Encouraging Women into franchising.
Being a woman, and a business woman, can be testing. Ultimately rewarding but at times, like you’re walking through mud.
Having attended the Women In Business Exhibition this week, manning a stand for 2 days and talking til the cows come home, I have never felt so encouraged, empowered and thrilled. The buzz after the show gave me strength that I haven’t felt for a while. Meeting women from all backgrounds, with ideas for their futures that differed so much gave me chance to reflect on my own journey.
I spoke at the seminar theatre to a group of women (and a couple of men) about being authentic in business. Being a yogi and a business woman can be difficult. Principles in yoga don’t always combine well with the ‘sale’ of the practice. This is something I’ve had to overcome and be comfortable with when battling criticism from purists. But hey, my love of yoga, my love for business and my commitment to providing a damn good service to those out there that rely on yoga and Pilates as their outlet makes me believe even more. Believe that what I’ve created is truly worth fighting hard for.
With four female franchisees now on board with a very similar outlook, I am proud and beyond amazed at what I and they have achieved in such a short space of time. It really makes me feel that anything is possible.
Whilst at the show, I took opportunity to speak with a lot of business owners. Those that were franchisors, as well as franchisees. The team at Daisy First Aid were so passionate about their business. What they’ve created to ensure that workplaces and families have the necessary skills to help others in times of need is a wonderful thing to offer. Their belief in the model, their belief in their franchisees. This too made me recognise that what I have created with Sandstone Yoga & Pilates yes is business, but ultimately it’s a service that is there to help. Those with physical and mental health needs that get on their mat each day to aid their bodies and minds is what I and my franchisees are giving back to the world.
Baroness Karren Brady CBE spoke at Women In Business Expo 2019. What a force she is. Not only a woman in business. A woman that worked in a nearly 100% male arena where most would feel inferior. Something she said whilst on stage struck a nerve.
“A lot of the time you have to say yes, when you really just want to say no…”
I agreed. I agreed because I have struggled with this and so do my franchisees. Is it because our instincts as women are to help and offer our altruistic selves on a plate 24/7? Is it learnt behaviour from our mothers? Who knows, but finding that place where you can graciously and confidently say know without being the ‘bitch’ is a hard place to come by. In business I am learning that saying no is a way of preserving yourself. We only have so much energy! If we said yes to everything, then we would burn ourselves out and have nothing left to give.
So my point is that being a woman in business is fabulous. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a supportive team, a wonderful network of franchisees, mentors that guide me in times of doubt, family that support my every waking moment. I’m just a human being with a belief that I can make things happen and I’m very proud about that.