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Shy and introverted women in business

I used to think there was something wrong with me. While I loved socialising, I needed time alone to recharge. So group holidays were a challenge, as I was expected to be around people constantly. Now, I love to chat. But I also love silence. Peace. Thinking space. Because I’m an introvert. I’m also sometimes ... Read more

Money and Wellbeing

How important is money to your wellbeing? And where does it become really comfortable or really uncomfortable? I have a baseline that I like to earn. Around £3000 a month. But when I was earning £10,000 a month, I felt exhilarated. It was the first time I’d been able to put a big chunk in ... Read more

The Success Timeline

I went through a life transition at the end of last year; leaving London for Somerset. This involved homeschooling my kids and sidelining my career, temporarily. Three months later, settled into our new home, I was ready to work. But I couldn’t focus. I no longer felt clear on my path. At times like this, ... Read more
use your mug

Got a favourite mug? This will help you in business

Those who spend time selecting the ideal cup for their tea and coffee are onto something. Here’s how this practice will help you in business…

20 ways to get an instant burst of joy (for free)

If you’re feeling inexplicably weary – perhaps it’s hormone-related, or down to the stresses of everyday life – here are 20 ways to get an instant boost, without spending a penny…

Green bathing (like forest bathing, but in fields instead of the woods)

I was stood on a wooden pathway, surrounded by green – trees, grass, fields beyond – and I turned to my friend, Clare. “I had dreams of being somewhere like this, during the lockdowns,” I said, “surrounded by green.” “It’s called forest bathing,” she said. “It’s a practice that started in Japan.” And I realised ... Read more

Using mantras and affirmations to enhance your life

When I was about 23, I moved to Hackney to live with my sister and two friends. I’d finished studying English at Sussex and was writing articles for a local paper while working nights at a club in Camden. My on/off relationship with a personal trainer had at last come to an end, which was ... Read more

Woodlice in the home: a spiritual sign of abundance or just a damp house?

We moved a few weeks ago, into a half-finished, half-building-site house. And on the first morning, with the light pouring into the sitting room (one of the nearly-finished rooms), I saw a woodlouse. I quite like woodlice. Possibly because as a child I had a friend who liked to pick them up. She told me ... Read more

How do I find my purpose?

Brita Fernandez Schmidt, author of Fears to Fierce, shares the story of how she worked out her own purpose – and both work and life – and offers tips for finding yours…

Treat your customers like the ‘new kid’ at school

This week, my two older kids started at a new school. They’ve been homeschooled the past few months, and we’ve moved from London to Somerset. So lots of change, and they were pretty nervous about the new school. My youngest, going into reception, wanted me to hang around awhile at drop-off. So I did. But ... Read more

Why do we worry more when lying in bed at night, and what can be done about it?

When there’s something stressful going on in my life, I find that by day, I can cope but at night – the worry rises. Either I can’t get to sleep easily or I wake, startled, thinking: what should I do about it? I’ve realised that lots of people worry at night, not just me. And ... Read more

But what if… coaching questions to help you make big changes

I put out an Instagram post this week about our decision to take our kids out of school so that we can go on an adventure. A gap year, of sorts. And the response was really interesting. It seems lots of people are having similar thoughts. I imagine this might be tied up with the ... Read more

Dealing with self-doubt and knowing when to trust yourself

Today’s subject: dealing with self-doubt and knowing when to trust yourself. If you’re mulling something over – a house move, business pivot, friendship issues or any other challenge… This might help. 1. Can you think of a time in the past year when you made a really good choice? 2. When do you feel most comfortable ... Read more

How to make big life changes

How are you? I am EXCITED because we have a new life plan and it’s BIG and BRILLIANT and 2022 is going to be the greatest adventure. Interested to hear about it? You can listen to my podcast episode about making big life changes (like mine) here. And below, there are a bunch of recommendations for making ... Read more

A process for moving through panic

I’m having a funny few weeks, as we have some big changes ahead and sometimes, it all feels too much. (Especially when teamed with wild hormones. I did a podcast episode about this and The Robora podcast shot up into top 100 in UK. It seems ‘periods’ are a hot topic). So below, in ‘wellbeing’, ... Read more

Bored of scrolling? Try this instead

I keep finding myself reaching for my phone and scrolling. I don’t even think about it; I just suddenly realise it’s in my hands. It happens when I’m with my kids, or doing a wee, or walking down the street. And it’s not working for me. I feel guilty and notice the comparisons dropping in ... Read more

Why I don’t work if I’m due on my period

Some weeks, we’re full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm. Others, we’re not. This week, Annie Ridout was in panic mode and due on her period. So she did pretty much no work at all. Here’s why that was the right decision…

Wheel of life coaching exericise

In a funk? This exercise will help you to work out what’s out of balance, and how you can correct it…

People want massage, not fitness plans

Look at what your customers are asking for and focus your attention on that part of the business…

Why Lego is worth billions

And what you can learn from the Lego Group’s backstory…

Why I wrote The Freelance Mum

I explained in this post why I started working for myself, after having my first baby. And why I decided to launch digital parenting platform The Early Hour. I also mentioned the fact that after the birth of my second baby, I couldn’t keep up with the workload. Writing, editing, uploading and sharing an article ... Read more

Why I launched parenting platform The Early Hour

Annie Ridout lost her job during pregnancy so she launched her own business…

We should all be like slugs, in business

D’you know what’s dominating my life right now? SLUGS. I see them everywhere. In my garden, on the street, at other people’s houses. My kids and I talk a lot about them. We think they’re a bit gross. But I decided to look into the spiritual meaning of slugs. Because I wondered why they kept ... Read more

Why I’m not talking about money any more

I don’t need to tell you that women earn less than men. We all know that. And the gap grows wider when women have kids. So when I discovered that I could not only continue to earn after having a baby, but actually earn quite a lot of money – I wanted to tell other ... Read more

That time I lost my job because I was pregnant

Annie Ridout on her first experience of pregnancy discrimination…

What matters more: product or customer service?

I went for a coffee with my daughter the other day. At a new coffee shop. I’d heard the coffee was good. Turns out, it wasn’t. But something else caught my attention. We were stood waiting for the cappuccino to be made. And this guy comes over. He goes behind the counter, grabs three small ... Read more
Avni Triveda talks to The Robora

The Online Business: Avni Trivedi, Avni Touch

“The beauty of working in a clinic is that you can always have a lie down on the treatment table,” says Avni Trivedi, osteopath. She talks about her usual workdays, warm lunches and keeping phones out of bedrooms… 
Kerry Law, a freelance PR consultant talks to The Robora

The Online Business: Kerry Law, KL PR + Communications

“I really value time for rest and play – it’s not indulgent or frivolous,” says Kerry Law, a freelance PR consultant. She talks about what her usual workday looks like, switching off from work and benefits of freelancing… 
Hilary Thomson, business and mindset coach talks to The Robora

The Online Business: Hilary Thomson, Business and Mindset Coach

“It doesn’t matter where you start or end; you can run your own race and still be successful.” says Hilary Thomson. She talks about what her typical workday looks like, panicking about Zoom calls and her sources of inspiration… 

The truth about creating an online course (the highs, the lows)

Having an online course launched and selling is wonderful. But the process of creating it – and building a marketing strategy to sell spaces – comes with its challenges…
Katie Beardsworth talks to The Robora - Q&A

The Online Business: Katie Beardsworth, Polyphony Arts

“…love doing yoga on (muted) Zoom because no-one can hear me swearing when I fall over.” says Katie Beardsworth. She talks about what her typical workday looks like, living by the sea and empowering musicians… 
The Robora interview with Robyn Silverton, The Holistic Shift

The Online Business: Robyn Silverton, The Holistic Shift

“Connection is at the heart of all I do and enjoy.” says Robyn Silverton. A chartered physiotherapist, Robyn talks about her typical workdays, teaching online and staying connected…
The Robora interview with Nicky Khan, The London Birth School

The Online Business: Nicky Khan, The London Birth School

“Very little takes priority over my morning cup of Yorkshire Tea.” says Nicky Khan. She talks about her typical workdays, teaching about modern birth online and working from home…
The Robora interview with Sofia Wilde, Sound Generation

The Online Business: Sofia Wilde, Sound Generation

“Focused concentration is a real battle now, with so many things vying for my attention.” says Sofia Wilde. She talks to The Robora about her typical day at work and home, teaching music online and the effects of the Internet…
The Robora interview with Sarah Markham, Calm In A Box

The Online Business: Sarah Markham, Calm In A Box

“I find walking is the best way for me to switch off.” says Sarah Markham. She talks about what her typical day looks like, living a calmer life and teaching courses online…
The Robora interview with Grace Lillywhite, Centred Mums

The Online Business: Grace Lillywhite, Centred Mums

“I’m usually too busy watching my clients and giving feedback, so I’m not as fit as people think I am when I say I’m a Pilates teacher.” says Grace Lillywhite. She talks about what her typical day looks like with Centred Mums, teaching pregnancy and postnatal pilates online…
The Robora interviews Lucy Gough, Interior Stylist

The Online Business Interview: Lucy Gough, Interior Stylist

“I am currently writing my second online course so my exercise routine has gone out the window.” says interior stylist, Lucy Gough. Here, she talks about work-life balance, online courses, tech she couldn’t live without and finding inspiration…

The best online course hosting platforms for 2021

So, you’ve decided to start teaching courses online – check, you’ve chosen a topic you would like to teach – check, now what? You need to decide where your online course will be hosted…
online course

How do you create an online course?

Online courses are big business. And the e-learning industry is only going to grow. But how do you actually launch your own online course? And what makes it good? Here are our tips…

When a woman makes £7000 in two days after taking your online course

On the first night of launching her online course, she made £3000 in sales. And then, in the two days following, she sold another £4000 of courses. When I get a message like the above one from Laura Evans, I do a proper SQUEAL. She left it in The Robora Facebook group – and me ... Read more

Want to talk more about pricing?

So, something I’ve noticed is that when a course is priced under £100, it flies off the shelf. I’m talking £97, £99. And other women who’ve joined my ‘How to launch an online course’ course have noted the same thing. But once it edges above £100 – £125/£150 – it becomes harder to sell. This ... Read more

What should you charge for your digital products and client work?

Pricing is a hot topic amongst course creators and consultants and coaches, in terms of what to charge for client work. On the whole, men overcharge and women undercharge. Where do you sit?

Take a breath and realign

What happens when you slow down and why is it important?

Bringing the ‘woo’ into the workplace

People seem to be increasingly curious about how spirituality can help them to grow their businesses. Have you noticed this shift? Manifesting better outcomes. Using tarot for decision-making. Adjusting to a more positive mindset. This is all about having a high SQ. Spiritual intelligence. People with a high SQ are in-tune with what they want, ... Read more

Everything we do is a practice

We recently had the wonderful Tamu Thomas talk to Annie over in The Robora Facebook Group. She gave us a lot to think about. “We don’t have to be ‘the expert’ straight away,” explained Tamu. “We can practice and actually, when you think about it, everything we do is a practice. There is great power ... Read more

Slow down to move forward in your business

What’s the rush? We’re in business for the long run and taking a break is the best way to preserve your energy so you can do that.

The power of an email list

I was so excited when I discovered you can make good money from your email list. People had mentioned the value of a mailing list, but it had never quite clicked. Until the money started coming in. You could be earning good money from your mailing list too. And the great news is this: If ... Read more

Do you need a social media following to make sales?

So, a question people often ask me is this: do you need a social media following to make sales and find new clients? The answer is no. Sure, you CAN sell to your following. But growing one takes time. It’s frustrating. And often, it’s not a dependable way to bring in the income that you ... Read more

Avoid making this common Facebook ads mistake

If you want to sell an online course, Facebook ads are the perfect way to get it in front of the right people. The people who will be most likely to buy it. But a common mistake is to direct people straight from the ad to a web page that says ‘buy this, it’s really ... Read more

This is what I did to make £16,000 in five days

Once my online courses were selling well, I started thinking about where I could take the business next. It made sense that the next step up was to do more one-to-one work. So I designed a consultancy package that would cost £1200 for four months (£1000 if you paid up-front). This launched in early March. ... Read more

How to make online videos without learning a script

This simple trick will make your video-making – for online courses, IGTV etc – so much easier. Watch it, follow my advice and enjoy never having to learn a script for your videos again…

Three tips for hiring freelancers for your business

No one can do everything within a business well. If you’ve realised this and you’re not quite ready for permanent employees but would like some freelance help, here are three useful tips from Janet Oganah, founder of Janet’s List…

Why isn’t my online course selling?

Want to know why you’re not selling any spaces on your online course? We have the answer(s)…
hiring help for your business

When should you hire staff to help you grow your business?

While you may be able to do lots of different tasks within your business, do you actually want to be doing them? If not, if might be time to think about outsourcing – or hiring staff to help you run and/or grow your business…

How to write emails people actually want to read

You probably know that you need a mailing list. The bigger, the better. But actually there’s something more important than the size of your mailing list – and that’s that you’re sending your subscribers emails they actually want to receive. Otherwise you’ll lose them. And potential sales…

Annie Ridout Courses has moved over here

Our online business courses started on a different website – Annie Ridout Courses – but now they live here. Here’s why…

Are new ideas just a form of procrastination?

Why, when you’re about to sit down and work on a task, do you suddenly feel so much more inspired to start something completely different? Is this an intuitive pull elsewhere, or a form of procrastination?

5 steps to creating a successful online business

For a business to succeed, there are various boxes that need to be ticked. A process that needs to be followed. Because it’s all good having a fantastic product – but not if no one knows it exists…

Why deadlines are important

There’s the saying ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person’ – but if you don’t give that busy person a deadline, they’ll probably never do it…

Where to pitch your business for press coverage

Want press coverage for your business? You don’t have to hire someone, you can do it yourself. But you need to do some research and engage with culture before you starting pitching…

What is a sales funnel? And do I need one?

If you want to find new people to connect with on Facebook and Instagram and sell your services to them, you will need a sales funnel.

What is a Facebook pixel? And do I need one?

If you want to advertise on Facebook (which includes Instagram), you will need to set up your Facebook pixel.

Should I grow a big team or keep it small?

If you’re running a business, you’ll have to decide whether you want to keep your team small – maybe just you, and freelancers to fill the gaps – or employ people and expand. There are pros and cons to both. Here are my thoughts on it…

Are you serving up shit sandwiches?

There’s a knack to giving feedback. And it requires sandwiching the ‘constructive’ criticism between two slices of praise. A shit sandwich, if you like. And it’s important to do this…

Facebook ad isn’t performing? It might be your language

There are certain words you should avoid using in a Facebook ad. And if you go ahead and use them? You’ll be penalised. Your ad may not be approved, or won’t perform so well if it is. Some language may even have your ad account suspended…

Getting add to cart but no sales? Try this

For those selling online, it can be frustrating to have people add a product/service to cart and then abandon the cart. If this is happening, you need to investigate. Here’s how…

Did she do a good job? Then tell her

Positive feedback is good for the giver, as well as the receiver. So dish it out whenever you can. It will lift your spirits as well as the recipient’s…
work schedule for creating an online course

No time to get any work done? You need this…

Keen to create an online course but no idea when you’d find the time to make it happen? This is for you…

The Robora Meets: Sam Palmer, founder of Lubelu London

“It was when I working as a sock designer (yes, this is a real job) – and I got to literally draw all day every day, which I just loved – that I designed my first little range of greeting cards, as a hobby. That opened the door to where I am now…” Meet designer ... Read more

Sales: How to get clients and customers buying from you

If you get leads but can’t seem to close the sale, it’s time to re-think your approach. Here’s what to do – and not to do – to start making more sales…

The Robora Meets: Bella Middleton, founder of Norfolk Natural Living

“I fell in love with the idea that with a little care, we can preserve our clothes and possessions for the next generation and share those stories and in doing so, experience so much pleasure from the process.” Bella Middleton, founder of Norfolk Natural Living, on work and life…

Coronavirus lockdown: Is now a good time to be selling?

I’m getting lots of messages about whether now is an appropriate time to ‘sell’. These are messages from freelancers and small business owners, and my advice is: YES. If you have something to sell, that people might benefit from; sell it…

This Levi’s ad got me to buy jeans without mentioning jeans

I’ve been trying to find the right pair of jeans for my postnatal body for years. Then a Levis ad caught my eye in an Instagram ad – nothing to do with jeans – and I followed it to the website. I ended up finding these 720s, which I love. Here’s how the ad got ... Read more

The Robora Meets: Claire Wood, web and graphic designer

“I loved handling the whole creative process, from inception to completion – and working for myself allowed me to do this.” Freelance web/graphic designer, founder of Spurwing Creative and The Robora’s web woman, Claire Wood, talks business… 

Stop panicking about your business and get creative

If your business is floundering during this strange period, here are some ideas for moving from panic-mode to innovation. It’s time to get creative…

How do you start your own online course?

Events are being cancelled. Workshops can no longer take place. So what work can you do from home, online, while the COVID-19 virus is preventing us from mixing socially? Here’s one idea…

The Robora Meets: Sarah Birchall, Cub & Pudding founder

At first, Sarah Birchall reduced her employment days down to three so she had more time for her ‘side hustle’ – making and selling cool, unisex kids’ clothes. But feeling overwhelmed by the juggle, she decided to wave goodbye to her salary, holiday pay etc and go full throttle on her own business…

Avoid capitals, emojis and too much punctuation in subject lines

You know that landing in someone’s inbox is the best way to market to them. And you know that most people get a load of emails each day. You need yours to stand out. So you achieve this by WRITING IN CAPITALS and adding loads of !!!!! and **** and emojis, right? No, not right…

Is social media easier if you’re a writer?

I’m listening to Joyce Carol Oates on Masterclass and she is GOOD. I’ve always loved her writing; her short stories are the best I’ve ever read, but she teaches so well too…

The Robora Meets: Josie Buck, The Mindful Cook

As she approached 40, Josie Buck decided to leave her career in TV and set up an entirely new work-life; living in old artist’s studio in her parents’ garden and catering for retreats. Now, she runs online courses that help women to develop a healthier relationship with food and their bodies…

The Robora Meets: Amber Miller, designer and founder of Oohlala

Amber Miller runs Oohlala design studio, specialising in branding for female entrepreneurs and startups. Here, she tells us about work and her idyllic five-year plan to move to a farm house in the Cotswolds, with a studio overlooking rolling fields…

Colour psychology and your business

When you are/were thinking about the colours for your brand – website, logo, Instagram feed – did you take colour psychology into account?

Why you should hire a graphic designer for your brand

An early mistake I see people make, when launching a brand, is to do their own graphic design, although they’re not a designer. I’m all for a general DIY approach as an entrepreneur; trying stuff out, saving funds. But not with design. 

What should my business Instagram handle be?

A question I get asked a lot is this: I’m starting a business, should I change my Instagram handle to my name or my business, or should I start a new account?

PR can lead to sales. But you have to get it right

When people buy my online business courses or my book The Freelance Mum, I often think: what lead them to me/it?