Moving from home with a chronic illness

Moving from home with a chronic illness

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Liam Richards

Moving away from home can be hard enough for a normal person but it can be even harder for someone suffering from a chronic illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome (this link will help you learn more about the illness).

I personally moved from home for university whilst suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and come back in the summers, I was worried prior to this what it would do to my health so spoke to my hospital to gain advice. The tips I am going to give are both recommendations I received and things I have discovered living away from home. I am in no way a health expert and these tips may not work for you as everyone is different.

Social /

My first tip is one that helps you when you are suffering from low spells or relapses, build a support network. A support network consists of people who will be there in your time of need to give you the boost you need, advice or just someone to talk to. They could be family, friends, medical professionals, colleagues/tutors if you are at university or online such as forums. By building a support network you will know who you can talk to whilst experiencing certain issues from your health or just moving away from home in general. If you feel uncomfortable talking to those close to you, an alternative could be to use forums with other CFS sufferers such as Phoenix Rising which is one that I have used in the past.

Food /

My next tip focuses on saving your precious energy and that is to do online shopping. By doing this will be able to save your energy and be able to have a great selection of food rather than just a local corner shop. This leads onto my next tip which is to eat healthily which is easier to do online as you don’t have to worry about carrying it all home and have the option to a wide healthy range of foods.

By eating healthily, it can help to improve your some symptoms, avoiding processed foods can help your body lose less energy as it will be breaking down more natural foods. Some may find it hard to prepare healthy food so it helps to do meal preparation when you have spare time, saving precious energy when you need to cook in the evening after a long day when you will lack motivation and possibly end up ordering an unhealthy takeaway or ready meal. When the meals are prepared in advance it makes it a lot easier when you might lack the motivation as you just need to heat it up and possibly add some fresh ingredients to add variation.

Rest /

Rest is vital when you suffer from a chronic illness and the outside world can interfere with this so it is worth making purchases that can help to limit this. Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones are great if you live by a busy street or with noisy house mates/neighbours. If you suffer from photosensitivity, it helps to have black-out curtains or an eye mask to limit the light. This should help reduce the provocation of migraines, in turn allowing you to relax to the best of your ability.

Software /

There are multiple types of software that can help with both studying and working. The most helpful one I have used is Claroread, it reads highlighted text from your screen helping to reduce the fatigue on your eyes as well as helping with proofreading as you can hear what your text sounds like. This helps you to spot errors when checking over emails, assignments, or essays. Another helpful piece of software for writing on the computer is Dragon Naturally Speaking, which allows the user to talk into a microphone and it will type the words for you. This allows the user to rest but still work from the comfort of their bed if they need to. It might also be of help to use a calendar that syncs on your multiple platforms, this will help function like a second brain and help to remind you of upcoming events or create to-do lists for each day.


Hopefully, these tips can be of some help to those with a chronic illness for when they are moving or deciding whether to move from home. Most of these tips come from my experience of my first year at university but can be applied to those who are working as well.


How to avoid falling out with your business partner

How to avoid falling out with your business partner

by Guest Contributor

26 September, 2017

By Anthony Bennett
bennetthay.co.uk

Myself and Robin Hay co-founded the bespoke hospitality business Bennett Hay back in 2010. We now employ just over 200 people. Robin and I have worked together for the last 20 years, which is one of the main reasons we decided to set up Bennett Hay.

We found we had very complimentary skills, which I’d argue is an extremely important factor in a successful partnership. At the beginning we spent a great deal of time independently capturing what’s important to each of us before sharing our thoughts, just to double check we had the same drivers and passions – which, thankfully, we did!

Photography on behalf of Bennett Hay © Daniel Lewis.

Here are my top tips to avoid falling out:

Rather like any relationship, you have to keep the communication open and honest. Be up front with any issues and make time for debate.


Agree decision-making processes, allowing both autonomy and combined thinking. Pre-agreeing structures and processes lessens the likelihood of a fall out at a later stage.


Plan for growth and recognise the need to adjust behaviours and job roles as the company grows. Co-founders must be prepared to adapt to the changing business landscape; pre-empting eventualities from the very outset, and meeting up monthly to discuss the proposition, can help pave the way in future.


Sleep on a big decision before making it. Jointly agree to give each other plenty of time to reach an outcome; that way, you reduce unnecessary stress.


Hear each other out. You’ve entered into business together and both partners will possess different skills and experience; tap into and use it at all times. You never know what you’ll learn and discover from each other. A business can only ever grow if it’s challenged after all.


Stay true to your vision and business integrity. Continually believe in what you are here to do and where you want to take the business.


How to Influence an Influencer

How to Influence an Influencer

by Guest Contributor

23 August, 2017

NakedPRGirl
nakedprgirl.com

Spilling secrets is fast becoming something that LornaLuxe and I excel at. Especially if it is combined with an audience, an agenda about digital and each other (and possibly a bottle of Champagne if it is after soz 7pm - tee hee).

Anyway, Cision invited us to appear in their series of Webinar’s where we would share some serious #realness on the topic of How to influence an influencer – with LornaLuxe being the influencer and me being the PR acting on behalf of the brand. In real life, the digital influencer is a modern phenomenon, so not massively surprising that it is pretty easy to make a mess of it. And it ain’t just a case of ‘Dear Blogger’ style impersonal emails causing the problems, it is a minefield of money, statistics, marketing, PR, brand, spotting bought followers, understanding Google Analytics and calculating ROI…which is so confusing that you may well want to avoid it altogether.

But DO NOT WORRY because HELP IS AT HAND! LornaLuxe and I have been doing this long enough that in this hour Webinar we give you the ONE thing LornaLuxe always wants to be asked by brands (but they never do). The TWO special sentences that make her hit auto-delete on an email. We will give you a THREE MONTH plan to boost your followers and interaction. Wow I sound like one of those QVC style salesmen! Soz. here is the full and unedited Webinar – featuring our first disagreement (hey, no one said we had to AGREE on shiz).

If you are a bit short on time, I can tell you a few handy hints:

Point break

LornaLuxe & I have worked together on many different projects – including THIS Getting Naked With LornaLuxe interview and for denim designer DONNA IDA. BUT we didn’t meet by chance. Instead Lorna got on my radar, we had a social media relationship so by the time I got in touch, my first email said ‘I feel like we’re already friends.’ The rest is history and there are more details on understanding the Point Break theory, how to develop your relationships on social media and in (controversially) in real life in the Webinar.

Let's go digital

Try not to utter the words; ‘I just don’t understaaaannnndddddd digital’ because who wants to be that person? Skill up! How can you possibly talk to influencers/negotiate with brands/expect to grow online if you don’t understand it. My tips? Get a book first – try The New Rules of PR & Marketing by David Meerman Scott and if not, get a crash course from an expert in the digital field. I was lucky enough to learn an awful lot from digital marketing agency Netleadz and their founder Xaver Matt – they’re small, personal and speak using real language – AMAZE. You’ll soon be talking about your numbers/conversion like a pro.

Me, me, me!

It is easy to become selfish in the digital world so LornaLuxe and I believe in researching your audience to know how you can work together (pictured above when we first met along with Eimear Varian Barry). In the Webinar, you’ll also see the TWO magic phrases that will scoop you into LornaLuxe’s digital rubbish bin – trust me, no one wants to be in there. So – no cut and paste emails, no sloppy language or casual ‘Hi babes’ing. Let’s think strategically folks.

Social as the long game

LornaLuxe (pictured above in the Maldives dah-ling) shares the apps she uses to track her growth and competitors, how to spot people who are buying followers and how she grew to over 400k followers on Instagram! You’ll end with a three month plan – trust me, it is worth it!


I also contributed to Gorkana’s Guide to Influencer Marketing. Click the button below to download.


How to network

How to network

by Guest Contributor

10 August, 2017

NakedPRGirl
nakedprgirl.com

My NakedPRGirl blog and business is all about honesty and going behind the smoke and mirrors of the PR & Marketing industry…but today I find myself in unfamiliar territory and am looking to a relationship guru to share his secrets instead.

Let me introduce you to Matthew Hussey, he’s a relationship expert/love doctor type (he hates labels but hey ho) who I first discovered through friends who were looking to decode the modern relationship. Naturally, I was totally cynical, spending an inordinate amount of time watching his YouTube videos on ‘What To Text Him’ and such the like and telling everyone that I thought it was all a bit ridiculous. Until that is I began to admire him – there I said it. For one, the man KNOWS his marketing – or rather his team do. Giving us that perfect mix of slick videos with down-to-earth moments and ‘real life’ examples. He knows how to tease me. Goddammit Matthew, I went from casual YouTube-ing to getting the ‘Get The Guy Book’ from the Maida Vale Library to subscribing to your fancy members area (HELP HELP!), ‘he’ emails me every single day – that’s more often than my clients do!

But jokes aside, I knew he was really onto something when my mum (who was visiting me before Christmas and has been happily married for 30 years I might add), picked up the Get The Guy book and started reading it, proclaiming ‘it has some really interesting points.’ And it does, and what I’ve realised is that these are really life skills, they are skills that have been forgotten amongst the digital malarky and I think they’re so important that I am telling anyone who will listen about them. So here are the SEVEN things Matthew Hussey can teach us about LIFE and more importantly for the PR industry, about networking:

1 – IN REAL LIFE – Digital (of course) has it’s place – in dating and in business. BUT Hussey will be the first to tell you that we need to work on our social skills in the everyday. Wow – so true isn’t it? So that means, talking to people. Actually speaking to them, and more of them, and being friendly, men, women of all ages, just try it. Not all your conversations will lead anywhere but they will get you used to talking to people and therefore make you better at it. And when you meet that man/woman of your dreams or that influential business person, you’re less likely to look like a rabbit in headlights. Try and chat to a couple of strangers today and see how hard it has become, if you do it everyday it gets easier.

2 – BE THE BUTTERFLY – I’m always jealous of those people who come in, light up a room, smile and chat and move effortlessly between groups, before sliding out of the door while you’re still hanging in the corner clutching a glass of champagne and trapped (usually) with some dude trying to sell you an affiliate scheme. In any situation, we can get so much more out of life by enlarging our social circle and getting to know more people. So the next time you’re stuck in one of those conferences with a name badge, challenge yourself to move around more.

3 – BUILD RAPPORT – Argh but like HOWWWWW??? For a long time I didn’t realise my job was to be friendly with people. As a PR Assistant ten years ago, I was usually in the background and working away but these days as a Consultant, most business is face to face. Building rapport isn’t easy and some people are better than others which is why we should practice. Maybe you already do this, maybe it’s complementing someone when you meet them (oh your shoes are ah-mazing etc)…whatever it is make sure you have a few failsafe things to say and you’ll soon relax and be yourself.

4 – CREATE A ROUTINE FOR SUCCES – Hussey loves a good quote, and he especially likes The Great Gatsby (one of my all-time faves) and in the video below he talks about how Gatsby created a timetable for himself to prepare for success. Organisation and strategy is the key to success, in business and in love. That can mean anything from making it a weekly task to visit a new venue, checking out a new event from likeminded people or even using social media to do your homework on new connections and network for half an hour each day. The key, sharpen up.

5 – IMAGE – Now then, I often talk about image in business and Hussey’s assertion with dating is that you should always be ready; ‘if you’re always ready, you don’t need to get ready.’ What he means is that, ideally, you’d always be happy to run into your ex because you’re taking care of yourself. Same applies here. You might run into a new client or influencer on a Sunday afternoon, and you don’t want to be put off from chatting to them because you haven’t washed your hair. That’s not to say you have to go OTT every time you leave the house, (note you do not need to channel VB in skyscraper heels at all times – well not unless you Uber everywhere) just that you want to be happy with your appearance.

6 – HOLD AN EVENT – In dating Hussey looks at enhancing your social circle by going to new places and holding regular get togethers with friends old and new. In business, instead of ploughing money into Facebook advertising, how about an event where you can keep talking to regular contacts and getting to know new ones in an informal setting. Think you can’t do that? You totally can, just start with a small number of people and go from there. No one is expecting you to be throwing a BRIT Awards style party straight away…give it a year at least

7 – KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY – We all know that person in work, or in dating that is a total f*£k-wit time waster and will just keep leading you on and on with the hope it will go somewhere. When you get the feeling that you’re wasting your time, be confident that there are other people out there who will appreciate you. As Hussey says, be ‘high value’ so take note and be nice, firm and leave them to it.

So there you go seven things from Matthew Hussey’s ‘GET THE GUY’ world that can translate to real life; in your love life and your work life. You can buy GET THE GUY on Amazon and head over to Matthew Hussey’s Get The Guy YouTube channel to watch the videos. Be warned, he’s addictive. Right, I’m off to book on a £5k Matthew Hussey Retreat in LA…just joking – pull me back from the edge someone!!!