Last month I joined the Federation of Small businesses, after a meeting with the very nice, but very “call a spade a spade” Mr Eddie Wright.
Who after I spoke to him at my house I felt that indeed he was Mr. Right.
Right in the fact that I was not working hard enough at getting my business to the next step.
Right in the fact that I was sitting on the fence and waiting for the work to come to me.
Right in his deduction that unless I went go getting then I would still be a mum with a hobby business in another 5 years.
Last week, Thursday evening to be precise I went to my first FSB event which was Networking Skills at The National Brewery Centre Burton- on -Trent. http://www.nationalbrewerycentre.co.uk/
Now for all of you other mums who really don’t go out much, you will know that:
1. This requires a bit of negotiating with dad who is not all that good at putting the kids to bed by himself.
(I do normally have a Tesco food delivery on a Thursday evening, but dad said he really could not handle opening the door to a delivery driver, accepting the weekly shop AND handling 2 boys – so I had to sacrifice my Thursday morning to actually venture into Tesco myself)
2. As you really really don’t go out much then this is a rare treat to be enjoyed as you can actually be yourself – (which depending on how old your kids are and how often you go out, may take a bit of remembering)
3. Deciding what to wear can become a bit of a trauma, when you normally do jeans and a hoodie for the school run. I decided to be fairly casual but wear my favourite semi smart red cardigan that is bright enough to get me noticed and hopefully remembered (for the fight reasons) in a room full of people.
So off I went, a little apprehensive – but I had phoned the national brewery centre first, to get the low down on the parking situation, and got my google map printed out (don’t do sat nav, too many horror stories, never been able to justify the expense) – but excited and looking forward to meeting some new business contacts.
Everyone was friendly, and I spoke to a nice lady Diane Pagett whom I sat next to at a table at the back and to my right was the very friendly Kathryn Adams of Cardz4u whom I chatted to at great length towards the end of the evening.
The speaker was Christine Thomas, networker extraordinaire, who was there to speak about the hows and whys of networking successfully for your business. AND she asked us to look at and analise each others business cards, so we could think about whether they were doing us an injustice and we needed to get them re-designed.
Well, as the only graphic designer in the room, this was like a gift, and Diane even commented on it.
So it was a great evening with lots of tips and learning, and some nice food, to boot. (and did I mention the whole thing was free to FSB members – so the best kind of going out when you have not had to spend any money either. Win Win all round really.
Then finally at the end, whilst chatting to Diane and Kay, I was interupted by Richrd and Paul from Pryanet with a direct offer of possibly becoming their new graphic design freelancer for all the websites they code up. Another gift horse.(apparently they just can’t get reliable designers who don’t let them down)
My week seems to be going from good to great. I had an initial meeting with Paul yesterday and we are doing a follow up next week………….watch this space.