accountability and results with step up to success

On this page please find testimonials from members of Debbie’s Step Up to Success Group Members and her Athena Group Members ( Find out more ).

Success Stories

Is it just me, or are most small business owners like ducks? We look calm on the outside, but we’re paddling like mad under the water.. and not really getting anywhere?     That was certainly me before I joined ‘Step Up To Success’.

Step Up has allowed me to take time out of my busy schedule to think about my business, the direction I want to go, and the specific steps I need to get results.  I’m able to learn, ask silly questions, bounce ideas around, and get actionable advice from Debbie and other business owners in the group. We’re blunt, we’re honest, and we’re supportive. We want the group to thrive.

I’ve seen progress, not only in my own business, but also with every member of the group. Several have even said they can’t take on any more work at the moment!

Samantha Pilling. Bite Me Marketing.

Step Up To Success run by Debbie was invaluable.

We explore ideas and offer solutions as a group under the expert guidance and full support of Debbie.

Setting monthly goals really enables you to focus on all the tasks ahead and I believe encourages you to be accountable and deliver.

I can fully recommend this to anyone who is running a business. In my particular case I had come to a crossroads and wasn’t sure how to progress but taking part has given me my way forward.

So a huge thank you Debbie!!

Pat Pearce, Stellar Flowers

Debbie Diggle  never ceases to amaze me, she’s invariably cool, calm, collected and organised as a business networking group leader and I always think of her as a  swan – serenely unruffled on the surface, but my goodness, she’s does a lot of paddling underneath to achieve the results she wants. She’s one of those rare people who always gets done exactly what she’s says she’s going to get done – an essential for successful business growth. I’m grateful to have had her support over the last few years.

Marilyn Messik. Create Communication.

Joining Athena in 2013 has really helped my business in a number of areas. I have made connections with Wedding Planners and Caterers who are invaluable contacts for me. Through these contacts I have received more orders and grown my business. Athena has helped me grow as a business woman and on a personal note it is invaluable to mingle with like-minded women striving to achieve in business.

Anne Hoad, Cakes of Good Taste.

Debbie Diggle and Athena changed the way I think about networking. Instead of sitting alone at my computer, I now get to spend a few hours each month with a lively, like-minded group of business women. Contacts are made, ideas bounced around in a room with lots of laughter and great food – perfect!

 Karen Parker, Parkwin Photography.

I loved the warm reception on my very first visit and was made to feel welcome straight away.  The supportive energy in the room gave me the inner strength to stand up and talk about my business in front of 28 ladies! A year later I have made some fabulous connections.

Sandra Porter, Beauty at No 2.

I have been a member of Debbie’s Athena network for over two years. At first, I was sceptical it would make a difference to my business, didn’t know whether I’d recoup the costs. Within a year, I’d increased my turnover by 25%. As a member of Athena you gain a resource of business expertise, meeting incredibly supportive and positive ladies who give you the confidence and drive to do even better.

Lorna Pullman, Foot Health Practitioner.

I’ve only recently joined Athena and already gained new and useful contacts as well as clients. I thoroughly enjoy the meetings and find Debbie hugely supportive of my business. I would highly recommend it to any business woman – it’s a great way to grow your business and meet new and interesting people.

Heather Lambert, Ambassador for Jane Plan.

After only a couple of meetings I’d already met some amazingly inspiring and talented women. I feel I have a support network from the group, and that its given me more confidence to get out and grow my business. I’m looking forward to the next year and cannot recommend Athena enough.

Alison Smith Personal Trainer and Sports Massage Therapist.

I just joined the Watford group have been delighted to meet such friendly professional ladies, keen to help others. I look forward to continuing to network with them.

Carole Sandler, Cruise consultant.

Joining Debbie’s Athena Rickmansworth group was one of the best business decisions I made! I was nervous before the first meeting but within eighteen months I’d agreed to chair the meetings, which illustrates what networking with Athena can do.

Becky Redpath, Image Consultant.

Being a member of Athena Kings Langley has been a life changing experience. Every member has enriched my inner life immeasurably and there is, between us, a supportive, welcoming and unique relationship based on trust and genuine caring. Business is about relationships and Debbie and Athena have provided an unparalleled platform for developing and maintaining those sustained connections. With heartfelt gratitude.

Dawn.Golten, Homeopath.

I’m Michelle Eshkeri, a copywriter and children’s author and I joined Step Up to Success around 3 months ago. My business is called Let Me Write and I’m a sole trader who set up about 6 months before the pandemic lockdown in March 2020.For the first 6 months I mainly relied on face-to-face networking to find clients, which worked pretty well and when the lockdown came, fortunately the groups I was in transitioned quickly to online networking.As a result, my business grew very quickly over the summer and autumn of 2020 and I found myself needing to put more focus into planning, process and systems streamlining and looking at my business model more closely to identify the most profitable work.At this point, I had been visiting Debbie’s Athena groups online and found out about the group that Debbie was setting up to provide support to small businesses.

there are no downsides to joining Step Up to Success. I’ve gained so much – insight, encouragement, knowledge, tips and tricks, friendship, accountability – in short, every support for small businesses you could possibly want – except perhaps someone to make me a cuppa as I set my keyboard on fire writing for my clients 😊

Michelle Eshkeri, Copywriter

I highly recommend the Step up to Success programme to any businesswoman who would like to take their business up to the next notch.

Since joining Step up to Success, I have developed some good connections which I believe will lead to long and fruitful relationships. The beauty of the group is not only about increasing your client base but about conversing with likeminded specialists who have skills and talents which will help you grow as an individual and as a company.

Debbie is such an honest person who really cares about helping others grow in their businesses. Thank you so much Debbie for helping me boost my business and improve my life.


Step up to success has been brilliant in so many different ways, it’s not just the support of like minded ladies, its also the knowledge that it isn’t just you. Step up draws attention to the difficult areas that you know you are struggling with, and parts of your business that you know you should be paying attention too. …and not. When what you have actually been doing is tucking them away somewhere, and hoping they disappear. Step up gives you the knowledge and confidence to tackle them. It is like having help to lift that weight off your shoulders.
Finally an equally important part of Step Up is, you find yourself in a position to help someone else, which is not just rewarding it is also confidence building.
Step up leaves you with fresh confidence, energy and enthusiasm….
Thank you Debbie.

Cecilia Heley

We all think our issues are unique to our businesses but Step Up to Success has taught me that we all face similar obstacles but by coming together and honestly discussing our businesses we can overcome them. Since joining Step Up to Success my business has gone from strength to strength thanks to the support and advice from Debbie and the Group.

For the first time in a long time I feel I am in charge of my Business’s future.

Libby Carter, Graphc icing

Athena was the first networking group I joined and is still the most successful and productive for me and my business. Not just the great friendships and connections, and of course the fabulous meetings each month, but in just 2.5 years I have had in excess of £25k of business through Athena alone. But Debbie is the real star; she works hard for you and makes you feel like a member of all her groups, not just the one you join.

Jennie Bayliss, Office Wings ltd / O.W.Concierge Ltd

I’m hooked! I joined Athena in the hope of generating more business leads, but I’ve found it’s a superb support network and best of all I’m making some really great friends.

Jane Johnson, Mortgage Advisor.

Since meeting Debbie and becoming an Athena member, I’ve made some excellent contacts to help me promote the work of The Peace Hospice. Athena Members have been extremely supportive of our events and contributed greatly to our fund-raising  I can certainly recommend the group.

Rachel Fowler, Corporate Development Manager, The Peace Hospice.

Athena is a great way to network. In her role as Regional Director, Debbie Diggle is excellent at ensuring a good mix of skills and businesses for all her meetings, along with high quality business skills presentations.

Debbie Davies, Contigo Management.

I would highly recommend Athena as a great place for women to network. Athena offers wonderful business connections, friendships, training and support – this combination really helps you get on track to take your business forward.

Paula Fagan, SEO & LinkedIn Trainer.

Debbie is a genuine and very enthusiastic person.  I am a member of the Rickmansworth Athena Group and her hard work and passion is demonstrated in our group.  We are fortunate to have a wonderful eclectic mix of people from varied professions and our meetings reflect this. I always leave feeling well informed and supported.  Debbie is easily approachable and I feel secure in the knowledge she will always be available to listen and help in any way she can.

Karen Mistlin, Space2Be Therapy.

With Debbie Diggle and Athena I found not only a network group where I could promote my photography business, but also a support network for like-minded women.  The ethos of Athena is that referrals are generated organically, and are not forced, which makes doing business so much more pleasurable and less pressurised.  I come away from Athena meetings buzzing with renewed enthusiasm and purpose.

Jeanette Lendon, Cocoon Photography.

At Debbie’s groups there’s always an amazing turn out with interesting and vibrant members to meet. I would certainly recommend it.

Ailise O’Neill, High Elms Manor.

I have met so many inspirational and amazing women since I joined Debbie Diggle’s Athena group in Watford. A network of businesses I can depend on, wonderful new friendships made and not forgetting great training and development.

Deborah O’Neill, Accountant.

Without Athena, I’d have no business plan and without a business plan I’d have no business. For me, it’s a no-brainer.

Julie Howell, Giraffe Sense Mentoring.

To say that ‘Step up to Success’ is a supportive, nurturing environment is to do it an injustice. It suggests that we all give each other virtual hugs and cakes but don’t get much done. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The group is absolutely supportive (I’ve been known to cry during a mastermind session), but it’s also challenging in a really good way. Everyone in the group wants to see you succeed and therefore they’re willing to give you a friendly nudge in the right direction and to suggest new possibilities to you that help you expand your thinking and develop your skills. If you just want to follow the same business model you’ve been doing for years this may not be for you. But if you’re open to learning and to experimenting this is the perfect place to do it. That’s largely due to Debbie’s exceptional leadership and to the calibre of ladies she has attracted. This is a group where it’s as safe to get it wrong as it is to celebrate success. There aren’t many business groups you can say that about. ‘Step up to Success’ is for ladies who are willing to give and to grow in equal measure. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting out in business or have been going for years; you don’t have to be at the same stage as anyone else, because there is always something to learn, and always something to share. The group combines peer-led learning through mastermind sessions and brainstorming workshops with expert training. The training sessions are well-chosen and extremely practical and will have you improving your technique straight away. Most sessions are recorded so if you can’t attend live you can watch in your own time, so there’s no FOMO involved. The group is phenomenal value for money, and it just keeps getting better, because Debbie is as willing to grow and evolve as the rest of us. I’ve been in ‘Step Up’ from the beginning, and Debbie has taken on board many ideas from members to help the group become stronger and more productive than ever. She is a wonderful role model as well as being everyone’s best cheerleader. ‘Step up to Success’ requires a level of commitment, but you will get out more than you put in, in ways you can’t yet imagine. It’s one of the best business groups I’ve ever been in, and I intend to be part of it for a long time to come.

Susannah Alexander, Nutritionist