The Small Business Sunday Event was an incredible experience for me and I have read some amazing blogs about the event which has inspired me to write my own. I hope to capture the special moments and I will try and put my thoughts into words and express how much this event has inspired, motivated and totally raised me up at quite a difficult time in my life.
I have chosen not to tell you all about the order of the day, the presenters, sponsors, the experts or even Theo himself as there are some incredible blogs that cover this far better than I ever could. I need to share just how much my state of mind has changed in just one small week. I would like to share how everything that happened to me that day has not only affected my thoughts around my business but with my family, my friends and my outlook on life.
I haven’t had the easiest of journeys but I haven’t let life’s challenges get me down either. I have always been a fighter, with a happy disposition and a positive approach to life. I would always grab all of the opportunities that came my way. I am a single parent of five children and 3 grandchildren and up until a few years ago I worked for the NHS as a Clinical Nurse Specialist who nursed children with severe and enduring mental illnesses.
In 2013 my life became quite a dark place and my family and I experienced losses and many changes. However I found myself setting up a business after I designed and created a product for my son to help him sleep. Since that time life has been a roller coaster journey for me and up until the SBS Sunday Event most of the time I felt I was winging my way through business life. I felt quite lonely at times and overwhelmed, not knowing which was the right direction to turn and how to remain focused.
I have made some amazing connections online and I have been lucky enough to have actually met some inspiring wonderful people. At the event it was the same experience but on a huge scale and the atmosphere was charged and electric!
I have had some amazing wins through my journey which have certainly helped me keep my head above water but with the highs always came the lows. My friends have always called me “Super Mum” but I never could understand why as I could not see just how far I had come and I focused on my failures.
I have quite a few chronic illnesses and diagnoses, which is why I had to give up my fantastic job with the company car and since that time my body keeps letting me down and I frequently run out of “spoons”. I have two sons with extra needs who I have had to fight for during my business journey so that they had the right educational placements. I have felt like quitting my business and becoming a stay at home Mum many times. A week before the event was particularly difficult and I had considered it was time to throw in the towel. I do try and keep in mind that everything happens for a reason.
I won Small Business Sunday last year when I tweeted Theo Paphitis. I knew quite a lot a lot about Theo and as he always advises, I had done my homework. In 2015 I applied to Dragons Den when my fledgling business was still in its infancy. I started to binge watch all of the episodes of Dragons Den, which are now quite a few! I learned so much from the shows and I started to implement and take action with good results. I received a telephone call not long after I applied to go on the Den as I had been shortlisted from 3000 applicants to just 300 and they wanted me to audition the very next day. So I travelled to Company House in London but I did not get to pitch to the Dragons and I was out!
Fast forward back to now and how I was feeling a few days before the event, a mixed bag of emotions,overwhelmed and I had no real sense of direction or how to take my business up to the next level. On Friday 23rd February I walked into The International Conference Centre and I felt an immediate change in me. I was surrounding by like minded people that lifted me up and inspired me and for the first ever time I actually felt that “Super Mum” that my friends often call me.
I did have a plan of action for the day and all of which I successfully achieved but I had no idea of how much my mindset would shift too! By the end of the day I was absolutely flying, I had listened to incredibly inspiring people who had been on similar paths to my own and I took away so much from each and every one of them. Theo had an amazing presence and his positive, down to earth approach was completely infectious! I was lucky enough to have my question answered, to have my photograph with Theo and right at the end of the event when most people had gone home I also had a selfie with him too!
The change in me since this event in just one short week has been huge! I see life so differently now and not just my business but also my family life too. I feel it is now my time and I am going to grab every opportunity and start making my own luck! I am so grateful to Theo and his amazing team and to the SBS Family that I am very proud to be part of.
Thank you so much Theo, I can’t express my gratitude enough for the incredible event that you hold every year for the winners of Small Business Sunday.
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