Why do you love the BWN so much?
There are many reasons that I love the BWN so much, I had never been to a networking event of any kind and the BWN was my first foray into this world. Initially for me it was the timing and the financial aspects that appealed, that was before I got to know more about the ethos of BWN. So many other networking groups run very early in the morning (not suitable when you’re a single mum that needs to get children to school) and often come packaged with some rather steep membership fees and rules. The fact that the BWN doesn’t charge a membership and doesn’t incur a penalty if you can’t make a meeting is the flexibility that I need to have.
How does it help your business?
The BWN has helped me in so many areas of my business. The biggest, aside from the natural progression of gaining new customers, is it has helped my confidence levels rise in general which has helped me enormously with my work. Just this week I hosted my businesses regional monthly meeting with around 40 people, I would never have said yes to doing this had I not had the positive experiences with the BWN.
For what reasons do you love being a coordinator?
I wanted to try my hand at being a BWN co-ordinator to develop and push my own personal skills further. Public speaking has always been something that has filled me with dread, even the 60 second pitches would scare me. Rather than running away from something that made me uncomfortable I knew that the only way I could get better was to face it head on and actively look to improve myself by taking on new challenges. I love being the person responsible for giving business women a great morning, filled with relevant information that is key to them not only in business but on a personal level too. Being able to connect women who could really help each other out is a great feeling.
Would you recommend it to business women and why?
Hosting the BWN events has really helped me to grow as a person and develop my skills. Being totally honest, there were moments when I wondered why on earth I had taken this on, and thought there were some things that a technophobe like me would never get the hang of! However there was, and continues to be as much support as I need in order to make a success of my events. I would recommend to any business women who is thinking about hosting a BWN networking group to stop thinking, and start doing! Obviously it is great for raising your own profile, but the biggest reward for me is bringing other ladies together who can really benefit from each other.
What inspired you to take on the role of a second venue? It’s not even in the same county!
On a personal level this year has been particularly challenging to me, but without a doubt I always feel 100% better when I have hosted a BWN meeting. The amazing women, the support, the knowledge, the learning, the inspiration, it all goes such a long way in keeping me motivated within myself. Seeing a group of like minded women connecting with each other is wonderful. When I heard that a new location was in need of a host I knew that it was the next step in my BWN journey, it excites me that I can now bring to BSE what I have to Tendring.
What do you want to do for Suffolk business women?
I want to spread the BWN love and build a really solid group of business women in the Bury St Edmunds area. Somewhere ladies can feel comfortable not pressured, empowered not judged, motivated and inspired to lead their best lives, personally and within their businesses.
How do you see your role?
Facilitating this, bringing people together and providing them with speakers who will add value to each and every woman who attends. I want people to leave my events feeling awesome, feeling that they have invested a few hours into themselves and their businesses that will continue to have lasting effects.
What is your best/happiest moment of hosting a BWN event?
My first ever event was in November 2018, and I was terrified! But I was also excited! It went brilliantly, and for the first time I allowed myself to believe that I could actually do this! But my happiest moment from being involved with the BWN has got to be when I was poorly in December 2018. Mandie sent me a video clip of all the BWN ladies singing, just for me as I couldn’t be there due to my incarceration in the local hospital. For me it sums up the true ethos of the BWN. Yes, we are all about business, and effectively helping each other, but we are also about looking out for each other, and that for me is where it all begins.
We are so excited to announce the Launch of The Business Mans Network. It matters to us greatly that we are there to support your sales, confidence and success. And for years Founder Mandie Holgate had been asked to set an event aimed at men in business. So its exciting to announce this launch on Monday the 8th May at our Wivenhoe House venue.
We know that we will have to work hard to get the right balance and create events as powerful as the ones we already host. The BMN events will have the same structure as The BWN events and there will still be no membership and lots of extra ways we can support you.
We’ve already had a policy that if a business man books a ticket then they are not turned away. We attract some of the top speakers in the UK and feel The BWN has always be inclusive and not exclusive. And the same will apply here. Although we would request that for the first event women in business given business men the chance to create their own core group before you consider attending.
It has also important to us that we do not drop the standard of support, motivation and ideas we give to women in business so please do keep in touch if you feel there is more we could be doing to support you and your success.
Here you can read the full article that appeared in the Gazette this week about the launch. Launch BMN May 2017
We like to know our members really well. And we like you all to know our memberes too. Today meet Genevieve McAllister from Crocus Connect. Who tells us why she became a member of the BWN and what her business is all about. You can meet Genevieve at our Essex events.
What made you set up your business?
Running my own business had always been at the back of my mind even whilst I was building my career first in the City and then in Corporate Communications. As my children were growing up I had progressed from working part-time to almost full-time, but I was constantly juggling childcare and trying to put the hours in at work – and feeling guilty a lot of the time. I remember going for a walk with my dog through the fields a couple of years ago and having an intense moment of clarity where I realised things needed to change. And very soon after I’d thought this, an opportunity came up at work which meant I could leave and start realising my dream.
How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been self employed for about 18 months, but it was only last summer that I decided to focus more on becoming a VA (virtual assistant). It made sense to me because the people I was meeting through networking were mainly owners of small businesses who don’t necessarily want to employ other people directly, but sometimes need to outsource office support or marketing.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I like the feeling that I’m the one who makes the decisions and can focus on whatever is most productive for me at any given moment. I don’t have to wait around on other people telling me what I can and can’t do. And the feeling I get when someone wants to hire me to do some work is brilliant!
What do you hate most about running your own business?
My tax return, definitely. I’ve been grappling with HMRC only today.
What benefits do you get from networking?
I’ve picked up work from networking and it’s a great way to get yourself in front of people and find out which of their work problems you can help solve. Also, as I spend a lot of time on my own working at home, it’s good to meet people and talk through day to day issues the way I would if I worked in a more conventional office with lots of colleagues.
What would you say your greatest skill is? (Be honest you have lots!)
I recently read a blog which resonated with me and it was asking people to identify what is their ‘thing’. It’s usually something that comes to you so naturally you barely even realise you can do it. After a bit of thought (and asking my husband, my mum, my friends…) I realised that my ‘thing’ is proofreading – I can look at a page of text and immediately pick up the typo. It shouldn’t have been news to me – after all, I’d been project managing communications and publications for several years so it was always part of my job, but like I said, often your ‘thing’ is something you find easy and don’t believe it’s a skill.
What was the reason that you decided to be a member at The BWN?
I’d heard good things about the BWN (and Mandie!) from others and decided to come along and try it for myself. I’m just finding that the women who do attend are really supportive and interested in what everybody else is doing. I always come away fired up with enthusiasm and that’s a great motivator once a month.
What do you see the future holding for your business?
I see the VA side of my business growing this year as I continue to focus my networking activity around that. There’s a direct correlation between the work I put in and how my business grows, so it’s important to keep up the momentum.
Longer term, I’d like to develop a balance between my VA work and my copywriting and proofreading. And if I can throw a little voiceover work into the mix too, that would tick all my boxes nicely!
Who would it be good to for you to know?
I’d like to meet people who run small to medium-sized businesses who need extra support but don’t want the formality of hiring extra people. Because I’m quite patient and organised I’m a good foil for whirlwind creative types – and I like working with them too.
I’d also like to meet someone who would get satisfaction from acting as a mentor. I think that having someone to act as a sounding board is invaluable and of course, it’s a two-way relationship.
Thank you Genieveve for sharing your business growth plans for 2016, who you would like to know and how you can help us. If you would like to answer these questions and get your business talked about on our blog, learn more about being a member here. It costs less than the early bird ticket!
There seems to be this new breed of people – the procrastinators (sounds like something out of Star Trek doesn’t it?) A lot of business women describe themselves as procrastinators and search for ideas and ways to deal with what they procrastinate about because of the impact it can have on their business success.
If you find yourself exploring the realms of “procrastinator” what can you do to ensure it doesn’t get in the way of what you wish to achieve?
Firstly even procrastinators do not procrastinate about everything. They successfully get up and get dressed and drive a car to arrive at meetings, shops etc. This proves that they do not procrastinate about everything, just certain areas of their life.
What areas of your life do you procrastinate about?
What areas of your life do you always get on and achieve what you wish to?
If you can become aware of this you can start to address the obstacles that are there.
Be aware of the way you think. When we procrastinate we constantly reinforce what our mind has already said to us. “That job is going to take ages and is going to be a real headache” our mind tells us, and we allow it to increase these feelings by reinforcing them. So be aware of this and stop them in their tracks.
Do you even want it? Another reason that we put things off is because in actual fact it’s something that we do not even want. There are many external influences on our lives, from friends and family to media and the internet, it can be hard to listen to our internal voice. How many times have you thought something would be great and you have been shot down by someone and then gone on to dismiss it all together? Before you ask other people what they think debate the pros and cons with yourself and find out what you really want.
Are you procrastinating or are you subconsciously listening to your gut instinct?
Remember the sticker charts you gave your kids, or were given yourself? Ever thought about why they are so successful and popular? They work!
Visual stimulation works a treat with procrastination. If you know the area that you procrastinate in create your own sticker chart. (You don’t need to show anyone. You can stick it to the inside of your wardrobe.) Make it fun, if it makes you laugh when you stick a smiley face sticker (or our personal favourite the all hallowed Gold Star) on your chart when you actually do it, you are more likely to do it again. You are creating a subconscious link to being happy with getting the job done, and every sticker reinforces that.
Lastly when you succeed over the procrastinator in you, however small the accomplishment acknowledge it. Revel in your successes. These will reinforce that you can beat procrastination and achieve what you wish to.
Let us know how you get on and if you wish to discuss more ways to help you beat the procrastinators get in touch.
In life you know how you get so used to something and then you cast your mind back and you can’t remember when that first came into your life?
Well that’s what it’s like for me with my best friend. If you knew me, you would know that my best friends in life tend to be my hubby and family (sad but true) but years ago this woman came into my life and just always seemed to be there. And today I thank the universe for that.
But then today is a special day. 3 years ago today Clare right now was having a lung transplanted – that’s tough enough, but when you take into account the numerous false starts Clare had before she finally got the transplant and how Clare couldn’t walk anywhere without an oxygen tank and a rather groovy granny scooter you really appreciate how lucky we are to have this fab woman around.
Clare was there when I was seriously ill with depression, when I had my 2nd child, when I set up the BWN. Clare designed and loving created the BWN website – she stood by me as the BWN grew (and along the way I ensured that everyone knew how amazing her websites are – actually to the point whereby recently she told me to stop sending her clients – love effective networking.)
But why am I telling you this?
Well recently I have been working on a national level looking at the issues that affect women in business. And ensuring that the Home Office and the Bank of England know the issues that affect busienss women. Childcare, broadband, fuel costs, old boy networks, glass ceilings, lack of opportunities, sexism, racism the list is long. But when you meet business women like Clare you realise that if you have passion, determination and dedication it doesn’t matter what obstacles there are. You find a way forward to success.
However big the obstacle you find a way to get the results you want.
If you want to interact and know a fabulous business woman (who also happens to be your IT Fairy and all-round whiz with all things IT) then connect with Clare Lauwyers @ClareLauwerys. I guarantee a business woman that will motivate, inspire support and be there for you – now who wouldn’t want one of those?
On that note who motivates, inspires and supports your success? Knowing those things can be critical when you are having a tough time.
A bit of a girly blog today, but hey business women are allowed to be business women on their own terms the way they want to, and that includes supporting and acknowledging their way to success.
Thank you Clare.
There are some true greats in our world today. And today we lost one.
We read this and had to share it with you. Steve Jobs was co-founder and former CEO of Apple, and today died far too young at the age of 56 after a long and highly public battle with cancer. He truly inspired a generation and touched so many lives in so many ways.
“Steve Jobs02:40 The Wall Street Journal has republished Jobs’ well-known 2005 commencement address at Standford University, in which he reflected on life, career and mortality:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.””
This man knew what he was talking about – Seize the Day ladies, Seize the Day.
To read the full article – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/steve-jobs/8809997/Steve-Jobs-dies-live-blog.html