Prison took its toll 

When I worked as the Prison Education Manager I spent some of my budget on prints for the staffroom wall to brighten the environment up a bit. As you can imagine, despite it being the education department, it was still generally a dreary building. The bars on the windows didn’t help and because of where it was there wasn’t a lot of natural daylight coming in. I actually developed a vitamin d deficiency when I was there. Anyway, I digress, the print I chose for above my desk had a quote from Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, it said ‘There is nothing permanent except change.’ 
It was most pertinent as, for one reason, the education contract was put out too tender ever 3 years! As the staff we were TUPE’D over to a new employer each time the contract changed. It was incredibly difficult to manage. I worked there for 8 years and had 3 different employers in that time, all with different ideas, systems and processes. I’m actually shuddering at the thought of how my life was at that time. It feels like a lifetime ago and I’m living a very different life these days. 

Becoming self-employed at 50 

Being self employed is not without its challenges don’t get me wrong, but it is much better knowing that you are making the decisions and you can choose what to do and what not to do in your business. My business has evolved a lot of the past 8 years. I have evolved too. The essence of what I do has always remained the same, empowerment is at the core of all of my work. I have had ups and downs and tried many different ways of delivering my services. Some things have been more successful than others. 
Sometimes when things you’ve worked really hard at and poured your heart and soul into don’t take off as expected you need to make the call and know when it’s time to change direction. It can make you feel sad sometimes and bereft, but you know that things have drawn to their natural conclusion in order to make way for new things to come into your life. It’s better to move on than stay, flogging a dead horse and investing in stuff that no longer serves you. Life is too short to be miserable and second guessing all the time. 

Setting annual goals in business 

I usually set out with goals for the year in January and break that down to quarterly goals, then monthly, weekly and daily. It’s something I learnt about doing from reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. One of the habits is 'begin with the end in mind'. You are basically reverse engineering. Working backwards so that you know what action to take daily that will help you towards that end goal. 
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I made a big decision at the beginning of March which has knocked me off course with all that careful planning. Heraclitus was, not surprisingly, right. Consequently, I’ve made myself a lot more work. However, expanding my business to incorporate the FAB Network has been absolutely the right thing for me to do. It feels so right and draws on my strengths of bringing people together and creating supportive communities. 

Develop your personal brand 

My style and colour specialist skills are still going to be put to good use as my intention is to add in the FAB Membership option to the existing style packages. It’s a no brainer as the majority of women I work with are self employed business owners too. I’m also planning in resurrecting my holistic ‘Look & Feel the Business’ package which has been on the back burner for the past few years. This is where I help business owners develop their personal brand in terms of look and feel for themselves, their brand colours, photography and website. Exciting! 
I’ve been trialling a mastermind format too and will be introducing that element to the FAB membership. It’s been very successful and added great value to those who took the leap of faith and joined me when I floated the idea. Everything official will take a while to catch up as I get my website updated and behind the scenes sorted to get the infrastructure sorted. There’s a lot of outsourcing to experts in different areas needed but it’s all very exciting. What you are seeing today is a sneak preview. 
A fresh approach to women only business networking  
So here is how it all fits together: 
it's for women who want... 
personal development training 
monthly networking meetings 
thriving online community 
no cliquey-ness 
a sense of camaraderie 
down to earth vibe 
to feel welcomed 
women empowering women 
to make a difference 
to avoid the twee 
Annual Membership Options – Full £500 /online only £400 /pay as you go £35pcm – EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT 30% until 14th July 
Benefits of annual membership 
Monthly meetings - online and/or face to face 
Member's only forum 
FABcademy personal development video training vault 
Speaking opportunities to share your expertise 
Members directory entry 
Members showcase opportunities 
Exclusive member discounts 
Group Expert status in the Facebook extended community 
Full FAB membership + personal brand/style package with weekly group coaching 
Full FAB membership + personal brand/style package with group coaching + 6 x 1:1 sessions 
Full FAB membership + personal brand/style package with group coaching + 6 x 1:1 + 2 in person wardrobe audit/shopping experience 
FAB Network : female authentic ballsy 
I hosted the first FAB Network ‘in the room’ meeting last week, which was a great success and exceeded my expectations. The room was totally buzzing! And I already have women interested in setting up groups across the country. That’s another element I need to figure out – although I have done a lot of that thinking already so watch this space. If any of this sounds of interest to you why don’t you book in no obligation call and lets’ have a chat. 
So, you’ll see how my work is changing slightly and I’m bringing in some of my other skill set to broaden out my work. If you signed up to my mailing list because of my colour and personal style specialism and all this networking/community malarkey is not for you I’ll understand if you want to unsubscribe. The style stuff will still be here but peppered in amongst the community and personal development stuff. If you’re still here and interested in seeing how things develop then I appreciate your support. Meanwhile come and join the free community over on Facebook
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