As a busy business woman there is so much that falls on your plate, right?
That is why at The BWN if we see something that needs to happen for your success we like to share it with you. And something that we are seeing a growing trend in is the need for a team. (Even for the self employed business woman!)
Founder Mandie Holgate shares her top tips and her own personal insight into the power of a team;
As a business coach and a rather sick one at that (that’s sick as is Lupus and other fun things, not “cool” and kids “dig” me which is clearly the case using words like “dig and cool!) I appreciate that if I want success I don’t intend to do that alone. In my team are some key players. Does that lesson my achievements?
Of course not!
If anything my new favourite saying is “Success is better shared” and I honestly feel that that is true,
it means that the people I rely on and utilise as part of my team I can promote and recommend to others and that is of course the very ethos of so much of our work here at The BWN.
In my team firstly is my hubby. He is the one that passionately listens to me let rip in the hot tub when quite frankly he would rather be turning his brain off. (There’s a good chance he has turned his brain off and he is just making the right “Yes dear” noises at the right times!) However he tends to be critical when I need, encourage when I need it and tell me to shut up when I need that too!
Be aware of those that you love though (I know you don’t mind a bit of honesty here, because not everyone has loved ones that support their business ventures, so ask yourself “Does this person I’m speaking to believe in me or do they want to protect me first?”
Sometimes other peoples love for you can sometimes override their true opinions on what they feel you should do. They say what they think you should do for an easier stress free life not the actions that will lead you to the big goals that you seek. And yes sometimes that means some hard graft, and the ones you love will always try to protect you, won’t they?
Which leads me on to looking for other people to add to your team….
And be wary who you add. Be aware of the likers. There is nothing wrong with the people that like every word that comes out of your mouth, however how are you to grow, and develop if you are not challenged? You need to have in your team people you know that will do those things in a way that suits you. For me I like a no nonsense “Stop doing that Mandie” approach. And I attract people that suit that style.
I’ve a mentor that bounces off of me and volleys back and forth elegantly so that we can verbally challenge each other and I feel like I’ve had a proper brain work out. My whole being feels alive after a session with my mentor, and I’m buzzing with ideas, does your mentor do that?
Also I have a V.A, actually I rely on 2. Well if something works, why not go the whole hog right? I work with Genieve McAllister from Crocus Connect and Jenny Sjollema from PA Angels. The team of these 2 is just genius. It means that we can look after 70+ business women at an event, it means I can deal with my admin in record time, they are far better at copywriting than me (and can probably find a plethora of typo’s in this article!) so they are worth their weight in gold (can you tell they have the week off and I’m flying solo!)
I also have an accountant, a printer, a graphic designer, web designer and IT company and I wouldn’t be without any of them. Could I do many of these jobs myself?
You bet I could!
However is my time better suited to doing what I’m best at, you bet it is! And more to the point it means that I can be out there talking about all of these cool companies too. That’s Paul from Studio Link 11, Lara from Reflect Design for Print, Tim Wilson my IT Guru and so many others.
However on top of these I rely on The Business Womans Network. I know that by walking through the door at these events, I will not only pick up new clients, I will leave with;
So put it together, with my hubby, mentor, back house team and the BWN I feel like I cover all basis to create a winning formula to ensure the success of my business. I know I can deliver to my customers and I know I can achieve my goals, and its great to know I’ve created a team that are like my very own cheer leaders.
As a passionate lover of F1. I’ve felt so much for Hamilton who just didn’t have the back up of technology to get the results he wanted. Having just moved house a few months ago I had to heavily rely on my awesome Tim (IT Guru) to get my IT working again when quite frankly the Broadband company were beyond words shocking (They will remain nameless however their name is very short!) So I know that when I need my team, they really are there for me. Can you say that about your team? Can you really rely on them?
Look at poor Ricardo at the Monaco Grand Prix? My heart broke for him that his race chances slipped away because basically someone hadn’t got him four tyres! Another lesson that teams need the right resources right?
Can you say that your team has the right resources?
Right now for me and the growing team at The BWN (You may want to be at the 16th June event for some news on that front!) I’m very aware that our resources need to grow and change. Do you continue to reassess and consider this? A great team always looks around them, what’s working? What can we improve? What are we learning?
As I finish this article there are 2 more things I consider in my team. Firstly my children, as teenagers they can be great for being critical of your work in a great way. If you can get a teen to be engaged by your 60 second promo slot you can certainly get a room full of business women to love it!
They are also brutally honest and not likely to pull any punches, and for me that’s good. (I can take it!)
And lastly some one that so few business women tend to get on their side, have you got yourself on your team?
It may seem like a daft thing to say, however seriously do you cheer yourself and say “Yeh me, I can do this!”
Or do you walk out of the door heading to a networking event or big meeting thinking “Oh no I’m dreading this!”
One of the above could be damaging your success, and one could be great for your team attitude, however if you get yourself along to a BWN event we can have you feeling motivated and ready for anything pretty quick too!
We like to know our members really well. And we like you all to know our memberes too. Today meet Genevieve McAllister from Crocus Connect. Who tells us why she became a member of the BWN and what her business is all about. You can meet Genevieve at our Essex events.
What made you set up your business?
Running my own business had always been at the back of my mind even whilst I was building my career first in the City and then in Corporate Communications. As my children were growing up I had progressed from working part-time to almost full-time, but I was constantly juggling childcare and trying to put the hours in at work – and feeling guilty a lot of the time. I remember going for a walk with my dog through the fields a couple of years ago and having an intense moment of clarity where I realised things needed to change. And very soon after I’d thought this, an opportunity came up at work which meant I could leave and start realising my dream.
How many years have you been in business?
I’ve been self employed for about 18 months, but it was only last summer that I decided to focus more on becoming a VA (virtual assistant). It made sense to me because the people I was meeting through networking were mainly owners of small businesses who don’t necessarily want to employ other people directly, but sometimes need to outsource office support or marketing.
What do you love most about running your own business?
I like the feeling that I’m the one who makes the decisions and can focus on whatever is most productive for me at any given moment. I don’t have to wait around on other people telling me what I can and can’t do. And the feeling I get when someone wants to hire me to do some work is brilliant!
What do you hate most about running your own business?
My tax return, definitely. I’ve been grappling with HMRC only today.
What benefits do you get from networking?
I’ve picked up work from networking and it’s a great way to get yourself in front of people and find out which of their work problems you can help solve. Also, as I spend a lot of time on my own working at home, it’s good to meet people and talk through day to day issues the way I would if I worked in a more conventional office with lots of colleagues.
What would you say your greatest skill is? (Be honest you have lots!)
I recently read a blog which resonated with me and it was asking people to identify what is their ‘thing’. It’s usually something that comes to you so naturally you barely even realise you can do it. After a bit of thought (and asking my husband, my mum, my friends…) I realised that my ‘thing’ is proofreading – I can look at a page of text and immediately pick up the typo. It shouldn’t have been news to me – after all, I’d been project managing communications and publications for several years so it was always part of my job, but like I said, often your ‘thing’ is something you find easy and don’t believe it’s a skill.
What was the reason that you decided to be a member at The BWN?
I’d heard good things about the BWN (and Mandie!) from others and decided to come along and try it for myself. I’m just finding that the women who do attend are really supportive and interested in what everybody else is doing. I always come away fired up with enthusiasm and that’s a great motivator once a month.
What do you see the future holding for your business?
I see the VA side of my business growing this year as I continue to focus my networking activity around that. There’s a direct correlation between the work I put in and how my business grows, so it’s important to keep up the momentum.
Longer term, I’d like to develop a balance between my VA work and my copywriting and proofreading. And if I can throw a little voiceover work into the mix too, that would tick all my boxes nicely!
Who would it be good to for you to know?
I’d like to meet people who run small to medium-sized businesses who need extra support but don’t want the formality of hiring extra people. Because I’m quite patient and organised I’m a good foil for whirlwind creative types – and I like working with them too.
I’d also like to meet someone who would get satisfaction from acting as a mentor. I think that having someone to act as a sounding board is invaluable and of course, it’s a two-way relationship.
Thank you Genieveve for sharing your business growth plans for 2016, who you would like to know and how you can help us. If you would like to answer these questions and get your business talked about on our blog, learn more about being a member here. It costs less than the early bird ticket!