Throughout this month we have been focusing on building our confidence, we have had speakers at all our meetups and our members have had access to a video course in the BizClub. It’s become apparent that it’s an area we all struggle in at one level or another, even those who have been in business for a long time still get nervous and struggle at times. But the techniques and tips that we have learnt will certainly help going forward.
In the words of Ronan Keating – Life is a roller-coaster – just got to ride it!!
My personal confidence has been on a roller coaster ride over the past 18 months or so, in Nov 2012 when I started BizMums it was quite low as I wasn’t really sure if anyone would be interested in my ideas and would want to join me in what I was planning, but thankfully others did and as the popularity of the groups grew and more people got involved my confidence grew too. I then had to get out to other networking meetings to meet new people who could help me and my confidence dropped again as I was in an unfamiliar environment but throughout the early part of 2013 it began to increase again as the unfamiliar people and situations became familiar and friendly. BizMums was awarded support through the Social Enterprise Organisation UnLTD this was a great boost to my confidence having an organisation like that believing in me and supporting my ideas. In July 2013 I had my little girl Isabella and like all mums of newborns my confidence dipped again as I was petrified of this tiny little bundle who was totally dependant on me. The Summer holidays were tough as not only did I have this tiny newborn to care for I also had my very energetic 4 yr old little boy at home every day too! This came with it’s challenges and perhaps saw my confidence dip to it’s all time low as I began to question if I could cope with my children, running a home and running a business. But I got though it and throughout that summer I put the final touches to The BizMums Conference and Awards. This took place on Saturday 12th September 2014 and has to be my confidence high for the past 18 months. Looking back I really don’t know how I did it but it was a brilliant day, the room looked amazing, the speakers were fab, people actually turned up (this had caused me more sleepless nights than my newborn) and everyone had an amazing day and left feeling inspired and motivated which was exactly what my goal had been. The most rewarding part was seeing the reactions of the very deserving award winners who were recognised for their achievements in their businesses. The week before the conference I also found out that I had been nominated in the Entrepreneur of the year category at a national awards so it was a really great confidence building few weeks. At the start of September I also took part in a 4 week course called ‘Infinity Possibilties’ run by Michelle Lowbridge. This course came at the perfect time for me as I had been struggling through the summer and I would highly reccomend Michelle’s course to any new mum. We then went to launch lots of new groups all across Staffordshire & Cheshire and this then saw my confidence drop as I was unsure if people were going to actually come to the launches but when they did it went up again and that brings us to today.
The one constant thing……
Despite all these ups and downs one thing has been constant through out the past 18 months and it is my biggest and most important tip for you to help you with your confidence and that is to create a support network. At the start I was very un-confident as I was on my own but as I started the groups I met some lovely ladies who have come on my journey with me. When ever i’m having a bad day one of these lovely people will be there to pick me up and tell me in one way or another that I can do it and without them all it’s safe to say that BizMums would not be here today. At the very start was Sue Miller who I was friends with before BizMums. She was a host at a networking group I attended and it was there that I first shared my plans for BizMums. As always Sue was very supportive and encouraging and gave me lots of suggestions to help me build on my ideas including the name of a venue which we now use for Queensferry BizMums. Sue is one of the top copywriters in the UK and is always at hand to help me correct my grammar and spelling errors! Next I met Amanda Wynne Evans who I was put into contact with when I was looking to commission the BizMums website. I was very specific about who I wanted to do the website as it was very important to me that they understood the ethos of what I wanted to create with BizMums. I couldn’t of asked for anyone better than Amanda, she has been fantastic and such a support to me. Early on I had decided that it would be good to have a theme each month around which we would offer support and the first theme was Twitter. I took to Twitter to ask if anyone could recommend anyone to speak at our events in January. Rebekah Harriman and Claire Dowdall’s names were quickly put forward and they agreed to attend the events. I’m so glad that they did as Rebekah has been an ongoing mentor to me and was the first person that I shared my ideas for the Conference & Awards and with her support I was able to take my ideas and create an event way beyond even my initial expectations. Claire Dowdall has become a great friend and we often bounce ideas of each other for a our businesses and have many late night Facebook chat’s sharing ideas and helping each other out which I am very grateful for. My good friend Angela Georgiou started her own business after I nagged her into attending a BizMums event and she is now a successful silver smith and has secured a tutoring role at our local college. Throughout the past 18 months she has listened to my stresses and ideas and for that I am very grateful. When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy I needed to make some contingency plans in-case I wasn’t able to attend events and for when my baby was born and this was when I began looking for hosts for our events. The first host was the wonderful Jo Pritchard who happily stepped up to host the Shrewsbury Events. Nothing is ever to much trouble for Jo and she has continued to be the Shrewsbury host ever since and a very important part of the BizMums team. When we launched our new groups in September I was very fortunate to have the help of Melissa Plimmer, Michelle Peters, Gina Cox-Roberts, Kirsty Percival, Jenny Hopson. They are all still hosting events now and are the first to hear of my idea’s as I really value their feedback. Stacey Knight Jones did such a brilliant job as our Stone host that she has officially joined the BizMums team as Area Co-ordinator for Staffordshire & Cheshire and is my right hand lady in growing BizMums. Her support means the world to me and whenever I’m having a moment or feel like I can’t do it any more she is the one who picks me up and gives me a reason to keep going. And finally the most important members of my support team, my family. My partner Tim helps me to keep everything going, knowing that he supports and believes in me is the push I need on those days when I’m having a wobble and wondering if it’s all going to work.
“You become like the 5 people that you spend most time with – Choose carefully”
You may be very lucky and already have a network of supportive friends and family who keep you motivated and on the right track, but I know that I didn’t when I first started my business. Tim was very unsure of what I was doing and even though he believed in me it took a long time for him to totally support me and get behind the business. I only knew 3 of the 13 people I’ve written about above before I started my business, I had to create my support network along the way so if you don’t currently have a support network in place you can too. There is a well known quote “You become like the 5 people that you spend most time with – Choose carefully” so if you’re currently surrounded by negative people who run you down and aren’t supportive to your ideas and your business then it may be advisable to spend less time with them and to find some new people to spend time with who will support and inspire you. Networking is great way to do this, the majority of people who attend networking events are there because they want to improve and grow their business, and themselves. You do get the odd negative one but you can usually suss them out pretty quickly, make your excuses and move on to the rest of the positive people in the group. At BizMums we have created a supportive community on Facebook in our members group which you get access to at any level of membership and I know that many of our members have created their own support network purely through that group. It is so powerful and key to growing your confidence so start building and growing your support network today.
See you soon
Michelle and part of her Support network in June 2013
P.S. You can join our supportive community with a 30 Day trial of the BizClub as well as 3 gifts from me for just £1 click HERE to find out more