Understanding my 'why' 

This is my post from 2 years ago today. I’d had a major wobble and it felt like BIG things were afoot... 
I lay in bed on Saturday morning pondering. I felt frustrated, angry, sad, unheard...events beyond my control were affecting how I was showing up. 
I knew my energy was off. I didn’t like it. I felt like I’d arrived at some kind of crossroad. I could turn back, carry on or change direction. 
I voiced my feelings to my husband. He listened. I cried. We talked. I felt better. I then decided it was time for change, but I wasn’t sure what needed to happen. 
When I first read it, I was like WOW! *THIS* is what it’s all about. This is what my work does at the deepest level, I work with the women who are in business to change the world. So, when I saw this quote, it really spoke to me. In fact it resonated so hard that it inspired a new strand for my business. 
I’d been searching for a couple of years, trying to find a place to hang out with likeminded women, a heart centred community. A space where we can chat without fear of judgement, be ourselves, warts, and all, give and receive support and have a good old laugh at the same time. 
I began to consider my style business and yes, clothes do have a lot of responsibility but they’re also about self-expression and identity which is much more than what you look like… 
When you’re getting dressed you may think about: 
✅The weather 
✅The activities you are doing that day 
✅What impression you want to create 
✅What looks good 
✅What feels good 
✅What mood you are in 
When you tick all of these boxes you become comfydent, in your power and are better prepared to smash your goals, ace the meeting, own the room etc. 
Trouble is all this comfydence and power can be weakened by the other stuff of life that we have to contend with as women. 
The thoughts about how you are going to juggle everything in between calling round to see if your dad’s OK, taking the cat to the vet, comforting your daughter who has just split from her boyfriend and keeping on top of everything workwise – this is when you need a group of cheerleaders who have your back. You need somewhere to go where they get it and can give you moral support as well as a bit of light relief. 

Dropping the mask 

So back to the quote I started with, I figured if I created *that* space we could grow our businesses and be there for each other. We could be supportive around business and life’s trials and tribulations, but not in a wishy-washy way. Somewhere it’s ok to share vulnerabilities as well as celebrate the good stuff, to give and receive support, have a laugh, and feel energised. 
It would be refreshing to be able to drop the mask, and if you were having a tough time to be able to say so and get support from people who appreciate that it's not always rosy in the garden, without feeling judged or that you're a failure. A safe space that fully accepts you, quirks and all, and values your uniqueness but where you’re not afraid to have open and honest, sometimes uncomfortable discussions. Somewhere you’ll feel held and will help you grow. 
It would be a place for those women with gumption who are changing the world and making a difference, I could create a community so that they have got somewhere to go. 
FAB Business Club (or network as it was initially called) was born. Being part of the membership helps these amazing women connect at a deeper level with their peers and themselves, because there’s no need to be anything other than your true self. 

5 Tips for Start Up Women in Business 

There is collectively 100’s of years’ worth of wisdom to tap into. Towards the end of last year I started conducting interviews with my members. I asked each of them the same questions. One of the questions I asked was ‘What do you know now that you wished you knew when you first set up in business?’ 
There were a few recurring themes that can be summed up in the following 5 points. 
1. Avoid comparisonitis - When you start looking around and comparing yourself to others it can knock you off course. You lose your direction and focus. It can also make you feel that you’re not doing as well as you “should be”. Comparisonitis steals confidence and joy 
2. Seek support – ask questions of those who’ve gone before you More often than not people are happy to pay it forward in business. Join a network, shop around first to find your tribe. Get a coach or mentor to help you. Join a mastermind group to bounce ideas around. 
3. Have more faith in yourself – You know your stuff, the rest can be learnt. You have transferable skills, and your experiences will be contributing to how you show up in your business. It’s important that you acknowledge and recognise this. 
4. Celebrate your uniqueness -when you showcase your stuff it’s important to be yourself and also talk about what makes you tick. Show how you incorporate your experience from “previous lives” and why that makes you different. It will help potential clients resonate with you. 
5. It’s not easy - there will be times when you’re tempted to look at job adverts, thinking it might be easier to have a regular, consistent income and benefits than ride the roller-coaster of being your own boss. On these days it’s important to remember your why. I love being able to please myself what I do and how I do it. I am in charge of me. No office politics to dodge. I choose my “colleagues”. I don’t need to negotiate my time off with my deputies. No requirement to be in the office at specific times or have long boring meetings...the list goes on. 

How do you measure success? 

The points in number 5 are actually my measure of success. How do you measure it? Is it about revenue and profit or more about what your business enables you to do? 
Up until a couple of years ago I was quite fixated on aiming to reach a particular level of sales. I’d set myself a target that I thought I needed to reach to feel successful as a business owner. 
It wasn’t helpful. 
I realised that, despite loving my work and getting brilliant results with clients, I wasn’t allowing myself to acknowledge this type of success because of the numbers. They weren’t as high as I wanted them to be to reach my self-imposed target, so I was “failing”. 
It was actually affecting my self-worth. 
These days I’ve let go of that “magic number” and I feel better about my business and my perception of success. What I actually value more than anything is my sense of freedom and being able to please myself. I am never awake at 4.30am worrying about work anymore. My stress levels are low. I’m happy and my self-worth has risen. 
That is my true measure of success. 
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