I’ve been mulling this blog post about the MumsUnLtd Shining Star awards over all week whilst walking back and forth to the nursery where I’ve been working this week. I’ve been thinking why it’s important to me and how being a finalist came about and how networking has changed my life over the past couple of years.
The MumsUnLtd Shining Star awards are run by the fabulous Debbie Gilbert of MumUnLtd networking, I joined the Amersham group at the beginning of the year and have found a really lovely bunch of ladies who meet up once a month, catch up with each other, tell the group what they need for thier businesses in terms of help and support and then we have a short business talk which sparks lots of ideas in us all. It’s a safe space to share when things aren’t going well and a great space to test new ideas out and celebrate your successes.
There is a quote that says “when you admire something about another woman, tell her. Get into the habit of lifting each other up” – unknown. That struck a chord with me – I do a fair amount of networking each month to take the Red Poppy story out there and meet new faces. It’s important to me to get out and about as sometimes sitting up in the loft gets a bit lonely and the friends I have made through networking over the last couple of years have become real true friends. When I think about why we network there are lots of reasons I do it. As I’ve said, friendship, sounding boards, meeting people I wouldn’t necessarily meet on a day to day basis, ideas, laughter, empowerment, touch love when needed, lifting up and cheering each other on. Women are a great support to each other, I guess it’s part of the nuturing nature we have in us but we really do care about each others businesses. It’s a takes time, passion, drive and courage to launch a business and keep it going and when you see someone has taken the leap and really wants to change the world or help other people with what they do then hell yes I’m going to cheer them every step of the way. Having done it myself and being a small business owner I know how hard it is.
When Debbie suggested I enter these awards in a conversation I nodded and said I’d have a look then drove home thinking – me, awards, I never win anything so why enter? But then I realised it’s not about winning, it’s about standing up for what I believe is right and good about my business and my networking ethos. It’s about how I am proud to help with ideas and advice where I can, it’s about the fact that my kettle is always on and my door is always open for someone who needs a chat or just need to talk to a human being that day. It’s about what I strive to do for my clients on each and every shoot and it’s about me being proud to be a small business owner and me doing that every single day when I get up.
So yes I entered the awards and I am delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist along with some amazing other women who run equally amazing businesses. It’ll be an honour to stand beside them next week at the awards ceremony. Will I win? Who knows but as I said its not about that, it’s about being the shining star, the beacon, the one who helps and empowers and encourages women every step of the way. I think that’s a great mantra to live by.