Eating, Learning, Sex

Scientists claim that there are three things that stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain:

1. Eating
2. Sex
3. Learning

Put it in simple terms, if your child is immersed in something they enjoy, and they are not eating or having sex, it is pretty safe to say they are learning.

Radical unschooling is based on the principles of using your child’s passions as a springboard for learning.

Children remember that which makes them happy. (AKA Learning)

I see myself as a private investigator of happiness. As soon as my kids show an interest in or a passion for something, I make a note to help them have more of it.

Using these principles of internal motivation and happiness promotion, our weekly schedule now looks like this:

Monday morning:
Corey, Kai, Maya – Piano & Drumming lessons followed by a browse in the local bookshop where they can choose one book each to buy, and a hot chocolate in the Loganberry Delicatessen.

Monday afternoon:
I take all kids to our tennis club where Corey has a hit with his friend and I play tennis games with the other kids.

Tuesday morning:
The boys spend time at home painting, modelling, building lego and playing Xbox, while Maya and Jack go to the museum.

Tuesday afternoon:
Corey plays squad tennis for an hour while the other kids play at home.

This is our chill out day where the kids rarely change out of their pyjamas and spend time playing at home. What they like to play depends greatly on what they are into at that time.

For example, Maya has just come through an intense period of crafting where she spent hours on end making arts and crafts. Corey is also in an intense Minecraft learning period and has spent hours researching strategy on YouTube then applying it to his game.

The boys are also planning to launch their first business “The Belfast Lego Club” and have been building a lego city as props for their club. I’ve loved watching this creation take place!

Thursday morning:
Maya has an ice skating lesson and the boys have a private tennis lesson. Jack usually goes to the park or an indoor play facility.

Thursday afternoon:
Spent cooking, baking and playing at home.

Friday morning:
Corey, Kai and Maya come with me to work at the local animal sanctuary. Here we walk dogs and play with young animals that need socialised for rehoming. Often the kids have to clean out the animal pens and care for the pets.

They have also learned how to respect and read animals and how ready they are for human handling which, has given them a tremendous sense of “other”.

I think that kids can relate better to small animals than they can to adults, simply because they are smaller than them.

Learning which animals need more time, patience and care has taught them to see a world outside of themselves and develop respect and empathy for other living creatures. This has really been a beautiful process to watch.


Kim’s Blog : How To Grow Your Home Business In Only 10 Minutes Per Day

10 minutes daily practice

My kids have been having piano lessons for about two years now and they’re getting really good.

They enjoy playing the piano, but it was hard to get them to practice outside of their weekly lesson and they weren’t improving as much as I thought they could, with a little more practice.

So to incentivise them to play a little each day, we introduced a system whereby in order to earn time playing their computers or iPods each day, they had to practice their piano.

In the beginning we made it like for like; one minute practice equaled one minute play time.  But this proved to be just a little too much for them and they gave up practicing as they became disheartened.  So we made it a statutory 15 minutes practice, for one hour computer time… and it worked a treat.

Yesterday I spoke to their piano teacher and she said that in the last six months their improvement has been incredible.  It just goes to show how over a period of time, 10 minutes per day adds up to a huge amount with very measurable results.

What aspect of your business or life could do with a little improvement?

Where are you lacking, or wishing you had more, that ten minutes per day could help you with?



Kim’s Blog : Don’t Give Up

don't give up

Are you willing to work for it?

Do you want to start a home business so bad you can taste it?

Don’t let obstacles become a reason for giving up on what you truly want.

Just look at your children for inspiration.  When you’r kids started to walk, did you ever see them fall down and say:

“Man, I just can’t do this; I’m no good.  I’ve tried to walk at least a hundred times.  Mummy and daddy don’t fall down.  What’s my problem?  I think I’ll just give up.”

No, our little babies just keep at it until they’re walking everywhere.  They don’t care how long it takes, and they just accept the process without judgement.

If they want to get from A to B and they can’t walk there yet, they just get down and crawl.

They will do whatever it takes to get what they want.  

At some point you’re going to hit a wall in your business growth.  But that isn’t a good enough reason for giving up.

You’re just going to have to find a way to either scale the wall burrow through it.

And if that fails just get down on your knees and crawl around it.  But whatever you do, don’t give up.


Changing The Status Quo

“We cannot change anything until we accept it.  Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”  Carl Jung

But the problem is that many of us aren’t actually willing to stand up for change, we just want to complain about the way things are, as if complaining will make a difference:

Isn’t it just dreadful…

It makes me so mad…

If only things were different…

I wish…

It’s the government/school/company’s fault…

Starting our dialogue, whether internal or external, with any of these prefixes only reinforces our own feelings of futility and strengthens our belief in our inability to affect change.

Yet, if we spent as much time doing something about the situation as we do condemning it, the world might be a different place.

Fear usually makes a situation seem more complicated than it is.  We get so caught up in our own internal process, that we can’t assess a situation rationally.  Either that or we are unwilling to do what is necessary to change something we are unhappy about.

So we don’t.  We stay as we are, and continue to suffer over a situation we feel we can do nothing about.

And herein lies your choice:

Condemn the situation, suffer and complain

Accept the situation, let go of the drama

(Or the most effective of all strategies)

Accept the situation, let go of the drama, and take active steps to change it.




Everything You Want Is On The Other Side Of Fear

But the thing that we don’t realise is that to lessen the fear, we just need to take small steps. Sure, the leap from where you are now to where you want to be may seem immense; but what about the small step that moves you just a teeny tiny bit closer? Is that scary? […]

But the thing that we don’t realise is that to lessen the fear, we just need to take small steps.

Sure, the leap from where you are now to where you want to be may seem immense; but what about the small step that moves you just a teeny tiny bit closer?

Is that scary?

What about the little itsy bitsy step after that one?

Is it scary?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your dreams be.  Stop making excuses.  You have everything you need right now.

I believe in you. 

Now get out there and do it.

The Secret to Achieving your Dreams and Being Successful

I saw a quote by Pablo Picasso on my friend Lauren Salzman’s blog recently.  It said

“Action is the key to all success”

Before I started my first company I was always looking for the quick fix.  The easy way to do it.  The short cut to success.  I had started several small businesses along the way, but never saw anything through with drive and determination so that they became hugely successful.

It was only when I started The Rainbow Garden and began to work steadily to make it grow, that I began to realise just how much persistent effort it takes to be successful.

It requires taking action day after day, week after week, month after month.  Persistent, steady action.  There are no short cuts.

If you want to be successful in anything you are doing, then commit to taking action.  Daily, weekly, monthly action.  Success truly is a journey, not a destination.

All it takes is a little bit of action.


Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed? It Might Not Be What You Think!

Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.  Margaret Thatcher

I read this quote yesterday on a blog by Pamela Cafritz.  What an amazing quote by an amazing woman.  Maggie Thatcher was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century, and the only woman ever to have held the post.

A Soviet journalist nicknamed her the “Iron Lady”, which later became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style.

Although I confess not knowing much about her politics, it was her conviction to succeed that really gets my juices flowing.  Can you imagine what opposition she must’ve come up against in a male-dominated environment, to succeed in becoming elected?  Can you imagine the bullying she must’ve had to endure, just to make her way to the top?  So why did she not give in?  What caused her to carry on regardless?  I bet there were some instances where she felt like throwing in the towel.  What stopped her?

In the quote she talks about pride, self-esteem and personal satisfaction coming as an effect of discipling yourself.  However, I believe what drove her to success, was her need to do what was “right and important”, regardless of the outcome.  She was so compelled to act, that although the difficulties were probably more than most of us endure in our life times, they weren’t difficult enough to halt her pursuit.

It would seem like the harder thing would’ve been to live a life that compromised what she believed in.  It would’ve been harder to sit back and do nothing.

Today and every day, I am inspired by people like Baroness Thatcher.  She had something that she believed in so passionately, she wasn’t prepared to let anything stop her.  

It just goes to show that when you are connected to your passion and are truly living with purpose and conviction, anything is possible.

Question:  What drives you forward in your life?  What are you passionate enough to drive you into taking action?

Need a Little Inspiration?

I follow a blog by an award winning, highly acclaimed writer called Seth Godin.  He has written a book called Bootstrappers, the essence of which is to encourage entrepreneurs who are working their butts off to start a great business from scratch with no (or almost no) money.  Is this you?

He has a mantra which I have printed out and stuck to my office wall.  Today I would like to share it with you to inspire you to succeed in your own endeavours, whatever they may be.  I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.  (I have substituted the word “Bootstrapper” for “Mompreneur” but feel free to substitute whatever word you feel is most appropriate for your situation).

I am a Mompreneur. I have initiative and insight and guts, but not much money. I will succeed because my efforts and my focus will defeat bigger and better-funded competitors. I am fearless. I keep my focus on growing the business—not on politics, career advancement, or other wasteful distractions.

I will leverage my skills to become the key to every department of my company, yet realize that hiring experts can be the secret to my success. I will be a fervent and intelligent user of technology, to conserve my two most precious assets: time and money.

My secret weapon is knowing how to cut through bureaucracy. My size makes me faster and more nimble than any company could ever be.

I am a laser beam. Opportunities will try to cloud my focus, but I will not waver from my stated goal and plan—until I change it. And I know that plans were made to be changed.

I’m in it for the long haul. Building a business that will last separates me from the opportunist, and is an investment in my brand and my future. Surviving is succeeding, and each day that goes by makes it easier still for me to reach my goals.

I pledge to know more about my field than anyone else. I will read and learn and teach. My greatest asset is the value I can add to my clients through my efforts.

I realize that treating people well on the way up will make it nicer for me on the way back down. I will be scrupulously honest and overt in my dealings, and won’t use my position as a fearless Mompreneur to gain unfair advantage. My reputation will follow me wherever I go, and I will invest in it daily and protect it fiercely.

I am the underdog. I realize that others are rooting for me to succeed, and I will gratefully accept their help when offered. I also understand the power of favors, and will offer them and grant them whenever I can.

I have less to lose than most — a fact I can turn into a significant competitive advantage.

I am a salesperson. Sooner or later, my income will depend on sales, and those sales can be made only by me, not by an emissary, not by a rep. I will sell by helping others get what they want, by identifying needs and filling them.

I am a guerrilla. I will be persistent, consistent, and willing to invest in the marketing of myself and my business.

I will measure what I do, and won’t lie about it to myself or my spouse. I will set strict financial goals and honestly evaluate my performance. I’ll set limits on time and money and won’t exceed either.

Most of all, I’ll remember that the journey is the reward. I will learn and grow and enjoy every single day.

The Key to Success? Overcome your Body and Deepen Your Mind

Today I want to talk about yoga.  Well, not specifically yoga but more health in general.

I practice Ashtanga Yoga, sometimes known as Power Yoga, at least four times per week and sometimes more.  I schedule my exercise into my weekly diary along side all my other to dos.  I make it important because it is important.

Anthony Robbins claims that the hardest part about going to the gym is getting there.  Sometimes I put on my yoga clothes in the morning when I’m tired and stiff, and try in my head to give myself a million and one excuses why I won’t practice today.  Maybe I’m sore from yesterday’s practice, or maybe I have a meeting later this morning that I need to prepare for.  My favourite “get out of yoga” excuse is that I’ve practiced enough this week already, and I don’t really need to practice today.  But these are exactly what they sound like.  Excuses.

In their book Odin and the Sphinx, Keith Raniere and Ivy Nevares claim that:

“More noble humans do not simply follow their urges; they have learned to master them and follow a more global course of behaviour guided by abstract principles.”

Or as Cato the Elder so eloquently put it:

If you are ruled by mind you are a king; if by body, a slave

So what makes some people highly successful and others not?  Do they have something that you don’t?  Probably not.

Those who are highly successful in their chosen field have usually learned to overcome their body feelings, to peruse a higher goal or outcome.  This is one of the most fundamental keys to success.

No matter what your goal is – to lose weight, run a marathon, attract more clients, start a business – you must decide on a course of action and learn to overcome your body urges.  Not just once, but many many times.

Putting on weight does not happen from eating one piece of chocolate cake:  it comes from eating one piece of chocolate cake, many many times.  In reverse, losing it does not come from abstaining once:  it comes from abstinence over a long period of time.  Building your company requires doing the thing you know you should do, many many times.  Having a chunk of savings in your bank account comes from putting away 10% of your earnings, many many times.

In essence you must learn to live and think independently of how your body is feeling, and resist urges that are reactive and not aligned with your higher goal.

The benefit?  As you start to achieve your goals and live your dream, moment-to-moment happiness that comes from body satiation will be replaced by a stronger sense of joy and peace.  You will be less concerned by satiating your body urges and will gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and ultimately a deeper understanding of all human beings.

What Will it Take for you to Commit to your Success?

The idea for my first company The Rainbow Garden was presented to me nearly two years ago, yet it took until about a year ago until I was fully committed.  I thought it was a great idea, I loved the business, I was passionate about education for kids.  So why did it take nearly a year of fannying around for me to really start to make a success of it?

There were three main reasons:

  1. I wasn’t fully committed
  2. I was too comfortable in my current situation
  3. I was scared of being successful

German philosopher Goethe says this of commitment:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.  Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which, kills countless ideas and splendid plans.  It is that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  A whole stream of events and issues arise from the decision, raising in ones favour all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.  Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.  Begin it now.”

When I read that quote it really made sense to me.  Until I fully committed to making a success of my business, it just sort of trundled along and grew organically.  I didn’t have any set goals, I didn’t measure my progress and I gave myself all sorts of excuses at to why it wasn’t growing as fast as it could.  It was when I decided that I was absolutely going to make a success of it, that things began to change.  A shift in my mindset created a massive shift in my business.

Comfort is also a great business killer.  You know how it is….. yes you want to grow your business but really, is life that bad?  Of course it would be lovely to have more disposable income, more money to buy nice things, more holidays, a better car.  But material things really don’t motivate us enough to move out of our comfort zone, if our comfort zone is comfortable enough.  Our current lifestyle isn’t bad enough to light a fire under our butt.

Fear is also a huge motivation killer.  I work closely with Executive Success Programs in overcoming my personal limitations to being successful.  I remember taking a walk with one of my mentors one day and he asked me why I was choosing not to have the things I wanted for myself and my family.  I remember feeling a bit indignant with him.  How dare he suggest I was choosing not to be successful.  It wasn’t my fault!  I was trying hard, really I was………Or was I?

Turns out, on closer examination, I was s**t scared of actually making a success of myself in case it threatened the security of my current situation (which was crazy and not true).  But I could never have know that this was going on until I really dug deep and explored it for myself.

Question:  What would it take for you to fully commit to your success?   You can leave a comment below.