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.