On Friday I had the pleasure of attending the last Ladies at 11 Conference in Surbiton. It was a small group of ladies in attendance but that didn’t mean the event was to be sniffed at. It was a fascinating day with many great speakers talking passionately about what they do and why.
Sarah Martin is the founder of Ladies at 11 and opened the meeting with how we can have it all. A good career, family life and a fun time. She spoke of how and why things get out of balance and got us to measure where we all were currently. I am having the time of my life at the moment and whilst the ‘social/fun’ part of my life was probably a bit lacking — I don’t feel deprived in this area as what I am doing is already giving me such a lot of satisfaction.
Jo James was next up. She runs Amber Life, a business set up to help women in business with all aspects of selling, getting results and getting passionate about what they are doing. She is one confident lady and you just felt that those people who employed her services got a great deal of mentoring and support as she had a robust and ‘can-do’ air about her. Her top tip for getting more sales in your business was just four words. Pick up the phone! I found this interesting as just recently I have been calling people rather than emailing them. I’d got to the point of resenting emails, the message never really gets across with email. So I call nearly all the time now. So much easier! It’s quicker, problems are resolved and a better customer relationship formed. It was how we used to communicate afterall!
Next up was Tamsin Fox-Davies from Constant Contact. Her presentation was slick and filled with facts and useful tips for enhancing your business. In our business when people ask us how to get in shape we say nutrition first and nutrition second. Tamsin had the marketing equivalent when her most important tip was to build your mailing list. So important was it that she said it many, many times!
Lunch was sarnie and skinny fries and yes, I got stuck in!
After lunch we had the real pleasure of hearing Siobhan Benita talk on how she decided to give up her career as a Senior Civil Servant and run as an Independent candidate for London Mayor against Boris and Ken. She was so authentic and self assured, she was a pleasure to listen to. One of her main values during the campaign was to ensure she never slated or canvassed negatively against the other candidates. At the end of the election independent surveys showed that she was the only candidate not to issue any negative or defamatory comments about the other candidates. Pretty unusual in this day and age.
Siobhan had to whizz off and Wendy Kerr took the stage to talk us through what is your time worth?. This was an interesting part of the day as it is a subject that has been covered several times in the business mentoring programme Vida and I are in with Paul Mort. It really makes you realise just how ‘expensive’ it is for you (as the business owner) to do the less productive but equally necessary jobs. Also realising what you are good at in your business and what you can (and should) delegate can be uncomfortable but welcoming! I have recently off-loaded a huge amount of work I no longer wanted to do for our business. The relief was huge!
Finally Lynne Parker from Funny Women came along and got us to think differently about our body language, listening and communication skills and how to free up your creative thought when it all gets a bit stuck!
I had a very enjoyable day, the speakers were varied and interesting and once again I came away with a to do list rather than a page of doodles!