250 Hen Parties! My Journey...
Thats over 5000 Hens I've dealt with!
When I look back now at my last 7 years in Business, it does seem a bit nuts, especially as I started out very much in the Wedding Industry. Big Events. 100/150+ people. The Team. The 6 metre Bars. The Long Wheel Based Van. The Unit. To think that I started off in 2012 with a kind of vision of growing the Business to do more and more events…and bigger events. That’s what you did right? Grow your Business! Well that’s the circle of influence that was around me.
To be successful, “I had to take on bigger Events and have a whole team behind me. Make multiple 6 figures. Even Franchise!”
How flippin wrong were they?! Hence why I’ve long left that circle of influence behind me.
No, to be successful, all’s I had to do was grow my Personal Brand. And after 250 Hen Parties and some 350+ Masterclasses later (not to mention 150+ short “Presentation Masterclasses”), I think I’ve done that so some degree of success. You see I realised in 2015, that I hated…absolutely HATED… what I was doing. And the whole point of running your own business, is that you’re supposed to LOVE what you do. Well I can safely say, in 2019. I’m in bloody love! I’ve found my thing, or one of them at least.
But my journey hasn’t been that easy.
And not the way you may be thinking...as in actually getting the Bookings. Luckily, that HAS been the easy bit.
You see. If you’d have seen me in 2012/2013, put me in front of a group of people, I’d crumble. I was no public speaker. Behind the Bar making drinks, I was the epitome of customer service. Out on the floor roaming around the Bar or Restaurant, tending to guests, again, absolutely fine. Put me ‘on Stage’ in front of a group of people, where all eyes were on me…the centre of attention… yeah, that was a completely different scenario. I couldn’t imagine talking in front of 6 people, let alone the 200+ I did a couple of years ago for a Keynote gig… “What the £2m Gin Industry can Teach you about your Business”. Whether it stemmed from school or not, I have no idea. But I remember back then I had zero confidence. Never one to put my hand up. Hated being at the front presenting to class. Dying inside if the Teacher asked me to answer a question. It’s a familiar story for a lot of people.
But. Thankfully all that changed in my late 30s.
As I was approaching 40, I found this newfound confidence. A whole mixture of knowing my industry inside out. Being respected by the younger Bartenders. Being in front of people who wanted to learn. Years of managerial and leadership experience. But most of all, the Networking Group that I joined (4Networking) gave me that platform to practise, practise and practise. This was the presentation style Masterclasses I mentioned. Little 20 minute slots, designed to help you speak and sell yourself. To become known as an expert in your field. I travelled the country for 2 years doing my ‘Cocktails and Shakefaces’ presentation. It took me 5 whole months to pluck up the courage to do number 1. But with 2 weeks to go, I was so ready. The confidence I got from that very first one was amazing and lead to quickly being asked to ‘perform’ it around the whole network, from Newcastle down to Devon! From Liverpool to Kent. From Cardiff to Great Yarmouth.
For me, this was the single biggest thing to come out of Business Networking. I was never in it for the Business. It was my learning and development platform. My direct ROI was probably in the minus £5k plus over those 2 years! All that diesel money. All those hotels. All those Meetings. All those Nights out. All that time. £5k is probably on the cautious side.