Wow, Changing Events is nearly a year old!
OK, so foolishly I thought at this point things would be getting easier and I would be looking at taking on staff, moving into offices and ordering a brand new car.
The last 12 months have been a mixture and of pleasure, pain, successes and failures. All of which have shaped the person I am today and given me so many tools and experiences that I am truly grateful for.
When I started my business I wanted to regain some control over my life, build a secure financial future for myself and my daughter and create unique events that take away stress from organisers and adds value to ticket purchasers.
For the most part I achieved my goals, in fact only one event I put on received complaints. Why am I telling you this, well I believe in being open and honest. Plus that event and those that didn't enjoy it have helped me shape the next 6 months of my business, my partnerships and the messages I put into public domain. Every person who got in touch with me I responded to personally and I dealt with personally. I feel that is the best customer service I can provide anyone that interacts with me or Changing Events.
The biggest question that it raised however was, "Do I have the control over my life and business that I wanted?" The answer was a resounding NO!
I'd let my excitement and envious thoughts of other entrepreneurs living what seems like perfect lives cloud my judgement and take me off track (they are not living perfect lives by the way. No one is). I stopped investing in my own self development, growth and learning and as a result I lost a bit of the control I set out to have.
Turns out this is not uncommon for small business owners. Phew!!
Those of you that know my back story know I'm not a quitter and that I take everything that comes my way as an opportunity to learn and grow. SOOOO
I reignited my passion for learning by reaching out to business mentors to give me a kick up the bottom and refocus. I researched and signed up to five training courses which will help me create specific, measurable, achievible, realistic, time manageable targets for the next 12 months. Most of all I have changed my thought processes and my personal goals. Now I can SEE the second year of business being the best yet. Very exciting!!
Upon speaking to my business mentor, she helped me realise that it's MY business. My working hours are set by me and me alone. As a single mum or a working parent in general, I don't and sometimes can't work normal 9-5 hours so why oh why am I killing myself (and the relationship with my daughter) trying to do that?
As a result of that call, I have set an auto responder on my emails stating clearly the hours/days I work and the timescales in which I will get back to people.
I can't tell you how good that has made me feel! Some control back, yes!
Now, it's about looking at the next 6 -12 months and setting goals. One of those goals is to network with other small business owners and not only meet new people but support them, help them through periods like I have gone through. We all go through them, it's just not everyone is brave enough to tell you that!
With that in mind and the fact that I control my working hours, I have set up The Ladies Lounge. A networking group for small business owners, working women and women looking to get back into the working world to connect and hopefully help each other reach those goals.
It's very exciting to watch it grow, I now have two lounges, Southport and Liverpool with London opening later in the year. Network events are Changing ;)
I can't wait to celebrate Changing Events first birthday on 23 August and what better way to do that then in the Southport Lounge with some lovely, inspirational women :)
Right, now it's Saturday lunch time and I have date with my daughter :)
Bye for now and remember, take time to invest in yourself. Rome wasn't built in a day and the only way to succeed is to learn from your failures.
Feel like everyone else around you is getting it right and you’re not? Well stop! There is not one person on this planet that is perfect and never will be.
Take me for example, everyday I set out to do very best I can, be the very best person I can, yet there is always someone ready to tell me I’m wrong or getting it all wrong. Not because I am, simply because I am not doing what they want me to do or they way they want me to do it.
You see, I am a rule breaker. Unintentionally and not through being a rebel, simply by knowing what I want, the person I want to be and sticking to my guns.
Don’t get me wrong that sometimes leads me to allowing people to upset me on large scales. Only last week I was rendered to tears more than once. I allowed someone to be incredibly rude to me, for a piece of mail to nearly break me and an email that made me question my entire life. I say allow, because in reality they have NO hold over me, no control over me at all. Only I control my emotions and my actions however for a day or two I forgot that and let those incidences control my thoughts.
Setting out on your own is a scary road to travel at the best of times. When you feel like you’re surrounded by experts and you’re the amateur in the playing field, it becomes overwhelming. Following the week that was last week, I have learnt a lot so I thought I would share it with you in the hope it will reassure you that hurdles are just that, hurdles not excuses to quit and certainly not definitions of your character.
No one is in control of my emotions - I can refuse to allow people to upset me by simple believing in myself and staying true to myself
Recognise and learn from each experience - You will make mistakes, we are all human however recognise them, own them, learn from them and don’t repeat them. If you an do that, they stop becoming mistakes and start to become learnings.
Be kind to yourself - All successful people started at the bottom and took time to get to where they are. As the old saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” If someone tries to put you down or dim your shine, move away from them. You don’t need them in your journey. Truly successful, happy, people will help you even when you fall as they will recognise the mistakes from their own beginnings.
It’s OK to get scared and/or overwhelmed - staying focused and kind to yourself doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to get upset, scared overwhelmed or damn right angry. Resisting these emotions is actually counter-productive. Acknowledge them, deal with them then turn them into the burning desire to achieve your goals!!
No of us are perfect so own that and grow from it.
Being an entrepreneur is very lonely at times. Constantly being in your own head, trying to make decisions about every aspect of your business, plans, hopes and dreams is not only stressful it's also exhausting. Throw in being a single mum trying to build a business during school hours and you've got yourself a hot bed for self doubt, fear and the odd hissy fit!
Changing Events has been a dream of mine for a number of years, as I approach 12 months in business I can honestly say I totally underestimated how hard it can be at times to keep going when it seems like everything and everyone is against you.
However that said, I am incredibly proud of myself for facing the challenges and knocks head on AND most importantly learning from them so never to repeat them again.
In fact the things I have learnt over the last year have compelled me to help other women NOT to feel the same way. I know from first hand experience how tricky it can be juggling home life with work life and to stay sane at the same time.
Yes I know I have to work ON my business not just IN my business, finding that balance is a real skill. A skill I am now getting into and a skill I want to teach others.
So…how do I pass this learning on to all the other amazing women out there who are beating themselves up over and over again trying to do something for themselves whilst doing so many things for everyone else.
All will be revealed! Let's just say for now, it's going to be a journey for me as much as you or someone you know. No more battles in your own head, together we can support each other and left each other up :)