So, another year is almost done. For me, it has been a bit of an up and down year but it’s always a good time to reflect on what went well and what could have been better, so my last blog this year is a 2021 review.
My 2021 review month by month
We’re in deepest darkest lockdown – again! Of course, as we all moved online back in 2020, I’m kept more than busy with my networking groups. The month flies by and before we know it, it’s the month of love.
If you haven’t ever tried networking, you may not realise the benefits and how well it can work when you have a committed group of people. My groups are all very different – they are of course, the sum of their members, but one thing they have in common is that the women that attend are all keen to do what they can to help the other members out. Spread the love!
This month saw the launch of Step Up To Success, a group for like-minded, professional business women to come together several times a month to help each other be more successful. I’m thrilled when I get 18 members in the first month. Exciting!
Step Up is starting to get into its stride now and we have a monthly programme that includes two mastermind sessions, four brainstorming sessions and a business skills workshop. Initial feedback is very positive.
Things are opening up a bit more now, so I’ve started to have small gatherings with some of the members of Step Up To Success and my Athena groups. It’s so wonderful to see people in person at last – how I miss the simple pleasure of proper in person human contact. Looking forward to many more meet ups over the summer months.
With the weather better and the situation returning to more normal activity, I’ve found myself feeling a bit more upbeat and keener to move my own business forward. If the past couple of years have taught me anything, then it’s that you should fight for what you believe in and try to work in a job that makes you happy. I love helping others to be more successful in their businesses and I can’t imagine what I would be doing now if I didn’t have Athena or Step Up To Success.
This month we got the news that our structured lunchtime meetings will remain online in the future. For members who want face-to-face networking, this is a blow, but many of them are now coming round to the idea. We are now offering an option which means ladies can visit any group across the whole country FREE OF CHARGE which is a fantastic benefit of online membership.
This month is inevitably quieter – we don’t have any formal lunchtime meetings in August, although we do still run the informal coffee mornings over Zoom. I have a chance to re-group a little after the change in July and get a bit of much needed downtime. Holiday time. Whoop whoop! It looked doubtful at one point, but I finally made it on my holidays – some much-needed R&R.
Back and raring to go for the long haul to Christmas. This month is always about renewed energy for the last 4 months of the year and working hard to meet those goals that were set back in January. I think the Step Up To Success members are really appreciating having the frequent opportunities to focus on working on their business as well as in the business.
The past couple of months have been challenging because of the decision not to go back face to face. I’ve lost a couple of my long-standing members so that’s been tough. On the upside though I have gained a few new ones who were looking for online only networking so that’s good. I wonder what the next few months will bring?
Being able to meet in person albeit informally outside of Athena has been great for keeping up my morale and the morale of my networking members and Step Up To Success members. This month we had a couple of Step Up To Success members who won Best Business Women awards which was gratifying to see as they had put in a lot of work this year and really deserved the accolade.
As there are no formal meetings in December, it’s another quieter month on the networking front, which allows me to do a 2021 review and reflect as well as plan for 2022. Next year the focus will be on finding new members who are actively looking for online groups and the benefits that can bring. With COVID ramping up again, it looks as though any face-to-face meetings that are going on could soon be back online anyway.
Visiting Step Up To Success group
Step Up To Success is a membership group with heart. An all-female group, we actively look for ways to support each other to reach our business goals. Whether that’s providing ideas and inspiration at our masterminds, developing new skills through our training workshops or simply helping each other stay focused and on track with our business buddy system, this group has helped dozens of ambitious business owners in 2021 to move their business forward. If you’d like to try it out, all you have to do is give me a call on 07733 076775.
Visiting the Athena Network
If you are a woman business owner who would like to meet other like-minded professionals in a non-pressured environment – the comfort of your own lounge – then please get in touch. You may visit one meeting and one Cappuccino Connections before you need to decide about membership.
We welcome women from all walks of life and all business disciplines, although there is a lockout in each group, so chat to me to find out which group would be best for you.
My groups meet each month and are:
Harrow – 1st Thursday
Watford – 2nd Thursday
Bushey – 3rd Tuesday
Rickmansworth – 3rd Thursday
Kings Langley – 4th Tuesday
Do come for a visit – you will be warmly welcomed by all my members.
If you’d like to chat to me to find out more about the benefits of online networking or being a member of a supportive, female business owners group, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me on 07733 076775.
You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.