Every 8th March is marked by International Women’s Day. A day for women to stand up and unite, a day for them to remind themselves that they do count and that they can do or be anything they want, a day to remind ourselves of everything women have done before us to achieve rights and equality. On this day I want to talk about and celebrate all of the amazing women I know or have recently met. Women who are inspiring, who are trying new things, who may have previously been stuck in a rut, who have been held back time and time again and those who CAN do so much more.
In the last year, I have made some moves in my life which were completely new and scary to me. I hadn’t worked since having Jake and kept the writing of my book pretty hush, hush. I was worried that it may go wrong, that I may be judged and as I had no experience of writing I thought I may be laughed at. Yet there was something inside spurring me on. I felt that slight tingle you get when you aren’t sure if you are nervous or excited… probably a little bit of both… and I liked it. Something to give me a new buzz, a new focus and a project just for me. Not to please anybody else, not to impress a boss and a far cry from my normal ‘Mum job’. I’m one of the lucky ones. I live in a country where I can just start up a new career or business anytime I choose. I have a supportive husband who encourages me in my ventures and I have had the opportunity to follow my passion.
During this journey, I have gradually connected with more and more people across the internet, many being women. The excitement and drive I see each day as I log onto my favourite social media site is amazing. I can honestly say that I now have friends in some of these women without actually ever having met them. My main contacts are, of course, bloggers and the support I have received has been career changing! A group of beautiful ladies helping one another across social media, commenting on blogs, sharing the love and providing advice on how to improve. Ladies who I can class as friends and who I can speak freely to via messages. Ones that I am hoping to one day meet in person.
I have been accepted into private facebook groups simply because I am a woman trying my hand at a new business. The women who run these networking groups do it simply because they can and because they want to help other women. There is no hidden agenda, there are no fees. These are places for women to unite and support one another. I have received great tips and been introduced to new relevant contacts and I have been given crucial feedback where I’ve needed it. Women looking out for other women, encouraging them to do well, offering services and help for free, just to be nice and empowering one another on a daily basis.
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I have also had the pleasure of watching friends begin new businesses recently and I get so excited for them. I have one friend who has been building a make-up artist business for the last few years whilst still maintaining a full-time job. She has had to learn new skills, fund courses plus all of her equipment and attend relevant events to boost her profile. Here she is working all the hours to fulfil her dream of one day being able to do this full-time and be her own boss. I have another friend who has just given up her job in a shop to pursue her passion for creating beautiful crochet pieces to sell online. Another example of a woman taking a risk but doing it because there is something driving her on. Two other friends not only work part-time but also have online shops to make extra money. How they find the time I will never know but I am in awe of their work ethics. Not to mention all of the other fabulous ladies who are balancing work with being a Mum, trying to do it all, having side projects and yet still retaining that little piece of themselves that makes them who they are.
The one thing I have taken from all of this is the fact that women are sticking together. We can get such a reputation for being bitchy or two-faced or jealous, but how about those of us who are proud of each other and who will others to do well? We need to stop bringing other women down and instead be standing side by side and shouting all of our achievements from the rooftops. We all know how tough it is to be a woman, a Mother, a life-juggler, let’s not make things any harder, eh?
Do whatever it is you want to do and be brave enough to take that scary leap. You CAN do this and you SHOULD! Scary doesn’t have to mean wrong. Bigger things could be waiting for you just around the corner.