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Network She, the Boadicea Boardroom…and me

Two years ago, I’d never even heard of Network She.  Now I can’t imagine where I’d be without it.

When I was introduced to the idea by Janice Quinn of Business Wales, I must admit that I was initially pretty sceptical… I had heard of the BNI and I was under the misapprehension that every networking group operated in the same way – all early hotel breakfast meetings and delivering spiel to the gathered company; definitely NOT for me!

However Janice assured me that this wasn’t Network She’s style, so I decided to ring up and find out a bit more.  To my surprise, I was answered by the main lady herself, Ruth Lloyd-Williams.  We had a chat and then arranged to meet at the Springfield Hotel in Halkyn later that week.  I instantly warmed to Ruth and I liked what she had to say, so I signed up – and wow, what an incredible journey I’ve been on since!

Not too long after signing up, Ruth invited me to join the Boadicea Boardroom, which, she explained, would be made up of a group of ladies from diverse businesses, brought together to inspire, encourage, advise and help each other.  As an absolute beginner in business, I decided that this could only be good for me, so I grabbed the chance with both hands.

Not being a very confident person, I was feeling nervous on the morning of the first Boardroom meeting at the Double Tree Hotel in Chester, and I have to admit to feeling a bit out of my depth.  What was I doing here in this room of successful business women after all, and what on earth could I bring to the party?

Eighteen months later, I’m happy to say that the Boadiceas I met that day are now among my dearest friends.  Yes, these women are successful, but I found that they were experiencing the same anxieties, doubts, problems and setbacks as any of us do.

However, by speaking frankly and honestly amongst ourselves, we each took on the advice, encouragement and help offered to us by others on the Board, safe in the knowledge that what is said in the Boardroom, stays in the Boardroom.  There were tears of frustration and anger, as problems and obstacles were spoken about, but there was plenty of laughter along the way, too, and great friendships and working relationships were forged that day.

We encourage and support each other both via our closed Facebook group and also on a personal level at Network She events and others, and our Board meets on an ongoing basis.  We continue to challenge each other, congratulate each other when things go well, and commiserate when things maybe don’t go to plan, but all the time, we are there for each other.

I can honestly say that joining Network She, and subsequently the Boadicea Boardroom, has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Not only have I have benefited from the experience and wisdom of Network She ladies, but ultimately their freely-given time, kindness and generosity of spirit have given me the confidence to move forward, not only in business, but on a personal level, too.

If you are considering joining Network She, I would say: GO FOR IT!  The cost of joining is only £10.00 a month – look on it as an affordable investment not only in your business, but also in yourself.

And as for becoming a Boadicea – well, go on – release your inner warrior queen!

To find our more, join us at our Coffee & Cocktail Connection between 6.30 pm – 9.00 pm on Wednesday November 1st at the Imperial Hotel, Llandudno, where you can meet and chat with Network She members and the real women of the Boadicea Boardroom.  The event will be facilitated by our founder Ruth Lloyd-Williams fresh from her travels, it promises to be a fun and entertaining evening!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sonia Goulding is from Ceginfach (www.ceginfach.co.uk), a business she runs with her partner, Jon.  Together they make beautiful hand-made Butchers and Bakers Blocks to order in their small workshop in rural North Wales.

 

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