“Showing Up, Showing Out…”

Today’s post is something I shared earlier today on Instagram. I’d shared this on my “personal” account and not my business page @13 Rhythms  It seemed like a very personal reflection to share, but I realised just because I’m a business owner, I’m still very much human, and so I decided to share here, too.

So the person in the header isn’t the person writing this blog post, just for full disclosure!

So the quote from Insta was:

“This one isn’t really about the picture. On Insta lol…On a recent trip away I was busy working on my business most days, spending days indoors, laptop seemingly stuck to my lap. On occasion days, I spent some time at the beach. My two favourite things in the world are the ocean and the sunset. If you didn’t know, now you do. Well those two things plus food, music, partner dancing and Zimbabwe…anyway!

I digress.

Every time I arrived at the sea I swiftly whipped my clothes off, ready to get into the sea – my swimwear strategically under my outfit – I’m from the old school! I splashed about,  walking confidently up and down the beach in a bikini, rather than a swimming costume for maximum sun exposure. I took several really cute pics and videos on the beach, alone and with friends. Yet I look at them and wouldn’t dream of sharing them online. I won’t now either, but it did make me think about visibility and “showing up”.

I have a body that works, it functions well. It holds me upright, and allows me to do the things I want, including travel to see different seas and sunsets, with ease. I have lumps in the wrong places and a lack of bumps where I would love to have them! That’s life right. I realised there, in that context, on the beach in a foreign country, I wasn’t shy about my body. Online I am, I suppose. What is that about? I wasn’t immodestly parading around, just walking around in a bikini tanning #LikeABoss

So I reflect on this question of being seen, whilst simultaneously hiding, and find myself thinking about how it affects me, and my business and life in general. Always reflecting…
The moral of the story is wear strapless bikinis to avoid tan lines and stop hiding Nats…just stop it…”

So that’ the post from Insta. It’s had engagement and some have agreed with the sentiment I’ve expressed. It seems that many of us have challenges around visibility, not in the context of walking around in bikini, as that’s not a requirement of running a business! – but in the sense of “showing out” in relation to our expertise, skills, knowledge and experience, and the way that we can “show up” to bring these to forefront when we’re telling the world how excellent, dynamic and effective we are when working with our clients.

When we know we deliver an excellent service, but we don’t tell people about it in a strategic way, it’s like wearing straps – we’ve gone a little of the way, but still holding back, and we’re avoiding showing all of ourselves to the Sun. Let me add – I don’t mean going topless! I mean if you want to tan, get a nice even one including all of your shoulders. I don’t want to overstate this bikini metaphor, but I hope you get my drift!

We post on social media, but we don’t push, promote or share our posts in a strategic way. We know that we can advise and give great service to our clients, but our activities in our own business aren’t quite organised in the way that we are advising our clients to be. It’s like stripping off on the beach there, but hiding undercover over here…

Today’s post is more a message to myself, that I hope others can relate to. It’s about taking some time to reflect on where we are with the visibility of our businesses, and then making an assessment of whether you need to address our own “visibility” challenges. I’ll follow this one up with some tips on how we can increase visibility, but first we start with acknowledgment.

Oh, and this is the picture I shared with this post on Instagram, not a professional picture as you can see! Taken with my ancient iPhone on my recent trip away.


Until next time.


Natalie Freeman

13 Rhythms “Developing your story creating chapters you deserve”

Keep it Simple and S.M.A.R.T.

Continuing our theme of action planning in order to make the most of the remaining three months of the year, I wanted to explore the concept of using S.M.A.R.T. objectives for action planning. Read my end of year action planning blog Welcome October 

S.M.A.R.T. It’s one of those acronyms that is often referred to in articles and workshops about action planning, but what does it mean in practice? My aim with 13 Rhythms is to always make the content of my workshops, blogs and coaching sessions as clear as possible, demystifying commonly used phrases or concepts, without making assumptions about what someone may or may not know, just because I may be well versed in it. It’s all too easy when one works in a sector or industry to forget that there is information we are familiar with that isn’t so transparent to others.

Starting at the beginning – why do we use S.M.A.R.T?

Using the S.M.A.R.T. method is about creating objectives and goals that are clear in their intention and desired result. The clarity of how you communicate your goals to yourself, a coach, accountability partner or mentor, means that you have a clear idea of the actions you’ll need to take to achieve each goal. Using the S.M.A.R.T. framework is about articulating your goals in a way that means you are able to work towards them with focused direction.

So in the spirit of K.I.S.S. (“Keep it simple, stupid!”) I wanted to break down what it means to be S.M.A.R.T. in setting objectives and action planning.


So what is a S.M.A.R.T. objective? Let’s use the example of someone wanting to secure a new job, at a more senior level to the one they have now. How could they create a S.M.A.R.T. objective?

S is for SPECIFIC 

“I want a new job.” vs “I want a management role in the marketing sector.”

The more specific your goal, the clearer the message to your brain about what you’ll need to do to achieve it.


“I want to search for vacancies.” vs “I want to submit five application forms.”

Give your goal a definite point at which the goal is achieved. This action appears to do this. However, there are other elements that we can add to these goals to make them even more compelling. Let’s keep going.


“I want a new job by next Monday.” vs “I want to be in a new job by March 2019.”

Whilst the first goal would be great to achieve, it’s impossible no matter how great a candidate you are! Logistics around job search and recruitment processes means that there will always be an amount of time that needs to pass before one can start a new role. Whilst it may be possible for the process to take place quite quickly, in creating your goal it makes sense to give yourself an achievable timeline.

In setting a goal for a new job, you might want to allocate up to three months – a month from submitting applications to interviews, then a minimum of one month as a notice period, then at least three weeks from an offer being made to an actual start date. It can happen sooner, but this is a realistic and achievable minimum. I’ve gone from submitting an application form to starting a new role in six weeks, but those were very specific circumstances, so it would be unwise for me to plan to this timeline in the future. I’d recommend that you give yourself a realistic time-frame to meet your goals too. 

To ensure your goal is structured in an achievable way, give yourself time to complete all of the necessary tasks that build towards achieving your objective. Crafting your goal is about articulating what you want to achieve in a tangible way, not setting yourself up to fail by giving yourself goals that are unrealistic. Which leads us to…


“I want a new job at NASA.” vs “I want a new job as a marketing manager.”

Unless you have experience in astronautical sciences…this one speaks for itself! Your goal should be based in your capabilities, with some stretch, not unobtainable pipe-dreams. Assuming you have work experience in marketing and have the skills and qualifications that are sought in marketing manager candidates, securing a new role as a marketing manager is a realistic option.


“I want a new job.” vs “I want a new job by March 2019.”

Giving yourself a deadline is going to structure your goal setting and your action planning and will give you a method of accountability. If you set yourself a goal with an unending time-frame there is little motivation, little urgency and little challenge to your mindset to make something happen. The time you give yourself to achieve your goal should be set within realistic – there’s that word again – time-frames.


So using S.M.A.R.T. as the principle for action planning, how do we craft an objective that meets its parameters?

We go from “I want a new job.”


“I want to secure a new role as a Senior Marketing Manager, in a creative firm in Central London, managing a team of five or less, with a minimum salary of £35,000, starting by 31st March 2019.”

This new objective gives you all the specifics that should be featured in a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It is specific in its intention, is clear in what will have happened when you achieve the goal, and requires you to be challenged to work hard towards your goal through the use of a time-bound deadline.

As we look towards the end of 2018, let’s focus on articulating your objectives using S.M.A.R.T. in order for you to plan and implement your actions towards your chosen goal.

All the best to your goal setting! 

Thank you for reading. If you would like to speak about creating and implementing your own dynamic action plan for your career and business development goals, schedule a no-obligation, complimentary Explore call with me here: Speak to 13 Rhythms


Natalie  Freeman



Welcome October!

Welcome to October 1st.

This date marks the start of the final quarter of 2018. For many of us this date signals a slight panic, a bit of worry and comments about how “Time is running away!” or “Where has the year gone?” and of course, “It’s nearly Christmas!”

Not everyone works to the calendar year in their business or career planning, preferring to focus on the financial year, or the date of their incorporation, or the date their accountant tells them to; still others use the academic year based on the nature of their business or job. A “year” can start and end whenever works for you.

However, the final quarter of the calendar year can be a fantastic motivating factor which encourages planning, which in turn helps to ensure we end the year on a high, focusing on the specific goals that we would like to achieve before the end of 2018, and moving into 2019 with a clarity of focus and purpose. 

I’d like to share some ideas on how you can end 2018 on a high, create dynamic action plans that ensure you move into 2019 with confidence and enthusiasm, whilst focusing on achieving our sales, marketing, travel, lifestyle, career, earnings, promotion etc goals. 

Continue reading “Welcome October!”