The DARETOGROW Meet Up! COHORT 7 | JUNE 2018
Oh my goodness!! Last weekend, the DARETOGROW posse descended on Manchester, took over Media City and rose the roof on Ziferblat! But, before we get to that…let me give you a little context as to how we arrived here…
Four years ago, when I was 28, I put on a training day for my team. I ran it with my business partner at the time and it was simple. We’d read an article in that month’s Harvard Business Review – I can’t remember the details but I’m sure it was about a woman reconnecting with her passion. Anyway, she’d asked herself some very insightful questions so I thought, why not ask them of ourselves, as a team?
We gathered in the meeting room down the hall. Tea, coffee and biscuits in hand. Naturally.
Following a few warm up exercises to get us in the zone (I hate the phase ‘ice breakers’ but I think that’s what I mean!), we split up into pairs and asked each other the questions from the article. It sounds very simple. And it was! But it was very effective too. I mean we all love answering questions about ourselves, don’t we? Hehe.
After the first few questions, we started getting into the flow.
“What did you love to do as a child?”
“What’s your favourite hobby?”
And then I remember being asked: “What one thing would you love to do with your life, if you could do anything?”.
My answer surprised me. It wasn’t ‘build up the recruitment company’ or ‘grow my marketing agency’ or even ‘move abroad and live the good life’.
My answer was: “Build a club that everyone wants to join”.
I mean, what?! Where did that even come from? A club? What does that even mean? Something people want to join…what, like a membership, a community, a crew?
Meanwhile, I had some interesting ‘side projects’ on the go.
One of them was the ‘Fresh Air Networking’ events I was running through my marketing agency. The idea was to put on an original type of event; something fun, useful and informal that people were genuinely excited to attend. I wanted people to meet like-minded folk, to learn something practical and enjoy the time invested in themselves.
I got people together from all over the North East, put on teas and coffees, did a talk or brought in an inspiring guest speaker and led a morning event for anyone who came.
It was called ‘Fresh Air Networking’ because our offices were by the sea (in Seaham) and you really did get a gust of that fresh air driving down the windy road to business park. Plus, it was a ‘fresh take’ on an old theme: business networking.
The events were fab and I loved putting them on every month. And here’s the crazy thing about them…the marketing materials for the event had ONE very strong message: ‘Do you dare to grow your business?’ And because ‘hashtags’ were all the rage on Twitter, we shortened it to #DARETOGROW.
I mean hello!! Talk about ‘the writing on the wall!’.
Still, I had no clue what was coming: That my ‘club’ was already forming.
Then, not long after that, I started building my very first online course. The web site was called ‘Salestem’ and I filmed a few videos teaching people how to grow their business.
It was terrible haha but I remember rushing into the office one day, bursting to tell Alice. “Look, look what I’ve built, look what I’ve built…” I shouted in excitement. And Alice sat and watched my first ever online training videos, filmed on a £129 handicam I got for Christmas and edited on Windows Movie Maker.
Nothing came of Salestem, I never finished it. And eventually my excitement for the events waned. But, I knew something was brewing inside me. An idea, a business…a club!
Fast forward four years, to June 2018, and I found myself at Ziferblat in Manchester running a full day event for members of the online change your life programme – DARETOGROW, now in Cohort 7.
It’s the club, the club I always wanted to build!
AND IT WAS AMAZING!!
We hugged, we laughed, we hung out. We spoke, we listened and we shared. And we BLEW THE ROOF OFF ZIFERBLAT! I’m surprised we’ve been allowed to rebook for November but they must enjoy the buzz haha.
So 16 of us from the online course had travelled from all over the UK (and beyond) to meet each other at the one day event. Having ‘met online’ and shared and followed in each other’s journeys, it was electrifying to meet in person! Hence the hugs, the high fives.
It was a high energy day. You could literally feel the buzz in the air. But we had quieter moments too. Meditations, visualisations, chats over coffees, catch ups over lunch and a wonderful Q&A session to finish the day.
Honestly, I don’t think any of us wanted to leave! So, following group consensus, I’ve rebooked for November. Only this time it’s a two day event with an overnight stay, say whatt?! Prepare yourself Manchester!
I’m already planning the day and I can’t wait to see everyone again. We’ll have grown by then and ‘the graduates’ will be welcoming in the new members into Cohort 8.
It’s hard to take it all in. To have gone from ‘my old life’ to this ‘new life’ in such a short space of time. To have gone from running a business to making a living doing what I love. To have given up the suits and formalities for jeans and high fives (taking a leaf out of Alice’s book there!).
To have built a club people want to join!
Looking back, it all makes sense. The signs were there. And if there’s one thing I know more than ever it’s this: We all have a unique and compelling purpose and there is a group of people out there waiting for exactly what we can bring to the world.
We won’t get there over night. And our first attempt will never be ‘it’. It’s a journey. It’s our destiny. And it’s happening right now.
So when inspiration strikes, follow it, no matter how mad it seems at the time. It will all make sense soon enough as each step brings you one step closer to your dream life.
So here’s to you – DARETOGROWers of Cohorts 1-7 and here’s to the club people want to join!