So we have covered aspirations and goal setting as well as research and gaining perspective in my mentoring sessions with my Design Factory Business Mentor Debbie Bryan. Other areas we covered as our allocated hours ticked by, were Collaboration and Making Your Own Opportunities, two separate entities in themselves, but in my case, something which seemed to cross over and become the same on several occasions.
Debbie talked about how we should look for opportunities all of the time, instead of waiting for things to happen and this conversation has really stayed with me. I think having the ability to make your own opportunities and to make things happen for yourself can really make you stand out from the crowd and be seen. I don't want to be one of those people who sit around waiting for things to happen to them, (I did this a few years ago and became despondent when things didn't happen on their own, and I nearly gave up!) I want to have a stake in making good things happen for my business. Along with the theory I also have the proof that making your own opportunities can make the difference between failure and success, Debbie practices what she preaches, as demonstrated in her own business success. As a result of the actions I have taken myself over the past 9 months, I have gained more exposure, got my work in front of new audiences and have seen my turnover increase.
Via the mentoring and my contact with Debbie I discovered the Nottingham Festival of Words and also Creative Twinning, two great collaborative opportunities which I applied for and joined forces with. As well as taking part in these two events I've also made a conscious effort to take part in other collaborative projects (52 artists for Bulwell and The Snowflake Ball being a couple of examples). I've become a member of Antenna in Nottingham as well as forming links with other creative agencies. I've guest-blogged on several blogs and have been interviewed for others as well as gaining a recent feature in Craft and Design Magazine.
My comfort zone has been left far behind on occasion - speaking at the closing ceremony for the Festival of Words was a 'biggie' as far as personal achievements go for me, as well as Live Drawing in front of an audience at the Launch event!
Mentoring has taught me to stretch myself, volunteer and join in with more, and how to treat each new experience as a learning curve and look at what can be gained from each new experience.