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

Friday, August 03, 2018

Challenges, Changes and Positivity

It's been quite a week since last I wrote, this year has much good in it, granted some huge challenges as well but isn't that what life in it's essence is about, we grow from the challenges and if anything, this week has proved beyond all doubt what an amazing team I have behind me, around me and with me at Inspire.  This month is scheduled to be a quieter month, I've promised we are not launching anything until September but then we have so much exciting stuff in the works that I genuinely feel excited about the year ahead, I say year because to me, September has always felt like a natural start to the business year, perhaps because of having children and I always seem to have much more energy to put things into place in September unlike January when all I want to do is build a pillow fort and hide in it until the spring comes.
Chester Cathedral with a teenager, challenges, changes and posititivity, Mandy Charlton, photographer, writer blogger

When Inspire became mine I didn't write a whole new set of rules or a brand new constitution because the ones we already had in place seemed to more than do the job but it's really become evident that we do need brand new positivity filled policies and so that's what we're working on at the moment.  I acknowledge that for some the transition has been challenging, even in a free Facebook group but I'm 100% confident we are moving in the right direction and the team I have around me, we're excited for the future.

This week I went to somewhere I'd never been before and somewhere I'd love to see The Inspire Network launch, Chester, that historic roman city which is full to the brim of micro-businesses on the high street.  I think we could do so much good for entrepreneurial women in Chester and I hope to see groups setting up there.  One of Chester's unusual features is that it has multi-level rows of shops, it's not something I've ever seen before on any high street and it fascinated me.  It's also home to the most photographed clock in the whole world, a tribute to Queen Victoria at the end of the 19th Century.  It also has an impressive 2 mile long set of city walls, just slightly longer than those of Berwick upon Tweed.



It's a quiet city, even during the day you could tell it was nowhere near as busy as say central Newcastle.  I was shocked to find out that Uber hasn't even made it's mark there, talking to a local business person he remarked that they do occasionally come to the city from Liverpool or Manchester but they never stayed in Chester as they just couldn't make money from being there.



Looby was only really interested in 2 things, the Rhoodee, the country's oldest race-course which has existed since 1539 and the Zoo which features in it's own tv show, the secret life of the zoo.  I have to say I was so happy to sit and watch the giraffes I got a little emotional, it's these moments of great beauty which remind me just how happy I have been and how happy I'm going to be again.  Times of transition are always a challenge when you have existing health conditions but some quiet time cleared my mind enough to know that the path I must follow now is one of meditation, mindfulness and reassessment of not only my mind but also my body.  I've always had a positive mindset but  chronic anxiety has been one of the hardest things and it's so much easier to trigger it than it is to kiss it goodbye again.

I am however resolute, like a horse I shall wear blinkers and only listen to the positive, the good, the happy, it's how I've run my own businesses as a photographer, blogger and writer for the last 12 years and I've attracted so many good people, many of whom started as clients and ended up as friends, something for which I'm truly grateful.

I'm off now to shoot a wedding today, portraits and a wedding tomorrow and then portraits again on the day after, winning "wedding portrait photographer of the year 2018 UK" hasn't really impacted on my business yet (it's only been a week since it was announced) but if it's anything like winning last years "portrait photographer of the year 2017" I'm already super busy all of the time, I can't wait to see what happens next.


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