It has been a wonderful summer and I am feeling the benefit of much time spent frolicking in the sun with the children.
We have romped across the countryside and gamboled on beaches, we have splashed along the seashore and paddled in streams and I have loved every moment. I feel rejuvenated. The last few days have seen a chill in the air, leaves are fluttering down and I have shaken out my cosy jumpers and thick socks, stepped up nagging the husband about getting the fireplace ready, and now I feel ready to snuggle down and enjoy the Autumn.
But it is not just Halloween I have to look forward to this month, October the 23rd is ‘the’ date to remember, for that is the day of The Launch!
What is the Launch? I hear you ask……. The Launch is a celebration of Cornish business start ups, it is also the culmination of more than a years hard work! It is the beginning and the end of things for me! The beginning of Sparkly Arthur as a ‘proper’ business and the end of my days of procrastination and self doubt!
This last year has seen a lot of hard work for me, I took a course with Outset Cornwall designed for people starting their own businesses, this helped me to understand what I was getting into and prepared me for the new world of self employment I was entering into.
I also took a sewing based City and Guilds course at college so I could improve my skills, learn new ones and give myself more confidence in my work.
A lot to undertake in a year on top of my general duties as wife, mother and maid of all work in our home, but no that wasn’t enough for me! I needed to take on more! so The Launch was born!
So, what is it…..? ! It is a collaboration of new Cornish businesses, who want to launch themselves into the business world with as much noise as possible, it is an event which will make people will sit up and take notice!
The idea grew from a tiny seed planted in the depths of winter whilst discussing promotion with friends Gaelle Roche and Helen Chandler who also undertook the Outset course (also fellow bloggers). I wondered if we should put on an event together to showcase our work and possibly include some other new businesses to spread costs. We decided to approach our tutor Spencer Hassell with the idea and get some advice, his words were “Think Bigger! add sparkle add press coverage!”. That was was at the beginning of February and it has been a rocky road with many setbacks and disappointments along the way, but thanks to the help and encouragement we received from Spencer who gave us his personal time and expertise, we have done it! well very nearly done it, we are just 11 days, 3 hours and 31 mins away from the event and we have a fantastic group of entrepreneurs who have come together to help make The Launch 2014 something we can all be immensely proud of.
I can still hardly believe that little old me, who has always considered herself to be lacking in confidence, the one who is petrified of presentations and would rather run 20 miles over hot coals than speak in public, has been organising this huge event. I am terrified and excited all at the same time! I can’t wait and I can wait, I have a stress headache which has lasted months and I wake up in the night remembering things I need to do or things I should have done, but, with all that has come an exhilaration, a sense of pride and achievement that will stay with me for ever.
I have now after years of avoiding it, spoken in front of a group of people without losing consciousness, a major achievement for me!
I have project managed the Launch, nagged and emailed people repeatedly to keep things moving and even despaired at times, but then I saw the spark of enthusiasm grow, people started to take part in the preparations and take on job roles, the spirit of the Launch came alive and I was a part of that! All the prior work had a purpose and it felt worthwhile.
I have approached established businesses to ask for sponsorship and help make this event possible for new businesses who have very little in the way of budget for an event of this scale, that was another biggie for me who in the past would have freaked out at the very idea of such a task.
Over and over again I have surprised myself at my determination and proved to myself that I can do these things, yes I have had help and now we have a fantastic team, but no one can provide courage or determination for you and no one can do the work for you if you want to reap the benefits of that experience! Those things can only come from within.
I have conquered many fears and achieved things I previously never thought possible for me, and in less than two weeks I will be celebrating all these achievements as well as the launch of Sparkly Arthur along side my fellow Launchees and our guests. It really will be a night to remember!
So on reflection, out of everything I have learned in the past year, I think the most important lesson is that when you feel the fear you really should do it anyway because the only way to overcome fear is to take it head on, however hard it seems and then, maybe, when the kids have gone to bed you can have a glass of wine to celebrate….well it would be a shame not to wouldn’t it?
You can visit the website of The Launch 2014 if you fancy a peak at what we have been doing it’s http://thelaunch2014.co.uk/
You can see Spencer’s blog at http://www.bootstrapperscorner.com/
you can see Gaelle’s blog at http://gaellebythesea.wordpress.com/
you can see Helen’s blog at http://plaindotty.co.uk/