From my early days of starting out in business, I was introduced to Ann and the Assist Women’s Network. Starting a business is often a lonely place in the early days, but especially as soon after start-up we ran into the Covid pandemic.
I was asked to speak as a guest at the Assist’s GEW, a topic close to my heart as I set up a logistics company Hogg Global Logistics and international trade is our specialty.
All the same, I had very little experience of public speaking and was terrified, even though it was only over zoom. I was very nervous. Many life experiences had always caused me to doubt my voice, and as a single mum I always felt like I wanted to change this and be a strong role model for my boys Joel 12 and Charlie 4.
I got through it and had a couple more experiences where I was very much out of my comfort zone, but I knew I needed to embrace them to move forward in business. The Assist Women’s Network were right behind me, at every turn. Ann always put me forward regardless of my nerves and praised me after these events for giving it a shot. My lack of experience in this area was never a problem to Team Assist, they always truly appreciated me giving everything a try with no judgement or criticism. And slowly I seen my confidence starting to change a little. If I had given up at the first hurdle because I was anxious there were many experiences in my life since that I would not have gotten through or enjoyed as much if I had not embraced these events first and overcome these personal hurdles. Coming out of a pandemic, I had built a new team of allies, that I was excited to meet in ‘real life’ after many zoom events as life slowly returned to normal. I was lucky enough to be made Assist Goodwill Ambassador 22/23 for the network too! This role further helped me to grow in terms of social media videos and speaking publicly. I have made many new friends and business connections and I feel as though I have found my tribe.
Mid-March this year, I was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an experience I felt prepared for. Assist equipped me to speak to people in all circles and embrace it.
I attended the Community Champions reception held in 10 Downing Street with my Local MP Jill Mortimer after Jill and her team had nominated me as Community Champion for Hartlepool for some of the work we do to give back as a company.
Only a month later, after many months of waiting, Hogg Global Logistics was announced as the first and only winner of a Kings Award for Enterprise in Northeast England. We won the award for the International Trade category. A lot of work went into preparing this entry while striving for excellence and recognition for our team at the heart of it. A process I would recommend to all that are thinking about applying. You need to be prepared to give it your best shot, and to spend a lot of time on your entry but I promise the feeling that comes with winning the most prestigious business award in the country is worth it for you and your team.
This wonderful award brought about more situations in which I was prepared to embrace the moment. I was invited along to a reception at Buckingham Palace to meet The King. Many asked how nervous I was to go into Buckingham palace on my own. And my reply is always I wasn’t, I was prepared to embrace it. I walked through those gates proud to be there and owning our place there amongst some of the most prestigious businesses in the country. All while my 2 young boys and the rest of my family watched on and walked up to the gates with me. I spoke to Our King, and I think I have finally realised I am no longer as scared or anxious to find myself in any situation as I once was. I was in the palace 3 hours, and networked, made allies, business contacts in a room that was more than 70% male. I held my own.
On the way out of the palace, I called in the ladies to check out what they were like. On exiting, I realised there was no one else around but me. I had a surreal princess moment where I found myself alone in the palace. I headed out, and as I turned the corner I was at the top of the grand staircase. gold banisters, red carpeted fabulousness. I stood there for a moment in awe. I took in every detail and as I was still on my own, I bounced down that staircase like I owned the place swishing my dress. Feeling proud and very grateful.
Our story has been awesome. I started the company just over 4 years ago after a disagreement over my maternity pay at 8.5 months pregnant at a previous company I worked for. It’s been a journey of sheer hard work and determination. Embracing highs and lows and in all honesty, I believe the secret to achieving is never taking your foot off the gas. When the world stood still during a pandemic, and all was quiet, we stood up and shouted louder! Four years on we have received the highest business accolade in the country for Hogg Global Logistics. I truly believe the support from Assist ladies has been a huge part of our journey and thank all of Team Assist that have played a role in helping me and my confidence grow.
To this day, if anyone asks what my greatest career achievement is, given all the above, it’s still creating our own wage. Always stay humble and give back to those that you can help. They will never forget. Much of our story has seen this. There are many we have helped in the past that have stood beside us to champion Hogg Global from the start. My life goal is wanting to make a nice life to my two boys and show them you can reach for the stars no matter the circumstances you find yourself in, there is always a way out if you are determined enough. You just have to find that fire in your belly!