Words : Donna Tweedale
It takes balls to put yourself out there. To say to yourself. Right. This Is Me. This is what I do and I'm going to own it.
The girls within the Southwood Social Hub get it. Because, they're women that can relate. They have all felt, still feel. That pressure, the fear that comes with starting your own business. With pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. And when you do, Woah. What a feeling.
From members that haven't found their rhythm yet and are embarking on new business ideas, to women well established in their industry. Each woman within the group can learn from the next, with members sharing valuable knowledge, experiences generously to support one another. Not because there's something in it for them, but just because they get you. And they want, like genuinely want, to see you and your business become what you want it to be.
Many of us creatives can struggle with the real 'business' side of things, numbers, taxes, legalities. And vice versa. Which is why the Hub's eclectic mix of minds is such a powerful space to be a part of. Being self employed is daunting a little over whelming and at times really lonely to be honest. Spotify adverts don't really cut it as company hun. When you work alone the lack of the office dynamic of bouncing ideas off one another and the social aspect is really apparent. In the hub you have a wide range of expertise ready to help you out. Hear you out. It's invaluable, not only in you learning more, but also socially. It's like having a little gang of bad ass girl bosses sitting across from your desk with placards emblazoned with encouragement . The hub girls have your back.
I can't be the only one that gets this vibe and comfort from the Hub? Nope. I'm not ...
' ' The Hub. How can I possibly put everything into words? The Hub Is EVERYTHING. Without it I would not have allowed myself to believe in me. It is that simple.
I've no idea how. OK, I do a bit. The Hub allows you to be yourself. Your real self. I nearly drove away from the first meet up I was so petrified but I could hear a buzz of energy and instead of swinging the hell out of there. I grabbed my keys and in I went.
Who knew networking could be so vibrant? I didn't have a clue what I was doing or saying but I loved it. As I drove home my head was racing. I wanted to create more and be more.
Without the Hub I am not sure I would have released this energy. The Hub is EVERYTHING. That is all.' '
' ' I joined the Hub after it was recommended to me and I have never looked back. I travelled 100 miles to attend a workshop on Blogging there in July this year and immediately felt like I belonged. Hayley and the others were so welcoming, and really seemed to get what I'm trying to do with my online Scandinavian Fashion Boutique. www.fivesixblue.co.uk . I came away from the workshop enthused and inspired by the great fellow business women I had just spent several hours with. ' '
' ' In the short time that I have been a Southwood Social Hub member , I have gained followers, business leads and sales. To top all of that, I have found a tribe of like-minded dedicated business women in all stages of their business journeys. I've laughed at these Maven's Insta-stories, sent virtual hugs and been cheering from the front at their successes. They have my back, and I have theirs. I think that says it all. ' '
' ' I was so nervous doing my first introduction. I had no idea if I was doing it 'right' or if I was saying the 'right' thing. Turns out everyone is super friendly and welcoming and it was the best to feel so warm instantly in the hub. I had such a great response to my first Facebook live, people writing really positive non-judgemental comments. There really is so much support here.
This is my first business venture and I have received so much guidance and encouragement from the other women in business who know what they're talking about. I won the first Pitch Club which was an amazing boost of confidence to go ahead with my Pop Up Shop [ November 13-19th November, 121 Sydney Street, Chelsea, London ].
The Hub has shown me that I'm not alone and that other women experience the same battles and emotions that I am.
We're all in this together. ''
' ' If you want to be inspired every day, have a safe place to ask questions, or learn how to run a successful business , you need the Southwood Social Hub. It's become an essential investment for my business and I love how friendly and supportive everyone is. ' '
The idea of 'networking' , presenting ideas and selling yourself may well literally fill you with fear. That's not what the Hub is about doll. Breathe. Relax. Women supporting women is banded about on social media a lot. But this space? It is exactly that.
Wherever you are in your business.