any award, there are rules;

1. Acknowledge the blog that has nominated you and display the Liebster Award on your Blog

2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you

3. Give 11 random facts about yourself

4. Nominate 11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award with less than 200 twitter followers or who haven’t received a Liebster Award before

5. Let those bloggers know you have nominated them

6. Give them 11 questions to answer

Phew, you still with me? That is rather a lot so here goes;

liebster badge

1. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?

I’m not a jump out of a plane kind of girl but I have travelled to the Far East & India alone

2. Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to?

Rome – there’s something totally magical about that place.

3. If you could do one thing tomorrow that you’ve always dreamed of, what would it be?

Travel the world with my family to spread the word about my amazing business idea that has made me millions. Just need to come up with the business idea. Minor detail.

  1. If you won a car what would you do with it?

I’m not going to deny, I’m a car snob (champagne tastes/lemonade budget perhaps) so if it was a Skoda, I’d trade it straight in. If it was a Range Rover Evoque, I’d pose around in it for a good few months before reluctantly trading it in to fund the aforementioned amazing business idea……that I need to come up with.

  1. What is your favourite drink?

I’m partial to the Prosecco but the Red Wine rules in our house – preferably Italian

  1. Who is the first person you go to in your time of need?

Without question, my lovely hubby

  1. What is one goal that you have not yet met but are working to achieve?

I wouldn’t say I’m actively working to achieve it at the moment (due to mummy/work/blog time) but I would love to do my PHD at some point

  1. Do you think you’ll move house again?

Well, obviously when my amazing business idea (did I mention that?) comes to fruition we’ll have a house across the globe but until then, I reckon we’ll stay put for now. Moving house is very stressful in my experience!

  1. If you only had time to save one thing in your home, what would it be?

Well, assuming husband and Nipper are safely outside with me and the hunky firemen, it would possibly be photographs. However, as much as we all like nice things around us I’m not especially sentimental about stuff, only people.

  1. In your life, what brings you the most happiness?

My beautiful little family

  1. Where is your happy place?

Saturday mornings with my other half the the little person, bacon sarnie and coffee on the go and the weekend together stretching ahead of us.

I’ll be posting my nominations and questions in a 2nd post as its getting late……and its also hairwash night (!) so toodlepip for now and check back soon to see who the lucky peeps are that I’ll happily pay this forward too x