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Karen's Corner 23.02.24

Welcome back to this week’s Karen’s Corner! Join me here each week to catch up with what I’ve been up to both in and out of work and what I’ve been loving and connect with me on Instagram

Karen xx


 “Work smarter, not harder”, that’s what they say isn’t it? The phrase has certainly been rattling around my head this last week and thinking about what that could mean in my life. I’m sure many, if not all, small business owners have periods when they feel like they’re working at capacity IN the business which leaves little to no time to do the essential bit of working ON the business in order for it to grow to a place where it’s viable and sustainable. 

Last week I alluded to fact that we have many new things in development here at Fossoway Stables which is super exciting and very much part of how we shape and build the business for the future - we have The Potting Shed Farm Shop & Cafe opening next month, a big Easter event to host at the end of March, a new membership service to launch at KA Equestrian in April, an extended Fossoway at Home range and online shop to launch in May, and we start filming our new behind-the-scenes YouTube series ‘Inside Fossoway Stables’ in part, to document all this newness next week. This is all extremely exciting but the reality of what it will mean workload-wise when these are all up and running is starting to hit home.

Of course, all the existing work at KA Equestrian, FossoPLAY and The Lodge at Fossoway Stables continues and a few staffing and community management issues that have arisen has meant these have required more of me recently than I’d planned for. 

All of this plus carrying a lingering virus that won’t seem to leave me alone has brought me back, once again, to the phrase “work smarter, not harder”. How do I set everything up in a way that is efficient and equipped for sustaining a level of quality that is not only acceptable to me but that routinely exceeds what we set out to achieve? How do I attract and keep a motivated and committed staff team who are aligned with our values and who feel inspired and empowered to join us in a journey of growth? How do I structure our staffing and my daily routines to maximise the time I spend doing the jobs only I can do, that tap into my specialist skill set and that keep me creatively stimulated and energised and minimise the time I spend doing jobs that don't contribute to that?

I have 8 days left before one of our yard team leaves us and I have to fill their role temporarily in addition to everything else, so, this next week I’ll be using all my available time and energy to find answers to a lot of the questions above. I have (almost) a full 7 days at home this coming week (minus a quick day trip to London to work on Fossoway at Home on Tuesday) and that’ll make things a little less frantic hopefully.

A FEW THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING (and think you might too …)

  • PODCASTS - I love a podcast while I’m driving or working on the yard. I love all sorts of content but find myself always drawn to conversations with psychologists, experts in health and well-being and business people and often end up ruminating over the things they’ve said for days after.

  • MORNING WALKS - I’ve only managed 1 of these this past week but I really do love getting out for a nice hour-long walk before breakfast. There’s something about the rhythm of the footfall, the fresh air and just letting thoughts and ideas flow freely in and out of my mind that, to me, is the perfect start to the day. Now that the mornings are a bit lighter again, I’ll try and get out again more.

  • CUDDLES FROM KR - Some of you might be familiar with my wee dog KenRobinson (the name is a story for another day but google Sir Ken Robinson for the inspiration!). He’s a funny wee guy (the dog, not the man!) with a big personality and, despite or maybe because of my neediness for him to be a cuddly dog, hasn't really enjoyed a cuddle during most of his adult life. Now that he’s getting older, he’s definitely become more cuddly and for that, I’m thankful.

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