I feel very honoured to have been invited onto the panel of a female entrepreneur’s event on 23rd January – “Make It Your Business – for women starting a business”. Make It Your Business was founded by Alison Cork, who with a wealth of experience running her own business, has set up this fantastic company to help encourage and equip other women to do the same, following in her entrepreneurial footsteps. I’ve had the privilege of receiving some very valuable advice from Alison myself for planning the future of Wingfield Digby. I have caught up with her to find out a bit more about her journey, advice for others, new years’ resolutions and top tips for budding entrepreneurs.
1. What inspired you to start Make It Your Business?
After almost thirty years of running my own businesses I realised I had a wealth of knowledge to share with other women, and that if I, along with other experienced female entrepreneurs, 'downloaded' what was in our heads, we could perhaps make a real difference to those women who were just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey.
2. Who inspired you when you were starting out?
Margaret Thatcher and Debbie Moore (founder of Pineapple Studios) were my 80s poster girls. They made me feel that aspiration was a good thing, that I could be master of my own destiny and that ultimately, there were no barriers to my progress in life.
3. What’s your top tip for budding entrepreneurs?
Be prepared to be very persistent. You could have the best idea in the world, but if you don't persevere when things get tough, as they will, you will never realise your full potential.
4. What do you think are the 3 key character traits of successful female entrepreneurs?
I'm not sure these are exclusively female traits, but successful entrepreneurs tend to be almost messianic in their fervor for their subject, they are born optimists and fiercely determined.
5. Do you have any mottos/phrases that keep you motivated and/or inspired?
The harder I practice the luckier I get.
6. What are you most excited for over 2018?
I see 2018 as a year of growth and achieving new milestones. I have a specific target in my head as to how many Make It Your Business members I would like to see by the end of the year, and I think we can achieve that number. As for my own regular businesses, we have a new website launch for www.alisonathome.com, exciting new products on the QVC shows and some great collaborations with companies such as Victorian Plumbing. It's all go this year!
7. What was your new year’s resolution (if any?)
I always make New Year Resolutions - they fire me up. But the one I most cherish this year is a promise to cook every night for my children - a humble aspiration but it feels like an achievement in my world!!
We would welcome you to join us on 23rd January for networks, candid accounts of the many highs and low of the panellists’ and a chance to ask your questions in a like-minded, encouraging environment. Link to book tickets here.