Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Monday, June 18, 2018

To all of the haters

Mandy Charlton, CEO of The Inspire Network, To All of the haters, photographer, blogger, writer

When you go into a new business, any business, there's a time of phrenetic change, in your life, and in the lives of the people who surround you, your friends, your family, people affected by that business in so many different ways.  When you are a change maker, a disruptor or a newly appointed CEO, that change is multiplied tenfold.

The truth is you can't make massive change without creating disruption and you can't be a disruptor of industry without making massive changes.

In the six weeks I have been the CEO of The Inspire Industry we have made so many changes, we have leapt over a thousand hurdles, we have instigated so many new policies and we have started to lead an overall change in the mindsets of everyone who knew and loved the company before it was a company.

Not for profit companies have a massive place in society overall, they're often run by great philanthropists and they have to be, they require so much time and dedication that other paid work falls by the wayside. In a business networking organisation not for profit requires time and energy taken away from your business, the one that makes money and that's why it's only tenable whilst a business is tiny.

When I became the CEO, we were already over 10,000 women strong in our group membership, we already had groups all over the region.  But in every single action to sustain the network we were asking women to take time away from their own businesses, the ones which fed and provided for their own families and that felt like it could only continue for a finite amount of time.

We are now The Inspire Network International Limited, we are a fully formed profit making company, we made a profit even in our earliest days, if you discount the fact that all of the money which has come in has gone back into building our new amazing organisation.

We have today, after just 6 short weeks, 26 new groups, all having their meetings right around the region and beyond and in every single circumstance apart from 1, those ladies are able to run how they see fit, charge whatever they want to charge and they are not giving up work or income to mould their amazing satellite groups. The 1 group which isn't profit making is Inspire Young Women and quite simply it's not profit making because it's for 16-24 year olds, not women in business although they're absolutely welcome to join, no, our young women's group is about empowerment, about making your voice heard as a young person, it's about self worth, making your mark on the world and feeling you have value, something young women don't hear enough of in our society today.

I'd like to say that the last 6 weeks have been easy or a breeze but I'd be lying, it's been 19 hour days, continuous meetings, exhaustion and when Looby and I took a break, it was clear I really needed it, we both did.  There have been days where I've cried at my desk, days where I've questioned myself and I guess those are the days when the small undercurrent of haters really get you down, it doesn't matter how big you become or how well known you are, in fact it's often a sign of success when the haters do come out to play.  You see, the jealous, the insecure, the ones who complain, it's because they don't have faith in their own abilities, some people, let's call them bullies cannot bear to look at their own businesses so they pick faults with others.  Then there are those who say "Oh I love those ideas, but I don't like that business so I'll copy that.  It's flattery to be copied, it's also a sign of unoriginality and eventually those businesses will fail because negativity, compliant, bullying and copying only lead you so far.

So what can you do in your business if it happens?  Well the truth is, whether you are a CEO or a You Tuber or a blogger or a writer, all you can do is find your people, surround yourself with good people, people who care, people who you trust, people who won't mind if you wobble or have the worst mental health day because you'll be able to be honest with them, those trusted advisors will know you like you know your own heart and they will celebrate with you, cheer you on and comfort you on the bad days.

So go forward and make the changes, be brave, be bold, disrupt things, be the unique one with the original ideas, the one who's not scared to stand up and say "I believe in us, I believe in my ability to grow something that is bigger than me, bigger than all of us.  You, yourself, you who came from such humble beginnings and worked harder to be better and fought great battles, you can do anything so go and be the change and believe you are worth it.

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