Networking the Successful Mums way
Networking the Successful Mums way
It might be chilly outside but we’re feeling warm and fuzzy as we turn the spotlight on our incredible community of Successful Mums this week.
Our mums’ passion for supporting one another – whether on our courses or online – blows us away and shows just how true it is that we are stronger together. Creating positive connections is at the heart of what we do, so all their networking, focus grouping, encouragement and collaborations are music to our ears.
We celebrated this spirit at our Christmas Networking Event we held in December, where we also heard what some of our recent grads have been getting up to and helped old friends make even more fantastic contacts.
Here, we catch up with some of the Successful Mums who are already made the most of the opportunities our brilliant network has to offer…
“I found my mentor through Successful Mums”
Trina: “When I joined the Successful Mums Business Start-up course, I had just launched my virtual PA business and was also about to qualify as a personal trainer. One of the guest speakers was Karen Jones, a Successful Mum who had started her own boot camp business, and she was really inspiring.
“After the course, Jane put me in touch with Karen and she has since become my mentor! I’m now slowly building up my personal training work and Karen has been a massive help – she’s always there when I need advice.
“Successful Mums is all about women supporting women. I recently caught up with the group from my course on Facebook and, just over a year on, almost everyone is where they wanted to be. As a business owner, I’ll always look to these women first and put business their way when I can because I know how hard we work.”
Karen: “When I finished the Business Start-up programme, Jane asked me if I’d come back as a guest speaker later in the year. She knew my dream was to go into public speaking and, as I was about to go on a course, having that date in my diary was something to aim for, almost like part of my training.
“It was a fantastic experience and I loved having the chance to inspire other women. Trina was one of the mums in the group and wanted to set herself up as a personal trainer. We met up over coffee and I said she could call me to chat any time while she was doing her exams – it was just about being there and encouraging her.
“Once Trina qualified, I invited her along to a couple of my boot camps so she could get to know me and see what I do. It’s been such a pleasure to act as Trina’s mentor – it’s not something I’ve done before and I’ve loved it.
“I’m also still in contact with some amazing women from my Successful Mums course and we continue to support each other’s businesses on social media. What’s great is that you’re watching other women do well and you’re so happy for them – and they’re happy for you. It’s all about standing shoulder to shoulder with other women.”
Karen Jones, Happy You Happy Body
“We brainstorm new ideas after the school run!”
Lynda: “I attended a Successful Mums Taster when I was setting up my bookkeeping and accountancy business last year. It was amazing to be among all these women with their own business goals and great ideas about what would work for them in terms of juggling work and raising their families.
“As soon as you get a group of like-minded women together, the conversations start to flow very easily. It was a great help to be able to talk through the apprehension and nervousness that we all felt in deciding to take the next steps, but also to support each other on our journeys.
“Not long after that session, I met Angie, another Successful Mum who has her own accounting business. Now we regularly meet up to chat about work and provide support for each other, which makes a really big difference when you’re starting out on your own.”
Angie: “I met with Lynda after I attended the Successful Mums Back to Work course. The course had given me the confidence to believe I could be my own boss, so I was keen to find out how Lynda was able to set up her own accounting and bookkeeping business and juggle life with the kids. “She showed me that it is possible and helped me prepare for my very first client meeting, which proved successful. Lynda always has time for me, which I really appreciate, and we often brainstorm new ideas after the school run!
“Since setting up my own business, I’ve been back to Successful Mums as a guest speaker, and have created a network of local accountants and bookkeepers (mainly Successful Mums!) as a platform for support, sharing ideas and promoting issue resolution strategies.”
“It’s good to know you’re not alone”
Emma: “I’m still in contact with a great group of women from the Business Start-up course I did when I was setting up my company, The Skin Warrior. That was a couple of years ago but their support is still really important to me.
“We stay in touch on social media, sharing and liking each other’s posts and leaving comments. A few have become clients of mine and recommended me to their friends, and one of the mums now has her own bookkeeping business and I’m one of her clients!
“More than that, though, we’re there for each other: for advice and encouragement, to bounce ideas around and learn from one another. When you work by yourself, you can sometimes feel quite isolated and think that what you’re going through is only happening to you. But although our businesses are all very different, I’ve come to realise that we have a lot in common and have all experienced very similar things.
“What’s great about Successful Mums is that everyone’s coming from the same place: we’re all mums and we’re all doing our best to juggle our businesses and our families. It’s so good to know you’re not alone – that kind of support is priceless.”
Emma Bennett, The Skin Warrior
“My Successful Mums network is always my first port of call”
Jane (Successful Mums): “When Susanna Lawson and I wanted to find out about the support mums are looking for when they go back to work, I immediately turned to my Successful Mums network. Whenever I need to bring in consultants or services, the women who’ve been on our courses are always my first port of call.
“Katie is a grad of our Business Start-up course and now runs her own market research business. She was the perfect fit for our project: she’s very experienced and it was a subject close to her heart. The Returner Survey we worked on together turned out to be one of the highlights of my Successful Mums year. The response far exceeded our expectations, thanks in no small part to our brilliant community of Successful Mums, who completed, shared and promoted it far and wide.
“The results are offering employers valuable insights into how they can better support mum returners and make a real difference to women’s lives. I’m very proud of this project and so pleased that Katie, one of our own Successful Mums, was such an important part of it.”
Katie: “I was delighted when Jane contacted me to talk about the Returner Survey. Her passion for helping mums is second to none and it was clear that this research was going to make a difference. As a mum, it was also something I felt strongly about and it was a real pleasure to work on.
“I came up with the idea for my business after going to one of Jane’s Taster sessions and realising that I could help small businesses with their customer surveys and research for a fraction of the cost of using an agency. When I got the chance to go on the Business Start-up course to develop my idea, I jumped at it!
“It was a great experience and the other women on my course were so engaged and supportive. To get the chance to work with Successful Mums again – this time in a professional capacity – was great.”
Successful Mums Returner Survey
Katie Spreadbury, OrangeSheep Research
“Working together was a win-win for all of us”
Harriet: “The Successful Mums Start-up course helped me give my photography business and my confidence a real boost and a big part of that came from working with such an amazing group of women.
“I was really keen to develop the business photography side of my portfolio and ended up doing shoots with a few mums in my group for their business profiles and marketing. Working together was a win-win for all of us and definitely helped me add another string to my bow.
“One of the most memorable shoots was with Rachel of Teepee Team, who throws the most gorgeous bespoke sleepover parties. She came to my house to set up a party for my 10-year-old daughter and her friends as a ‘dry run’, so she could figure out all the logistics and I could take some photos for her. I got some beautiful images, Rachel learnt a lot and the girls were just beside themselves with happiness!”
Rachel: “It was so useful to have a test run with someone I felt comfortable with. Harriet and I arranged it over the summer, after our course had finished, and having that deadline really motivated me to finalise all the details and get Teepee Team up and running.
“I learnt so much about the logistics of my business and the time that goes into setting up the perfect party. It was a great opportunity to iron out a few issues – not least the fact that I couldn’t actually fit everything I needed to take with me into my car! I’ve since had to learn to drive a van, which has been a real learning curve…
“The girls absolutely loved the party! It was fantastic to have Harriet’s support and she got some lovely shots for me to use in my marketing, too. When it came to Teepee Team’s first real booking, I felt so much more comfortable as I knew what I was doing. That sort of encouragement and networking wasn’t necessarily what I’d expected to get from my Successful Mums course but it turned out to be one of the biggest benefits.”
Harriet Buckingham, Buckingham Photography
Rachel, Teepee Team