Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life?
You know you have so much more to offer but just can’t see how!
The channel to deliver your offerings is hidden from sight and the way forward is unclear.
That’s exactly where I was in January 2007.
I had had a very successful and high earning career and I knew I had a wealth of untapped potential to dive into, but I had no idea how!
I had had a long career break for kids, dabbling in various business opportunities during that time and then landing a job as a Business Development Director for a finance company.
I joined The Athena Network to promote our financial services and then the ideal opportunity showed up at the perfect time.
The network was growing so fast that the Founders were looking for women to run regional territories under a Franchise agreement and I jumped at the chance – it was perfect!
I am an ‘all or nothing’ kind of gal so I launched 6 groups in 6 months, consolidated for a year and launched 2 more. It was exactly what I had been looking for!
I ran 8 groups for 7 years, meeting with each group every month as well as running 2 more informal groups in between meetings to bring members together.
I then reduced this to 5 groups to free up more time for training and coaching and last year I sold one of my territories.
So what were the rewards of this life changing opportunity?
- I was networking extensively to meet potential new members.
- I was training at every meeting as well as running regular half-day workshops on how to network your way to success.
- I became really innovative with my training and just loved delivering new concepts and ideas.
- Chairing meetings became really natural and joyful.
- I saw so many women blossom and grow through the power of the network.
- I witnessed wonderful friendships and great business collaborations being formed.
- I saw massive growth in the members both personally and professionally.
- I received wonderful testimonials from grateful members.
- I tapped into many of the resources and skills in the network to escalate my own growth.
- I was recommended by my members and invited to speak at other events.
- My own confidence and self-esteem just kept growing.
This has been phenomenal and many of my members have become trusted suppliers for –
- Social Media
- PA and Bookkeeping services
- Personal Branding
- Website creation and updates
- Holistic therapies and much more
In 2011, I was invited to be The National Sales Director of Athena and thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the amazing Jacqueline Rogers to grow and train the network of Regional Directors.
In that role I was very involved and was the MC for The Athena National Conference in 2012.
One of our speakers was Michelle Clarke, MD of Talent Dynamics, a profiling and business development pathway that has literally changed my life.
I was so inspired that I went and trained with Michelle and then ran Talent Dynamics workshops with my members.
It was so good to be able to try out new trainings with the women I know so well.
Talent Dynamics was also life changing for everyone who attended and that spurred me on to delivering these powerful workshops in companies, which is still one of my major offerings today.
It also made me go and train as a coach so I could further support my clients and I use Talent Dynamics profiling with everyone I work with to great effect.
I am now a Global Partner with Entrepreneurs Institute (Talent Dynamics) and continue to use the knowledge and insights I have gained every day.
As a ‘Star’ profile, I deliver my best value when I am ‘one to many’ so running workshops and speaking has become a top priority for me.
I developed a series of workshops around developing a more powerful personal presence and this is still one of my favourite topics to speak and train on today.
I wrote a book on Personal Presence – ‘From Now To Wow’ and I give this to workshop delegates and coaching clients.
I have since written a 2ndbook in the ‘From Now to Wow’ series on Presenting with Power, Passion and Presence.
One of my Athena members, the fabulous Dr Lynda Shaw, invited me to the PSA (Professional Speaking Association) – and I thought I could speak before then!!
This was speaking at a whole new level and I admit that at first it was scary!
However, I dived in and joined and it has been an amazing experience and taken my speaking to a whole new level.
I am now part of a very supportive group of amazing speakers who inspire and motivate me on so many different levels.
I have had the privilege of listening to and meeting some extraordinary speakers.
I have been on speaker boot camps and The PSA Conferences.
I have had the chance to speak from the Reading and London stages many times and benefitted from the generous feedback of my fellow speakers
I have had some brilliant speaking gigs, which have opened up some great opportunities and with more in the pipeline.
I now love teaching people to speak both through 1-2-1 coaching and workshops.
Most recently I have collaborated with excellent Videographer and Athena member, Marissa Holden. Marissa is an ex BBC and Skye Broadcast Journalist and we are running ‘Speaking to Camera’ workshops which are highly effective and a sheer joy to run.
This all started with a suggestion to visit The PSA from one of my Athena members!
Through the PSA, I met the wonderful Nikki Owen, Charisma Guru and someone whose work I had been quoting in my Personal presence workshops.
Nikki has become a great friend and I have trained to deliver her very powerful Charisma coaching.
Also through the PSA, I met the very talented Phil Calvert who taught me how to use LinkedIn effectively which led me to another amazing lady, Dawn Breslin.
Dawn is the founder of the ‘Harmonizing Alignment Process’ and I went and trained in this on a Retreat in the Trossachs, Scotland last month. It is a highly effective and thoroughly tested method of coaching and my clients are loving it!
My mother passed away in 2010 and one of my lovely Athena members, Linda Aspey, gifted me a ‘Time to Think’ session, which was really cathartic.
I have since trained with Linda and I am now a qualified ‘Time to Think’ coach and use this powerful tool in most of my coaching sessions.
There are so many wonderful connections and opportunities that I can trace back to Athena – too many to mention here, but suffice it to say that it has massively changed my life and enabled me to evolve and grow in so many ways.
I now have an incredible network of people that I can call on for just about anything I am looking for.
So why am I writing this now?
Well, it has come time to hang up my Athena hat and pass the baton to another fabulous lady, Lindsay McLoughlin, who I know will take the groups from strength to strength.
My speaking, training and coaching has really taken off and I need more time to devote to this as well as time to write and to take more time out for me, for family and for travel.
Through Athena connections, I have a wonderful set of skills and offerings for my clients as well as an extensive network to tap into.
Many of my Athena contacts continue to support me in my business today and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
So my message is, whatever you are doing, throw yourself into it 110%.
- Play to your strengths rather than trying to be a ‘Jack of all trades’.
- Join a supportive network and tap into the phenomenal skills that are all around you and free up your time to do what you do best.
- Work with a coach/mentor who will keep accountable for you actions and future growth.
- Push yourself our of your comfort zone regularly – the only 2 things that grow in the comfort zone are dissatisfaction and waistlines.
So, if you are scared, it is a sign that you are being stretched and that means you will grow.
In the wonderful words of Nick Williams –
“ When we walk through our fears we become inoculated against them,
On the other side of our fear is a whole new sense of freedom”
I make sure I am scared regularly each time I do something scary, I get a great adrenalin rush and know I am living life on purpose.
When we live life in flow and on purpose we exude a magnetic energy which is irresistible and our powerful ‘presence’ draws people to us who just want to be in our space even thought they may not know why!