Monthly Archives: November 2019

Why I’m bringing The BWN to Warwickshire!

Warwickshire networking with amanda miller at The Business womans networkWhen we launched The BWN 10 years ago we thought we would just help North Essex business women learn new skills, meet likeminded business women and most importantly gain new business. We never thought we would end up at the House of Lords, Downing Street, in the media all the time and now in 6 counties! So when Amanda Miller from Monat Hair and Home Spa got in touch, we were as excited as Amanda was!

Here Amanda talks about her own reasons for launching her own businesses, do get in touch to learn more about our exciting launch!

What made you set up your business?

I’ve always wanted to help people and having tried a number of different professional job roles mainly in finance and mortgages specifically, I found that although I enjoyed customer service I wanted to assist individuals to find what it was that they needed. Hence I looked specifically at helping women to feel confident and happy within themselves. Particularly within a corporate role; the role of non-managerial women is overlooked and they are ignored or ill-treated. I’ve been exploring how to do this on a part-time basis whilst working in a number of corporate training jobs and adding to my skills base for the last 20 years. Now I have time to redefine the services that I offer.

What I love about
running my own business is getting feedback from women who I have helped to
make a difference in how I feel about themselves. Rather like my training role
when I ran personal development courses, I love to see their progression and

What I hate most
about running my own business is those days on end when I’m talking to myself
and not being able to be part of a team with a focus on the goal to achieve.
I’m not particularly motivated by financial goals and am an expert at

The benefits I get
from networking
are similar to a well-run team meeting: if everybody is
supporting each other and not just there for a natter and a cup of coffee! I
used to run The downtown women’s club of
MetroWest Boston (USA)
which was great for meeting businesswomen and learning
from them I am hoping that business women’s network is going to exceed that.

I think my greatest
is possibly listening to other people and being inquisitive to learn
new things. Im also good in a crisis!

I wanted to become a member of The BWN because I think we need it here in the West Midlands. There are many networking groups for mummies that focus on working around children and far less for business women who own their own businesses. Having run the downtown women’s club in Boston I miss it. I also want to build professional contacts locally and have been inspired by what you’re doing in Essex, North London, Norfolk and Suffolk.

I’m really looking forward to launching The Business Womans Network in Warwickshire in January 2020, if you’d like to learn more have a chat my number is 07805 835581

My email is or

And you can check out what I do on my site

I can’t wait to welcome you. Sign up to our main newsletter to hear about our first event and get in touch personally to join my mail list for just Warwickshire events. I can’t wait!

  • November 23, 2019

A Woman’s Struggle becomes her Passion

Business Woman, Aly Wilson from Red Rocket Studio attends our Essex Networking events and sometimes steps in as corporate photographer too. We appreciate that a successful business and career relies heavily on good health (physical, emotional and mental) and really appreciate Aly’s honesty. What do you do to look after yourself so that you are ready for any change in your business life?

Aly Wilson’s passion for swimming with a difference!

A few years ago, I was in so much pain, I couldn’t do up my bra, but now I’m over halfway to swimming the channel! Everyone knows someone struggling with pain and / or depression so let me tell you my story as it might be able to help you or a loved one in a similar situation.  

I started swimming regularly in my early twenties as I knew it would be good for a bad back. I used to do gymnastics, trampolining (as well as coaching them) and a whole host of other sports but after a skiing accident at 15 my back got worse and had to stop. I loved it and used to get up at 5.45 am regularly to go for an early morning swim before work and sometimes managed to fit one in in my work lunch break.

Fast forward a few years and depression had made an annoying entry into my life. I still swam but mornings were out for me, so I just managed to fit it in where I could. I knew it would help and with back trouble, that and a bit of cycling and Pilates were the only sports I could really do. It really helped with my mental health, and with being bullied in my awful NHS job, it was one of my lifelines.

In 2009 I did the Great East Swim which was a mile in open water. I’d never done any open water before and it was great. I promptly booked in to do the one the next year. I had started having some shoulder problems (rotator cuff tendonitis / impingement) after a scooter accident the year before – some nice driver thought it would be a great idea to see me flying over his car bonnet – which had affected my left shoulder as I’d landed on it, and then out of nowhere my right one started playing up too and got so bad I had to unfortunately withdraw from the next Great East Swim.

This obviously came with extra issues related to mental health. Swimming was good for me, my mental health and my back but the pain I was in meant I couldn’t swim, which made for one big vicious circle.

After various injections the left one calmed down but the right one got so bad, I couldn’t drive for 5 months, had trouble getting dressed – doing up a bra was a complete nightmare – and even pulling up clothes I had to done one-handed. It affected my thumb as well and actually found it more debilitating than my usual back pain. This one got to the point of being a frozen shoulder. No amount of injections seemed to work on this one (which I didn’t really want anyway but didn’t feel I had a lot of choice at the time) and it was only through some intensive private treatment and a lot of money spent that I started to improve.

Since then – around 2012 or so – I started swimming again. There were times I had to pull back on it, times when I doggedly wanted to swim so could be seen doing one-handed back stroke because the other shoulder was too sore, times when I didn’t do any at all, so never got any momentum up. For those who struggle with exercise, I do encourage you to do something. Sometimes I would only be in for slow 15-minute swim, but it still gets you doing something which can help heaps with the mindset.

Eventually about 2018 I started again properly. A few blips with shoulders and viruses have put me back now and again but I finally feel I’m built up my swimming mojo again! I just have to go with the flow, and I know there are times I need to be gentle or lay off for a bit. The shoulders are way improved but still have their little grumbles!

Last year, 2018, I was looking into where I could open water swim as I wanted to give that a serious go! I’d seen “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs” who had covered open water swimming as a treatment for depression. The only place I knew of was Gosfield Lake at Halstead which is a good 45 minutes from Wivenhoe. After some searching, I found a new place called Curve Wake Park which had recently opened in St Osyth and offered open water swimming, about a 25 minute drive from us! So, I started there and went a few times last year and regularly this year. When the water’s a bit cooler the staff always say they don’t know how I can go in without a wetsuit! I also went regularly to the Brightlingsea Lido which whilst it’s not ‘officially’ open water, is colder as it’s unheated. On my first swim of the season in Brightlingsea it was 15 degrees! I got out and felt a bit wobbly so decided it best to swim when it was a couple of degrees higher! J A proper swimming wetsuit is on my “to get soon” shopping list! That way I can keep going for longer when it’s much cooler!

Recently I saw the Aspire Channel Swim advertised. This is a challenge to swim 22 miles (wherever you are able – open water or pool) in 12 weeks in aid of Aspire – a charity helping those with spinal injury. So, I signed up. At the time of writing I’m at 13 miles, with 9 miles to go. I’m absolutely loving doing it.

We go to S Africa every year to see my mother-in-law and there’s the biggest open water event in the world held in Pietermaritzburg called the Midmar Mile (which isn’t that far from where we stay and happens to be on whilst we’re there) … so I signed up for that.

I’m also going to be signing up for the Great East Swim which used to be 1 mile, but now does a couple of shorter events for children as well as 2 miles 5k and 10k. I’m still deciding on the distance as I want to do the 5k but want to be sure I’d be good to do it! I only swam my first 2k a week ago … but know I have until June to prepare! For both these (Great East Swim and Midmar, I can raise sponsorship for my own choice of charities and I already have those in mind).

I know there are other local events and will be looking into joining into those too – the chilled out Mill to Mill from Dedham to Flatford is one.

I’d love it and really appreciate it if anyone can support me in my Aspire Channel Swim. “

Here at The Business Womans Network we help look after every aspect of a woman’s success. Her skills, her mindset, her connections and we are even here for their personal lives too. It matters to us greatly that you get to work with quality people that will respect you and your business too. We know that with the awesome structure to our events, there is time to build great relationships that really support a woman in businesses success.

Get in touch to learn more and the Insiders is an awesome support and business growth mastermind group that you could love too!

  • November 5, 2019