About Time Magazine launched the #AboutTomorrow Festival as a celebration of women and female-owned businesses, a place of female empowerment and supporting the next generation of female entrepreneurs in the UK. This special panel of women across ten events span a range of industries including well-being, tech, journalism, food, restaurants, and start-ups. I attended two events where I listened, learnt, laughed, nodded and left inspired.
These women are honest, they’re vulnerable, they’re empowering. They’re everything we are and they want us to acknowledge this in ourselves. These events were a place to learn and to network, I spoke to a few of the women from the panel after and they were only too happy to offer advice and have a chat, I spoke to the women next to me to hear about what they do, I shared and I listed. The whole vibe was fantastic.
Anywho, here is my lowdown and lessons learnt from the two fantastic sessions I went along to. I would love to hear from you if you are a budding female entrepreneur, trying to switch-up your fitness regime or just want a chat! We’re all here to support #girlboss
Shape of the Future: How to Debunk Health Myths + Be Healthy for Life at Work Life Camden – Thursday 15th February 2018
Key lesson learnt: Balance (and not just the physical act of balance). How to have a healthy relationship with food and exercise, to listen to what your body needs and to stop comparing yourself to others. Educate yourself and don’t just copy what you see.
I was inspired to see such a passionate bunch of women owning their journeys and specialities in the health and well-being sector. A panel consisting of Psychologists, PT’s, Yogis, Nutritionists and wellness experts. It was very informative about our relationship with food and fitness since the rise of social media and I loved how they all engaged with each other, asking each other questions and their opinions on different topics.
Below are just some of the top tips I gained from this panel of women:
Cat Meffan (Yoga teacher and blogger): Don’t make any drastic changes! Slowly change a small thing, stick with that for a few weeks and then build on it. You don’t need to make big changes all in one go.
Kim Wilson (Psychologist): Trust in your own bodies and mind. Knowing what you need and what you respond too. We all need to be careful with the language we use around food; ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘treat’.
Cat: We have emotions, we have feelings, it’s all connected – just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Don’t just think about the look of the body, the aesthetic changes but remember the mental health and looking after that too.
Joslyn Thompson (PT and Nike Global Master Trainer): If you’re cool with yourself, whether that’s your body, health, money, job, then you will have a healthier relationship with social media – less comparison and negative reactions to images.
Joslyn: Weight lifting won’t give the high people chase so girls avoid it, they don’t feel it’s working as there is no instant gratification from it. No sweat = can’t have worked. But it does, it’s about dedicating time and being consistent.
Alice Liveing (PT and Author): If a client comes to me saying they’re looking for that high and they want to push it and break a sweat, that’s when I say stop. Re-evaluate why you’re doing this, let’s slow it down, let’s do some weights. Everything you’re doing works and helps the body, just because you’re not a sweaty mess and heart racing doesn’t mean you haven’t trained well.
Annie Clarke (Yoga teacher): We all live within Ying and Yang. But we live in a very Yang masculine world and there is too much of that around so you need to balance and bring in a Ying mind-set into whatever you practice.
Kim: We live in a constant state of comparison. Critically appraise an image – you need to think of what you’re looking at – what else is going on in their lives, do they have all these images stored up, financial backing, what might be going on in their personal lives etc.
Annie: It’s about regaining personal connections. They are everything for well-being.
Alice: Similar to Annie, it’s that personal time. I value my private life, my family time. My mum brings me back down to earth, we don’t have phones at dinner and we connect, have family conversations.
Namaste in Bed: How to Build Your Own Health + Well-being Brand at Work Life Camden – Tuesday 20th February 2018
Key lesson learnt: “To back yourself, own it and have self confidence”. Hearing from women discussing how they launched their companies or have made themselves a brand just by being who they are was fascinating.
Across this panel they shared advice on how to get going with your business, what you need and the things they wished they’d known. Each woman had a different path and many agreed that their ‘brand’ kind of just came to them and that there was never a 5-10 year plan, something reassuring to hear as I certainly don’t have one!
Where it began…
Alice Asquith (Asquith Eco Activewear): I always discussed fashion with my grandmother and loved clothes and this sparked joy to start a business to provide natural sports wear which I couldn’t find in store. I identified that gap in the market and knew it was something I wanted so surely others did to. I quit my job and just learnt as I went (does advise against this however!), I talked to everyone, went to every event and learnt from mistakes. Women are great net-workers and sharers, embrace this.
Hollie Grant (Pilates instructor, Author and owner of PilatesPT Studios): I studied psychology and worked as a pastry chef for many years but hit a real low which is when I fell in love with Pilates. I worked from the bottom to the top, step by step to get to where I am now. Starting by helping out at a studio as a receptionist, then manager, then trainer, etc. Make your mistakes as you grow before branching out and setting up your own studio!
What you need to succeed…
Alice: Research the climate you are in, the competitors, the people you could work with. Read, read, read and network!
Hilary Rowland (Co-Founder of Boom Cycle): Have a strong identity and always question; “Does this fit my reason for doing this”; “What are we here to do”; “What do we want people top be allowed to feel”? Ultimately I wanted to offer people an escape and it always came back to that.
Hollie: Make sure you know what sits right with you, don’t always say yes and don’t compromise your beliefs just to work with a ‘top dog’.
Lottie Murphy (Pilates instructor and blogger): You need to discover your USP. Mine, is me. My Personal Brand, I didn’t research, I just did what I love and my Blog and Instagram grew organically. We’re all unique we all have a USP, even if the market is more saturated now, just being ourselves and gaining the right community of people to help guide you, give opinions and challenge you.
Louisa Drake (Founder and creator of the Louisa Drake Method): Just keep doing your thing with confidence.
Advice to younger self…
Louisa: Self-belief, speaking out loud and owning it! I needed to be me more confident from the start, back when this all began I would never have been able to sit in front of a room of people and chat to you all!
Hollie: If you own a business, you are a businesswoman! You’re a woman, own it! Don’t feel shy or embarrassed and down play what you have worked hard for. Back yourself.
Kristina and Stephanie (Founders of Pollen + Grace a Health Food Brand): Age doesn’t matter, you can start you business any time. You’re never too old or young. We thought we had to work for someone else’s business before we could start are own, but no we didn’t! We just had to start and believe.
Hilary: Action. And go. You don’t need a qualification, just do it and own it.
Lottie: Feel the fear and do it anyway. Again, back yourself and have that self-confidence
There was also a lot of chat about investors, collaborations and what to spend money on. But as I am not at that stage yet I may save those nuggets of info for another day. If you would like to know the advice they shared on this please comment below.
I hope you have found this post enlightening and my excitement and inspiration from being at these events comes across! I know it was a long one, so pat on the back if you’ve made it this far 🙂 Would love to hear any feedback below and whether you’ve been to any events that have left you feeling inspired.