In recent months I’ve been looking back over the last 3 years of Authentically Speaking with pride and some sadness.
It has taken me a long time to write this blog post. So I’m sorry you haven’t heard from me for a while.
My brand and my message is about being authentic and I’ve not felt I could be that, so I wasn’t ready to write.
Even starting this, I’m not sure where it’s going to go, so please bear with me. The lump in my throat is either telling me I’m on the right track or to stop right now…!
In June 2019 Authentically Speaking turned 3 years old and that seems like a bit of a milestone. It has caused me to reflect on my perceived failure that I haven’t been able to reach as many people as I’d hoped or make the difference I’d planned to make. I’m not really where I wanted to be when I started this journey in 2016.
Sometimes I’ve followed the wrong guidance and made the wrong decisions. I’ve gone after “bright shiny objects” the next new thing that sounded exciting. I’ve followed marketing experts and gurus who knew more than me. I’ve been afraid to take more “action” instead of more “learning”. It’s when I took action I’ve seen the biggest leaps!
Life threw a huge curve ball at the beginning of 2017 in the form of my precious little Vic, who isn’t so little anymore. He’s the most adorable little boy and truly completes our family. Even his older brothers often say that he’s the cutest baby they’ve ever seen and it’s true. He has a love of people and of all of life. I try to learn from him everyday.
Having an unexpected third baby whilst my second business was so young, has been hard. Looking back I should have taken more time out, excepted that the business wouldn’t grow for a year or so. But instead I kept pushing. I am trying to take my own advice and be kind to myself and my expectations, but I’m not perfect and sometimes even my own stern advice to myself doesn’t work as well as I’d like.
It has also been a time for reflection. What has worked in the last 3 years, what hasn’t. Where do I want to take this business (and my own journey) in the next few years.
There have been moments of real pride and joy.
My first Happiness Workshop was in November 2016 and having never taught or spoken at a workshop before, I ran a full one day workshop for some very brave ladies. A few of them have gone on to work with me in longer term coaching programmes that I’ve developed since. I’m often asked for my top tip for starting out in business and it’s the one my first mentor gave me “do the first one to get the first one done”.
I’m enjoying coaching and mentoring others starting out on their journey and aim to give them the best of the advice I’ve received and steer them away from the mistakes I’ve made.
The Happiness Workshop has been run probably 20 times now and I’m blown away by the feedback that comes from these. Originally designed to be run privately and for women only, it has adapted very well into the legal/corporate world and been well attended by men too!
We have a wonderfully supportive community that has built up around the Authentically Speaking brand in the Facebook Page and free Facebook Group as well as “regulars” to my in person events who bring their friends and colleagues.
As part of my reflections I’ve also seen what an impact this work has had on my other business – being a lawyer. I work in a completely different way with my clients and colleagues. There is an honestly and openness and yes “an authenticity” that I’m so proud of.
Who knew that networking didn’t have to be scary and actually you can even look forward to it – using every opportunity to meet new people just for the enjoyment of it – maybe something comes of it and maybe it doesn’t, but you never know who you might meet.
I’ve collaborated on speaking projects, workshops and coaching programmes with other coaches, business owners, lawyers and recruitment specialists and these have been so enjoyable and taught me so much about how I can best serve my present and future clients.
One of the most popular recent posts on my Facebook Page has been “It’s Okay – to make mistakes, to have bad days, to be less than perfect, to do what’s best for you, to be yourself”.
I think we all need reminding of this fairly often and to support each other in believing it.
I love thinking of September as a new start to the year. So I’m spending the next few weeks enjoying more time with the children, having a house and office clear out and planning where I will go next in my journey.
What does September have in store for you?
It’s Okay – to make mistakes, to have bad days, to be less than perfect, to do what’s best for you, to be yourself.
I’d like to thank all of my clients and readers, both new and those who’ve been with me for a while. You’ve trusted me to be your guide in some way and for that I am very grateful.
Remember, it’s Okay not to be Okay sometimes, but also to look to the future and creating an amazing one, whatever that looks like for you. And I hope to continue to support you in finding and creating yours.