Using Social Media For Good

Blog Pre-lude:

There’s a lot of negative talk about social media lately.

How it’s:

  • addictive
  • narcissistic
  • false
  • ruining true human connection
  • stifling creativity
  • making us all depressed

The news regularly reports on how social media is being used to incite hatred and radicalise young people. It’s hard to get away from the ‘social media is bad’ rhetoric.

In the online business world there appears to be a lot of suspicion, false representation, pushy promotion and make-you-feel-bad-to-make-you-buy marketing on that’s making people feel disolusioned and some considering rejecting their social networks.

And whilst I’ve personally experienced and witnessed the dark side of social media and acknowledge that it can be unhealthy and used in a negative way, I want to share an experience with you today that demonstrates that social media can be used for good.

An antidote to the current trend to bash such an amazing tool for connectivity. A positive perspective.

My aim is to show you how social media can change the world for the better and that if you care about something deeply (in business or in your personal life) you can use social media for good and make a real difference.

I would love to hear your ideas and feedback on this topic. Especially if there’s a cause you care deeply about and are inspired to use social media to support. Drop me a comment at the end of the post or come and find me on Facebook or Instagram

Using Social Media For Good

Some experiences hit you right in the heart and make you marvel at how amazing this world truly is. My weekend hanging out with rehabilitated and rescued elephants in Northern Thailand last November was one that would change the trajectory of my life forever.

It was such a humbling experience. From the moment we arrived and walked onto the wooden platform overlooking the park, and watched the elephants walking towards us, I had tears in my eyes.

The giant creatures were on the hunt for watermelon. Using their tough, rough trunks to search out the sweet fruit once they sniffed it out they let us feed them their favourite treats.

Throughout the next two days, we wandered the park, spending time with many of the elephants. We bathed them in the river. Watched them cover themselves and play in the mud. Made the old grandma elephants (who’s teeth had fallen out due to old age) squishy rice balls and slept in bungalows that overlooked their sleeping quarters. Being awoken by the trumpeting of trunks was the best wake up call!

Elephants are such emotionally intelligent, peaceful creatures.We felt very privileged to be there.

So how does a weekend hanging out with elephants in Thailand link to using social media for good?

On the Saturday evening of our trip we were fortunate enough to hear the founder of Elephant Nature Park, Lek Chailert, talk about her work in conserving Asian elephants since the 1990s. It was a highly emotive talk, and harrowing to hear how elephants have been treated so badly despite being revered in Thai culture and Buddhism.

What many tourists who want to get up close and personal with elephants don’t realise is that all elephants who…

  • carry tourists on their backs for rides
  • perform tricks like painting for tourist’s entertainment
  • are used for begging on the streets of Thailand
  • pose for selfies with tourists
  • or exhibit any unnatural behaviour for the entertainment of humans

…have been subjected to a cruel process called Pahjaan or ‘breaking the spirit’. This a process that involves tearing a baby elephant away from its mother and herd, tying it up and beating it until its spirit breaks.

Lek played us a video of some of the footage she and others have captured of this maltreatment. I was in tears watching it. It is deeply harrowing to see creatures you respect and want to be happy being tortured and broken.

Even elephants who seem happy (you may have seen videos of baby elephants sitting in tourist’s laps) are invariably fed the wrong diet, lack nutrition, suffer from loneliness and stress and die much earlier than their life expectancy. Away from the paying crowds they are chained up and live a short, hard life away from their natural habitat and family.

As the video ended, I knew I would leave this place changed.

This video is not the one we were shown during Lek’s talk, but does give some indication of what happens to these poor elephants. It may be upsetting to watch, but it is what made me so determined to talk about this issue publicly:

“How Can We Help?”

The obvious question we asked of Lek after showing this video was:

“Aside from supporting places like Elephant Nature Park, how can we help?”

And her response was… social media.

She asked us to:

  • Tell our friends and family about our trip to ENP and why we chose it over riding elephants or other options
  • Educate our followers to ethical animal tourism so when they travel to Asia, they make the best choice for animals
  • Reach out to people who share content and videos promoting rides and tricks with elephants and encourage them to rethink their posts and educate themselves

Lek was adamant that social media was the easiest and best way to spread a positive message and to educate others. Because that’s all that’s needed to save the elephants in Thailand from cruelty.

If tourists stopped paying for these “experiences” with elephants, there would be no demand and the people who exploit them would have to find other ways of making a living.

This is why, since returning from Thailand, I’ve spoken about this on my personal Facebook, my Facebook group and now here on my blog and business social media.

Just this week I reached out to Cooler Magazine via their Facebook page because they were promoting a video showing baby elephants “cuddling” tourists. I sent them a quick polite direct message that shared my experiences, and asked them to look up Pahjaan and educate themselves, as well as remove the video from their feed.

Here’s their response:

Using Social Media For Good

I was nervous of pointing this out to them, as I wasn’t sure they’d take it well, but I am thrilled that they’re taking action and responding to their audience like this.

I hope they do write an article about it, as they’ve such a huge influence on people who love to travel and love animals. Watch this space.

Whilst I’m not naive enough to think that everyone would respond this way, or that everyone who see’s my posts will change their minds, I know that what I’ve shared already has made a difference and I’ve had a few people tell me they’re glad they know better now.

I also believe in the ripple effect and that social media gives us a power to spread a message no other generation before has had.

Aside from promoting our businesses, what if we used this power for good?

What do you care about? What do you want to see positive change for in the world?

For you it might not be saving Asian elephants, but most people passionately care about a cause yet rarely do anything about it. How can you, through the use of social media, do something positive for what you believe in this week?

And can you take it one step further and find a way to use your business to support that cause to? (This is something I’m brainstorming right now).

This post is a little different to my normal blogs here but it is something that’s really dear to my heart and I know how many of my clients and readers are animal lovers too and have causes they too care deeply about and would like to see change in attitudes to. I’d love to hear your thoughts – feel free to comment below.

Thank you for reading.

Jen x

How To Survive Business Burnout: A Personal Tale

Come autumn 2016 I finally realised I was experiencing business burnout.

I was strung out emotionally and every day felt like walking on a tight rope. One gust of wind and I’d surely lose balance and fall to my impending doom. If it sounds melodramatic, I assure you that’s how it felt.

Because I’d been burning the candle at both ends in my business.

I hadn’t taken a proper holiday where I didn’t have to think about work for over 18 months. I’d travelled plenty, but mainly for business and never with the intention of just switching off. My mind was constantly on my business.

Conventional wisdom will tell you to take a break at the point of figuring out you’re experiencing burnout.

The problem was… I realised I was experiencing burnout during one of my busiest periods. I was already running my new 6 week online course Facebook Mastery; working on some really interesting projects with clients and had two exciting yet imminent business trips to New York and Rome.

I had a holiday in sight, but it couldn’t come soon enough.

I didn’t have any other choice but to motor on. I couldn’t and wouldn’t let my clients down and I couldn’t just opt out of life until my holiday.

So, I kept going because sometimes that’s all you can do.

I did finally stop in November, and took my long awaited holiday to Thailand. It was everything I needed – a complete change of scenery, true time out from business and lots of opportunity to sleep, rest and recoup.

And over Christmas, I continued to let myself unwind and relax and spend time with friends and family, not letting work dominate my thoughts.

Too Much Information?

I’ve questioned whether this is TMI and should be shared on my blog but my clients know I am in the arena with them when it comes to business. I’m not interested in pretending my life and biz are rosier or better than yours just to make you feel bad and sell you stuff.

I’d much rather be honest and tell you that:

  • Sometimes this self-employed stuff is HARD.
  • Sometimes you want to throw in the towel.
  • Sometimes you get mad at yourself for not being able to stop thinking about business.
  • Sometimes you wonder if getting a job would actually be easier.
  • Sometimes you forget to give yourself a proper break.
  • Sometimes you just want someone to call up and tell you you’ve won the lottery and can go live on an island and paint every day.

You’re not alone in feeling like this sometimes.

I also wanted to share my business burnout experience with you because if you care about your business and are actively growing it and pouring all your energy into it, you’re at risk of burning out like I did. Maybe you’re already there.

And if you are at risk, or you’re already there, then maybe some of the lessons I’ve learnt below personally will help.

How to Avoid Business Burnout

How To Survive Business Burnout

1. Accept where you are, even if you can’t change it immediately

I was in denial for quite a while, even though the signs of burnout were there. I eventually figured it out and whilst I couldn’t change anything immediately I could accept that this was were I was. Giving the feeling of being rung out and on edge a label was helpful.

2. Make a plan for true time off

Even if you can’t take time off from your business right away, schedule it in for as soon as possible

I luckily had a 3 week holiday coming up, so could keep focusing on that. Knowing it’s coming helps you get through.

And make sure it’s true time off. Turn off the phone, the email, the social media apps and notifications. Allow yourself time to sleep, rest and be with yourself or loved ones completely. Tell yourself it’s actually good business practice (it is!) and you’ll be more productive and focused when you return (you will be).

3. Reduce your commitments

Cut out anything that isn’t essential when it comes to your personal and business commitments. Give the energy you do have left to your clients and the most important activities. Everything else can be put aside for now.

4. Try to forgive yourself, you’re only human

If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel crappy about the fact that you’ve got yourself to this point. But beating yourself up for being burnt out isn’t going to change much. Try and forgive yourself, look for the lesson and acknowledge that you’re human. You can do anything, but not everything.

5. Plan time out in the future

This was the biggest lesson for me. The main reason I got to the point of burn out was because I hadn’t taken proper time off for over a year. So, over the Christmas break Tim and I got out our diaries and scheduled time out for 2017. Long weekends, holidays and breaks. I also threw in a weekday “day off” every month to do whatever I please away from business. (This month, I’m going to go and help look after little hoglets at a local animal shelter!)

If you’re experiencing burn out, or feeling like you’re edging closer to it, I want to finally say this:

It’ll be ok and it doesn’t mean you’re a crap business person. And, there’s light on the other side, just give yourself the break you really need as soon as you possible can.

Experienced Business Burnout? Join The Conversation:

  • If you’re struggling with burnout, when exactly can you give yourself time out?
  • If you’ve experienced business burnout, what helped you most?
  • Know someone who’s struggling right now? How can you help them?

Leave a comment below with your answers.

Awesome Manifesting Resource for Your Business


If you’ve been hanging out with me online for a while, you know that I’m big into manifesting and mindset – staying focused on the positive and possibilities in the future, and moving away from fear and doubt.

My most popular webinar this year was all about how manifesting and mindset made the biggest difference to my business – and was the number one reason I made more money in one quarter than I did in the first year of business.

Maybe you’ve been getting on board with this manifesting lark and been visualising like crazy, writing down your goals in your journal every day, saying affirmations every day.

And then….


The procrastination sets in. The resistance screws up your plans. You get a bill in the post unexpectedly. Your website craps itself right in the middle of a launch. You get ill. You start wondering if this business is even the right one for you.

Maybe it’s not just the right time? Maybe the Universe is conspiring against you?


It’s not that you suck at manifesting. You’re probably just missing a couple of pieces of the formula.

I want to share a new FREE resource with you from my friend and mentor, Denise Duffield-Thomas. It’s her very easy and practical Manifesting Formula.

Sign up here:

Denise is an incredible money mindset mentor, AKA “The Lucky Bitch” whose best-selling books and courses have helped thousands of entrepreneurs step-up to create success and abundance, including me.

lbl-high-res-for-jen-02-copyDenise will share her process that will take you from “personal development junkie” into a manifesting MACHINE and money magnet.

She makes it easy, fun and totally chilled. There’s a free cheat sheet so you can play along too.

Just sign up here (it’s free):

You don’t need to be perfect, meditate five hours a day or chant naked under a full moon to manifest your ideal life! (Unless you really want to!)

But you DO need to CLEAR your mind of any blocks, get CRYSTAL clear on your goals, infuse every part of your day with positivity, take inspired ACTION and learn to RECEIVE (yes, it’s a learned process – women really struggle with that part. I know I certainly did in the beginning or if I take my eye off the process).

Play along here:

What will you manifest for your business in the last 3 months of the year?

P.S I’m a proud affiliate of Denise’s work. If you purchase something from her in the future, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

6 Small Business Sales Lessons From The Double Glazing Salesmen Who Wouldn’t Leave Our House

blog-header-image-template-1Tim and I had a lesson in how not to sell on Wednesday evening.

We are doing work to the house at the moment, and need to replace some windows and the front door, so called a big double gazing company to come and quote to start getting an idea of what it’s going to cost and what we can get.

They booked us in for an evening consultation over the phone.

The salesman arrived on time at 7pm and was polite enough but proceeded to spend the next 3 HOURS taking us through a whole load of unnecessary technical bumpf about the products and bringing in demo after demo to ‘test’ and ‘try’.

We were so clear about we wanted and didn’t want at the start of the meeting but he insisted on showing us everything anyway and completely ignored us when we asked him to measure and give us an idea of price.

Now you’re probably thinking…. “Jen, why didn’t you just kick him out!” and now that I’ve slept on it, I’m wondering that too! But it wasn’t like we didn’t try. At first we dropped polite hints (like me going off to the kitchen to cook dinner) and asking him if he needed a hand getting the measurements to quote. After a while of not taking the hint, he started to showed signs of getting ready to wrap up and so we’d hang on and share a little look of glee between us! But he’d then start telling us more technical specifications and get us to test the demo windows, or he’d share a story from his time living in the local town Tim used to work in and ask Tim if he knew the people he knew…

Aside from the obvious fact that Tim and I will be MUCH firmer in our boundaries with people coming into our home in the future, there were some really good lessons and reminders about sales and talking to prospective clients that I think is helpful to share with you today.

Even if all it does is remind you that you’re doing things well!

❗️The salesman didn’t set the tone for the meeting. There was no suggestion of how long it would take, what we’d cover or expectations of what we’d like.

  • Always start a meeting or sales call by setting expectations. When I get on a discovery call or have a meeting with a prospective client, I always tell them what to expect and how it will go (including duration), and check in with them if that’s ok.

❗️He didn’t listen to our needs or wants and proceeded to show us EVERY product and option, even when we told him we didn’t want it because he “knows the products very well and always makes the best suggestions”.

  • When talking to a potential client, I get the information I need  and then suggest 1, maybe 2 options at most that I think would be a good fit. Sometimes they already know what service they want and we just go straight into talking about that. I never presume to know better than my client and even if I do feel a service would be a better fit, I try and find out why they want something else and see their perspective first!

❗️He slated his competitors products as a way of demonstrating theirs were superior.

  • For me, this has the complete opposite effect! It actually doesn’t make you look better, it makes you look worse! I choose to believe my potential clients are smart people who can research the competition if they wish and would never dream of slating anyone else to try and get the client! I would rather my merits speak for themselves (and there’s plenty of business to go around anyway, no need to be worried about your competition!)

❗️He didn’t read any signals from us. He stuck to his ‘script’ or way of doing things and didn’t deviate no matter how much we tried to get him to get to the point. He ruined our evening and for me, no matter the product or price I am very hesitant to go with them. However I’m also now put off letting any other company come and quote!

  • I try and listen to my clients and pick up on their signals and would never stick to a script out of pure belligerence. I do have a step by step system I follow to make sure I’ve covered the essentials when talking to a potential customer, but I listen and respond to their needs. I try to make the experience as pleasant as possible, even if we don’t end up working together, and I would hate for them to be put off social media in general after our conversation.

❗️When discussing the payment options, he wouldn’t give us any idea of price, and was incredibly vague about the next steps and how we’d get the quote. He also proceeded to try and sell us the finance option but wouldn’t answer our questions about how long the term would be and the interest rates.

  • Be confident in your prices and state them! Even if it’s a bespoke proposal that needs to be worked up, I will tell them a potential client day rate and an anticipated time that could be a little higher or lower depending on scope. I clearly share payment terms and keep it as simple as possible for both sides – no hidden costs or charges at any point. Although I don’t offer finance, I do sometimes offer payment plans and make them as simple to understand as possible.

❗️He didn’t tell us the next steps, didn’t say goodbye to me or thank us for our time. His parting words were “oh its nearly 10 o clock, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun” ? and just left!

  • I always make the next steps clear and thank my clients for their time, and part with politeness. No matter how you think it’s gone, it’s just plain courtesy!

Now I read it back, it seems laughable that we let this go on for so long, but alas we did! And I genuinely don’t think the guy knew what he was doing. He just had his way of selling and he was going to stick to it no matter what.

That can be a dangerous place to be in business – if you assume you know what you’re doing and there’s no better way or room for improvement, you miss opportunities for growth and getting even better!

The experience has made me take a good look at my process and I’ll be even more conscious of my potential client’s time and experience in the future!

Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Below

  • Have you ever encountered a similar experience and learnt anything from it to take into your business?
  • Have any of the above lessons helped you think about better ways of looking after potential clients and making the sales process as smooth and enjoyable as possible?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Jen x

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