Every year we get to celebrate International Woman’s Day and this year’s special day has made me think about how much my life has changed in the past year because of the support from other women.
I’ve always been very lucky to have strong, supportive women around me. My mum was a massive support in my life and would know how to pick me up and solve a problem I couldn’t handle myself. When I was faced with the reality that I was going to lose her, I panicked about what I would do without her. At the end of the day, there’s nothing like having your mum’s arms around you is there?
While I can never have those arms again, what I’m fortunate enough to have is a wonderful support network of strong women that will build me up, tell me things will be ok, help me work through my problems and difficulties and push me out of my comfort zone so that I achieve bigger and better things.
This support doesn’t just come from ‘my girls’… those I laugh with, drink with, moan about the kids with, (who can I just say, are my rocks and I would’ve never got through what I did without them) but also those I have met through networking in the right groups and those I have met during my own self-development. I am fortunate to now have several ‘tribes’ of female support.
After I finished my Digital Mum’s course, the first thing I wanted to do was to see if there were any other local women that had gone through the course. You could argue that these women would be my direct competition for getting clients and why would I want to confer with the competition. I don’t see it like that. You see, there is enough work for everyone. It’s a big world out there, with so many businesses needing social media help.
You see, it’s perfectly ok to support each other… not only personally but also in business. Yes, working with ‘the competition’! Crazy huh?
Double the value
Around six months ago, I tracked down a fellow ‘Digital Mum’ Katie, here in Somerset and invited her to join me to do a presentation at a local networking event that I’d been asked to do.
I could’ve taken this on all by myself and any potential leads for work may have come directly to me… but I wanted to give the presentation as much value as possible and having another person with me would give it more depth of knowledge and it would also be fun to share the experience.
Ok, I’ll admit it – the thought of doing a presentation on my own terrified me, so having a partner to help me through the 40-minute presentation was a good idea. Little did I know that Katie had been feeling the same way – wanting to make that step into speaking and presenting but didn’t want to do it alone.
We had a couple of meetings over coffee and put together our presentation – me looking at how social media can help your business and how to grow your following organically, and Katie talking about the benefits of doing advertising on social media.
Whilst we were both terrified at the thought of doing the presentation, once we got started it was fine. We got through it and it seemed to be well received (we only caught one yawn during the 40 minutes!).
Since we’ve done that presentation together Katie and I have met several times for coffee to catch up. We quickly discovered that we have so much more in common than just our love of working in social media. We’ve both been through the same big ‘life changing’ events, but we’re both on the same wavelength in terms of what we want to achieve and our attitude to business. Best of all, we just ‘get on’.
When you support each other… amazing thing a can happen!
So, there are exciting things afoot for me and Katie as we continue to collaborate on projects… our first one being a workshop next month on ‘How to optimise your Facebook Page for Business’. It’s going to be fun, informative, interactive and nerve-wracking (at least for the first five minutes!).
But it’s possible that none of this would’ve happened if we hadn’t worked together in the first place. How sad would that have been!
When you work as a freelancer, it can sometimes be a struggle to push yourself. I can’t lie, stepping out of my comfort zone is something I find quite difficult… I’m a bit of a sissy who likes nothing more than to sit on my swing where I find things easy and comfortable. Having a tribe of cheerleaders who help to ‘big you up’ when that imposter syndrome kicks in is invaluable. They can see things in you that you can’t – so listen to them!
It was Katie that took the leap for us and organised the workshop. Would I have done this alone? I’m not so sure!
What is a ‘Tribe’?
A tribe might be a group that you know very well. They also might be a group that at first you don’t know at all – perhaps a group you’ve met on a training course, or a running group you’ve joined.
The best tribe are there for you – and you for them. They don’t judge. They don’t put you down. They support, nurture, understand and bring the best out of each other. Just think if it was like this all over the world? How amazing would it be?
So, what I’m trying to convey in this waffly blog is…
It’s ok to support each other, in business as well as in life
You never know where a collaboration of work might lead
There is enough work for everyone in your field – you don’t need to feel like you’re competing
Find yourself a tribe that supports, encourages and uplifts you.
I’d love to hear about your tribe and how they help you.
Until next time…
PS – Can I just point out here, for the record, I also have some amazing men around me too – notably my Hubby and my Dad, who may just be reading this thinking ‘What about me? They support me more than anyone. xxx
PPS – and of course, not forgetting my children, who are my biggest cheerleaders of all. xxx