Ever since I was a child, I have hated goodbyes, my sisters who stayed far away would visit and I remember them leaving and always being sad. It’s the same thing now as my family are far away, so when I visit home, I always struggle with the “goodbye” bit, so my retort is always “until next time!”
It’s the same in business, it’s time for me to say “until next time”.
I am not leaving forever, I hasten to add! Just saying goodbye to one of several businesses I run. Sadly a very difficult decision, I decided to sell my Women In Business Network (WIBN) Franchise.
WIBN has been part of my life for the last 4 years, it’s in my blood. Over the years, I have met hundreds of inspirational, motivating, beautiful, energetic, loving, supportive, and just all round bloody brilliant people.
I started my WIBN journey in May 2012, I sat at the first meeting in Milton Keynes surrounded by 25 business women, I had no idea how they got there and I had no idea what I was supposed to do.
Back track a few months prior, 4 groups were for sale, I saw an opportunity for me to fill the marketing slot in each one and use it as a vehicle for my own business, so I went for it.
And back in the room… with 25 people I had never met (apart from one or two). I was terrified, frozen with fear might be a good description.
All of a sudden I realised that these 4 groups, about 60 women needed a leader. Someone to run the meetings well, ensure everyone was looked after, referrals and business was being passed. Each meeting had to have a good training topic that added value to everyone in the room and I shared the power of networking. Afterall, WIBN is a membership group so each and everyone needs to make a return on their investment.
Please also remember at this point, I could not do a public speaking gig. I could think of nothing worse that trying to inspire a group of women, let alone running some training topics or run these meetings. Reality check at this point – I had just bought this business, so kind of needed to step up a little and put my big girl pants on. So I threw myself out there… with my big girl pants on of course. [damn I wish I had a cape!]
Along the way, I learnt a huge amount about myself as a person and a leader. My confidence has grown hugely and public speaking is a way of life now. I have developed a training style that is full of energy and enthusiasm and I can confidently do this too. All while growing my own marketing and social media business through referrals within WIBN.
I would like to think I have helped many women grow their businesses, confidence and business skills over the last 4 years. I have worked hard to ensure the WIBN brand and my groups created a supportive, warm, energetic and functioning space for like-minded business women to collaborate and support each other.
I think the video above (done by Kate Everall Photography) captures it all. So I wanted to say a huge huge thank you to all the beautiful women who have stood by my side, picked me up when I fell down (a lot!) and inspired me to take my WIBN franchise where it needed to go. I have huge respect for you all and I have some beautiful friendships as a result.
The decision to move on was another big girl pants moment, [Damn, I NEED a cape!] I need to focus my efforts on the growth of the Female Business Hub whilst continuing to maintain my own existing client base. A single working mum decision – to focus on what would best serve my family, both from my time and financially.
So what now? Well, I turn 40 in a few weeks, so I shall take some time out, clear my headspace and focus on my other businesses for a couple of months. I will be around on the networking circuits in Milton Keynes and Leighton Buzzard, you can’t get rid of me that easily! And I am so excited to have handed my baby over to the truly inspirational Deborah James from James HR – she will do WIBN proud!
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And on that note, until next time…
Live, love and laugh
P.s you might like this blooper reel I did last year with Steffi Lewis Creative… It sums up the fun I had along the journey.