Another interesting week. The power of networking. I met a very nice lady at my first Enterprising Women’s day in the car park after the event. She then emailed me a number of other networks which she had found useful. One was Menta (and also Womenta) based in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. They offer free advice and support to small businesses. Although aimed at businesses in Suffolk, they often have attendees at their workshops from over the border. I attended their How to grow your business workshop. A whole day with lunch, free. Christine Guy-Clarke (yes for those who know me this seems quirky – given my surname and the fact that my son’s name is Guy), an extremely professional presenter, gave a very useful presentation. Do look them up if they are in your area. Thoroughly recommended.
Some other experiences that I am a little more wary about. I joined Raw Business. A start-up network. Very capable sales team offering a year’s membership for £50 and lifetime for £90. In addition to this you pay to attend networking events. They have a membership of thousands and a magazine with a large subscription. Here is the question mark. You join and then need to pay for almost every add-on. That is subscription to a hard copy of the magazine, attendance at events. They even quoted me £400 if I wanted to write an article for their magazine! So, I am going to attend their network and then reassess their value to me.
Similarly I took a free monthly subscription Chris Cardell’s VIP Circle. There is a lot on the internet about Chris some of it about the newspaper and attached post-it which arrived in my mail. The post-it reads “thought you might be interested in this – J”. First alarm bell is that I don’t know of a J who would send me this type of article. The internet cites “scam” etc etc. However, I have found that the free membership allows access to some interesting webinars, CDs and more. It does seem to a big push to attend Chris’ Summit at approx £2k and there is a multi-varied intense marketing push. I couldn’t help being impressed with a Bob Geldoff recording on my phone saying that he, Bob, was attending etc etc! Classy marketing! Anyway, if I wasn’t in start up and had the funds, I may well have booked (apparently there is a money-back guarantee if you don’t feel the value but getting money back is always trickier than giving it!). So, wary because I have found some value but……..
I have still struggling to find CEOs to interview about Women in Leadership roles for my Personnel Today article. Maybe the CEOs I have approached are concerned that they are not doing enough???? If anyone has access to a suitable interviewee, I would be very grateful for an introduction. I really am not looking for positive responses to the need for more women on Boards. I want their honest opinion – plus or minus. A reflection of reality.
I attach a picture of my son’s kitten Mooshie (named after a computer game). I have spent at least 5 minutes every day with my head stuck in my hedge and my bottom stuck out in the road trying to track where the little critter has gone. She has just discovered the outside world and, despite having a very large garden to explore, wants to track through the boundary hedge alongside the road. Traffic is tidal to and from the railway station and all of the family is terrified she will wander out into the road. Hence the regular mummy patrol alongside the hedge when she is out and my son is at school. Most of the village thinks of me as a mad woman since I insist on saying hello to everyone I meet and now I confirm their suspicions. I am probably a road hazard myself, as we are positioned on a bend and no doubt drivers slow down when they see the lower half of a woman’s torso sticking out of the hedge. Anyway enjoy the photo and I dare you not to say “ah”.
Recommended book this week is Find Your Passion by Jo Parfitt which gives “20 tips and 20- tasks for finding work that makes your spirit soar”. For anyone contemplating a change of career or in the position of making a choice, this book focuses on finding your “true calling”. An enjoyable read.