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How to change : Careers

“Change is the one constant in life” so why are a lot of people terrified of it?

The answer is simply: Because it is a step into the unknown.

Nobody likes not knowing what comes next, nobody is comfortable with uncertainty.

But what if you could embrace this and see every change as a challenge, every step as a move forward towards achieving ultimate satisfaction?

There is nothing stopping you! Nothing, that is, except you and your preconceptions of how things ‘should’ be.

One word that causes so many issues in life ‘should’ -don’t get me wrong- It has it’s uses in a moral and ethical sense.
When you are looking at change, especially yourself -be it through your career or just your outlook on life- the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘oughts’ need to be addressed!

What am I talking about?

Let me give you an example: John grew up with an interest in geology and paliantology and yet went on and trained to become an accountant. Why? Because he had been told that Men should have a proper profession and he was told that a proper male profession was being a Doctor, a Lawyer, an Accountant, a Surveyor etc
So he has been an accountant for 40 years. He confesses that ‘it’s a job -a means to an end’.

40 years! I know that some people are quite happy doing this and fill their spare time with their passion… And for a lot of people, that’s ok! The world needs those sorts of people.

But if you are reading this, it’s probably because you’ve got to the stage in your life when you wonder ‘is this it? Is this really what my life is? Or can I change it?’

The answer: Yes you can!

My advice: take it slowly! Don’t just quit and then think, ‘what next?’ (unless you can afford to spend 3-6 months not working whilst you figure it out). Decide what you want to do, research all the possibilities… Create a plan of action… Then GO FOR IT!

If you already know what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, then you probably don’t need to read any further – you just need to go and make a start at changing your life, but you might still find it useful.

However, if you know you want a change but have no idea what you want to do, or even what you could do… The next section is for you!

Get a note pad and pencil!

The first task is an exercise to clear out all the negatives that you do not want in your life anymore, all the things that have made you decide you want to change. By understanding what you don’t want, you can then focus on what you do!

1) Write a list of what you DON’T want to do.
Include things like types of jobs, working hours, business types, industry sectors etc.

2) Now think about your skillset. What are you good at – but more importantly… What you enjoy!

3) Write down what you think you ‘should’ be doing. E.g. I should be earning x amount. I won’t be respected unless I do y. I need to be in a profession. Then have a think about who set these values. You’ve obviously taken them onboard, but Do you really agree with them? Are they still relevant going forward? (this process helps us to understand the obstacles we have built for ourselves and where they have come from).

Ok so now you know what you don’t want but what you can do and you know what you’ve been told to do.
4) Write down what you have always dreamed of doing.
This is the hardest bit -being told ‘the world’s your oyster’- there’s too much choice! So don’t think about it. Feel it! Open yourself up to a universe with infinite possibilities. You could do anything… Be outrageous! Be daft! This is where you put on paper exactly what your heart desires. Be honest with yourself. Don’t put any barriers in the way! Give yourself permission to do anything!

5) Now, Look at what you dream and have a go at analysing it. What is it about that dream that ignites your passion.
If you have written that you want to be an astronaut; Is that because you want to push yourself to your limits and float in a vacuum, or is it because you would like the training and cudos that being an astronaut gives you? Do you really want to go into space, or would you be just as happy working with others in advancing our knowledge of the universe?

Each dream does not have to be taken literally, but dreams help us to understand what we truely desire. It may simply be that you want a job with more excitement.

Whatever the outcome of the above exercise, be sure to give yourself time. Mull over what you have discovered about yourself.

There are constraints in life and a career change has be undertaken responsibly. We all have overheads and bills that must be paid. But these constraints do not rule over our ability to decide how to live our lives and how we provide for our families.
Everyone of us has a responsibility to ourselves to create a space around us that we can exist with contentment and happiness.

You don’t have to decide what you want to do right now, but knowing that you have the option to change your life to what you want is an important first step!
The next step is to Research into whatever you decide, see what opportunities are available.

If there isn’t a specific path open to you, start laying the foundations for a new path!

Good luck!

I’m still changing my life and enjoying every minute of it!


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iBooks Author

After reading the recent article about iBooks Author in The Bookseller, I decided I would blog about my user experiences.

I downloaded iBooks Author soon after its launch with a view to launching a range of iBooks. I thought it would have more features than it does and so, for a month or so, I was struggling to get it to do what I wanted.

I still haven’t managed to recreate the image of the interactive books that I expected it to be able to produce but along the way I have learned how iBooks is best utilised!

In my opinion iBooks Author is an extremely useful and essential free tool for creating digital books for iBookstore and I think it is best suited for specific educational/ information tools and simply reading.

I was hoping it would have more features to create more personally interactive children’s books.

I would like to see Apple create updates or add-ons which can provide some super-duper interactivity for use in children’s books, perhaps simplifying animation software somehow. I would definitely be at the front of the queue for more widgets… Apple might also want to consider charging for extras (with free trials).

If anyone from Apple is reading this – I would love to test anything you are working on to improve the iBooks Author with a view to making it even more useful!!

The Pros to the iBooks Author are:

It is very user friendly.

Apple do not own the rights to the content of your iBook. (As I understand it…) but they do own the format in iBooks – which means you can create in iBooks Author and sell on iBookstore, but if you want to take the content to other digital platforms you have to reformat it.

The interactive widgets are user friendly, albeit very basic.

The Cons:

The lack of ability to save to different digital formats (again Apple – something I am sure people would be prepared to pay for the option, as it saves time and effort!).

Limited templates (though I think you can download others online now).

Limited Interactive widgets.


All-in-all if you haven’t already downloaded iBooks Author, I would advise you give it a go!

If you don’t fancy trying it yourself, VixenUK offers iBooksAuthor conversion services (initial consultation is free)!

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Filed under Apple, Author, books, digital, ePub, General publishing, iBooks, Uncategorized, Writing

‘An asset to publishing and creative businesses’

Well, the day has finally arrived!

At the London Book Fair I rolled out the intentions of VixenUK and was told the potential of the site was “an asset to the industry as a whole” (in terms of publishers, publishing and creative businesses that can provide for the industry).

And now, I eagerly await the email to tell me that my database site is online and I can go and test the VixenUK database and community site before rolling it out to others to test and send feedback.

I will be looking at the site in terms of how a member would access and use it, How a potential employer would search for information and how easy the database is for returning search results and information.


I know how I would like it to be used, but I want to open it up to all the Creatives out there, regardless of the industry you are in:

Are you a creative business/ sole trader/ freelancer/ new start-up?

Do you want to promote your business/skills on the web?

Do you want to be able to be contacted by prospective employers or collaboration projects?

Do you want to search for other people and businesses to collaborate with?


If you fit into any of these criteria, please get in touch and tell me how you envisage this platform would work best for you.


Please email me at with your views as to how VixenUK can best help your business, or start a discussion by commenting below.


Only by receiving your ideas and feedback, will I understand how you, the user, will potentially interact with this platform. I can then develop it to ensure it suits your needs. So please get in touch!

I look forward to hearing from you.



Founder of VixenUK



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London Book Fair 2012

By Vix Southgate

This is my 4th visit to the London Book Fair and (with the exception of the year of the ash cloud, which worked in my favour as it meant the heads of companies were free because their clients were unable to fly in) this year has been the best in terms of meetings, networking and general uplifting conversation.
Everyone has been so positive. The shift into digital seems to be a less painful process for a lot of publishers and agents, and the emerging companies, as a result of the embrace of digital formats, has made this a very innovative and encouraging experience.

Now is an exciting time to be in the publishing industry and the next year will be crucial to deciding the most successful directions for the industry as a whole.

It has been an epic 4 days at London’s Earl’s Court exhibition centre.
My Book Fair began with the Introduction to Rights Workshop on Sunday 15th. I was torn between this and the digital conference at the QEII conference centre but I think I made the right choice for superb value for money and with twitterers tweeting from the digi conference, I was able to follow the sessions there too!
The rights workshop was a very informative session and one that I would highly recommend for anyone going to the London Book Fair to attend. I found that it gave me a better understanding of how to better use my time, as I had in insight into the purpose of the fair.

The next 3 days were full on with meetings, general ambling and stopping by and talking to as many people that I could, as well as reconnecting with everyone I have met over the past 4 years.

The highlights of my show were the unexpected invites to various events, which were through contacts and networking over the previous 3 years. I found that 2 hours with a drink in my hand, one evening, was probably more productive than many of the meetings at the fair itself! BUT I would not have had that opportunity if I hadn’t been talking and networking at the fair!

I cannot emphasise more, how important networking is!

The VixenUK business model has been confirmed as an asset to the industry and now I just need you to join me in my quest to develop a community for the publishing industry.

For more information on how you can do this:

Follow me on twitter @VixenBooksUK (business account) or @Victrix75.

Flickr group: VixenUK

Facebook page: VixenUK

And of course, you can subscribe to this blog, which will be updated more often as the excitement builds!

I look forward to connecting with you.

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Filed under children, General publishing, Uncategorized

Yuri Gagarin

Today marks the 51st anniversary of Gagarin’s space flight and to celebrate, you can buy Vix Southgate’s book Yuri Gagarin -The First Spaceman for only £4! (valid on orders until 16th April)

If you order before midnight (BST) tonight, from, your p&p will also be refunded. (for overseas orders, only UK p&p amount refunded)

Please note that you will need to check out for the full amount and money will be refunded on despatch. Due to high levels of orders, any order taken over the next 5 days will be despatched on the 21st April.

We look forward to your order!

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Filed under children, Gagarin, General publishing, Space Exploration, Uncategorized

VixenUK March Update

by Victoria Southgate

VixenUK has been working tirelessly on digitalising ‘Yuri Gagarin – The First Spaceman’ as well as compiling many timelines of other significant figures in the Space Exploration series which have been digitally formatted.

I will be at the London Book Fair next month and can demonstrate this work. I will also be in London for the week prior to the LBF.

If you would like a meeting with me please contact with your preferred dates.

Digitised timelines so far are: Robert H Goddard, Yuri Gagarin, Neil Armstrong, with Sergei Korolev and Helen Sharman still being finalised.

Other works available to view at the Book Fair:

  • Children’s Poetry
  • Rhyming Stories
  • Collaboratively Written and Illustrated Stories
  • Illustrated Alphabets
  • App Wireframe Demos

I look forward to hearing from you.





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Be Inspired by Space

by Vix Southgate

I spent my childhood with an avid fascination of the solar system, mainly due to the fact that I had a Brother who chose his career in Astrophysics aged 5!

I also have a love of history, a passion for creativity and a want to inspire children. So a few years ago I was inspired to bring all my passions together, I decided to write and illustrate children’s books.

Yuri Gagarin – The First Spaceman was first published for the 50th Anniversary of Gagarin’s spaceflight on 12th April 2011.  But it was the Gagarin-related events and my own personal interests that mean I want to inspire the next generation of star-gazers, astronomers, rocket scientists and astronauts. I want to get children excited by space and science in general, and to help them get a better understanding and appreciation of the world and universe around them.

Over the past year I have met many cosmonauts and astronauts, all of whom seem to have an air of wonder about them – An inner understanding of what is important in life. I guess your view of life changes when you have pushed your body to its limits and then been propelled into space in a rocket and seen our World for what it really is.

What better way to understand the world we live in, than to see it for yourself from space!

But to go into space you have to train like an astronaut! ‘Venture Thinking’ have developed an international challenge called Mission X, which is an international fitness challenge for kids. For more information go to:

I can only wonder at what an awesome experience it is to go into space. I doubt I will ever know exactly what it feels like but through researching Gagarin and talking with the people who have been, it sounds inspirational.

Understanding the possibilities of what space travels holds, understanding the physical stresses weightlessness puts on our bodies helps us to understand the forces that are at work in the universe and that science is all around us.

Let’s start exploring the possibilities!

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