Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places. Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger. Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A progress report...







"Where in the heck have you actually been?"  I hear you ask?  Well, apparently in the 19 hour workday's I've been working for the last month, no one really left any spare moments to come and update my poor blog, it's like that year when I started my first business and only blogged 34 times in one year, shameful really and it's kind of the worst because so much has been happening that it would have been great to tell you all stage by stage!  

So, I took over as CEO of The Inspire Network International Ltd when the company was formed on May 2nd, my manifesto for Inspire is to educate, inspire and empower entrepreneurial women at every stage of business and my main task for May was to launch 30 new licensed groups which would mean meetings all across the NE of England and beyond, ready for our June 1st launch when we become national (or international if we can find the ladies out there who want to come and join this thing we're building).

We've successfully launched 25 groups all over the NE and one in North Yorkshire so I'd say it's going well.  We've made a profit from our first day but we're still a very long way from being able to employ me formally, we will though and thankfully I have Mandy Charlton Photography to fall back on which just about feeds the kids and Holly Bobbins although there'll probably be no holidays for us this year, no matter though, I had good holidays last year and I know it won't always be this way, times of transition are always the toughest and also the most character building.  I do need to find some time to try and get away to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere though just for a few days, I have so much planning I need to do and I need quiet, time and no wifi to be able to achieve that.  The business plans in my head need to be written down!

Our first event is tomorrow night, we had 75 tickets which were gone in 24 hours and that's very heartening though I still have to finish writing my TED talk "You can do anything you want as long as you do it on your own terms".  I want to Inspire women no matter what situation they're in that the can go out there and change the world, in fact, it's one of the reasons I took on the company because I fundamentally believe that I can change women's lives for the better.  When I first spoke about my crazy ideas to Julie and Amy (my board of directors) I said we were going to become a for profit company but with philanthropy always at the heart of it.  I want to always give more than we receive and no one should underestimate my power and strength in making things happen.


Overwhelmingly I've been met with joy and anticipation, the kind words of support are so encouraging, last week at the launch of a delicious summer menu at Mr Petit, a small, chic Tapas bar situated in old Eldon Square (check it out if you're in the area, the food is delicious and they make their own magical blend of Sangria, sadly I was allergic but I am allergic to most alcoholic drinks these days) I encountered so many enthusiastic friendly faces who were all excited for the future of Inspire.

My work in June is just to continue the work that I've started, at weekends I go back to my first love, photography and it's really like a holiday in itself because it's so completely different to being a CEO although when I get into bed exhausted on a Sunday evening, I wonder just how many hours someone can work in one week!  Thankfully I'm superwoman and because I announced next year I'll be only doing photography part time I know there's an end in sight although not necessarily to the 19 hour days.  I took one whole day off in May, that was on Monday this week, it was such a big help just to have fun and not worry about a thing, I'm aiming to do the very same kind of thing a couple of times in June, after all you have to look after your own health before you look after the health of a company!

Abigail is coming to work for Inspire as a paid intern once she's finished her exams and that's going to help so much as she'll be handling many of the administrative tasks which take up time but aren't necessarily the most productive things I need to work on.  It's going to give her so much work experience to add to her CV and we'll be looking at setting up our not for profit Young Woman's Inspire group over the summer too.

In mid-June we'll be having a summer social for the whole network and I'm hoping these become a staple of the calendar, a time to kick back, relax and for the first one at least, there'll be artisan pizza's courtesy of our friends at The Northumberland Hussar.

If you thought May was exciting, you won't believe what's coming next...
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