I started my business 4 years ago after being made redundant while pregnant with my second child. I was helping my friend with her business and she suggested that I go for it and set up as a Virtual Assistant. I had thought about this previously and had written a business plan, but I’d parked it due to the exciting opportunities within the job I was doing at the time.
As I had worked on business support projects for over 10 years, I knew that access to mentoring, support and networks would be extremely valuable for me as a start-up business.
Being able to go to networking events is important, because as a sole worker I crave the social aspect and benefit from talking to others who also run their own businesses and understand the challenges. However, their scheduled times (breakfast meetings, early evenings), my husband working in Leeds and having 2 young children, meant that attending often wasn’t feasible.
I came across Assist over 2 years ago and have found it to be a supportive community of women. I have attended their networking events in person and online, a social media masterclass and an afternoon session of working ‘on’ my business. This was alongside other ladies who had challenges in their businesses. The opportunity to share and talk them through was very helpful. I also joined the 8-week AssistHER course, not sure what to expect but knew that the topics covered were interesting and would push me out of my comfort zone.
Each week there is a guest speaker and I always come away inspired by their story and life experiences or ways to deal with certain things. I can feel my confidence increasing in my own ability as a result of being surrounded by this tribe of women. As a mum, wife, business owner life is busy but making this time each week to focus on my own personal development is great. I’m truly grateful that I’ve had this opportunity.
Each week we get some ‘homework/accountability’ to help us focus on the topic. I love it and find that it can help make subtle changes to how I work, as well as boosting my confidence and making me focus on the positives more. I think the biggest eye opener is that at some point we all have faced the same thoughts and issues and it’s not just me.
One of the great advantages of the Assist events are the times that they are on. Running them during the day or evening fits around me being ‘mum’.
Whatever life throws my way I can handle it thanks to this course, the Assist tribe, and the positive changes I am making.
Charlotte Marshall is Girl Friday Virtual Assistant. You can find more details about the business admin and PA services she offers at http://girlfriday.me.uk
Week 8… PARTY “One hour a week just to reflect, One hour a week to know your own worth, One hour a week to be honest and real, To be vulnerable and admit that the struggle is real, To know that you’ve got this and you’ll handle it and you have the strength, To be […]
Wow, I can’t believe we’ve finished week 7 of the Assist Her course. Next week, will sadly be the end of this amazing course. Let’s hope we can get more funding so we can do it again, as it has clearly impacted the women who have taken part. You can see this by some of […]
Week 6 – Very close to the heart of the ethos of Assist – Who is your tribe? “No man is an island” “No woman can go it alone “. This is why brave, safe spaces like Assist matter. Assist surrounds women with a tribe of supportive, like-minded women. who cheer you, celebrate your victories […]
I found Assist through a love of books and a desire for personal development but what I discovered was so much more. Whatever you come to Assist for it will benefit all aspects of your life; personal, professional and community. It is positive action for women on Teesside to support and empower each other and most importantly, to thrive. Why would you not want to be a part of this?
Hayley Mclean – Anderson Barrowcliff LLP
Having struggled for a while to find a womens network in Teesside, i stumbled across of the Assist events by chance. How happy i am that i did. Ann and the team make the networking fun and relevant, informative and comfortable. I've made several really good business connections, but mostly i've met some great women who i know i could turn to for advice, or even just to meet for a coffee. We all face the same issues within business and personally and the Assist meet's allow collaboration, suggestion, support and smiles. Thank you Assist x
Katie Kendall – Hays Recruitment
Assist is a great place to meet, connect and collaborate with businesswomen from across the Tees Valley. It's welcoming and informal atmosphere for networking, combined with the diverse range of business topics it addresses on behalf of its members is both interesting and informative. This winning combination means i learn something new each time i attend and its why i keep coming back.
ASSIST is just the most wonderful organisation. Filled with decent, powerful, creative, useful, intelligent and interesting people. And, the networking meetings smell so much better than normal ones :)
Jackie Dack of TEAL
Personal Performance Coach