Tuesday, 21 January 2014


Proving the adage that everyone has a book inside them, three West Berkshire businesswomen from an entrepreneurial coaching group have had their work published in the last two months.

The three new authors, Liisa Henriksson-Macaulay from Newbury, Carolyne Wahlen from Goring and Carolyn Whitehouse from Andover, were all inspired to complete their books after attending Success Groups, organised by motivational coaching firm Bigger Brighter Bolder.

Run by George Swift and Tracey Miller, Success Groups are bi-monthly meetings for like-minded entrepreneurs to meet, set goals and spur each other on. Goals range from increasing turnover and revenue to finding new clients. Many also cite the desire to write a book, but need encouragement to get started.

Liisa Henriksson-Macaulay is a music educator who has written “The Music Miracle: The Scientific Secret to Unlocking Your Child's Full Potential”. Already drawing praise for its trailblazing approach to linking music with development, the work describes the importance of music on academic success, IQ and social skills. "The book's endorsements vary from the professorial - Professor David J Hargreaves wrote the book's foreword, - to the musical, with stars such as Blur's Alex James endorsing the Finnish-born Berkshire author's book.

She said: “I dreamed about writing this book for years, as I kept learning of more and more studies on the benefits of music learning for children. However, sitting down and actually getting it done required a leap of faith. The Success Group sessions kept me on track and the members were encouraging to me from the start - something that is absolutely essential to keep you from getting disheartened when taking on a long project with no guarantees of where it may lead. I absolutely recommend Success Groups to anyone who wants to do anything new, big or both."

Carolyne Wahlen, an HR specialist, has written “Keeping you out of the rough”, which advises golf clubs and other small businesses on how to handle staff issues without spending a fortune or ending up in a tribunal.

She said: “The decision to work on my book was a bolt from the blue. I needed to establish my credibility in my market place and realised that writing a guide on firing staff was a good place to start as that’s the most common question I get asked when I speak to organisations.

“The deadline I set myself was really short; just two months from idea to physical book in hand. George encourages us to do an activity daily, rather than aiming for a huge goal which just overwhelms. So I aimed to write just 50 words a day, every day, the point being, that if I had sat down at the computer and started typing, then it would be easy to keep going. If I was overwhelmed by the words I needed to type, I would never find the time to even write 50 words. Thanks to the encouragement of George and Tracey, I wrote 22,000 words and finished the book in my summer holiday.”

Carolyn Whitehouse has written a book called “Be bold, be free, be beautiful”. She said: “My book is absolutely a result of BBB. It was only through their coaching and support that it has happened. I had been thinking of writing a book for over 10 years but didn't know my topic. Thanks to BBB my topic eventually became clear, in the direction of helping female entrepreneurs to expand their ideas of what's possible in their businesses. With support from the group, it has taken me 10 months to write and research.”

George Swift from Bigger Brighter Bolder added: “We are exceptionally proud of Carolyne, Liisa and Carolyn who are very talented businesswomen and very happy that Success Groups provided the impetuous, motivation and discipline to make it happen. This is a great start to the year and we're already expecting more books and even greater successes to come from our Success Group members."


Picture caption: From left: George Swift and Tracey Miller from Bigger Brighter Bolder with Carolyn Whitehouse, Carolyne Wahlen and Liisa Henrikkson-Mcauley.

Monday, 20 January 2014


Former Observer columnist, TV personality and Taoist speaker Stephen Russell, better known as the Barefoot Doctor, is leading a unique energy workshop at The Wellbeing Centre, Newbury.
Claire Bushell, director of The Wellbeing Centre, said: “If you’re feeling the post-Christmas blues and need to invite more energy, enlightenment and happiness into your life, this workshop really will give you a huge boost. We’re all immensely excited to host The Barefoot Doctor who will be showing us a rare set of ‘qigong’ practices which can be used in daily life.”
The event takes place on Friday, January 31st from 7pm to 9.30pm at The Wellbeing Centre in Pound Street, Newbury.
Tickets cost £15 in advance or £20 on the door.

Words: 119

Note to editors:
For more information, or to arrange an interview with The Barefoot Doctor, please contact Claire on 01635 552874. Please feel free to send a photographer on the evening.
About Stephen Russell, the Barefoot Doctor:
“I began practising martial arts at the age of eleven. My life has been dedicated to exploring, interpreting, practicing and teaching the methods and philosophy of ancient Taoism ever since.
I’m a master of the Taoist martial arts - tai chi, xing yi, pa kua and white crane and a doctor of Chinese medicine. I’ve also been an avid student of philosophy, belief systems, spirituality and human potential.
I studied psychotherapy with RD Laing for three years and shamanism with the native American Indians of Taos, New Mexico for four years.
Returning to London in the early 80s, I ran the UK’s busiest acupuncture healing practice for 17 years, growing in acclaim and treating celebrities including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Jade Jagger, the Pink Floyd etc
As well as being a master sound-healer and music producer, I am author of 16 books including HANDBOOK FOR THE URBAN WARRIOR, LIBERATION, MANIFESTO, and more recently PURE , THE MAN WHO DROVE WITH HIS EYES CLOSED and THE MESSAGE.
I wrote a weekly column for the UK’s national Sunday newspaper The Observer for five years, have been a regular on radio and national TV and hosted my own TV show. I now travel the world running workshops and retreats, doing talks, holding club nights, writing, making healing music, as well as teaching the Taoist way through my School for Warriors and Liberation training courses.”


Sunday, 19 January 2014


Businesswomen in the Newbury South group of The Athena Network plan to “ramp up the red” to show their support for the British Heart Foundation’s February campaign to boost research against heart attacks and heart disease.

Members of the group, who include Alison Rosier from the BHF, plan to raise funds and awareness by wearing red at the meeting on Wednesday, 19th February at La Tasca, Newbury. Also on the agenda is a talk by Jennifer Devine of Kosen on the role your ‘attitude’ plays in personal and business performance. She will be offering practical tips on how to plan for, and respond to, challenging events.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, 12th February, the Newbury North group at Donnington Valley Golf Club will discuss branding. Clare Sheffield from S&T Design will discuss how your brand can communicate your USP. She will break down a brand into its elements and illustrate how changing one element can completely change the whole look and feel.

On Friday, 14th February, Dale Campbell of Trademark Tribe will be speaking to the Hungerford group at Audley Inglewood. She will discuss how to ‘gain competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace’ and how to use your brand to define and differentiate your business effectively.

On Tuesday, 18th February, at the Regency Park Hotel, the Thatcham group’s talk is accounting related. Gina Boothby of Griffins will advise on how to claim all you can and use the most efficient and effective accounting system.

The Athena Network has recently launched a new monthly event called Cappuccino Connections for all businesswomen. Non-Athena members are invited to attend at a cost of £5. The February event takes place on Friday, 28th at Strada in Newbury Market Place between 10am and 12pm. Gillian Farkas-Blake will be talking on “business planning for profit‘.

Debbie Miles, regional director for the Athena Network, said: “The Athena Network just keeps growing and growing as more women realise the benefits of belonging to a supportive and creative group. We’re thrilled to add Cappuccino Connections so that our members can meet women from other groups and we will shortly be announcing our “Women of Wisdom” workshops for women to learn more about useful business topics in affordable, bite-size training.”

Contact Debbie.miles@theathenanetwork.com for more details.



Thursday, 16 January 2014

Bigger Brighter Bolder's kick off event for 2014

The Chequers Hotel, Newbury, played host last week to motivational coaching firm Bigger Brighter Bolder’s kick-off event for 2014.

Forty West Berkshire entrepreneurs, all members of BBB’s Success Groups, attended the interactive workshop run by BBB directors George Swift and Tracey Miller. Success groups are a meeting place for businessmen and women to share success stories, overcome any doubts, blocks or fears and to motivate each other to even greater heights of success. The kick-off event allowed members to network and get mentored on how develop themselves as business owners while setting out plans for the year ahead.

George Swift said: “This high-energy event was a great kick-start to what is going to be an amazing year and we were thrilled with the buzz in the room."

Monday, 13 January 2014

A workshop to help you plan your PR for the year!

I'm very excited to be hosting my first PR workshop at MacMabel Towers in Hungerford! Do you need a hand brainstorming stories and getting started with your PR plan for the year? Come and join us for just £20.14!


Thursday, 9 January 2014


The Athena Network, West Berkshire, is launching a new networking event for local businesswomen.

The first ‘Cappuccino Connections’ event will take place from 10am to 12pm on Friday, 24th January at Strada, Newbury Market Place.

Debbie Miles, regional director of The Athena Network said: “This will be a great opportunity for local business women to mix informally and benefit from the experience of top class speakers. This month, personal development coach Lis Allen, will be talking on effective communication in public speaking.”

Strada is offering two for one drinks at this event. There is a small fee of £5 for non-Athena Network members.