How to get focused in business

269131_102781843151966_216920_nI was recently challenged and put on the spot at a local women in business networking event.  I have been a member of Athena for 3 years now and every time I go along, I come away with a few new snippets of information to challenge, guide me and help me think about myself, my passions and my business.  After all the focus for 2 hours a month is “business” and how to succeed at what you do for a living.

I used to struggle with the idea  of psychotherapy and business being in the same conversation.  One is about helping others and giving from the heart.  The other is about paying bills which of course I have just the same as everyone else.

This month I went along as a guest speaker to the City Group held at the very upmarket The Folly in the heart of the City of London.  As I walked in I felt I was on a night out, the decor was awesome and the toilets something else.  When I walked into the meeting room and met the other ladies I immediately knew I was in the presence of empowered female energy, lead by our very own Stella Fehmi who runs 4 groups in London and Essex.

Prior to giving my talk which was all about the route to getting published we sat down for lunch and during the business talk we were all given the chance to be put in the spotlight by answering  a series of questions with just a few minutes to answer them.    My answers are in green and I finished so quickly I did end up being in the Spotlight.

Spotlight 

1.  Why did you first set up in business and when?

I set up in 2004 because I wanted independence and freedom to do my own thing – Best decision ever!

2.  What makes you get out of bed every morning?

Appointments – first one at 8am most days

3.  Who would you invite to your ideal dinner party (past or present)

Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama.  Richard because he is just so inspirational on a business level.  The Dalai Lama to keep me grounded and real about the importance of life

4.  To-date what have been your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur/business owner

Working on the Mood Cards, which has taken 6 years from the first seed of an idea to publication

5.  What’s your favourite food/treat – savoury or sweet?

Definitely Thai Curry

6.  What is your most memorable achievement so far?

Finally taking  the Mood Cards through to publication and seeing them last week on the shelf at Foyles in Westfield

7.  If you could start again what would you do differently when setting up your business?

Be more strategic and have shorter time frames on deadlines

8.  What’s your top networking tip?

To communicate verbally (as well as in emails) with as many people as possible.  Be real and congruent about who you are and don’t be afraid to ask for help

9.  Most disastrous fashion/beauty faux par?

A perm (back in the day)

10.  What 3 items would you take to a desert Island?

A knife, a wok and iPod with a solar panel to keep it charged

It transpired that 3 other women wanted the same dinner partners so we agreed that we should all have dinner together on a desert island.

Athena is for women who are serious about their business and if you are fortunate enough to be in or around London I recommend you contact Stella who is our Regional Director at stella.fehmi@theathenanetwork.com to come along and give it a go.  The three lovely ladies who were guests from Metrobank plc said it was by far the most inspiring networking they had attended this year.

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No man or woman is an island and it makes sense to get support for areas outside your expertise.  Athena is my support and part of my publishing story and dream.

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