Over the past few weeks I have come into contact with women talking of the highs and lows, opportunities and hurdles experienced in their quest to reach personal targets,and realised how these encounters have helped me to draw inspiration from stories of their endeavours.
A meeting with Jo McEwan and Ann Stephens from Hot Flush last week was so positive and we were able to speak to these two lovely and open women who happily shared their experiences over the past 12 months with us. They have set out with their business concept in a direction with such vigour and enthusiasm which is nothing short of uplifting.
CEO of Ann Summers, Jacqueline Gold’s, broadcast on Desert Island Discs gave an insight into her grit and determination both on a personal and professional level. As she described her young self recognising an opportunity for her father’s business through an off chance evening event at a "clothing party". Jacqueline described how she had listened to the women at this party and saw a gaping hole in the clothing market - she listened to the consumer - she acted on what she heard - she persuaded her board (all men) to support her strategy with a £40,000 investment - the rest is history. Her personal story is equally impressive in how she dealt with adversity in her private life.
On a completely different note having read Lily Allen's book “My Thoughts Exactly” I was taken by how she has conquered demons to be where she is today. While I can see she could be very much a marmite personality throwing tantrums and with a moral code which could be deemed eye wateringly colourful, her honest recognition of her failures and insecurities in a world that few of us would want to inhabit and would probably not survive, I have to tip my hat to her frank dialogue. Not for your granny…….
These ladies all struck a chord with me for very different reasons but the common thread being the strength they have shown and determination to push forward despite the hard knocks which have come their way
As a young start up business, already mentioned in our last blog, it is such people who help motivate and keep the faith that the journey we are on is the right one when the “self doubt” kicks in and holding your nerve is vital.
It can be the smallest thing we hear or see which often is the spark to enlighten our opportunities.