After being a Police Officer for nearly 30 years (As I write this I have 194 days left to go!!!) The time came for me to start thinking of life outside of the ‘job’…It’s all I’ve ever known, I joined the cadets as a fresh faced 16 year old and the regulars at 18…My life thus far dedicated to trying to help others and make a small part of the world a safer place. I am only 48, too young to retire, but I wanted to find something that would take me on the next part of my life journey.
My husband retired from the police in 2009 and spent the first 18 months, recovering from 31 years of shifts and twiddling his thumbs before he followed his passion for photography and became a qualified Wedding Photographer….’Come and work with me’ he said…..’No chance’ I replied, ‘I’d cut heads and feet off…I’d rather marry people…..’
So the old cogs started whirring and I stumbled across the Fellowship of Professional Celebrants, the organisation I trained with in 2011…My 5 year pre retirement plan was in place….
I am now a Wedding and Family Celebrant.
What is one of those I hear a lot of people ask……No I’m not a celibate…(although I am an old married woman so that probably goes with the territory!)
What I do, is wonderful and fulfilling, creating a ceremony that is truly reflective of the couples and families that I now have the pleasure of working with.
It’s a role I can combine with the day job and it gives me so much pleasure I don’t see it as a job…..People actually WANT to invite me into their home to discuss the biggest day of their lives and to tell me their life story.
I write and deliver bespoke Weddings, Vow Renewals, Naming and Adoption Ceremonies….In fact if you can think of an excuse to have a family celebration I can write a ceremony to reflect the love and feelings we humans can have for each other (and even the pets).
A Celebrant led wedding can be held anywhere, it does not require a licensed venue. It can include anything you wish from the secular to the spiritual.
I’ve conducted Weddings at a Zoo, In a Stately home, back gardens and Jimmy’s Farm.
The have ranged from fairly formal and traditional to Pagan and Steam Punk.
Your imagination really is your only limitation!
Everyone is different, everyone has a unique story to tell, I get to hear those stories, write a script and deliver them with warmth and humour. AND I can honestly say that all of the feedback I have thus far received has been amazing.
So as my retirement from my day job rapidly looms, I feel as ready as I can be for the transition, into a new career. A job that is so different but I think equally rewarding.
I can’t end without a shout out to Mandie and the BWN. I’m so glad that I have found her and her organisation.
I’ve learnt so much from the meetings I’ve attended so far this year…My Linkedin profile is generating contacts and views I never thought possible from just a few suggested tweaks, and the networking opportunities at the meetings have been second to none. I can’t wait until the end of the year when I can commit to attending the meetings properly…..That darn day job interfering again!
So……..What will your story be?
P.S. ….DESPERATELY looking for someone to book me for a Harry Potter themed wedding…I have the wand and the cloak….Just need the excuse……
(It’s great to have you on board Michelle and wish you every success with your new job, and will the Harry Potter wedding have a Hagrid and Dementors? We can’t wait to find out!)
We loved this email, that much we are sharing it in its entirety here as a blog article:
I have been attending the BWN regularly for over a year now and have found it has had a hugely positive effect on my business. Each meeting has a master class with knowledgeable speakers who give genuinely useful information I can then put into practice to improve my working methods, whether that be social media, public speaking or time management – I always come away with a set of action points.
The format of the meetings works particularly well, allowing for free networking and the opportunity for most (if not all) attendees to speak about their business in front of the whole group. By attending regularly I have built up relationships with many members, as a network of expert support and advice as well as gaining several new clients, who have since gone on to give me wonderful testimonials that I can now use in my future marketing.
Mandie Holgate and The BWN’s commitment to sharing and promoting members’ updates and connecting people who can truly work well together is beyond any I have seen at other network groups, and as photographer for the group I am particularly proud to be a part of the continued conversations beyond the meetings themselves.
Thank you Mandie and the BWN for your valuable support and promotion!
Jayne Lloyd Photography @Jaynelloyd
If you would like more than just business card swapping, if you would like the network, connections, support, ideas to achieve more then The BWN could be for you. Our tagline is As Passionate About Your Success As You Are, why not let us prove it to you too.
Check out the fabulous corporate photographer Jayne LLoyd here
Most businesses at some time have dabbled with networking but how is it possible that some businesses love it and think it is the key to growing and sustaining their business. When others find it a waste of their time, a drain on their resources and worse still dipping into their profits!
If you’re not getting the results you want, here’s our guide to getting it right and why you could be getting it wrong…
First of all you need to know why you are networking. If your plan was to run in a room and run out again with 30 sales, then first of all you need a reality check. Unless you’re selling designer shoes or 5 star holidays for £5 its unlikely the sales are going to be pouring in. For networking to work it needs to factor as part of a structured focussed marketing strategy.
It is important to understand that networking enables you to;
After all great networking results are about communicating effectively to get connected.
And the bigger your network the more benefits you could be getting!