Friday night I was privileged to be invited to join Amy Kington of Community of Purpose, Regional Mayor Tim Bowles and Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding at the Bristol Young Heroes Awards dinner. It was a bit of a thank you for a few bits that I’d done for them (accountants are also human beings, after all) and because Xero had kindly doubled the value of a prize that I donated to the organisers, Community of Purpose.
As you may have gathered I’m pretty proud of my own kids but these youngsters had achieved so much against the odds. They were disabled, or young carers, or had suffered early hardships and still managed to do so much. They make a huuuuuuge difference to our community and provide a great inspiration for all; adult and child.
Needless to say there seemed to be a lot of people suffering
from hay fever even though I couldn’t see any flowers in the room.
Here I am with Action Hero winner Mohamed Aidid and runner up Tyreke Morgan.
I was always good at maths. At the age of 11 I won a
maths scholarship to a posh school and I was expected to move up an academic
I was ok at English but I was definitely more of a reader
than a writer. Creative essays and flowery language were not for me (although I
do Like poetry) and I particularly detest Thomas Hardy’s descriptions of the
Wessex countryside. I much prefer brief, succinct reports. Even now I get great
pleasure from finding the exact word that reflects all that I want to say. Concise
should be my middle name (It isn’t, it’s Louise, but how were my parents to
know all those years ago?)
As a business owner I had to move out of my comfort zone.
I started to write blogs and a monthly column for a local free magazine and
then, one day, I was asked to write some articles and other content
And now I’ve written a whole flippin’ book! Not just any
book but a bestselling, award winning book! Who would have thought it?
(Certainly not me)
I’m a polymath!
But the point I’m trying to make is that I wouldn’t be
writing my second book, and commissioned by Bloomsbury to co-author a third, if
I hadn’t typed those first few words of that first blog. If I hadn’t done
something that I thought I wasn’t able to do.
So what’s holding you back from trying something new? Is
it just fear or do you need to go and learn some skills first? Take the first
step today and see where you get to. It may be the start of a new adventure or it
may prove that you need to call on an expert but just take that first step.
I was born into a rugby playing family. At least the men
played rugby and, apparently, football was a woman’s game.
I did try playing football in my 20s and, being ambidextrous,
I could run up and down either wing quite fast and I was equallh incompetent
with both feet. I was absolutely rubbish on the ball, played a 99 touch version
of the game and lacked the confidence to try a goal even from 2m out. It won’t
surprise you that my amateur career was mercifully brief.
One of the things that I had heard my father teaching my
brother about rugby is that “if you go in hard, you won’t get hurt”. He meant
that you needed to commit rather than faff around. It worked for me in football
and for my brother and father in rugby. (The fact that both men suffered broken
ribs when talked into “just one more game” in their 40s was more to do with
their match fitness than anything.)
I’ve recently started taking singing lessons in order to
strengthen my voice for the increasing amount of speaking that I’m being asked
to do. I thought I couldn’t sing high notes as my voice “breaks” around B and
so I’m cautious above that. It turns out that most people have a break like
this and that, provided I attacked the higher notes, I can reach significantly
higher. It’s about not faffing around.
If you’re serious about growing your business what do you
need to do? And when are you going to stop holding yourself back?