When I was recently shortlisted as a finalist for the Party Plan Shining Star award I was thrilled. I had been a previous winner of awards and I knew what a difference it could make to my business. I had won previous awards with a company I represented for 7 years. When they moved the goal posts and I was totally devastated financially, the glamour of those awards seemed a long way away. Life took a downward turn and I found myself in a long dark tunnel through no fault of my own. I had to move in with my parents due to my financial situation – not really something I wanted to do at 58! However, the upside was that I got to spend my dad’s last months with him and for that I am very thankful. I had no money but I had a roof over my head, food in my tummy and I was warm and I enjoyed an incredible amount of happy banter with my dad. During this time I started to rebuild my business – deciding that the best plan for me, was to spread my eggs into more than one basket. In fact I chose several party plan business opportunities. I became an ambassador for Barefoot Books, I am now a Primary Stars Advisor and a trader with Phoenix Trading. I also enjoy being a distributor for Wikaniko, marketing a range of eco friendly goods. Back in February 2010, I was criticised for choosing more than one business. I was told it was foolish. In my mind, given my previous circumstance, it would be foolish not to!! I wonder if my critique would have had the same conversation with Richard Branson. I do wonder about the sanity of the man that criticised me – especially as he stood to gain financially from me! He sponsored me into Barefoot books and guess what – I asked the company to move me to a new sponsor which they did! What a silly man! Not only did he tell me I was foolish but he went on to tell me my team members were being critical of me. I was told that they didn’t like my rants on facebook nor my happy banter! One thing I never do is rant on facebook. I do share happy banter and find that I attract people to my business as a result. Most people hate doom and gloom and a bit of fun tends to cheer them up and they constantly tell me so! I am not going to give up anytime soon. As for being an inefficient leader – I don’t think so. I have a long string of testimonials from team members – so if one or two had a problem well then they were right to leave me. I have been rewarded for the hard work I put in. The journey has been very long and very dark! I knew that one day I would emerge. I worked hard, perserverance and persistance were key! I never gave up believing in myself. Well I think I have proved a point now. In 2010 I was awarded the Mumpreneur Saleswoman of the Year
and in 2011 I was runner up in the Hampshire Winning Women Business Awards Networking category. On winning the Mumpreneur award, I used it for the good of the small businesses on the Isle of Wight were I live. Life is tough, very tough and I knew in order to survive, we needed to pull together. In the wake of the award, I set up Wightbuzz, an affordable networking group. It has gone from strength to strength and is expanding to the mainland as Bizzness Buzz. Winning the Party Plan Shining Star Award is thrilling. Although it is only just over a week since I won, I have set to work on another project for the good of the Island in the absence of our tourist board (The council closed them all to save money but maybe not their best idea yet given our main industry is tourism!!) I am working with my son who runs Cubic Mushroom and a new website will be online shortly. To say I am excited about my new project would be an understatement. Am I proud to have won this Party Plan Shining Star award. I most certainly am. I am grateful to the Party Plan Guru for setting up the conference and awards and I am grateful to all the postive people I followed (shedding many negative ones enroute ) There are those who dared me to dream big along the way, Roberta Jerram being one. She created the Giant Potential website for ladies who dare to dream big.( It is undergoing a revamp but you can connect at the facebook page She certainly encouraged me to do that. My dreams are huge. Winning awards can really have a great impact on your business (and on your community). I urge you all to enter next time.