Before I go into detail on the week, what’s worked and what hasn’t – here are my tips. It is possible and a useful exercise to look for free coaching and mentoring. Here are some recommendations.
1. If you are a women, then Enterprising Women is a very good network who offer free mentoring. www.enterprising–women.org
2. Then for everyone – Menta and Womenta in Ipswich also offer high quality mentoring. www.menta.org.uk
3. Business Link again have advisors on hand. www.online.businesslink.gov.uk
4. Finally, your Bank Manager. I have a free bank, however it is remote and only provides transactional services. I decided that maybe my local branch could give me more support and I went to see them this week. I can choose an account which is free for 12 months and I get a Business Advisor who is able to support and advise me on my business and has local knowledge.
Summary of the week
Monday and Tuesday were pretty quiet this week. This is when I miss the corporate life. Starting your own business requires a great deal of self-motivation and drive. The overarching challenge is the lack of purpose that you get when working for a goal that others know about. I find that attending my two networking events every week and giving myself some specific daily tasks does help. This was why the second half of the week was completely different. On Wednesday I went to London, saw a coaching client and then was a guest at The Pink Shoe Club women’s business network. www.pinkshoeclub.com. It is an exclusive network with Rt Hon Theresa May MP and Tessa Sanderson. It was held in the Abbey Gardens in Westminster and approx 20 women attended. Dynamic, intelligent, positive women from a variety of backgrounds and businesses. This time, I met an HR Manager from a city council, a barrister, two coaches (of course!), an image consultant and a lady who has just set up a mental health trust. A small select group focused on understand and helping each other. Will definitely go again.
On Thursday I met another coachee with whom I have a bartering arrangement. At the end of the session she said “that was so effective that I cannot let you go without paying you” and wrote me a cheque! Such a wonderful feeling of helping someone and being recognised and appreciated for it. Yes this is the right vocation for me!
On Friday, I met up with someone I connected with at another network meeting and we travelled to Ickworth House for the Enterprising Women’s 4th birthday event. Another inspiring and useful session. Two aspects resonated with me. First was the point made that business women look for one of 3 things from someone. A Brain to Pick, A Shoulder to Cry On, A Kick up the Pants. How true! The second was the power of just asking those around the table for their ideas on your particular challenge. We participated in a “Feed Forward” session in which we each shared our challenge and then received suggestions. I picked up lots of useful tips not just from “my turn” but also from the entire session. I recommend Enterprising Women to all women start-ups! Reasonable membership fee at £50 and bags of value.
Recommended Book of the Week is The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Full of can-do motivational ideas to challenge you. Some good one-liners as well such as “Dont suffer fools or you will become one” and “Be the chess player not the chess piece”.
This week I proudly sat in the front row of the parents viewing of the school play admiringly watching my little monster perform. He is 11 and in Year 7. Apparently he won a part from his interpretation of the script at the auditions. The script ran:
Angela: “Everyone thinks I’m beautiful”
Guy: “Really?” responding in shocked disbelief. The script instructions read (say this sympathetically).
Obviously the Drama Teacher decided that Guy’s willingness to interpret instructions would add to the flavour of the play.