When life gets in the way

 When life gets in the way

There was I, with every good intention, starting out on the 30 Day Blogging challenge. I did wonder if I was a little foolish starting out in my busiest week of the year!! Then life got in the way! I’m social media manager for my church, my Rotary group, several paying clients as well as for my own businesses, Wightbuzz, AllthingsNetworking.com (with my son)  Lyn’s Green Biz, and Lyn Blackledge Independent Phoenix Trader . I was also giving a lot of my time to another voluntary project.

I have always undertaken a lot of voluntary work. However, I don’t expect to be verbally abused for giving of my time and effort free. When I found myself faced with 5 other volunteers who saw fit to shout at me – I took stock.  Much as I had loved working on the project for well over a year using much time and effort and raising a considerable amount of funds with my friend, I decided that it was time to take a break. We were all supposed to be part of the same team – volunteers – helping those less fortunate. This wasn’t the first time this happened but this time I had had enough.  The accusations were unnecessary and unfounded. Sadly, all too often the old green eye works its way in. My social media skills had done much for the project. Obviously too much for some folk. I did suggest that we sit and talk like grown ups – unfortunately the main culprit couldn’t even bring herself to answer me directly.  I was sad at first then realised that my own health is the most important. If I don’t take care of myself, there is no way I can look after others.

I was watching my grandaughters’ dancing – they were dancing to a song from the very popular Disney film, Frozen. There, I had it . Instead of feeling bad, I just had to  LET IT GO!

 

Since I made that decision, life has improved. I celebrated the New Year last night with family and friends having  made the decision to  start the new year in very positive mode. So far, so good. I have had a very productive day achieving far more in one day than I have for a long time.

Decluttering – tick, paperwork tick, videos made tick, listening to some very soothing tapes tick. decision to tackle the weight problem tick, plotting and planning for the portfolio of businesses I run – tick. Restart the exercise regime too – tick.

So as for the rubbish in my life – LET IT GO . Sometimes you really do need to stop and take stock. So 2015 you WILL be an awesome year.

 

 

 

 

Blog Post #4 It’s party night as we celebrate Wightbuzz’s 4th birthday

Blog Post #4 It’s party night as we celebrate Wightbuzz’s 4th birthdayHappy Birthday

I can’t believe we have already reached our 4th Wightbuzz birthday and what a way to celebrate – with the launch of our global brand Allthinksnetworking . It is a very exciting time for us and so I take a few minutes to reflect on why I started Wightbuzz and how it is making my dreams come true. – So a quick flashback in history to bring you up to speed.

I am a teacher by profession and spent 30 years nuturing little people and then slightly bigger people and helping them to achieve their potential. My first jobs were in the primary sector in the state system until my first born,  Toby arrived on 24th November 1975. I spent 18 happy months at home being mum. I decided I wanted to work but didnt want to put my son in care so what better than open a nursery school and take him to “work” with me. Perfect! Baby number 2 , Natasha, very obliging arrived on 24th March 1978, (19 days late and very conveniently made it to the Easter holidays and was born on good Friday and mum and baby were back at “work” 2 weeks later – perfect!) baby number 3, Tristan was born on 15th October 1981 (would love him to have been late and arrived on 24th – do you see a pattern here? – and it would have been half term too) but as Natasha was 19 days late and a 10lb plus baby, they were taking no chances. And here they are now taken at a recent family gathering.

my gorgeous three

Well 21 years later, I began to lose the will to live as the council and government were changing my role.Had I wanted to be  secretary – that is the path I would have chosen!!!

I continued in teaching for another 7 years but along the way I had become a book seller by chance so when teaching had lost all of its appeal, I decided that full time book selling was my preferred option. I had a home based business with a children’s book publisher and I had enormous fun travelling the country in my van laden with beautiful books (I could write my own book about that too!) I won awards and had a lot of fun.

Party Plan Shining star awards

I joined a local referral  network group where I became the top referrer connecting people and introducing thousands of pounds worth of business to the group. Eventually I decided to walk away from the book company as they moved the goal posts and I wasn’t prepared to have my business compromised. Therefore I had to leave the networking group as I no longer had a business for which I needed referrals. .I then decided to take the #ecofriendly route and joined #wikaniko. I needed to find a network group so went back to the one I had been in before.  I went to visitors day, then to two trial days before filling out the application form. I got a call -The conversation went like this!  We are NOT accepting your application. Do you mind telling me why? Oh no I can’t tell you why.

Well when you are a networking guru (as the county press called me – ) or a connection queen (as Veronica Pullen so nicely named me ) you tend to have a big network so I used the network to find out why and sure enough it gave me the answers. I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice it to say those who didn’t want me were doing a huge disservice to the group by denying them my skills. However, not to be deterred, I decided the only way was UP!! I opened up my own network group and Wightbuzz was born. Over the years I have helped very many businesses. People have come and gone and many have stayed. Sometimes, like most businesses , the ride was bumpy but we have arrived in a fantastic place as we celebrate birthday number 4.

When I started Wightbuzz, my facebook friends wanted me to bring the networking to the North Isle as we, who live on the Isle of Wight, so lovingly call the mainland. I tried but clearly the time was not right. I continued to network as hard as I could across the Island connecting many people who continue to do business together whether they are still members or not. I had the vision of helping many people. The Island is quite deprived and unemployment is high. I wanted to see more people get into work through Wightbuzz and to help and serve the community too. My perserverance has paid off. I am starting to see some wonderful collborations between members. Members support members in times of crisis and are also there to shout from the hilltop when praise is due. I love my wightbuzz family. They are really doing me proud. When I won my mumpreneur award in 2010,

and the winner is

(when I was in a very dark and long tunnel) I came back to the Island , proudly displayed it on my cabinet and determined to make good for the Island. Tonight I will be celebrating with those who have helped to achieve so much of this. Recently, my son, Tristan, who has also been through a long and very dark tunnel, suggested we join forces. He graduated from Bournemouth University last year and now lives in Sydney. No problem there though as with modern technology we can shrink the world and in fact we talk more now than when he was in Bournemouth. What he and his graduate friends don’t know about social media simply isn’t worth knowing. So together with them and my other son Toby, of Cubic Mushroom we have set up AllthingsNetworking – our global brand. Wightbuzz stays as it is unique to the Island but all my members will also benefit from being members of Allthingsnetworking. ATN will  allow us to go national and global .as we network across the world. We will be able to deliver networking skills and business mentoring and training online. What a journey it has been but I can truly say tonight I will really celebrate as we start that fantastic new journey beyond the Island. I do hope many of you will join us as we start that journey. Pop over and sign up for our newsletter and see what we are doing. We do hope many of you will join us if you like what we are delivering. Yes it has been a bumpy ride and I am sure there might be the odd hiccup but the future is looking very bright. What is this thing called retirement. It certainly isn’t for me. I’m having way too much fun and meeting so many lovely people and now I’m even learning to blog!!!!

Susan and Lyn at the B2B expo

 

 

Social media training – can you keep up?

In the very fast moving world of social media, there is always something new to learn and as I want to keep ahead of the game I follow the experts. This way, I can help my Wightbuzz members keep up to speed with their social media training. One such expert is Jo Barnes of Jo Barnes online and she always has new information to impart. Why not check out her online academy here?

 

you will be glad you did. She will help to guide you through the maze.

The Birth of the Giggly Grannies

The other day, my Giggly Granny friend, Julie Jordan and I were reminiscing and trying to work out when we met each other. We were introduced by a mutual friend and fellow church goer, Helen WIlks and am I glad she made that introduction. I have shared so many giggles with Julie since and been very proud to be her friend. She is a total inspiration to me and although her health is not the best, she continually puts others first and sticks by her motto of “Leave them laughing”

 

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She certainly leaves me laughing often so much so that sometimes I nearly have to stop the car.

One of those early memories of giggling with Julie was at Ryde Methodist Church when Julie and I attended one of the international evenings put on by Ruth Realey and her team of helpers (all church members) . They always provide a magnificent spread and suitable entertainment. This time it was a night at the Oscars and Julie and I went complete with feather bowers and tiaras. We won the quiz (you would expect nothing else with Julie, the quiz queen as a member of our team) My lovely friend, Paula Pomeroy was over from Kent and was enchanted to meet Julie.

How honoured I am...

How honoured I am…

Julie made an brilliant Oscar winning speech. She really stepped up to the part and from then on we have giggled all the way!

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We have dressed up and probably dressed down., We have supported each other through some tough times but most of all we have giggled. We now have a facebook page and a twitter feed (@gigglygrannies)  and we have many giggly granny you tube clips. (found on the Lyn Blackledge Channel) Unfortunately the camera froze as Julie was making her acceptance speech but she has made up for it since.

This is part one of our story – there is much more to tell but this is just the beginning so watch this space…………..part two is coming tomorrow.

 

Wightbuzz does Cowes Week

Wightbuzz does Cowes week

Wightbuzz does Cowes week

When the opportunity presented itself, for me to represent my Wightbuzz members at Cowes Week, it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. So here is my report on Wightbuzz does Cowes week.

I saw this as such a fantastic opportunity and offered it to my members for just £10 each. It was a no brainier really. Which members could refuse the option of such a fantastic baron – the chance for their businesses to be represented to a massive crowd for such a small fee. There was, not surprisingly, a high take up and all members had to do was to get their literature or goodie bag items to me in time for the set up. The goodie bags has been supplied by Beta pak and I was lucky enough to have wifi sponsored by Wightfibre. This meant I was able to promote the sponsors and members all week on social media live from the sea front! Members dropped in to see me and pictures were taken. It was a long and tiring but fun week. It was made so much easier when Chris Cardy of Staddlestones garage offered me the Nissan Leaf, ( an electric car ) for the week. Having no vehicle at the moment, this proved to be a godsend. Not only did  I drive it, but as the networking guru, I also heavily promoted it and have raised a lot of interest in the Nissan leaf, a perfect car for driving in the Isle of Wight.

The week was very successful. We have many potential new Wightbuzz members as well as many members of the public who would like to receive a Wightbuzz customer newsletter. It was tiring but fun land Soo worthwhile. I’m grateful for all support but especially to pin cola Broadsmith , Charlotte Smith and Debbie Frost for helping me man the stand and to Sean of A1 garage doors who helped me break down the stand at the end of a very tiring but productive week.

Wikaniko and how I like being a distributor of eco friendly products

I have been a distributor for Wikaniko since December 2010 and it is a company I love to be involved with. The folk who run the company work tirelessly to help us grow our businesses. they pay all the suppliers upfront . They offer help and support every step of the way. They are helping me to help others take those small green steps to save the Earth without costing the Earth,

green feet 2

 

It has taken time to build, as all good things do but this morning I faced a particular frustration and I got straight onto the online direct chat to HQ. Drew answered my call and within minutes, he had sorted my problem. Well done Drew. Thanks so much. Im now on my way to take more green steps……….why not come with me – check out the eco friendly products in my online shop and find out how you could have your own shop full of eco friendly items. Why wait – act now http://lynblackledge.wikaniko.com

4th Shock Cash Mob Isle of Wight.

Unfortunately, my fellow shock cash mob organiser, Julie Jones Evans, was unable to accompany me on Sunday 24th March in East Cowes. It was however, a successful event and boosted the sales at Kathy’s Cards and Gifts in East Cowes.

 

 

Thank you to all those who took part. For news of further Shock Cash Mob Isle of Wight events click the link or pop over to Shop Local Isle of Wight where we will keep you updated .

Doing Something Funny For Money

 

 

DOING something funny for money

When I opened a new bank account with Barclays Bank recently, I had no idea of the fun that lay ahead. I love to have fun while working my business and as a self employed work from home mum and grandmum, this is so easy. For most of my working life, I have been self employed and so I set the rules. I enjoy what I do and having fun whilst doing it makes it even nicer. No boss to relate to. No boss to set my hours. I work as and when I want to. I work hard but I also play hard.

Well, on the day I  opened the new account, my new Barclays manager, Wayne Child,  told me about the back to business scheme that Barclays run. The managers are encouraged to go out with a client and spend a day with them in their business. Wayne asked me if I would like to participate in the scheme and I was very keen to take part. When I set the date, I had a client who wanted a video made so thought this might be quite interesting for Wayne to watch. After all, he had told me he didn’t want a boring day in the home office. Unfortunately, my client had to postpone my appointment with her but I decided to keep the date with Wayne.

When I set the date, I hadn’t realised it was Comic relief day. However, it soon occured to me that this was a day that could be a lot of fun and during the day we could do something funny for money. Why ever not?

I checked with Wayne to see if he was prepared for a fun day and he had absolutely no problem with it – in fact he sounded as though it was right “up his street”.

I am, very much a community person and I love to fundraise and encourage my Wightbuzz members to do the same. I spotted an opportunity and ran with it.

I sent out a letter to my Wightbuzz members and was offered raffle prizes. Jade Thornton of Petticoats and Frills offered us a box of red nose cup cakes. She even dressed in red to deliver them to the Wightbuzz office. She was truly embracing the “doing something funny for money” theme.

Cupcakes from Petticoats and Frills

Doing something funny for money - fun cup cakes

Michael of the Dorset House, offered us a Sunday lunch for 2

Dorset House raffle prize

Michael, of the Dorset House, donates Sunday lunch for 2

Susan Revell, also a Wightbuzz member, donated a free first aid course and Jayne Read of Island Memories, donated a family ticket for the VE celebrations being held in May. Claire and Ann of Attraction, a lovely gift shop in Cross Street Ryde, donated a jewellery set. I am very grateful to all these ovely people.

With all these lovely prizes, I knew my super Wightbuzz members would be happy to part with their money.

Before my bank manager came to pick me up, I uploaded a video clip to you tube,

 

My bank manager turned up to pick me up at 9. We needed to decorate the collecting tin and Wayne even obliged with this!

Then, after a quick coffee we were off on the start of our very exciting day. First stop – Jo of Wightcakes

who supplied us with coffee and

scrummy cake! It was going to be one of THOSE days :)

We then popped along to Missy J cafe  where Janine insisted on tweaking my nose before parting with her money – well the theme was doing something funny for money!

Next stop - Wightsight for a quick laugh and joke with Mandy and Adrian who also bought raffle tickets

then a few doors along to Attraction to see Claire, one of the raffle prize donators.

We just HAD to stop at Barclays in Ryde. Well it would be sily not to as I was with my Barclays manager!!

a few more stops in Ryde then we zoomed over to Sandown and to the lovely gift shop Che-Sands

then we popped across to Rapaunui where we also met the lovely Emma from Island Voucher where there was time for a very quick photo call!

then over to recruit Wendy of Deeva into Wightbuzz before selling her raffle tickets too

by the time we got to the wightbuzz office we were really beginning to flag but Liz supplied us with coffee to keep us going

and it was here we stopped to make a couple of video clips about our day.

 

 

and

 

Our final stop was with Julie Jones Evans of Dragonfly i Nodehill – (my fellow shock cash mobber )

We rounded off the day with a lovely sit down and chat with Julie and more coffee and cake!

 

We had a brilliant day – it was manic, it was fun and we did something funny for money. We raised about £75 for comic relief and my Barclays bank manager and I now know each other much better! It truly was a fun day. (I spent the weekend chilling as I was quite exhausted!!)

I did pop in to see Wayne’s boss on Monday to report on what an excellent experience it was! Praise where praise is due. I have had friends, who bank at other banks,  who don’t even know if they have a bank manager, let alone know his name!

I made a you tube clip of the day

Do you have stories to relate about your bank manager? Have you had a fun day out with yours? Pop your comments below :)

 

 

 

 

Phoenix Trading – Business Opportunity

 

 

I am a trader with Phoenix Trading and have enjoyied running my own business from home promoting and selling beautiful greetings cards, wrapping paper and stationery gifts for two and a half years. I am now building a team.

 

 

I look forward to helping others grow their own businesses and looking after any new team members.