Collaboration, not Competition… why women should support women!

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?

New support

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…

 

#TOMD

 

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

 

Find Your Tribe… Love Them Hard!

silhouette of four people against sun background
Photo by Dennis Magati on Pexels.com

Ever since I started my social media course last September, I have had many experiences of  ‘women tribes’.  They have come in many forms… course cohorts, networking groups, and workshops.

What I’m talking about here isn’t my usual group of friends… not my ‘girls’ that have known me forever, who have seen me at my best and my worst (which was probably face down pissed up on a pavement in Newquay!).  These are women I have never met before, who sometimes live in different parts of the country, come from different walks of life but all thrown together for the same cause.

As you may have read in previous blogs, I have recently started a course involving mindset and how you can up-level your business by getting over your fears and negative thoughts.  Last week our cohort of nine, plus our mentor Andrea, had our first Zoom meeting – posh term for ‘a meeting over the internet’!

The conversation involved how we got on with writing ‘Our Story’ (see previous blog)  and what our ‘Wins & Stretches’ have been this week.  What was so refreshing was to see how everyone was completely honest about how they were feeling. No pretence, no making out everything was great.  There were tears and fears laid out for all to see, and whilst there were apologies at first (we are British after all!) this vulnerability was so refreshing and gave us all permission to bear our feelings.  This is how you build trust within your ‘Tribe’.

I came to do this course following a workshop I did a couple of months ago.  Again, this involved women who, once they all got in a room together, realised they’re not alone in feeling inadequate, not good enough, that they can’t reach their potential and that they’re too fearful to push out of their comfort zone for fear of failure.  (Read ‘Yesterday, Three Women Changed My Life’ for more details).

During my six month course with Digital Mums, I was put together with six other women who were taking the journey with me.  We would meet over the internet every Thursday evening and talk daily on WhatsApp.  The fact that these other women didn’t know me from Adam nor I them, almost gives you permission to be your most honest… almost like a counsellor does.

During the six months of the course, we all went through the ups and downs and we were all there for each other on a daily basis… not only to get through the work that we needed to do to pass, but life in general.

Six months after qualifying, I still talk with my ‘Frida K’ girls daily and we managed to meet up in real life just after we graduated in May.  Another meet up is due soon… it’s just a logistical nightmare trying to get seven women free at the same time!

Something really incredible happens when you get a room full of women together… and I don’t mean on a Hen Night! 

On Saturday I went to a ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ workshop to support a wonderful lady I have recently met whilst networking.  I took a friend along with me and I had met a few of the  other ladies there before, but only really as much as ‘what do you do for a living?’.   However, once we all got chatting about how we felt about ourselves, there was a shift.  There was this ‘green light’ where it was perfectly OK to share our vulnerability.

With all these experiences I have come to realise, that it really doesn’t matter who you are or what your standing is in the community… we are all women going through similar things in our lives and we are best when we support each other, not tear each other down.

So, don’t be afraid to do something outside your comfort zone. Go and meet new people – whether it be at an exercise class, running club, mother and baby group, further education or workshops.

You never know where you might find another ‘Tribe’.

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs… TOMD xx

It’s time to get excited about my life!

As I write this post, I’m not exactly in the most excited mood.  I’ve been suffering literally all day with a hangover from hell which I can only put down to the fact that I’ve had two unscathed weekends away and my night out last night with hubby was my major payback.  Better to have happened here at home rather than at Center Parcs or beautiful Barcelona!

So why am I getting excited about my life?

Well, if you’ve been following my blogs, you would have read about how three women changed my life at a workshop I attended in Bristol.  One of those women was a lady called Andrea Callanan.  She made such huge impression on me (read the blog Yesterday Three Women Change My Life) and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a free webinar she was offering a couple of weeks ago.

So, I attended the webinar with a group of around 20 women, listening to Andrea talk through my laptop screen.  She spoke about all the of kinds of insecurities and fears we face as women in business (saying that out loud is still weird for me!) and life in general.  Talking about why we put things off, why we doubt ourselves and how it stops us moving forward.

At the end of the webinar, Andrea explained that she was about to run a new 12 week programme called ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  It covers;

Week 1 – Get Present  Week 2 – Own Your Story  Week 3 – Healing Week 4 – Acceptance Week 5 – Self Worth   Week 6 – Self Care  Week 7 – Kick Ass Mindset  Week 8 – Desire  Week 9 – Intention  Week 10 – Vision  Week 11 – Planning  Week 12 – Execute, Achieve, Celebrate.

Whilst this looks like it will be quite intensive and Andrea has already warned us that it will take a places emotionally that we probably won’t want to go (I’m sure the loss of Mum will come up more than once) I am genuinely excited about changing my current mindset.

I literally find myself constantly swinging from a kick-ass attitude of ‘I can do this’ to self doubting thoughts of ‘I’m gonna fuck this up’! I’m forever playing the following questions over in my mind;

Can I really make a go of this blogging and working with companies in the well woman arena?

Will they want to work with me?

Can I work with companies and help them with their Social Media?

Do I know enough?

It’s true,  I didn’t jump in straight away. Why?  The fear. That bloody fear and self doubt of course.  Will I have the time?  Can I afford it?  After having a night to sleep on it, I decided that it was well worth investing in myself and took the plunge and signed up!

Over these next 12 weeks this course will help me get over these insecurities which in turn will help me to plan and building my brand ‘Tales of a Mother’s Daughter’ and also my social media training business ‘Social in Somerset’.

I really look forward in sharing this journey with you and passing on the things that I have learnt… and it all starts tomorrow!

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx