Everything begins as an idea. However, what use is an idea if you don’t follow up with action.
Let me tell you my story in a nutshell.
I left a well paid job in the City in October 2013 to research my first business idea – setting up a recruitment and selection training business supporting hiring managers to protect their businesses against financial, legal and reputational risk and support candidates through the interview process and ultimately getting that job offer.
I was really passionate, enthusiastic and driven – that’s all I needed to start a business right? Okay I wasn’t completely naïve I knew starting my own business from scratch was going to be tough and I’d probably end up doing longer hours than my days in the city.
Jack of many trades
I was right – I spent most of my time writing up fantastic training programmes, workshops, courses, materials, manuals, setting up a website, writing hundreds of content rich pages, wrote regular blogs and great and interesting newsletters. I even spent my time writing three books and was co-author to another.
However, I quickly ran out of time and yes you guessed it…money. I was trying to be a marketeer, an accountant, a book keeper, a programme designer, a credit controller, business developer, an administrator and the list goes on and on. I was very much working in my business.
Back to Work
Being a naturally cautious person and starting a business don’t exactly align well and after testing the first business idea for about a year I felt I’d taken enough risk and decided to go back to work. After all I was a better employee than a business owner.
I’m a great advocate for positively framing an experience that didn’t get the desired results. I learnt so much about what was actually needed to run a business and since going back to work I’ve supported two start-up businesses in the city with hundreds of employees each. In fact one of the businesses had 150 employees working on the website alone! So I don’t feel so bad about not be able to achieve my ambitious objectives.
Having understood how much work, effort, energy, time and money it took to start a business I was open to the idea of a business with low set up costs, low risk and a business model that had the potential of creating a residual income in the longer term. Do the work once and get paid over and over again. I really liked the idea of the residual income so I joined Utility Warehouse as a distributor and was able to do this along-side the day job.
The Network Bug
One thing I did enjoy and very much wanted to continue to do to grow my Utility Warehouse business was getting out and about locally to network with other business owners. I really understood the value of good networking skills and really enjoyed building relationships, building trust and credibility. Much better than cold calling!
One networking event that particularly stood out from the others because of its personal development master class was The Business Woman’s Network. When you attend one of Mandie’s events you know you are going to be made to feel welcome. Mandie goes out of her way to connect businesses and keep you up to date with local and relevant news and events.
However, it was impossible to find a networking group to fit with the Monday to Friday 9 to 5 job. So after much searching for a group that met at weekends I was about to give up on the idea. However, a friend of mine suggested I write a post on Facebook.
“I’m looking to gauge an initial interest in setting up a local (Colchester) networking group on Saturdays. Yes I know your weekends are very precious! Would really welcome your views, opinions or suggestions please?”
Little did I know at the time Mandie (the founder of BWN) had already put her plans to launch new networking groups across the UK into action – Get Paid to Network. Mandie responded to my post minutes after I’d hit send.
“I would be more than happy to discuss. I’m actively looking for people who want to get paid to network.”
The thought of actually setting up my own networking group really excited me and even better to get the support, guidance and mentoring from an already successful networker and business coach and to do all this under an already successful brand.
We met in June for a coffee and I attended the June and July BWN events in Five Lakes, Maldon and started generating the interest and creating some noise about becoming one of Mandie’s new coordinators– there was no stopping me! I’ve got to say it’s probably the easiest decision I’ve ever made in business (apart from joining Utility Warehouse of course!). I know Mandie is genuinely passionate about the success of everyone she works with and that shows in everything she says and does.
I am so excited to be starting out on this wonderful journey knowing I have so much support around me.
If you couldn’t make it to the launch event – here’s some of the feedback:
“Had a fabulous time yesterday at the North Essex Saturday Business Woman’s Network event with Networking No No’s & Know How Master Class. Met some lovely ladies and learnt a massive amount from Mandie” Louisa Goldstone-Smith – Colchester Scentsy.
“Such a good morning…well done Dawn for organising…you were amazing!” Lydia Adams of Lydia’s Luscious Lashes.
“Fabulous time at the first BWN Saturday morning networking group. Feel honoured to be part of this special group of inspirational women. Huge thanks to Dawn who I watched buzzing around.” Kerry Rose, Forever Living Products.
“Dawn is definitely the hostess with the mostess!” Jo Jarvis, Utility Warehouse.
“It was a fab meeting Dawn – and great to meet Mandie Holgate. Picked up lots of brilliant advice. Looking forward to the next event” Jenny Thackray, SMARTPA.
Hope to see you at the next event 24th October – How to be an Effective Leader with Cherry Allen, HR, Training and Coaching Expert.