Be bold in business and in life

Friday, 22nd January 2021

I’ve been part of my very first podcast with Ros Jones called Bold Business Bits, where she interviews women who run their own business. I love who when she was interviewing me she summarised my chat with her in two phrases.

  1. Cathie Heart, helping people live on their terms
  2. Being self-employed is such an adventure. Rise to the challenge!
Be bold in business & in life. Rise to the challenge, live life on your terms and be your own business boss.
Photo background by Jean Balzan from Pexels

I love that she’s captured and recognised my motivation this year to rise to the challenge. This was one of my first steps to living out loud. I wrote a blog post previous titled ‘rise to the challenge‘ and it’s part of my efforts to normalise that we all have our life challenges and often being self-employed is the best way to live with all of our various family, health, disability and other bits of our lives.

You can listen to my podcast with Ros Jones here or scroll down to read the transcript. Or, listen on iTunes, Spotify and read the transcript here if that helps you.

Ps. I’ve added some extra clarity pieces into the transcript in [brackets] so that I can provide a bit more explanation.

My bold business bits interview with Ros Jones
Click the graphic to visit the podcast by Ros Jones’ Bold Business Bits.

Bold Business Bits
the Cathie Heart interview transcript.

Ros Jones
This is Ross Jones, your business coach with my weekly podcast show Bold Business Bits coming to you from Yorkshire. This is where I have a great conversation with a phenomenal female business boss. We share some of the bold stuff they do, lessons they’ve learned, adversities they’ve overcome, and the fun they have. And then I’ll be digging into my toolkit and sharing a top tip. business can be lonely, so make sure you join us each week and be part of our show.

So Hello, and welcome to Ros Jones’s bold business bits podcast show. And today I’m joined by Cathie Heart of The Heart’s Design.

Welcome, Cathie.

Cathie Heart
Hello.

Ros Jones
So Cathie, where in the world are you today?

Cathie Heart
I’m based in York in the UK.

Ros Jones
Okay. And tell me about The Hearts Design.

Cathie Heart
The Heart’s Design [as a skill set] started way back when at university, I actually enjoyed doing graphic design as a hobby. And then somebody asked me to make a website and my very first professional website I ever made fit on a 3.5 inch floppy disk. And ever since then, I kind of did that is like personal projects. But once I hit redundancy, literally about 10 years ago. That’s when I’d said okay, well people keep on asking me for websites, maybe I should turn that into something professional. Yeah, here we are.

Ros Jones
So did you learn how to do websites? This sounds quite a long time ago.

Cathie Heart
No, I’m actually a certified tech geek undergrad in Business Information Systems, a PG Dip in advanced computer science and then a Master’s in Information Management, none of which has taught me how to do HTML websites or anything. But it did teach me to teach myself and not to be afraid of tech.

Ros Jones
Excellent. You sound like a very handy person. No wonder everybody asked for their websites.

Cathie Heart
It’s about how you present and manage information on on the internet. And so that’s why websites are so crucial because it’s your voice and your platform that you own that you can say what you wish. Yeah, that’s the power of websites.

Ros Jones
So how can you keep up to date? Is it just a natural gift for you? Do you have to keep up to date with things or what?

Cathie Heart
No, I constantly keep on reading the releases of all of the new things that come out. So when WordPress updates a new version, I have to read the spec of what they’ve updated. And then I’m constantly training, you can’t take a break with tech. If you’re wanting to be on the cutting edge of it. You have to keep going.

Ros Jones
Yeah.

Cathie Heart
But the beauty of that is that when you do know what you’re doing, you just edit it for yourself and you just crack on and the tech when you know what bits you want to use works for you rather than against you. So, it’s knowing those little tricks.

Ros Jones
And I guess work especially this last year? Well, I mean, it’s been moving so fast anyway, but I guess the last year or so, due to lockdown everybody working online, there must have been some massive advancements, have you seen?

Cathie Heart
There’ve been the standard advancements, they haven’t really been big changes in terms of website deliveries, and all of that kind of thing. There are always companies coming out that offer new services. So I watch places like mega deals and design cuts and other places that offer graphics and software that is coming out. So quite often when somebody launches a new business, they offer lifetime plans for a discounted rate. So I quite often buy into those, and then I wait to see how they develop over a year or two. Yeah, there’s lots of different things out there that you can find cheaper, that are launching now, but they may or may not be viable within a year or two. Give it a go.

Ros Jones
It’s like gambling in technology.

Cathie Heart
Yeah, it is. It is. I just wish it was investment. So anyway, but things like Grum worked out really, really well. For me. It’s an Instagram scheduling app, but it did this before Instagram scheduling with Later and all of that came along. So it allowed me to have an agency plan that controlled five Instagram places. And so it worked well.

Ros Jones
Yeah, very good. And so you’re in your but I know you haven’t always been in York, where are you from?

Cathie Heart
Born and bred in Leeds, but my family and my dad is a contractor. So we’ve always followed wherever the work was. I always saw him going off to far flung places like Singapore and Sweden and things like that. And I was like, Oh, yeah, this is amazing. This sounds like a great lifestyle. So I always aspired to it to be able to work where you wanted. It actually wasn’t like that. He literally just went where the work was. But I’ve lived most of the UK. I think it’s 23 houses that I’ve lived in now. I’m 41 turning 42 In July, and I think it’s 23 places that I have now lived. And I consider it living if my post has gone there.

Ros Jones
Okay,

Cathie Heart
yeah, bank and all of that kind of thing.

Ros Jones
Yeah. So do you have a favorite place?

Cathie Heart
I have favorite accents. And I have favorite people. But I don’t really have favorite places. And so accents that feel like home to me other stuff. We can one because I lived in Durban for about four years. So whenever I hear the South African accent, that’s my childhood to me. I feel like I’ve gone home, I’m not South African I am English. And then favorite people. So it’s always been my, my parents or my homes, wherever they are. Doesn’t matter where that is, I feel like I’m home.

Ros Jones
Is it a sense? Or is it just being around those people always have a certain smell and play in it? What is it about them that makes them feel like you’re home?

Cathie Heart
So for example, my holiday that I have every September, it’s a Women’s International holiday. And I always scoffed at people. That said, they always go back to the same place. Because until five years ago, I never found a place that felt like home. But this International Women’s holiday does, because every year we go back and I can walk down that same street with the same shops and the same people. And I don’t know them, but we’ve seen each other before and I can wave to them. And if I want to talk to them, we both stop and have a chat. And that feels more like home than anything else. So it’s a beachside holiday resort place. It’s not a resort, it’s a tiny little town. But the fact that I can go there and within two hours of arriving, all of my stress is shed, and it’s just an amazing space and the place to be.

[While this makes it seem like its the place that I love, and I really do love Lesvos. In my mind the place isn’t quite the same when my favourite people don’t also make the same holiday. I’ve made a really great bunch of holiday friends that I only see at that place in September each year.]

Ros Jones
Yeah. Where is it?

Cathie Heart
I go to Skala Eressos in Lesbos, it’s the birthplace of Sappho.

[I go to the international womens festival for two weeks most Septembers.]

Ros Jones
Yeah. Fantastic. So tell me a bit more about The Heart’s Design, because The Hearts Design sounds very much like the heart’s desire.

Cathie Heart
I’m glad you picked that up, because that is exactly what I did. I wanted people to be able to live authentically and speak from their heart. And so that’s what The Heart’s Desire. And when my logo comes from, it’s a heart with a speech bubble in it. And so that’s why I want people to live life on their terms, and whatever that is, and to be able to make their own income and living. And so that’s why it’s The Heart’s Desire is the passion and what lifestyle you want to live. But also the thing that you want to do in order to have that lifestyle.

Ros Jones
Fabulous. And so how does that come about? That comes from your own story?

Cathie Heart
Yeah, I wanted to always remember that people can box you in if they wish to and say, Well, this is how you should be, you should live. But I’ve never ever felt fit a specific box. And so I’ve always been outside of it. And I was always the deaf kid that was different, or the dyslexic one that goofs up my conversation at times have always been different. And now I celebrate that fact. And so that’s why I go for that.

Ros Jones
And what’s that, that I can see that you have or something around your neck, there’s some sort of gizmos that

Cathie Heart
Oh, it’s because I’m deaf, I have a T loop headset. So it means that instead of having cans, or a headset that goes in my ears is just a little box that hands around my neck, and it means that I can hear straight into my hearing aids and straight into the center of my head. But quite cool, actually.

Ros Jones
Wow. So is that Have you always been had a hearing thing?

Cathie Heart
Yeah I was born this way.

Ros Jones
Okay. Has that impact you at all? Do you mind me asking?

Cathie Heart
Crisis of confidence. And I’ve been told many, many times that I am rude, because people start talking to me from behind. And I’m like, I’m really sorry, if I can’t see you. I can’t really hear you. It means that I got to change my way of working because I can’t do phone calls unexpectedly because I start panicking going, what if I can’t hear them? I’ve been told off by customer services on call centers, they just start shouting down the line at me because they think that being louder means I can hear them. Not necessarily just means it gets more muffled. But call centers are not great places for deaf people trying here with multiple conversations all happening at the same time.

Ros Jones
Yeah, exactly.

Cathie Heart
Yeah, isn’t it adaptation that you have to justify.

Ros Jones
But does that mean that you’ve got other senses that are like sort of highly awakened because like, I know that people with sight difficulties often have a sense of touch or smell and things are?

Cathie Heart
No, I don’t have any sensory improvements in that regard. But I am a keen observer of body language. So I can tell with my photography, when I did wedding photography for a few years, it really helped because I could tell that there were circumstances that were about to bloom before they actually happened, where some photographers are like, Oh my god, I was just too late. I didn’t see that happening. It’s natural, but it really helps me when it comes to connecting with people finding out how they’re reacting, so I particularly love doing Street and Documentary photography, just to observe people. So yeah, it helps when I do photography is

Ros Jones
very interesting. And so in this time, you know, during this pandemic, what’s the, what’s the impact being for you caffeine,

Cathie Heart
it’s been quite an impact on my clients who have either not been able to afford my existing prices. So I’ve helped quite a few businesses with a COVID-19 discount, which was 50% off. And then there was the hospital couldn’t continue my pain treatment. So I had to shut down my business formerly for two months until they managed to get that treatment center back up. But yeah, it’s just another challenge to get through

Ros Jones
What was the treatment that you do.

Cathie Heart
I have migraines, and I get Botox, medical Botox, okay. And so it’s a really effective treatment. For me, it’s the only one that works.

Ros Jones
Wow. So when that clinic was, what did you have to do, did you just have to put up with migraines?

Cathie Heart
Yeah, I just go back to my original migraine level, which is 25 to 30 day, migraines a month. Which is pretty much constant migraines. When I get the treatment, it’s it’s between three and five migraines a month. It really works.

Ros Jones
And I guess I mean, migraines are often associated with stress and things aren’t they. Is that is that correct? Yeah. So this is not exacerbated a lot of that as well I imagine.

Cathie Heart
It can do but I have a really good handle on it. Most of the time, I eat healthily I try to exercise, I know how to listen to what my body is telling me. And that’s the best clue that I can give to people is really pay attention to what your system is telling you. If you need to stop and rest and actually stop and rest. And then you can continue the next day. Whereas there’s been times for many years where I just pushed through it. And then I would completely grind to a halt, I just could not do anything. So it’s actually a really great thing to be able to be self-employed and to be able to define your own hours. That’s why I want to help people live on their terms. Because I know that there are so many challenges in doing end of life care, which I’ve done for my grandparents, trying to manage your family trying to manage your health, there are so many things that are all challenges for us that we need to find ways to work smarter. And that’s why I helped do that with websites to help you and other businesses do marketing more effectively, rather than having to do it purely manually.

Ros Jones
So when you talk about living life on your terms, what does that mean for you?

Cathie Heart
It means that, when my family asked for help, I can often drop the work, and just go and help as I’m immediately available for whatever task is happening. It means that when I need to take some downtime, I can take that downtime, and I work with my clients to make sure it doesn’t affect what they’re doing. I have a team of other people that I outsource to, so that if I have too much of a downtime, they are called into the work does not suffer. But yes, that’s what living on my terms means it means I have that ultimate flexibility to go, I need some help and get the help in or Yes, I can do it steamroller ahead, get it all done. So that’s why I like working smarter, because on the days where I’m steamrollering and I can do everything, I shedule up the content and the social media. And so it keeps going when I’m just having my timeout. So at the timeout, because I want to have timeout or timeout because my body says it needs to.

Ros Jones
I love that. I think there’s a lot erm, is it pressure? Is it our own pressure on ourselves that we have this sense of obligation.

Cathie Heart
It’s an expectation of being productive, we are valued for being productive? And if we are not seen to be productive. What is your value to society? Well, there are a lot of people who cannot do a full time job that are extremely valuable. And these are the people that I really want to help. Because obviously people experiencing long COVID now they’re having radical changes in their lives. And they’re going oh my god, my self value came from earning money and from being productive. And now there’s a thing that’s stopping them. How do they get through that? And so it’s about finding the little things that give you joy, and forgiving the outages and just getting through it. So people have challenges and we just need to find different ways to get through them. And I use tech.

Ros Jones
I use books.

Cathie Heart
I use books too.

Ros Jones
What’s your favorite book? Do you have one?

Cathie Heart
I am a big sci fi fantasy. So I love Anne McCaffrey’s books. The dragon series was good but I particularly liked The Crystal Singer. And the reason that I loved her works is it’s really strong female centric, like powerful women. The thing that I hate in movies is the woman turns to the man and says: “what should we do next?” And I’m like, you’ve got a brain love, you can figure it out.

Ros Jones
Fantastic. In this show, Catherine, I often ask my guests, if they’ve had a time of adversity time was really tough. But actually, they came through it. And there was some goodness, if you like became out of it. Do you mind sharing such an a time?

Cathie Heart
Yeah, I have gone through two redundancies once I was volunteered, because my boss [my new boss during an organisation change] just didn’t get what I was doing. And so I got volunteered for redundancy. And then the second time the entire site shut down, I was still learning about how to manage my migraines. And it was a difficult time. And I couldn’t find another job quick enough. So I moved home. And my grandmother at the time was experiencing really bad dementia, she was in decline in her life. So I spent about three, four years doing end of life care for her and supporting my mother to do that. Because the blessing that I’ve learned from this is that I have no regrets about supporting my two grandparents with their end of life, and my parents to be able to go through that to. The thing that I found the blessing is that I realized none of us are truly independent. And I’m a person with a really fierce, independent streak. I do not wish to rely on others. But I’m learning that when you actually ask for help people like being asked for that help, it feels good to give help, and know that we are making a difference in that other person’s life. And so that’s been the blessing and the learning for me that while I was struggling with Why the hell was I made redundant, why was I volunteered? Why was the site shut down? Why were all of these and it goes back to that productivity, if you’re not being productive, what are you, and we’re all taught, we have to make money, we have to contribute to society, we have to be independent. And I’m learning that actually, it’s the community effort of being there when somebody needs help you. But also reaching out for that helps makes the other person bill good. So doing that. building a community of people around me running my own business, doing end of life care and supporting my family. Were really, really crucial years for about six, seven years [thinking longer on this it was really about 5 years but felt like 7!]. I was doing two back to back end of life care.

Ros Jones
Wow. And was that because you’ve come out of it with this new sort of self awareness and new learning about yourself?

Cathie Heart
Yeah, that’s the bonus of being self employed, is that you are it. So if you don’t manage your own mind, your own health and your own learning of how to do things, there’s no real fallback. And so the government and the systems don’t always help people. So in my case, I am too healthy, too hearing, I have enough money that they go ‘you don’t need any’. So I’m one of the ones that would fall through the cracks. So it’s important to know your mind and figure out how you work for yourself. And that’s why self employed is actually a really great adventure if you embrace it as that. So, rise to the challenge.

Ros Jones
Love that. A real adventure isn’t it, everyday is an adventure.

Cathie Heart
It is, yeah. Especially when you’re self-employed, because it’s not the same nine to five job.

Ros Jones
Something wonderful happens every day to challenge you or to thrill you, in whatever way.

So Cathie, if there was a woman standing in front of you saying, Cathie, I’m thinking about setting up my business, what would be your number one piece of advice?

Cathie Heart
Surprisingly, is not tech, the number one piece of advice and my one number one annoyance is that business names are not carried over into social media names. And I think it’s incredibly crucial to being professional that. To take Nike, for example, we don’t think oh, we’ll go to nike.com for their website, and we’ll go to Nike official on Instagram, but Nike shoes on Facebook, and then Nike business on LinkedIn. No, we just go Nike. So if I could ever teach people to to go on places like name checker, so if they just Google name checker, there’s two websites that will help you know that your domain name and your social media handles which is the @ and then the name are both the same. So that instead of requiring people to remember six different things for one business, they only need to know the business. This name and it is the same everywhere. And that would be my number one crucial thing.

Ros Jones
Okay, I love it that you said it’s not techies.

Cathie Heart
Okay, I can see I can see perspective that yes, it can be considered techie to others. But to me, it’s a foundation business name thing

Ros Jones
It’s about branding isnt it. Branding ..

Cathie Heart
Yeah, yeah. That’s part of what I do. I do websites, branding and photography. So I do the entire package.

Ros Jones
Do you do social media for people as well, just out of interest?

Cathie Heart
No, I teach people how to use their website to do social media for them, but not manage their social media. So I’m not a person that will post on their behalf. But there are plugins that interact with your websites that when you write a blog post, that blog post syndicates out all your social media in one go. So rather than doing one on your website, one on Instagram, one on Facebook, one on.. You just do one, and it copies out. Working smarter.

Ros Jones
Working smarter, and how else can we be working smarter right now do you think?

Cathie Heart
Thinking, planning, really knowing what you’re going to do and how you’re going to measure where you are now versus where you want to be in the future, because I’ve winged it myself. And the only times where I’ve truly grown or where I’ve gone like, this is where I’m at. And this is where I want to go to how am I going to get there. And I use things like David Allen’s get things done, which is where you split out the tasks and you organize them properly, step by step, right, this is what I’m going to do. And I have a task sheet that has two things on it three things on it, I have the name of the task, the thing that I need to do, I have the duration of the task. And then I have an energy level, that at the times where my energy levels are really quite low, and I’m struggling and I go I’m low energy, and I’ve only got 15 minutes of what I can concentrate on. I find those tasks and I go, I’ve still achieved something today. So it’s again, it’s that productivity thing, I made my bed, I’ve filled the dishwasher, I have done the things that are normal part of life, and then I’ve done a thing that will get me further in my business. So I don’t believe in the hare and tortoise that we need to be the hare fast, fast, fast, fast, fast. No, I would rather people understand that. Yes, we can go really, really slow, but a really good foundation and a lot of thought.

Rose Jones
Yeah. Ooo I love that. And so what’s next for you?

Cathie Heart
I have an exciting opportunity, where I’m going to be taking on 10 people to launch their own website in 10 weeks. So yes, I’m a web designer that can take on the task of building the website for you. But I really want to teach more people how to do this for themselves. Because I believe that if you know how to do something for yourself, you can then do it again and again. And again. So teaching a person to fish, they will be able to feed themselves. Well, it’s the same with websites and tech, once they understand how it works, they no longer need to rely on somebody else, too. That takes two weeks to change an image or a word or this, that and the other. And so that’s why I’m teaching. So once you know how to launch that website, if that business is no longer viable, you just change and choose a different business name different opportunity, you build that website and you go again, that is always going to be their power.

Ros Jones
Yeah. And that’s it. That’s wonderful. So I guess it’s going to be online.

Cathie Heart
Yes, it absolutely is.

Ros Jones
And so does it do do or is it an online course or how ..

Cathie Heart
So it’s part online and part live teaching. So the actual course itself is pre recorded. And you literally watch my cursor move across the screen, click here and explain the reasoning why of things. And so they’re watching and they’re doing, that’s the most important thing to me is that they’re actually doing the process. And then two or three days after the pre recorded training, I will then do a live q&a, so that if they’re struggling with any little bit of it, that’s when they asked for that particular week’s instructions.

[You can view and join my launch your website and brand in 10 weeks here]

Ros Jones
Oh, that’s great.

So can we when does it start?

Cathie Heart
It starts on February 1st.

Ros Jones
February first

Cathie Heart
and it is paid in full at £500 or in three part installments at £510. I rounded up the money slightly just make it a little bit easier. I don’t know how to split multiple levels of pens. Maybe easier £510.

Ros Jones
Yeah, what’s it called? And how do people find out more about him?

Cathie Heart
It’s really inventive name and launch your website and brand in 10 weeks, just keep it simple. That is what it is. And if people go to my website, www.theheartsdesign.com so The Hearts’ with an S Design.com they will find it about two scrolls down the page. There’s three ways to work with me One way is to obviously hire me to do the website. The second way is to take my course and if they’ve just got a question and they’re already using WordPress and have just a very simple question, a Power Hour I teach them there and then how to do the thing that they’re struggling with. So whether that’s WordPress, Canva, graphics, marketing, photography, whatever that is, whatever the skills that I have. I’ll teach them to do the thing that they’re struggling with within that power hour.

Ros Jones
And that can all be booked on your website.

Cathie Heart
Yes, everything.

[You can view and join my launch your website and brand in 10 weeks here]

Ros Jones
That’s fantastic. It’s been fantastic to speak with you this afternoon. Cathie, thank you so much for joining us. It’s great.

Cathie Heart
Thank you for the opportunity, and I love talking to other businesses.

Ros Jones
Yeah, that is brilliant. Thank you so much. Bye for now. Thank you.

This conversation, Cathie talked about the need for ongoing learning in business. I’m a passionate believer in continuous learning. To grow as an individual and as a business, we have to learn new stuff. Otherwise, we stay in the same place. Whether it’s learning new skills, or even just becoming more aware of the impact our beliefs have honest, it’s all learning. Here are seven reasons we need to keep on learning.

Number one, becoming more valuable. By keeping up to date with trends and adapting and growing your skill sets you become more valuable to yourself, your business and to society generally, and you can earn more money.

Number two, easier to adapt to continuous learning will help you adapt swiftly to unexpected changes. And this is what the majority of us have had to do during this pandemic. It’s easy to step up and out of your comfort zone when you have the habit of ongoing learning and challenging your thinking.

Number three become the go to expert. When you’re always learning and staying ahead of the game, you’ll become well known in your field. As people interacting with you will pass your name on to others as the expert.

Number four, boosts your confidence learning new skill takes us from the state of unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence, which boosts our confidence in our own capability. This feeling will undoubtedly then inspire us with competence to take on more challenges and explore new ways to grow our business.

Number five is innovation. The more you learn the more light bulb moments you find yourself receiving. These will help you find innovative solutions to problems that will help your business growth.

Number six change your thinking change your life. continuous learning opens your mind and gets you thinking differently. The more you learn, the better you’ll be at seeing more sides of the same situation, getting new perspectives and helping you understand more deeply.

And number seven pass on your learning. ongoing learning makes you more valuable to society when you learn something new. Pass on your new knowledge to others. You’ll not only make room in your head for more new stuff, but you’ll be helping someone else at the same time.

So be curious explore different topics. Ask questions, keep a journal of all your learnings and reflections and watch yourself grow. Above all else, be sure to take action on your skills knowledge, otherwise, you might as well not knowing this has been Ross Jones bold business bits. Hope you’ve enjoyed our show. See you next time.

This has been your Ross Jones bold business bits podcast. If you’d like any further information about anything we’ve discussed today, please just get in touch. Go to businesscoachingyorkshire co.uk.

Please join me again next week when I’ll be speaking with another phenomenal female business boss we polled businesses and remember to subscribe to my show. Thanks for listening

Transcribed using https://otter.ai – I’ve tried to catch discrepancies but as a deaf person I couldn’t hear the slightly muffled bits! I truly wish that all podcasts could have transcripts, it would help people like me so so much .. not to mean the podcasters search engine rankings. Just look at all that rich text for google to look at and index! I’m not affiliated with Otter AI but maybe I should look into that, anyway it’s free to transcribe your audio and video for up 600 minutes per month.

If you like what you’ve read, please share this blog post .. cheers!

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