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Author: Rachel Phoenix

Job interview or first date? A musing…

   I had a job interview yesterday and as I was getting ready it occurred to me that interviews can be extremely like first dates: That nervous anticipation, slight butterflies in the stomach; Waking up a few times the night before; Wondering if I’ll create a good first impression; What should I wear? Is that lipstick too bright? Checking and re-checking the meeting time and venue…setting off a little earlier than necessary but not wanting to get there too early Boots or shoes? Perhaps not the stilettos, need to be able to walk with confidence rather than totter… Has my eye-liner gone awry?  Should I reapply my face powder? A bit more mascara or is that too much already? What do I say?  How do I introduce myself? What is the other person going to want to talk about? What will interest them? Am I going to be what they are looking for…. …and are they going to be what I’m looking for? So I put on one of my favourite outfits, something that fits well, a jersey wrap dress or trousers and jacket, neutral make-up but bright lipstick, and freshly polished, high-heeled boots.  I arrive, get out of the car, check my make-up, stand tall, square my shoulders and walk in with a smile on my face....

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A rather wonderful burlesque show – Chapel Arts Club, Bath

It’s fair to say that I’m a huge fan of the gentle art of burlesque.  I was lucky enough to take a course of lessons from one of the best burlesque artists in this country and possibly in the world, Tempest Rose (www.houseofburlesque.co.uk) which converted me completely to the genre. Since then I have been to quite a number of shows and also been lucky enough to meet a number of lovely, talented, warm, friendly and often exquisitely beautiful and intelligent burlesque artists. So I was somewhat concerned, to say the least, about how much I would miss burlesque shows when I moved out of London: Volupte, Madame JoJo’s, Chaz Royal’s London Burlesque Festival, the cellar door and a number of lesser -known venues would all be a lot harder and more complicated to get to. I knew I could head back but it’s not the same as being able to head out after work or take a short train/tube ride into town at the weekend for a show. So what a relief to discover Burlesque in the South West! In Bath, which is but a stone’s throw from where I now live, we have the excellent Komedia with it’s regular burlesque shows as well as the slightly less regular Burlesque night at the Chapel Arts Centre, where I went on Saturday. The Chapel Arts Centre excels in a...

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Bills, bills, bills…

As the recession (or “not quite recesssion but still a serious financial crisis” depending on which GDP growth indicator you believe) continues to bite, and while I’m still in the set-up phase of my new business, I’m constantly looking around for more ways to save money. Specifically, ways that don’t involve me spending hours and hours each week wondering if I should change to a new deal/tariff/card/supplier.  And don’t involve me spending a lot of extra time shopping/cooking/sewing etc. I’m all for home cooking and crafting but with a finite amount of time available, finding ways to save both time and money is definitely high on the list of good things to do. I already have a whole purse full of loyalty cards: chemists, various supermarkets, the local farm shop and numerous cafes both chain and independent…the trick is being able to find the right one on each shopping trip. And remembering to turn the points into something worthwhile from time to time. But I now have another one…a cash back card courtesy of the Utility Warehouse Discount Club.  Being an inveterate joiner, I am now a member. As well as cheaper gas & electricity, I think it was the 3% back on supermarket shopping and petrol which probably swung the deal…although the prospect of 5% cash back on any computer equipment for my burgeoning business (and yes probably...

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Self-employed, business owner or general factotem?

So, after much contemplation, planning and reading of motivational business and network marketing books, the final decision was taken for me as I was offered voluntary redundancy. I now have what is fashionably termed a portfolio career…I am setting up my own tax practice/co-operative of which more in another blog post, I am a Bluebella consultant and a Phoenix Independent Trader. To avoid any risk at all of getting bored with this combination, I am also dabbling in generating an additional online income stream from Banners Broker (see www.bannersbroker.com/rachelsestini or http://www.bbcashuk.com/ for more info). It has occurred to me that it may be necessary to streamline this arrangement at some point, but each of these activities brings something different to the party.  I have learned so much over the last few months from both Bluebella and Phoenix thanks to the enthusiasm, inspiration and high level of business acumen of the members of each of those teams and I know the learning will continue and the things I am learning will help me in building and sustaining my tax practice. I’ve also come into contact with a much wider range of people, both locally and  online than I would have otherwise. Not to mention the benefits of always having cards & wrapping paper to hand, and an excuse to keep buying gorgeous lingerie & corsets (and a toy here and...

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The benefits of having some girl time!

One of the big advantages of networking marketing is the opportunity to get together with lots of other people doing the same thing – at training days, seminars and in this case, the six-monthly new catalogue launches. To the untrained ear, a catalogue launch could be all manner of things, for Bluebella I like to describe it as a cross between an awards evening and a lingerie fashion show. What this means in practice is bright lights, lots of energy and motivational talk and dancers showcasing the latest lingerie lines and toys.  Not to mention, a couple of hundred...

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