Part of me is already singing like Bruce Springsteen singing "War" ( yes I am aware he is not the original but it is the version I grew up with) and there is a part of me that will instantly sing "absolutely nothin' say it again *haw weird grunting noise*" But this would not be correct.

I have stayed away fro assorted awards and nominations and such for years. But when I decided to change to inklings and rebrand I wanted a bigger and better business. I wanted to learn about business and make connections. But very much wanted all of this without leaving my house or comfort zone. Apparently.. this isn't really possible, connections are key to most things. Creating a village of supporters and peers. I decided to take the plunge when a customer nominated me for the Ausmumpreneurs. I thought.. they would at least understand being a mum and trying to run a business and how a lot of the time you are not taken seriously. A lot of the time its seen as a hobby, something that's cute, that you do on the side to keep you entertained with all those idle hours you would usually spend watching Days of our Lives and eating Bon Bons ( an on going joke between my husband and I )  But.. as I learned the last few days, women are changing the world. I met women changing the face of Nursing care and and disability care. Women that are building orphanages, Changing women's ideas about controlling their finances and educating them. 

These women are amazing! and my imposter syndrome hit HARD. I had decided to do not just the awards but the full conference. Three days of many, many women in a room learning and connecting and listening to each others stories.

I'm not sure what I was thinking. Or maybe being in the comfort of my home and shell I thought, I am sure my social anxiety won't be a problem. It was. The first day I was a mess. I was quiet and small and slightly away from the rest. I didn't belong here. I don't have a huge team, I'm not changing the world. I sell fabric. I was constantly thinking when talking to people( If I spoke at all)... please don't ask me what I do...

By the end of the first day I was on the phone to my husband wanting to come home.

But. By day three. I had made new friends, I had these amazing humans, cheering me on, So many hoping for your success. They want you to succeed they know that my success isn't going to take away from theirs. People you were competing against were cheering you on the loudest. My room mates were amazing and supportive humans that I was very lucky to be with.

And honestly you don't think you need it or need anyone until you have experienced it. 

I was lucky enough to come away with a prize. I was amazed. and it was a peoples choice. which meant more to me because it meant, the community I had built over the last 4 years had my back. They too were my village, and wanted me to succeed. 

And when your teenagers all message you with love and cheers and your husband is cheering the loudest. That reminds you of the why.. why you put in the crazy hours and cry and push through the back pain and finance and assorted shit you need to do as a business own no matter what business it is. 

Would I do it again? I actually don't know. I am proud I pushed through my anxiety, but I also didn't eat nearly the whole time I was away. I missed my dogs and my family. 

And on the night.. well it made me realise that I was disappointed I didn't get the regional award. As much as I didn't expect to. Why, I guess because it is a judged award and it would have confirmed that by business is a real business. But I realised on the long trip home.. That it is. I know so much now about how to run a business not just a fabric business or a stay at home business etc, but any business. I have invested the last 12 months in learning. And the 9/10 years before that has been a long road of lessons too. Did I win the regional award? no. Do I need it to prove myself worth? No. Thor eat your heart out.. I am still worthy. Double chins and all.

But I learnt so much, I realised I also have taught myself so much over 4 years of this business. And I have the ability to improve myself and my business. I also realised what I do isn't just sell fabric, I have built a community. And I think that might be what I am most proud of.

September 04, 2022 — Jodie Stephenson


Joy Morgan said:

You are amazing Jodie and I’m so happy that you won the peoples choice award. It means you have built a brilliant community around your business. I am so proud to have done my little bit in your team for the time that I was part of it. Always remember you are an awesome woman! Congratulations!

Leanne Clay said:

You ARE an inspiration. Not just as a woman, but as a business woman, mum, family member, friend and leader. I’m so honoured to be associated with you, and can’t wait to see you go from strength to strength.

Kathleen Keffyn said:

Amazing Jodie! Well done with all the success you have created with your hard work, addictive amazing personality and of course imagination and vision.
When is YOUR seminar starting? Sign me up!

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