It was a packed house and Start Up voted it as one of the top 10 workshops celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week prior to it even commencing. No pressure then!
The other speakers included my great friend and business partner Jessica Huie MBE (Colourblind Cards and Jessica Huie PR), Kerrie Dorman ( Serial entrepreneur-The Restaurant Mentors) and novelist Melissa Addey.
Each speech given, moved me greatly, these were women owning their ambition, achieving, running multiple businesses in some cases, working with some of the world’s biggest stars, writing books, starting creative projects, and, like myself, all in a way that works around their families.
Melissa wrote her book ‘101 Things To Do While Breastfeeding’, while, you guessed it, breastfeeding. Go check out Melissa’s super blog The Pram in the Hall too.
It made a real impact. Like everything Jessica says, does to me. I admire her greatly, for all that she has achieved, for always seeing opportunity in everything, for being a lady of great strength, intellect and more than anything, goodwill and kindness, of seeing the best in others.
These are all qualities I hope others see in me too.
That’s what I love so much about Jess, she possesses the characteristics I admire and always aspire to.
After the session, we panellists chatted to the women and men who had gathered there, so many, keen to take risks, work flexibly, start new businesses, blogs, prospective entrepreneurs eager but who felt held back. Some later revealed they felt scared, not confident, consumed with self-doubt and worry. I related to their words. I understood their fears. No one is spared of those times of feeling weak, not worthy, insecure.
After chatting to one lady in attendance, she sent me this touching email, ‘It was great to meet you last night. What an inspiring evening! The panel was fantastic, and thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us afterwards. After our conversation I feel like I’ve become ‘unstuck’ and can move forward. I’ve been bouncing around all day!’
There’s nothing more rewarding than feeling you’ve somehow empowered others.
It is important to note that confidence is a con really, those you might feel, are always the most confident, are not, we are simply good at giving ‘confident face’.
The truth is though, the more you practice feigning that confidence, the more you fool yourself, until ultimately, you believe in you too. Then something amazing happens, others follow suit, more opportunities come and your projected view of yourself and real one (achieving your goals) meet.
Before you know it, you have become untouchable, determined, STRONG.
And for the most part, I feel that way, I really do, because I work on it, on the positive affirmations, on the ‘putting my hopes into action’, of consistently working on my self-belief and worth, on the hard graft, on honing my voice, my skills, embracing the challenges, accepting the inevitable failures but pushing on and trying, more determined after a fall to get up again and hopefully thrive.
But not always.
Yesterday, I was trolled on this blog, pretty badly. The commenter is now blocked and I’m over it today, but of course it hurt me at the time.
A faceless commenter whose address had a man’s name in it, leaving vitriol about me, untrue assumptions stemming from a place of hatred, and worse, directed at my kids too.
Of course it upset me, I’m only human but it will not leave a lasting footprint.
It won’t prevent me from doing what I love, or change me.
It won’t stop me from sharing our lives, being open, genuine, honest and real.
And the response to the hatred?
An outpouring of love, of support and kindness received on my Facebook Page, a reminder of the good online, in life.
As I commented over there too, ‘Good people of the internet: 1, Troll: 0’.
This little skirmish of course is nothing in comparison to the real tragedy in the world, the loss of innocent lives daily, the pain, the hurt, isolation and abuse that goes on to so many, that breaks my heart.
As the wise words of Fred Rogers states though we must, ‘Always look for the helpers’ in these times, the kind ones, those championing, and wanting good. They are who matter.
We must practise kindness too, making it our default, towards others, and also to ourselves. We must not let the doubters, the naysayers, or our very own self-doubt cripple and destroy us.
We must know our worth.
We must realise our potential.
Creativity, passion, ambition, and self-worth are the lifeblood of successful businesses, and in my opinion, of fulfilment and happiness.
Whatever you choose to do, whatever road you decide to take, and are taking because you are a proactive protagonist in your own narrative remember, (the power is within you), do what makes you happy and remember that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. There are no limits!
Now, folks, let’s do this!
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My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home (UK 2nd Edition)