So you’ve been through lots of training and worked in the industry for years.  You know your stuff – and then you hear about national accreditation for your area of expertise.  What does it mean? Do you need it? Does it matter?

The TLDR Version

Getting national accreditation is great. It’s like a health check for your skills and knowledge and you’ll be contributing to establishing a standard in the industry you love.  If mandatory qualifications are introduced in the future, you’re ahead of the game.

When you already have the skills and experience needed, you can apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).  You provide the evidence of your skillNationally Recognised Training logos and knowledge, then it’s assessed and validated. On successful completion you receive a Statement of Attainment from an RTO for the qualification.

If you’re in the Lash Industry, you can apply for RPL by correspondence with Enchanted SPA for SHBBMUP001 Apply Eyelash Extensions.  This unit is delivered in conjunction with our RTO, Trainwest (RTO 51807).

The process is easy:

  1. You fill out a checklist to confirm your skills and knowledge
  2. You send it to us by email to reception@enchantedspa.com.au with the subject line: “RPL Application”
  3. We check it, and if its all good, you pay the fee ($349) and we send your RPL Assessment pack electronically.  It contains all the documentation you need to submit your evidence (your pack includes easy step by step instructions)
  4. You submit your completed evidence
  5. We assess and validate it
  6. Once successfully completed, our RTO partner Trainwest issues your Statement of Attainment for SHBBMUP001 Apply Eyelash Extensions

To celebrate the success of Lash Vision 2017, we are offering a special price of $299 for RPL Applications received before 15 November 2017. Sharing the love – even if you couldn’t make it to Lash Vision, you can take up this offer as well!

Ready to roll?  You can download the Checklist here

Want to know more about national accreditation and the nitty gritty for RPL?  Read on below!

The Industry Factor

Enchanted SPA have been on a journey with our lash and brow sisters around the world to raise industry standards as a whole.  We believe everyone having national accreditation (when there is one) is a step in the right direction.

Sometimes, when Service Skills Australia develops training packages, a completely new accredited unit of competency is released. People who actually work in that industry look at the Performance and Knowledge requirements and have a W.T.F moment.

“Who wrote this?  Is that even a thing?? Who does that these days??”

If you have a look at units that have been around for awhile, you’ll notice there are lots of updated versions. That’s because industries are constantly learning and changing.  It takes time for the government standards catch up!

What are the benefits of national accreditation?

Accreditation is formal confirmation that the course:

  • is nationally recognised
  • meets an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need
  • provides appropriate competency outcomes and a satisfactory basis for assessment
  • meets national quality assurance requirements
  • is aligned appropriately to the Australian Qualifications Framework where it leads to a qualification.

Each VET accredited course is allocated a national code and is listed on the national register, training.gov.au. Accreditation means that participants in the course may be eligible to achieve an occupational licensing or regulatory outcome.

Getting onboard

We had our first training course nationally accredited in early 2016 because we recognised having a government approved standard gives you a really good baseline.  You get consistent basics and have a roadmap for meeting health and safety regulations for your industry.  There might be a few little W.T.F things in there, but that’s ok.

Our first accredited unit was SHBBMUP001 Apply Eyelash Extensions and we built it into our Classic Eyelash Extensions course. To start with, we faced some industry backlash that the accredited unit was worthless and our training must be inferior. But that’s not how we roll! We designed our course to meet and exceed the criteria, using the accredited unit as a base to build from, then raising the bar.

What many people didn’t understand is that trainers can address ‘outdated’ or ‘W.T.F’ criteria without recommending it (hello thickness of 0.20 and 0.25!). For industry lobbying, you can’t successfully create change if you don’t engage and adopt the standard first.

We are so pleased that some of the same people who were skeptical at the start have not only sought accreditation for themselves, but are now also taking steps to put their students through it too!

Get accredited using your experience

The great thing about VET accredited courses is you can qualify (or part qualify) through Recognition of Prior Learning, or RPL for short.  You don’t have to sit an entire course again when you are already vocationally qualified.

RPL recognises learning regardless of how, when or where it was acquired, as long as the learning is relevant to the outcomes of the qualification.  If you have previous training or work experience that meets the criteria for the qualification you can apply for RPL.  You collect evidence to support your application, then submit it for assessment and validation.  If your evidence confirms your competency, then the qualification is issued to you.  Pretty simple, right?

The Lash Industry

For lash artists, yes our industry is unregulated, but that just means you don’t HAVE to have national accreditation.  We believe its good if you do. It shows you’re competent in health and safety practices and core standards in line with government regulations; which should be the first step in any personal care career.

One day, accreditation may be mandatory.  We don’t know when that might be, but the lash industry is lobbying for mandatory qualifications in the future for the benefit of lash artists and their clients.  We hope they succeed for the benefit of our industry in the long term.

So what are you waiting for?  If you have experience and vocational training in an industry that has a government accreditation available, check out your options for RPL or upskilling.

RPL for SHBBMUP001 Apply Eyelash Extensions

Enchanted SPA offers RPL for the accredited unit of competency, SHBBMUP001 Apply Eyelash Extensions with our partnering Registered Training Provider, Trainwest (RTO 51807).  This is available by correspondence, with all documentation provided to you and returned to us electronically.  This means you can compile your evidence in your own time and submit to us when ready.  The cost is $349 and includes your assessment pack, evidence validation and issue of your Statement of Attainment for the unit SHBBMUP001 Apply Eyelash Extensions on successful completion.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for RPL?

We’ve developed a Checklist you can use to help you work it out.  If you are interested in RPL, download the form here, fill it out and send it to us at reception@enchantedspa.com.au , with the subject line “RPL Application”.

Don’t worry if there are some things you don’t know, just have a go and send it in.  We will contact you to let you know:

  • if you’re ready for RPL
  • if we think there are minor gaps in your knowledge, where you can find resources to refresh before you sit for RPL.
  • recommendations for training or upskilling in your location if needed.

If you are ready for RPL and want to go forward, we will complete your application and set up your assessment pack!

What Evidence do I have to provide?
  • Copies of evidence of training in the form of certificate/s or letters or references from Employers
  • Environment Confirmation – photos of your salon environment and a checklist to confirm your environment meets assessment criteria
  • Two (2) Case Study Full Set applications on live models, each set consisting of a minimum 80 eyelash extensions per eye
  • Two (2) Case Study Infill Services on live models
  • Two (2) Case Study Removal Services on live models
  • A written Knowledge Assessment (25 theory based questions)

We hope this takes some of the mystery out of national accreditation and the RPL process!

 

 

You may have heard through social media that Enchanted SPA commissioned a study on Cyanoacrylate exposure for eyelash extension technicians in September 2017.

If you haven’t – here’s a quick background.  We were concerned about the conflicting advice in the last year or so about what working safely should look like in the eyelash extension industry. At Enchanted SPA, we have always made sure that when we make recommendations, we can back up our advice, but every answer led to more questions!   So we went on a journey to get advice from specialists in their fields.

What we did

We developed a detailed brief on the eyelash extension industry and the use of Cyanoacrylate adhesives during extension application.  We then approached 3M Australia and a number of exhaust ventilation and air purifier providers for recommendations on what masks to use and what type of ventilation would be appropriate.

Their advice?  We can help you, but we need to know what the typical exposure levels of Cyanoacrylate are for your industry first!  Good point!  But there were no public studies or research on OUR industry.

So we decided to bite the bullet and commission one!  We contacted GCG, a highly reputable Australian specialist whose clients include the Federal Government, Defence Force and blue chip mining companies. We spoke with them for months and months about what testing we could do and the best way to define testing sites – it was really important to us that we answered all the ‘what ifs’ and industry concerns that we possibly could.

The Test Scenarios

The kicker is that the best method for testing cyanoacrylate exposure is complicated and very expensive.  So we chose to do two tests, measuring exposure for Ethyl Cyanoacrylate:

  • one at a small typical sized home salon (10-12sqm) for the solo operators
    Commercial Salon test site with 8 lash techs lashing models at the same time

    Commercial Salon – Paul from GCG observing while 8 lash techs lash models at the same time

  • the other in a commercial space with multiple technicians working at the same time to try and lay out a ‘worst case scenario’.

We hoped if we tested both ends of the range, this would provide answers that could fit with the vast majority of technicians.

The sample monitors worn had a gauge that was positioned in the breathing zone of the lash technicians and a pump to collect the air samples that was strapped to their backs.  The sampling method was in accordance with OSHA Method 55.

We used the same parameters for both test sites: same adhesive, (Enchanted Crystal Clear), practice of working to the side (no glue rings or wells on the head), dropped a new bead of adhesive every 15 minutes and sampled for 1 hour and 45 minutes using personal sampling monitors whilst lashing.    In the case of the commercial space test site, we had eight lash technicians all working on a model at the same time and every one of them dropped an adhesive bead every 15 minutes (56 beads in total during the sampling time).  The technician wearing the monitor worked in the centre of the group.

Special Thanks

Before we dive in to the results, we just want to take a quick moment to acknowledge the eyelash extension technicians from the Western Australian lash industry; who donated their time and skills for our project.  They blindly put their trust in us when we called for volunteers – without knowing exactly what they were getting themselves into! So thank you for your contributions!

Commercial Test Site (Enchanted SPA premises)

Fern Cant (randomly selected monitor wearer), Natasha Gallier, Nina Middleton, Lydia Kypros, Jamie-Lee West, Chelsey Briggs, Maryke Botha and Jacinta Rokich.

Commercial Salon site - participants

Commercial Salon Test Site participants

Home salon Test Site (Luscious Lashes by Margaret) – Margaret Attrill
Home salon test site - Luscious Lashes by Margaret, (L to R) Maggie, Janelle & Kelly from Enchanted SPA, Paul from GCG

Home Salon Test Site participants

The results

There is no current Safe Work Australia Occupational Exposure Standard for Ethyl Cyanoacrylate.  Therefore the internationally recognised standard established by the ACGIH (Amercian Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists) using a Threshold Limit value (TLV) was used.

This sets an Occupational Exposure Standard for Ethyl Cyanoacrylate at a limit of 0.2ppm (parts per million) on a time weighted average of 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. Still with us? This is the measure that would normally be used for calculating exposure results.  But we know a LOT of eyelash extension technicians don’t do normal!  So we asked for two calculations – one at the normal standard; and the other on an adjusted standard of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, to cover the ‘worst case scenario’ even more.

Maggie lashing model while wearing ethyl cyanoacrylate sampling monitor (visible just below and left of her chin)

Home salon – Maggie lashing wearing ethyl cyanoacrylate sampling monitor (visible just below and left of chin)

Home Salon Results

Exposure levels were so low the lab test couldn’t even detect it.  Cyanoacrylate exposure level recorded: <0.01ppm

  • Officially categorised as “less than 50% of the occupational exposure standard of 0.2ppm” on a Time Weighted Average of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week
  • Even at an adjusted exposure standard based on 12 hours per day for a 6 day working week, the level would still be less than 50%.

 

Commercial Salon Results

Even with eight lash technicians all working at the same time for the entire testing period, all dropping adhesive beads every 15 minutes (56 beads in total), the exposure level was well under the safe limit. Cyanoacrylate exposure level recorded: 0.063 ppm

  • Officially categorised as “less than 50% of the occupational exposure standard of 0.2ppm” on a Time Weighted Average of 8 hours a day, 5 days a week
  • Only 57% of the adjusted exposure standard based on 12 hours per day for 6 days a week
Fern lashing while wearing ethyl cyanoacrylate monitor (back view - orange pump visible)

Commercial Salon – Fern lashing wearing ethyl cyanoacrylate monitor (back view – orange sampling pump visible)

The Lashia Experience

On the day we announced our testing, Mimmi Ebbersten from Lashia Australia told us that Lashia had taken part in similar testing in Sweden in December 2016.   This testing was done by the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Medicine in Sweden and involved Lashia’s salon and training school, as well as two other salons.

As these results weren’t publicly released, we asked Mimmi for permission to share them with the lash community.  Happily for us and you all,  she said yes! The results were that for Lashia’s salon and school (with portable fume extractors in the room but not in use):

“The amount of Ethyl 2-Cyanoacrylate was below the detection level in all air samples.”

And for the other two salons:

“The air content levels of Ethyl 2-Cyanoacrylate were in most cases below the detection level, ie. very low.”

The recommendations from this study conducted in Sweden were as follows:

Even though very low levels of Ethyl 2-Cyanoacrylate were found:

  1. Respiratory protection with solvents(filter type ABE1) should be used (half mask with goggles, full mask or fan controlled respiratory protection)
  2. To avoid skin exposure and risk of hand eczema disposable gloves made of nitrile rubber should be used.

GCG Recommendations

Now the recommendations by GCG might be unexpected for some and even controversial for others.

In the specialist Work Health & Safety and occupational hygiene services field in Australia, recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE) and mechanical controls are only made if a risk evaluation determines the work practices, products used and environment are not sufficient to maintain safe exposure levels. If the levels are approaching the established occupational exposure standard, then first PPE, then mechanical controls are considered.   Our results were nowhere near the limit.

So here are GCG’s recommendations, based on the occupational exposure results, task observations and risk evaluation:

  1. No masks, gloves, or local exhaust ventilation are necessary
  2. Non-permeable under eye protection should be used to limit risk of excess adhesive making contact with client’s skin (don’t use paper tape)
  3. Practices utilising a glue ring or placing a glue well on the Client’s head should be discontinued to minimise atmospheric and dermal (skin) risk during application (don’t use a glue ring or well on the client’s head)
  4. The Client’s eyelashes and eye area should be cleaned at the completion of treatment to remove any residual adhesive from the application process.
  5. Maintain indoor air quality levels in the salon within the recommended IAQ guideline values
Limitations

We know that some people who have experienced symptoms might find the recommendations surprising and it is important to note there are limitations to these findings:

  • All sampling results are representative of the work area at the time monitoring was conducted.
  • Changes in the workplace environment and day to day tasks can greatly alter personal exposure levels.

As such, individual results may not be representative of the true exposure for the occupation/area in question.

Basically what we are telling you is we know the way we work as a company is safe.  We know our Ethyl Cyanoacrylate based adhesive is safe.  We know that lash artists like Maggie, working within the same principles of the testing are safe.  If you are working in the same way, there is no reason to suggest your exposure levels are likely to be any different to these results.  If you use a glue ring or well on the client’s head, if your ventilation is poor; the exposure levels might be different.

At the end of the day, PPE or additional mechanical controls are only recommended to reduce risk if the results are at, near or above the safe limit.  These scientific tests prove we are so far below it, there is no risk. Having said that, technicians with asthma or other sensitivities *could* experience effects even well under the safe exposure limit.  They may need to consider additional controls if their symptoms are not related to indoor air quality or another trigger that can be addressed through other means.

While they are not required based on these exposure results; GCG suggested that if you choose to wear a mask for vapour protection, a disposable respirator with nuisance level organic vapour filter should be worn.

Examples include the 3M 9913V or the Moldex 2400P2. Choose a valved respirator over non-valved. The valve helps to reduce heat and moisture build up in the mask; particularly in humid environments and can reduce issues with skin irritation around the facial seal area.

This project was privately funded by Enchanted SPA and sponsored by Louise Tierney from Lash Inc.  Our only motivation was to educate ourselves on appropriate steps to address health and safety using actual data and professional recommendations  for OUR industry.  We promised we would share the results with the lash industry worldwide because we thought it was important to start a pool of information that is actually relevant to US instead of relying on other industries for answers that might not fit the way we work.

We’ve lived up to our promise – what you choose to do with the information is now up to you!  We wish you a long, happy, healthy lash career xx

 

To use the information contained in this report for commercial purposes, please contact us for permission first.

Louise Tierney, Founder of Lash Inc. and Kelly Storer, Director at Enchanted SPA officially launched Lash Inc Journal Australasia in May 2017.  The venue was the amazing Super Yacht Conference in London and we are beyond excited! As Australasian Editor for Lash Inc Journal, Kelly Storer will continue her mission; to promote the amazing talent and efforts of the Australian and New Zealand Lash Industry.

Lash Inc. is an international lashes, beauty and business journal at the forefront of our industry. Ultimately it gives Lash Artists across the globe a way to keep up to date with industry standards, events, research and so much more! Now the magazine you love will come with an insert dedicated to news, events, suppliers and artists in Australia and New Zealand.

With the amazing growth in contributions and readership, the time has come for our very own Lash Inc Journal Australasia edition from August 2017!!

We welcome any suggestions for YOUR magazine. To be involved, send your ideas to Kelly@enchantedspa.com.au Subject: Lash Inc.

To pre-order a print copy of the very First edition of Lash Inc Journal Australasia, buy here: Lash Inc. Magazine Pre-Order

 

Lash Inc Journal Australasia Edition AnnouncementLash Inc. Australasia Logo  Lash Inc Journal Australasia Edition Advertising Rates

 

You see it all over the forums.  Someone will post a beautiful set of eyelash extensions showing amazing ‘four week retention’.  The first question everyone asks is “what eyelash extension adhesive are you using?”  We think that if we just find the right adhesive, our bonding and retention will be perfect too.  It’s a never ending quest for adhesive happily ever after!

But here’s the thing.  If you don’t have the right application process, speed and environmental conditions for your adhesive, it’s never going to be perfect.

The truth is, while there are still some questionable products in the global marketplace, most eyelash extension adhesives sold by reputable suppliers are really good quality.  A lot of popular adhesives come from the same manufacturer, and in some cases the only difference is the label!  Consequently, if an adhesive works brilliantly for one person and not you, often the cause is factors you can control – true story. (Unless your client is not looking after her lovely lash extensions properly – but that’s a totally different story!)

You have two options when it comes to choosing an eyelash extension adhesive.  You can:

  1. buy a few different eyelash extension adhesives with different drying times and temperature and humidity ranges.  If your environment isn’t stable, you will still have an adhesive that works for the conditions right at that moment. OR,
  2. choose an adhesive that works for your application process and speed, then regulate your environment to suit or make adjustments as needed when conditions aren’t ideal.

You also need to ask yourself some basic questions, like:

  1. What kind of drying time do I need? Is a 1-2 second adhesive too fast for you or is it just right?  Do I need a bit more time to get the extension on?  Maybe you need a 3-4 second adhesive.
  2. How good is the ventilation in my work area? Is there a window and door that can be opened?  If you have Air conditioning, where is the vent positioned in relation to your beauty bed? Do you have a fan or air purifier?  Can you move things around to improve your ventilation?
  3. What is my temperature and humidity like? Are you able to control it? Do you have a humidifier or dehumidifier if needed? If not, can you get one?

Did you know?

The longer your eyelash extension adhesive takes to cure, the more likely monomer vapours are to appear.  Vapours are more irritating in dry air (under 50% humidity).

You can adjust your conditions or even your application process in many different ways to make your adhesive work for you.  However, to consistently get the best performance, you need to REALLY understand how eyelash extension adhesives work.

TLDR Checklist for best Eyelash Extension Adhesive bonding, retention and minimum vapour/irritation

If you understand the factors that can affect performance of your eyelash extension adhesive, it WILL make all the difference.  When an adhesive works best in 60-70% humidity, if yours is 45% with no temperature or process adjustment to compensate – of course there is going to be a problem.

Let’s be really honest, most of the time the reason your adhesive turns into an evil queen who likes to taunt you is because you haven’t treated her right.

We’ve put together a quick checklist for you! Here are our Top 7 factors to give you the best bonding, retention and minimum vapour or irritation – no matter what eyelash extension adhesive product you choose:

  1. Make sure surfaces to be bonded (aka natural lashes) are cleansed, rinsed and dried before application begins
  2. Check the humidity and temperature of your working area (environment) are within the ranges recommended for your product by your supplier.
  3. Ensure your working area (environment) is well-ventilated.
  4. Confirm your adhesive product is ‘fresh’. Make sure adhesive dispensed from the bottle is not stringy or gloopy or developed a skin.
  5. Ensure the adhesive layer when bonding extensions is as thin as possible.
  6. Bond Extensions tightly and securely, working from zone to zone, eye to eye at a speed appropriate to your adhesive drying time.
  7. Gently cleanse lashes and eye area, then rinse and dry at the end of treatment to remove any residue.

Would you like to understand why? Check out our handy Understanding your Adhesive for Eyelash Extension Technicians PDF Guide. We go through eyelash extension adhesive fundamentals, as well as our Top 7 factors step by step.  We explain why these factors are important and offer tips and advice straight from our Classic Eyelash Extensions training.

Did you know?

Alkalines also speed up Cyanoacrylate adhesive curing. Products such as permanent colours, perming lotions and straightening cremes are alkaline based. As a result, lash technicians working in a hairdressing salon sometimes have problems with adhesive bonding and retention (aside from the more obvious temperature and humidity spikes that can occur with lots of blow drying in close proximity!).

You can address this issue with good ventilation.

Hairdresser applying colour to model's hair

We are so excited that Issue 13 of Lash Inc. Journal has been dedicated as the ‘Enchanted Edition’. It started as an offer to cover a photoshoot from our 2016 Enchanted Experience, a world first event combining Mega Volume training and Creative design with the awe-inspiring duo, Eva Zacharias and Hilaree Brand. The results from our ‘Mega Babes’ work were so stunning they made the front and back cover plus full coverage of the two day event! Within a week of release, Lash Inc. announced our Issue was the most read and best cover according to online stats. Congratulations to everyone involved!  Want to see what all the fuss is about?  You can read the magazine for free online here!

Ladies based in Australia, if you currently have Gel Adhesive Removers (from any supplier), you should IMMEDIATELY cease use and source a cream or liquid Adhesive Remover as a replacement – reasons below.

We have been in contact with the Australian Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA) regarding Gel Adhesive Removers. The TGA added a chemical called Gamma Butyrolactone to Schedule 10 of its medicines and poisons standard (SUSMP). Schedule 10 is for substances of such danger to health as to warrant prohibition of sale, supply and use. The reason for the addition is concern about the potential use of Gamma Butyrolactone for illicit drug manufacture.

We have clarified with the TGA that the ban includes ALL variants and synonyms for this chemical and ALL ingredient compositions. After conversations with a number of manufacturers we have become aware that every Gel based Adhesive Remover generally contains Gamma Butyrolactone, although it is often listed by another name. The CAS No. (which is the internationally recognised Chemical Registry number) for Gamma Butyrolactone and its synonyms is 96-48-0 on the manufacturer’s MSDS/SDS. It appears that some manufacturers may attempt to disguise the ingredient by changing the name of the synonym slightly, adding a zero to the CAS No. or not providing a CAS No. at all.

We are aware there are one or two international manufacturers claiming to have developed  ‘Gamma Butyrolactone free’ Gel Adhesive Removers, but have been unable to verify these as they have not responded to requests for chemical composition information.

What does this mean? Based on the information currently available, we are not aware of any Gel Adhesive Remover on the market that is guaranteed to not contain Gamma Butyrolactone. As it is illegal in Australia to sell, supply or use any product that contains this ingredient, we recommend you do not use a Gel based Adhesive Remover.

Enchanted SPA will NOT stock Gel Adhesive Removers until or unless it can be guaranteed it is legal to use in Australia. We are currently looking at options for a Cream Adhesive Remover as an alternative.

If we become aware of any compliant gel based products in the future we will keep you informed.

This advice applies to Australian sales, supply and use only.

Taken from our Notice to Enchanted SPA Students 13/12/2016

Link to a joint media release by Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force on 22 December 2016 https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/public-warned-about-deadly-fantasy-drug-hidden-beauty-products

REGRETS. Do you have any?

I don’t. I’m not sure if that comes down to me being very brave or very stupid, but I try every day to do things even when they scare me.

Have a look at the photo below.  This is me (top right) and Lisa Gillanders from Lashworx (top left) on top of the Skytower in Auckland – the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Heights terrify me and here I am 192 metres above the ground, with nothing to hold onto but my shrivelling dignity (I screamed – A LOT!). I did this skywalk despite my fear because I knew I would wish I had the courage to do it later on. I then base jumped to the bottom!

NO REGRETS.

Lisa Gillanders and Kelly Storer, Skytower in Auckland

I believe that everything in life is a learning curve – mistakes might be made along the way, we might even fail – but we also learn lessons about ourselves and how to do things better next time. Facing your fears and taking that first step (or having another try) WILL make you stronger.

On their death beds, people often say their biggest regret is not spending enough time with people they love, working too much or not trying or doing the thing they always dreamt they would. I don’t ever want that to be me!

Getting a good work/ home balance is tough – reeeeeally tough – especially when you are trying to run your own business and are at the beck and call of your clients. You can’t turn business away but you can’t kill yourself making everyone happy either! It is easy for those publications to say “5 steps to success – just do these things you’ll be a winner!” but it doesn’t always work for everyone.

We are all unique and want different things from life. Some people running their own business will work until they reach their weekly target and then take the rest of the week off. Others will be pushed by drive and ambition and set out to take over the world, bring up kids, have a happy home and a thriving business – all at the same time!

We all have something we would love to do someday. We kid ourselves by saying when we get *there* we will: not work so hard – have time for yoga – go on a holiday – start our own business – (Insert your *there*).

So where the hell is *THERE* and why can’t it be *HERE*!!! The someday you’re waiting for to make your move, learn something new (or do a base jump) CAN be today.

Write yourself a letter

The best advice I can ever give is to write yourself a letter. No half-hearted I can’t think of …! Tell yourself what you are happy with in your life and what you are not happy with. What do you want to do in the next 6 months? It could be simply to have a date with your partner, join the gym and actually go, start your own business. Retrain, do a new course, quit your job or move to Timbuktu! Tell yourself why you want and need these things to happen.

Don’t hold back, get it all in there and then pop it in an envelope, stick it somewhere safe to open in 6 months and let your future self have a little read. Will you have done any of the things you listed? Chances are you won’t because life gets in the way. We get busy. We put everyone else before ourselves.

Instead, think about the contents of your letter every day and spend the next 6 months putting EVERYTHING you have into doing what you said you needed. Otherwise, you could reopen that same letter year after year and nothing will have changed. You will still be upset by the same things, dreaming of the same things and holding yourself back from feeling fulfilled.

Nothing will have changed and that my friend is what your regrets will be! So do it. Make *there* HERE. Make your someday, TODAY and take that base jump!

Start living for you, choose to be happy, smile and remember always – don’t be so busy making a living that you forget to live

Kelly

xx