I entered the Network She Business awards late one Friday night at the beginning of January. As I trawled through my computer files finding evidence to support my entrance for Networking Woman of the Year, I stopped: Danielle La Porte's Truth Bomb (pictured above) sums it up.
- Did I have a newspaper column two years ago? I do now.
- Did I even have a Twitter account two years ago? I do now.
- Did I have anyone to help me when I set up? I have my three musketeers now: a book keeper (HOORAH!!! Even though my Dad is a maths prof, my brain just isn't designed for all those numbers and Excel? Don't even get me started on Excel), a PR savvy lady and a wonderful, wonderful business mentor.
I've had my business over 2 years now (2 and a half to be precise) and though the journey to and through self-employment has been a struggle at times, I wouldn't have it any other way. Self-employment forces you out of your comfort zone, it stretches and pulls you like pizza dough, makes you realise just what you are capable of and exposes the vulnerabilities of your personality and character in brutal and unrelenting ways. Yes, the hours are long, yes the weight of responsibility to yourself can be like a 10 tonne brick but oh...the joy when you get a glimmer of recognition for what you do.
This year I have had two such glimmers: a business award nomination and an invite to a rather swanky fashion event in London. On March 7th I will be extremely honoured to be in attendance at the Network She Awards as a FINALIST in the category of Networking Woman of the Year. Facebook was my first port of call for my announcement:
"So this happened...
It is with great pleasure that we inform you that you have been selected by the judges as a finalist at this year’s Network She Foundation International Women’s Day Awards 2014.
The most awesome thing? The outpouring of support from my peers, friends and family: over 70 people turned their thumbs skyward and left messages of congratulations. I was STUNNED. Then Semple magazine got in touch and asked me to appear as a guest at their next Semple Secret event.
See that photo? That's me alongside 2 of the UK's most prestigious fashion bloggers wearing a coat from a charity shop and 10 year old jeans that I bought with my first wage packet from M&S!! Click here to buy tickets for the event in London.
So - to all you self-employed folk out there. Pull over, see how far you've come. Enjoy, bask, and live it.