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Home alone contemplating how to get up Everest, sniffing bottles and being grateful

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HOME ALONE CONTEMPLATING…

I have to be honest Lizzie has been remotely poking me to do a blog. It’s been a while. I don’t know about you, but I need to be in the right mood to write. Once it starts, it all just flows. With the current Covid hokey cokey, my thoughts and moods go up and down and I didn’t want to write a negative blog. Here it is, honest and authentic.

IN MOURNING

That’s how it feels at times; that I am mourning the loss of everything I have lost.

My last joyous day of work, when I was at my best and in my flow, was our International Women’s Day event. Surrounded by almost 200 ladies who had come together to hear our inspiring speakers Karina Jadhav and Maura Jackson. Exhibitors were selling products and services, ladies were networking and doing business and socialising with Blackpool Rock Gin at the after-event party. I always love the buzz, the noise of the chatter, the laughter, the positive atmosphere. How I wish could bottle that atmosphere so I could have a sniff of that now.

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We’re known for our women in business events. I’m never so proud of my team than when together we pull off another successful event where our customers are happy and inspired.

THEN THERE WERE TWO, ME AND LIZZIE

I have given up the office, had to let our new starter go, and the hardest decision of all – making my ‘work daughter’ Camille redundant. After 4 ½ years!

After falling over the towers of boxes which housed my stock in my house for months, I put my practical head on and put stuff up for sale. Letting it go and clearing space but it still felt a bit like losing part of our history. But there’s no time for sentiment. Now, it’s me and Lizzie, the last girls standing.

I AM NOT A FAILURE – I TRY TO REMIND MYSELF DAILY

I’ve spent over 11 years building this business. Growing every year and looking forward to our best year ever, I have to remember; this is not my fault, I didn’t do anything wrong. I feel desperately sad for all those business owners, just like me in events, hospitality etc that are excellent at what they do. They just can’t do anything about this situation.

I watched a guy on the news being interviewed and he recalled how he loved a challenge, climbing Everest, and all the things he had done in his life. However, as a hospitality business owner, he was brought to his knees, he had no fight left in him and said he had cried. I cried for him as I watched. He didn’t do anything wrong; this is not his fault.

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CLIMBING EVEREST – THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT IS ONE STEP AT A TIME, SO THEY SAY…

Rebuilding, it is like starting all over, but with a couple of things I didn’t have the first time around; loyal customers, a trusted brand, more experience, knowledge and a tribe of trusted people I can go to.

Step one; was to make that decision to change the business model to reflect the move to stay online. It wasn’t an easy one, but I realised I had to lead and be decisive and not dither.

Step two; we introduced a series of initiatives to help our customers with their online presence and to promote their businesses; A new private online community, ‘#Move over Monday, an online Job board and a ‘Buy It From Pink Link’ logo.

Step Three; I joined other networks that have brought opportunities for our ladies to be involved in the Women in Business Radio Show and for me to feature as a speaker with Enterprise Nation and Dell Technologies on the ‘She’s Got This’ series via the DWEN network.

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Step Four; Lizzie has attended an online PR and Media workshop that has given her new tools for her marketing and links to TV and media and is working on creating future exposure.

Step 5; we had to scale up to grow so we launched our licence programme with three new ladies who are now hosting networks for us in Warrington, Liverpool, Kendal and Carlisle. We launched when it should have been our 10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards ceremony, so it gave us something positive to focus on. I’d like to say a very special thank you to Deirdre Bounds, Emma Elston MBE and Emma Porter. It has been wonderful to have the support of leading female entrepreneurs who gave their time freely, enthusiastically and with kindness. 

We have a long way to go, but we are giving it a bloody good go, one step at a time!

EVAS – CELEBRATING 10 YEARS… EVENTUALLY!

25th September was the original date for the 10th Anniversary Enterprise Vision Awards. My Facebook was flooded with everyone’s memories and pictures posted from previous years. I cried, pretty much on and off all weekend. I am so proud of the EVAS. My heart and soul go into making it the best celebration I can. During the EVAS week I hardly sleep with the anticipation and butterflies. I usually lose an average of 5lbs and I pull a 20 hour shift the day of the awards. I put this down to adrenaline. So, yes, I cried, but it was also tears of joy over the lovely comments and memories. They reminded me that EVAS have given to so many over the last 9 years It is heart-warming and it reminds me that we created something truly magical.

I am grateful to all our sponsors, but also to those that have come onboard despite the fact I have no date to give them. They have joined because they can see what we do is a fabulous way to recognise and inspire women in business. Thank you to our new sponsors for believing and trusting in me. Amy Lancaster  of the Bowker Motor Group, Steven Wong of United Utilities, Michelle Thompson of Unique Homecare and Katharine McNamara for ITS.

GIVE GRATITUDE, #BEKIND

Everyday, I give gratitude, in fact I write at least three things down in a journal. I give thanks for small things. Sometimes, the blue sky when the sun is shining or for the roof over my head, but mostly it’s for the women in my tribe. There have been times during the last 7 months when I have experienced rude and aggressive behaviour and I know others have experienced this too. I don’t condone this, but I think people are coping or not coping during this time in different ways. You need to focus on all the good that is in your life. I give thanks to everyone who has supported me, for the cards, gifts, but more than this the conversations on the phone and the emails received. I know this is the shittiest time ever and it feels like it’s never bloody ending but try to focus on the good it can help to lift you a little.

My gratitude for today;

  1. Lizzie Beckford for being my cheerleader and absolute rock
  2. Rachel Riches, Alison Magee Barker and Clare Ellis for trusting me and sharing my vision
  3. For this laptop that has enabled me to put my thoughts down and share them with others in the hope that just one person may take something positive away

LEARNING AND INSPIRATION – YOU NEVER KNOW ENOUGH

I have got back into the habit of reading/listening to at least one book a month. I’ve always found it a great way to gain knowledge and take on a fresh approach. Sometimes, it’s even just a bit of reinforcement that I am doing things the right way.

I had connected with an entrepreneur called Rob Moore on LinkedIn and seen some of his live interviews on my feed. He is a serial entrepreneur, podcaster, investor, mentor and author, so I thought I would give one of his books a go; Start Now, Get Perfect Later. I figure if you’re going to learn you should look to the leaders. There were some great time management processes in there, which I’ll be implementing as right now there are often days I feel I have been working all day but don’t see the outcomes I want. Also, he helps you to focus on that one thing you want more than anything, which again I found good. With 93 chapters, it’s a whale of a book, but I would like to bet there is a nugget for everyone in there.

If any of the above has resonated with you, it would be great to hear your comments.

P.S pebbles painted with friends during Covid 19 pandemic when the government allowed us to meet in the garden.

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