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Volume 24 | May 2009 | The cost of staying the same

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Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Recommended Read
Part 3 - Products / Special Offers
Part 4 - Feature Article - The cost of staying the same
Part 5 - Media Interest
Part 6 - Organizations - Maintaining Team Morale and Enthusiasm even in a Recession
Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics
Part 8 - The SaVVy Club - FREE one month membership

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Part 1 - Welcome!

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Hi there.

I hope that you have all enjoyed the Bank Holiday especially as for once the weather was kind to most of us.

Extra time off work offers many different experiences for those who are workaholics.

Most of you would love to look forward to the extra day with anticipation and know it will live up to expectation. To have a wonderful three day break filled with love and laughter to be able to find joy in what ever you were doing. For those of you who did so, congratulations.

Many looked forward to the long weekend hoping it would be a time filled with love and laughter and instead found it a stressful time filled with acrimonious conversations because time with loved ones was filled with argument and tension as relationships are strained because of problems made worse by your work habits and each partners need to be seen as being right.

Conversation with partners was strained and children felt much like strangers as whilst you were long hours at work they were busy getting on with their lives without you.

Maybe it is time for you to take stock and make some significant choices.

For others the weekend loomed empty because you have no special relationship with a significant other. You would love to have one but there never seems to be time to do anything practical about it. You may have friends but these relationships dont quite do it for you or they are all based on work so it doesnt seem appropriate to get in touch.

For some of you the weekend offers you an opportunity to catch up with work. To get ahead to make the four day week easier. Work activities may be interspersed with catching up with household chores or a spate in the garden and or a time flopped in front of the TV as you feel too exhausted to do anything.

Others will find release in sleep. You see the extra day as an opportunity to recharge much depleted batteries or choose oblivion to facing the reality that when you are not at work you feel lonely and incomplete.

The article this month offers you some strategic questions which can help you to discover the true cost of being a workaholic. Whether you choose to face this or not is up to you.

What ever you choose to do the answer lies in your hands.

If you would like some help in dealing with any of the issues raised in this Newsletter and would like a free 30 minute coaching session please phone me on 01708 703959 or
you can email me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com

Take control of your future!

Recovering Workaholics is a growing concern.

We offer 1:1 coaching, and training to facilitate those who want a truly satisfying life.

Understanding what drives you to work to the point where love, happiness and fulfilment have become the poor relation is the first step to creating a life you truly love.

We can help you work towards achieving your "dream" life.

We provide support for those facing retirement or who have recently retired, ideal for those who want to embrace a new stage in their lives. Redundancy can be a very stressful time, let us help you make the most of the opportunity it offers.

Call today and take the first step to work- life passion on (0)1708 703 959.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us please let us know by contacting us on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone on (0)1708 703 959.

Make 2009 the year when you took consistent action to make a positive difference to the quality of your own life and for those who live or work with you.

Call today to sign up for a free no obligation coaching session and take the first step to the future you deserve!

With best wishes,

Gina Gardiner

Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel International: +44 1708 703 959
Email: gina@recoveringworkaholics.com

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Part 2 - Recommended Read

Who Will Cry When You Die by Robin Sharma

Who Will Cry When You Die(Life lessons from the author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari)

by Robin Sharma

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Would you like to replace that empty feeling within you with a deep sense of peace, passion and purpose?

Are you hoping that your life will be not only successful but significant?

Are you ready to have the very best within you shine through and create a legacy in the process?

This potent little book with its powerful life lesson and its gentle but persuasive words is exactly what you need to read to rise to your next level of living and reclaim your best life.

Easy to read but profound for all that.

This is a book which with give you great pause for thought.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively by Gina Gardiner

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion)

by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book offers lots of practical strategies for managers to help get the very best of their staff as individuals and as a team.

Everything in the book has been tried and tested in a variety of organizations; it is a distillation of over 30 years experience of developing leadership at every level.

The book does not attempt to teach grandmothers or grandfathers to suck eggs, but offers tried and tested principles, strategies and ideas which have been proven to work.

Time, energy and money are all very precious resources and all three seem to be in short supply for most busy managers.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) can help! Dip into it if you are facing specific issues or use the comprehensive approach to underpin ongoing and sustained individual and team development.

It has relevance for experienced managers who want to share good practice as well as for aspiring leaders who want to develop and deepen their leadership skills.

The book covers a wide range of issues including

  • Developing strategic vision
  • Creating your dream team
  • Creating a ‘Can Do’ culture
  • Effective delegation
  • Holding people to account
  • Developing a solutions approach
  • The power of anticipation
  • Giving positive feedback
  • Having those “hard conversations”
  • Managing stress for you and your team
  • Creating a good work life balance

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) will stand alone but you will find it useful to use it in conjunction with the companion book Kick Start Your Career.

Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner

Kick Start Your Career

by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book is designed for new initiates into the business world and graduates who are ambitious and want to create a successful career for themselves. It is a no nonsense, jargon free manual, full of practical ideas and strategies to support the development of leadership from day one.

These books can be ordered via our web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

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Part 3 - Products and Special Offers!

We have produced three CDs designed especially for you to tackle the most common problems that seem to affect many of our members.

They are available now to buy as CDs or as downloadable MP3 files from www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Take time out of your busy and stressful day to relax.

True relaxation is known to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, clear the mind and leave you feeling alert, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day with renewed energy and vigour.

"A Spanish Theme" uses a mixture of guided imagery and deep breathing exercises to take you on an intensely relaxing journey.

Stress is sited as the cause of over 500,000 days of absence a year in the UK alone. It represents a huge cost in both economic and personal terms. In order to deal with it we must first understand what it is and what causes it.

Where stress is detrimental people are often in situations where they feel they have little control. Sustained exposure to such negative situations can have serious implications for the health and well being of the individual and ultimately for the organization as a whole

Relaxation is a powerful tool to combat stress. Learning to take time out, to truly relax has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mental acuity and reduce stress.

Our Relaxation Tape with a Spanish theme is the first in a series of relaxation tapes created by Gina Gardiner associates.

Using visualization, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises take time out of your hectic day to unwind, de-stress and relax!

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Sleep is vital to our health and sense of wellbeing. We need it as much as we need food and water and the air we breathe. It is during sleep that the body rests and repairs itself. Good quality sleep leaves us feeling refreshed, re-energized and ready to face the new day. 

Insomnia affects most people at some time during their lives. For many it is a passing phase caused because of a stressful event in their lives. For chronic sufferers it becomes a way of life. Although it is not life-threatening it can and does threaten the quality of life for many sufferers leaving them frustrated, exhausted and feeling low.

"Beat Insomnia" uses deep trance techniques to help you retrain your sleep pattern without drugs.

Use "Beat Insomnia" to get a great nights sleep and make Insomnia a thing of the past.

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

We all feel less confident in certain situations. This CD is designed to help you feel confident in any situation. It uses tried and tested NLP techniques to help you develop the confidence you need to tackle new social situations or when giving an important presentation or interview.

  • How often do you wish you felt more confident? 
  • Do you worry about social events or standing up to talk in front of work colleagues?
  • Would you like to live your life feeling that you are in control?
  • Do you have butterflies in your stomach that feel as if they are wearing hobnailed boots when you have to go to an interview or a meeting?
  • Is the voice in your head telling you - you can't do it?

Developing confidence is about much more than learning to do an activity better.

It is about changing how we feel about ourselves and dealing with our thoughts and beliefs.  It is about facing the things we fear and being curious about why we fear them.

Use "Creating the Confident You" to learn to push through the fear and create a world of limitless possibilities, where you are in control of your own destiny.

We expect the following titles to be available later in the year.

  • Relaxation CD 2 - A Country Theme
  • Relaxation CD 3 - Sky

For any further information or advice about CDs contact
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone 01708 703959

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Part 4 - Feature Article - The Cost of Staying the Same

I'm sure you are familiar with the saying,

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got."

Yet we all carry on doing the same old things getting the same result and hating it. In fact many of us try to change things by doing the same things harder, more frequently, with others and so on, and are then bitterly disappointed when nothing changes.

We are driven to do things because they bring us pleasure or because by doing them we can avoid pain.

How is it we continue to do things which bring us little or no pleasure and at times give us significant emotional or physical pain?

The answer is at once both simple and complex.

Our most basic need is to survive.

In this context survival doesnt only mean our physical survival. Of course we need to have food to eat, to have a roof over our head and to know that we are not in physical danger. In ancient times life was far simpler as the need to defend ourselves was simply referring from wild animals and other cave men.

Physical or emotional well being are both incredibly strong needs. Underpinning everything is the need to feel safe.

Situations in our early life lead each and every one of us to make judgements about ourselves and the world around us. We create a way of dealing with the situation which makes perfect sense at the time.

For example a child is bullied at primary school and decides not to let others hurt them ever again.

They build a thick shell around them and decide not to let others get close enough to hurt them ever again.

The same thick wall is in operation ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years later and that person may have many friends and acquaintances that are seen as safe but no one special. To be seen as vulnerable and to offer the opportunity to be rejected remains a step to far.

Another child is told they are stupid and begins to see themselves as a failure.

They become determined to succeed and are driven to show the world at large and themselves that they are not a failure. They become determined never to be found wanting again.

No matter how many certificates they have or how prestigious the job it never feels enough. The small scared child who felt they were a failure is still running the show. Today it is the threat to our emotional safety which creates patterns of behaviour which stay long after their usefulness has gone.

I have worked with many workaholics, and I am a recovering workaholic so have been able to see similar patters in so many people.

What ever we do our natural choice is to gravitate to where we feel most comfortable and most valued. Work offers the opportunity to have a positive sense of self worth and as success feeds success it is not difficult to see why so many people feel better about themselves in a context where they feel they have value.

Do things have to stay the same?

Of course not! At any time you choose to face what underpins your work pattern you can change it. The very fact that you are open to the possibility of an alternative way opens the door to a different life.

To help this process along give yourself some time in a quiet place and ask yourself the following questions, answer them as fully as you can. This is a time to be absolutely honest with yourself:

(For each question consider your sense of well being and happiness, your relationships including that special relationship and your health both physically and emotionally)

1) If you could have your ideal life what would it be like?

2) How would it feel if you achieved it?

3) When, where, how and with whom would you like this to happen?

4) What are the positives of your life staying exactly how it is?

5) What needs to change for you to achieve it if you havent got it already?

6) What are the true costs of your life staying exactly like it is at this moment?
    In the short term, medium term and long term

7) If you were to change you life, what would be the benefits?

8) What changes would make the greatest difference to your feeling fulfilled?

Life is all about the choices we make.

You can choose to let life just happen and feel a victim to what ever comes our way or you can decide to decide for yourself.

If there are aspects of your life you dont like it is entirely up to you whether you change the situation itself or change the way you feel or respond to a situation, either way things will never be the same again.

How will you choose to spend your life?

What is really important to you?

If you want your life to be different it is entirely possible to change things for the better.

You dont have to wait you can take the first step today, and every journey however long begins with the first step.

If you need help,
why not work with a coach to take control of your life and make it outstanding!

If you would like a free 30 minute coaching session to explore how you could improve the relationship you have with yourself please phone me on 01708 703959 or
you can email me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com

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Part 5 - Media Interest

Media interest has been rather quiet this month.

I suspect that attention is on the lack of jobs for those being made redundant rather than those whose lives are taken over by the ones they have.

If you are aware of any articles, radio or TV Programmes featuring the issue of work life balance please let us know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

If you would like to hear the feature on Woman's Hour which focused on the difficulties that living with a workaholic creates please visit the BBC web site at

Also, if you see anything about our organization in any publication not mentioned by us we would be very much like to hear about it on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

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Part 6 - Organizations

Maintaining Team Morale and Enthusiasm, Even in a Recession

The businesses world wide is facing probably the most challenging time since the Second World War. Most of those in positions of responsibility have little or no first hand experience of dealing with a recession on a global scale.

In times of boom it feels easier to motivate and enthuse people because there is always the promise of a bonus or the promise of promotion.

The picture becomes very different if cash flow is short and there is constant threat of having to reduce the workforce. When the decision makers are feeling under threat and constantly face the stress that the responsibility for their own livelihood and that of all those who work for them it is very easy to make decisions which might seem right in the short term but can have far reaching negative effects on themselves and their work force.

When things are going well economically there is always a paradox.

Team and organisational leaders can choose to use money as their major motivator. The size of the bonuses was at times mind blowing. Staff were led to expect financial rewards for completing targets and it appeared to keep well qualified and able staff on the payroll.

The reality was in the experience of many of my staff very different. When there is plenty of work about people have a sense of security and know that if things get tough in their current place of work they can always look for and find another job. Their loyalty can be to themselves rather than to their organisation. Where unrealistic expectations are created around bonuses they can create massive de-motivation and a haemorrhaging of able people to other organisations.

In times of financial difficulty there is an overriding need to have experienced, enthusiastic staff who are as committed to making the business a success as the Senior Management Team.

As the competition gets more cut throat it is the teams who work together creatively and cohesively who will win out. Morale, enthusiasm and having the key skills and competencies are absolutely vital if organisations are to survive in the long term. Money is not as available and the security of having a job in the short term is simply not enough to ensure that your organization is fit enough to survive the recession and ready to expand as the recession recedes.

How can you motivate and enthuse your workforce in times of recession?

There has been much research done about what motivates people. Money is a factor but is rarely at the top of peoples lists.

Here are my top ten principles for ensuring that you develop enthusiasm and commitment within your work force, they work just as well at departmental level as they do within a large organisation.

1) It is important that staff believe in what the organisation stands for

A mismatch of values between the organisation and the workforce will cause stress and a sense of dissatisfaction within the individual.

  • How well do your staff understand what your organisation is about?
  • How do you know?
  • How well known is your company's vision for the future and its mission in achieving it?
  • Were they involved in creating it?
  • How might you engage your team in developing and embedding your values throughout the company or department?

2) Have Integrity

Trust must be earned and it is vital that there is trust between leader and those who are led.

When this is in place the team can face the most challenging circumstances together. Without it the future is bleak.

We live in a time where politicians and many organisational leaders are disingenuous or economical with the truth. Once trust has been destroyed it is almost impossible to reinstate it.

People are not as fragile as you think. Being honest does not mean being brutal. Stating the case clearly and being up front even when the message itself is unpopular is far less damaging in the long run than trying to make things look like something they are not.

3) Be Consistent

Dealing with an inconsistent set of expectations or messages or people who blow hot and cold creates a sense of uncertainty which is damaging.

There should be a consistent approach to decision making.

Staff should be confident that decisions are being made for the right reasons and that decisions will be changed only when there is a valid reason.

Moodiness and having favourites within a team is never acceptable.

There is no room for ego in the successful team or organisation.

4) Value Each Individual And The Contribution They Make

Feeling that they are valued as individuals by the organisation's success has a consistently higher rating as a successful motivator than money alone.

This must be done from the heart and not as a mechanistic process.

  • How well do you know your team?
  • Do you know about their personal aspirations?
  • What opportunities are there for the contributions of individuals to be noticed by line managers and by those further up the line of responsibility?
  • Who notices when people are doing a great job or when they are finding things hard?
  • Does valuing staff happen by chance in your organisation or are managers trained to develop this aspect?

5) Give Staff A Voice Which Is Heard

Creating a sense of staff having the highest levels of stress comes from where people feel that they have no control over what is happening.

Creating the opportunity for people to have their say, to be listened to and a real opportunity to influence what is to happen can significantly reduce stress and dissatisfaction.

  • Does your workforce have a voice?
  • Who listens to them?
  • What happens as a result of these conversations?

Many decisions are taken without reference to those who do the job on a daily basis.

Using their skill, experience and expertise can save costly time and mistakes. It makes sense on so many levels yet it is often neglected.

6) Create Explicit Realistic Expectations

Creating expectations which are dashed creates huge levels of dissatisfaction on both sides.

Only promise what you know you can deliver and be entirely up front about what you expect from them.

When an organisation has clear, high, explicit expectations of staff it is far easier to have the hard conversations.

When people feel they have been fairly dealt with they are much more likely to take the lessons on board. They cannot hide behind their indignation that things were unfair and as a result have to take responsibility for their part in the situation.

7) Give Staff A Sense of Certainty

Certainty or safety is one of the most basic needs.

It is possible to give people a sense of control and safety even when there are huge levels of uncertainty around.

The language used has a huge impact on whether people feel secure or not.

Being truthful and involving people early on in the process can really help. It is the not knowing and feeling that you are being kept out of the loop which creates the most anxiety.

It is not so much what you do but the way in which you do it which makes the difference.

For example, redundancy is likely to create huge levels of uncertainty and anxiety.

This can be minimised by involving people in discussion early on and in keeping them informed with the most up to date information.

Providing support to help them prepare to be on the job market once again also makes a significant difference to the experience.

8) Involve Staff In Finding A Solution

As I write this newsletter an organisation which faced ruin twenty years ago is taking their entire work force away for a celebratory weekend to say thank you for their help in the firms success.

Over 300 people will be boarding the train.

When the company faced almost certain closure the Management sat down with the work force to look for solutions. The situation appeared impossible.

Out of the talks came the agreement that everyone would take a significant pay cut rather than bleed the company dry of the talent and expertise needed to turn the company around. Together they looked for creative solutions.

The journey wasnt straight forward but twenty years later the firm has gone from strength to strength and is well placed to survive the current difficulties.

When each individual within the team takes responsibility not only for their own contribution but also for doing everything they can to help each other member of the team to contribute fully the team becomes incredibly powerful.

Creating power teams where this principle underpins its working occasionally happens by accident but can be the norm with the right training and support. The benefits of every team within an organisation becoming a successful power team far out weighs the cost of developing the training.

Do you actively promote and train Power Teams within your organisation?

Your people are your treasure; they each bring skills and expertise much of which remains untapped.

Are you making the most of yours?

9) To Motivate Your Staff You Need To Know What Motivates Them Already

Listen carefully and you can discover what motivates them.

The language they use, the actions they take can inform you of what internal drivers and motivators make them tick.

Once you understand where they are coming from it becomes so much easier to speak their language and to give them the opportunity to thrive.

When they are thriving professionally your department or organisation has far more potential to succeed.

10) Dont Under Estimate The Power Of A Thank You

A thank you which recognises the efforts people have made makes a HUGE difference to the way they feel. A short note saying thanks for a job well done takes on a huge significance to the person receiving it when they know is really meant.

A bunch of flowers or a small gift in recognition of someone going the extra mile makes us feel good in our personal lives and the principle is no different professionally. Taking the time and trouble to notice someones effort is what makes the difference. If you are the boss take the time to notice who is working hard, who helps others and who contributes they energies to creating success. You cant put a price on the value of thank you.


Most of these principles cost little or nothing to implement.

They are more about attitude and approach. Training and coaching can be incredibly helpful in setting things up but the costs are minimal in relation to the potential returns.

The cost of ignoring these principles will be a dissatisfied, anxious, stressed workforce who is likely to work harder in the short term because they fear for their jobs. In the medium to long term it will be the healthy, happy, well motivated and enthusiastic teams of staff who will create ongoing success in the market.

The reputation your organisation creates now in how they deal with staff will live on long after the market recovers. Attracting the right sort of staff when there is a shortage of highly skilled and experienced staff will be so much easier for the firms who are known to care and develop their people in hard times.

The choice is yours!

If you would like to discuss any of the issues in this newsletter, or are interested in training on motivation and influence or would like to work with an Executive Coach please phone me on 01708 703959 or contact us at
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or through

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Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics

We publish a monthly newsletter designed for the partners of Workaholics.

You can subscribe to this by going to

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Part 8 - The SaVVy Club®

Special Offer

When was the last time you did something for the first time? If you are left wondering, then why not be embraced by a Club that prides itself on service focused quality and exclusive fun.

This is where The SaVVy Club comes into it's own. We can show you the way for every varying need and want in the world of events and leisure activities.

Every day we increase what we expect?
Been there, done that?
Its time to look for something new.
Good news for you, here comes The SaVVy Club!

The SaVVy Club is a membership exclusive club that brings together unique groups of people, to experience an exciting array of events.

  • Do you like Champagne?
  • Do you enjoy meeting NEW people in exclusive settings?
  • Do you like music, theatre and other cultural events?
  • Do you enjoy being treated like a VIP?
  • Do you like fine dining and gourmet food?

Experience all this and more with your free one month membership to The SaVVy Club!

To enjoy this exclusive offer, contact Kim at The SaVVy Club mailto:kim@savvyclub.co.uk within 7 Days of receiving this message and she'll send you a code that allows you to sign up for your FREE one month membership.

Next time you’re heading to London for a volley of meetings, don’t spend your evenings alone with only the remote control for company. Get out there and enjoy what the City has to offer.

It couldn't be simpler.

So why not take the opportunity right now to take us up on our great offer.
Telephone Kim on 0208 989 4886 and quote Recovering Workaholics.

Kim Rix
Founder and CEO of The SaVVy Club®  
London’s first boutique social events club.

For more information, please visit
or call 0870 005 6225.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or complete the feedback form at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/enquiryform.php.

What do you think?

Gina Gardiner

Warmest wishes,
Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).

Gina Gardiner recognized by "Investors in People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training program for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.

If you aren't a subscriber already, please sign up to receive the next issue of the free monthly Recovering Workaholics newsletter at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/freemonthlynewsletter.php.

You may copy or distribute this newsletter,
provided that full credit is given and the following copyright information is included.

Copyright © 2009 Author : Gina Gardiner - www.ginagardiner.com

For any further information or advice about Recovering Workaholics contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).