B4b Celebrates Women in Business Month
B4b Celebrates Women in Business Month
In Ballymun 4 business you can connect with the most wonderful network of men and women who will welcome, help and inspire you. This month, however, we’ve been celebrating Women in Business.
During October, we asked the women in our network to share their tips and advice for other women in business and we have loved their responses. We want to issue a great big THANK YOU to all the women who took the time to share their wealth of knowledge and we are absolutely delighted to bestow those pearls of wisdom upon you now.
We have listed our contributors in alphabetical order below. Keep reading for great Tips, Advice and Inspirational News from some of the wonderful women who are a part of our Ballymun 4 business network.
Meet some of the Wonderful Women in Ballymun 4 Business
Annabelle Conway is the Social Innovation Manager with Innovate Communities. This means she manages the Social Innovation Hub and also develops and runs programmes that benefit the local community, such as our Incubate4Growth incubator programme for local start-ups.
Innovate Communities are a not for profit organisation that work with local communities to help develop services and programmes that improve their lives. An example is the Social Innovation Hub in the Civic Centre in Ballymun – a co-working space for local businesses, social enterprises and start-ups where they can rent desk space at an affordable rate and get support to help grow their businesses. Annabelle would like everyone to know that they’re really passionate about supporting local organisations, start-ups and not for profits in their Hub and helping them to develop their networks and grow their business.
Indeed, a lot of our B4b members have benefitted from using the hub so we are delighted to pass along the news that Innovate Communities are accepting booking for desk space in their Hub again so do get in touch if you are fed up working from home.
When it comes to working from home or from anywhere really, Annabelle’s top tip is to reach out and contact at least one person each day. It might be a phone call or just an email forwarding interesting information. It’s good for business, good for networking and good for the soul!
Annabelle has worked with many entrepreneurs over the years. She advises that some women fear success or failure, so they remain in their comfort zones, but life and all those amazing experiences and adventures happen outside of that comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to grow and progress.
Remember, there is nothing a woman can’t do when she sets her mind and heart to it!
Connect with Annabelle
You can also find Innovate Communities on social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Anne-Marie Macken of Money Coaching Ireland
Anne-Marie and Money Coaching Ireland are celebrating one year in business this October. Make sure to follow them on social media and sign up to their fantastic mailing list to hear about their progress so far – the ups, the downs and the roundabouts – as well as their plans for the year and years ahead to bring more ease to how more people USE (understand, spend and earn) money.
Money Coaching Ireland brings ease to how people USE (understand, spend and earn) money through one-on-one coaching, group coaching and financial education. Their approach is straight-forward, non-judgmental and holistic. They believe that financial well-being starts from within and will support you to become aware of your money beliefs and emotions. Anne-Marie encourages you to adopt a financial well-being vision and set money goals that are aligned to your values. She can educate you around practices that support financial wellness such as building your income, conscious spending, active saving, effective debt management and smart investing. Money Coaching Ireland inform you about financial products and obligations that are relevant to your personal situation. All of their activities are focused on empowering individuals to feel financially secure and free, whatever your current financial situation.
Financial well-being is feeling secure and free when it comes to money. These feelings come from within so internal work has to take place before true financial well-being is possible. The external work that may need to take place to bring more money into your experience or better manage the money you already have is far easier to accomplish when you do the inner work first or at the very least in tandem with the outer work.
Connect with Anne-Marie
You can also find Money Coaching Ireland on social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
As well as being a business owner, Babs Leonard is a meditation teacher. With Heartspace Meditation, she runs Learn to Meditate Courses, Retreats, Weekly Meditation Club on Zoom, Workplace Wellbeing Sessions and also Kids Yoga & Meditation. She has vast experience, skill and knowledge in creating and holding safe spaces for connection and wellbeing, thus supporting people to integrate wellbeing practices into daily life, both in a group setting and one-to-one. She also works with people from all over the world via Zoom.
Babs reports that her upcoming Nurture retreats in October and November were fully booked, which is fantastic news. Of course, she will have more events so do be sure to get in touch if interested.
Babs explains that Meditation is a lifelong wellbeing tool and when practised daily we begin to observe the enhanced quality of the relationship we have with ourselves, others and the world around us. This leads to confident decision-making for greater potential, happiness & fulfilment.
Connect with Babs
You can also find Heartspace Meditation on social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
Barbara Franzoni is a Digital Media Specialist with Copped On Digital Media where she works with Graphic Design, Photography and Video. You may have heard her talks on brand imagery and how your message is delivered not just in words but also in unspoken imagery such as the colours, shapes and images that you use.
Barbara’s advice on branding is to think about mise-en-scene. This means that everything you put out there is a part of your story, not just your words but also your logo, your images and all your social media content. If they give the same message, your images will back up your words and make them more credible. So get your brand story straight or it won’t be believed.
How to look great on camera
Barbara loves portrait photography and says that anyone can look great on camera, it’s all about lighting and angles. When posing for a photo, it’s important to understand that whatever is closest to the lens looks biggest, so push your best feature to the front and minimise the parts you don’t like by moving them further away from the lens. Barbara says that women look better when the camera lens is situated slightly above their eye level.
One of the most flattering ways to be photographed is to move your face in towards the camera with your chin tilted slightly down, looking up at the lens while your eyes are the closest thing to the lens. This will result in a photograph where your face and body appear slimmer with your eyes looking larger and wide open.
Connect with Barbara
You can also find Barbara and Copped On on social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We are delighted to introduce one of our newer female members. Bronwyn has been a member for less than a year and has already made a huge impact on our network, taking part in events, inviting our members to join her events and even writing a guest blog which we were delighted to publish on our website. Bronwyn is the owner of Broader Minds, a business that creates small group events emphasising minimal screen time usually in outdoor settings. All events generally have a food element incorporated also such as a lunch or dinner. Non-Irish events take place in Italy – they call it “Yoga, hike and dine”.
Bronwyn has arranged a few wonderful events over the past month or two and is currently organising a 3-night RnR event in a country estate in November – doesn’t that sound idyllic! She is also currently taking bookings and enquiries for her renowned trips to Italy in 2022 so do get in touch if that sounds like something you’d like to be involved in.
As Bronwyn’s area of expertise is in group events and trips, it’s no surprise that her advice centres on the people you surround yourself with. Bronwyn advises that you surround yourself with those sending you good vibrations only. Those that don’t “get” what you do or why you do it are of no benefit to you. Your dreams are not anyone else’s and as long as you work hard and are true to yourself and your brand you’ll be a success.
As a mentor with Mentor Her, she also advises; “Take part in a mentoring programme as a mentor or a community project as a leader. It’s so truly rewarding”.
Bronwyn also says that she loves to connect in person over coffee or at one of her many wonderful events. So if you are interested in getting to know Bronwyn or learning about her events, don’t hesitate to get in touch for that coffee (we heard that Italian coffee is her preference).
Connect with Bronwyn
You can also connect with Bronwyn on social media including LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram where she uses the handle @broadermindsirl
As a personal trainer, fitness and nutrition coach, Caroline, the owner of Phoenix Health and Fitness, specialises in mental well-being through physical exercise.
Caroline explains that there are many benefits to exercise other than the physical. Exercise will help you improve your relationships, self-confidence, productivity, motivation, resilience and mental well-being, as well as increase your energy levels. But she’s not just about hard work. Caroline encourages everyone to simply enjoy their journey and remember these words by Max Ehrmann; “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself”.
Connect with Caroline
You should connect with Caroline on Facebook at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/Phoenixhealthandfitness.ie/
Catherine Moroney is the Head of AIB Business Banking Market who are providers of Banking Services to both personal and business customers. When asked for quick tips and know-how, here was her response:
For me, the most important observation I would make in relation to my industry as it relates to all business owners is to ensure you see us, your bank, as your business partner. Then I would add, to ensure that in developing your business plans and your vision for your business – you are doing that primarily for yourself, for your team and your business. The purpose of sharing that plan and your financial information then with your Bank, is to ensure that we understand your business and that we provide the best possible support to you as your Banking partner. AIB is a full-service Bank and our ambition is to ensure that we help and support our customers to achieve their dreams and ambitions. You should always feel confident and self-assured in approaching us, our role is to help your business to succeed.
Catherine was awarded ‘International Financial Leader of the Decade’ in 2019 from the WEF (Women’s Economic Forum), & had the privilege of presenting to the WEF at their Worldwide Forum in Delhi, India in 2019. She modestly claims this was due to a mix of good luck and some prior work.
I had the good fortune of developing a skills programme for Women Business Owners for AIB, my employer, and it reached over 1000 female Entrepreneurs, business owners and senior female business leaders from multiple professions, it came to the attention of the WEF, after a South African female leader I know, asked me about it and how it could be used internationally as it had strong business outcomes. That and my number of years work with Dublin Chamber both on their Council and in their Network, came to the attention of the WEF and they nominated me for the award. The WEF put you in touch with an empowering group of women worldwide and I am still in touch with many of them today. It was an honour, but also I think, the culmination of working very many years in both Banking and in the Business Community. Every one of us has that ability to play forward our skills and talents, just by using them first in our business, then outside of our business. It is a very rewarding circle of learning and growth.
Advice and Wisdom
Catherine gave us three pieces of advice that she feels are important for women in business to remember. She started by saying:
Determination to pursue your vision coupled with your wise counsel to allow for re-charting your course when necessary” is probably the single most important determinant of long term success. Being very clear on what you are seeking to achieve, sticking with it, yet being prepared to adjust when required & learning from those adjustments as you go are key.
Secondly, Catherine advises on having the wisdom and humility to know when to ask others for help, to help others when you know they need it, and to listen, listen, listen to your team – they have so much wisdom of their own to share and add to the business, when given the opportunity to do so.
Thirdly, Catherine advises to be aware of your wider environment and to give back to your community, in whatever way works for you, when you can – be that to share your talents with those who need them, to facilitate others who need a help-up in their business, or to mentor, coach or support a talented person that you know needs that help, to make their own goals a reality. Not only is it rewarding, but it also comes back to you ten-fold, always.
Connect with AIB Business Banking
Catherine is a Business Advisor & Executive Career Coach. As a passionate business advisor/mentor & executive coach, she is deeply committed to helping entrepreneurs and career movers to optimise performance, achieve their business/career goals and thrive.
Catherine spoke about the recent lockdowns and shared that in a world turned upside down and inside out, she considers herself lucky. She was able to stay active throughout the pandemic negotiating work with fantastic people on amazing initiatives. These included
- Adjudicating with Enactus Ireland for social enterprise student businesses
- Conducting Fireside chats with Entrepreneurs Academy business owners
- Developing & rolling out Young Entrepreneurs training programmes
- Establishing & running a successful Mentorship programme for business owners
- Voluntary board director of Mellow Spring Childcare Development Centre
- Coaching some inspirational people through personal and professional challenges
- Facilitation of B4b Network
How lockdown affected her work
Life has certainly not been dull for Catherine as (like so many businesswomen) she also had to deal with homeschooling, including Leaving Cert preparation. Catherine says this has added to her grey hairs but we think she looks as fantastic as ever.
Catherine says that staying connected in business is important. But surrounding yourself with a positive tribe of like-minded women is even more so. They are so often the solution, backbone of support to every up/down day & everything in between!
Tips from Catherine
When faced with any career or business move it can be daunting, even overwhelming, but life is short so getting out of our own way and giving it a go is imperative!
Catherine’s advice is to keep it simple. Break the thoughts into bitesize chunks and manageable pieces. Not taking action is not an option – it’s a choice & one which leaves you stuck. So aim for progress, not perfection.
Step 1 – Write down the business idea/block/career goal = A PLAN
This is a ‘moving part’ changing from A to Z but go with it!
Step 2 – Investigate plans as much as possible for pros/cons & make a decision.
Step 3 – Commit to this decision & make yourself accountable to a timeline and a solution.
Step 4 – Last but not least, LEAN IN, ASK for a helping hand of support from like-minded peers & experts.
See how you’ve grown!
Connect with Catherine and CW Consulting
Eimer Duffy is a Social Media Consultant and Trainer. She has just celebrated two years of co-hosting the popular radio show “Let’s Get Social” which is Ireland’s only social media for business radio show. In her business, FIT Social Media, Eimer helps organisations that require an emotional and compassionate tone to gain optimised visibility, build communities and trust online.
Eimer’s main tip with regards to social media is to be on the channels your audience is on. Make sure they are up to date and engaging. Leverage your business for local search and beyond with a Google listing for your business.
On general business, and indeed life, Eimer’s very relevant advice is;
“Networking is key. Look to have a tight core group of people you can trust and support you, and vice-a-versa.”
Connect with Eimer
You can also, of course, find Eimer across social media on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as Google My Business.
Established in 2019 Emma’s vision was to create a Public Relations and events agency that worked directly with clients to showcase their products and services not only through traditional PR but also working on new and innovative projects to take their brand to the next level. With invaluable contacts, relationships, insights, combined experience in marketing & PR, 11 PR supports their clients to identify their brand DNA and reach their target audience, achieving the best results.
Emma uses her wealth of resources and expertise to help brands find their voice so they can reach out to new and existing customers. She’s happy to report that they’re still very much in business and planning to grow into 2022! She has come to learn that retaining clients and consistently good results are just as important (if not more) than securing new clients.
Emma’s tips and advice for women in business
Emma offers lots of great advice to female entrepreneurs. She says you need to OWN your BUSINESS! Be clear on what your business offering is … what your USP is … what your successes are … what you offer … where you can find your additional information or examples ( website/Facebook/Instagram/Linkedin) … be clear on what your costs are and have those predefined.
Emma feels she had more success in conversations/meetings about her business when she 100% understands what is offered and can communicate that CLEARLY. The person you are speaking to will then have confidence in you and what you are proposing. Speak like this to everyone when you are talking about your business … from your postman to the checkout attendant in the supermarket to a taxi driver .. everyone! You never know who is connected and it is also good practice!
On general advice and learnings for women in business, Emma says:
“For me I would nearly hide that I was starting a new business – as I was afraid that firstly I would fail and then I would look stupid and secondly that friends and family would think that I had ‘notions’. I feel this is not only a thing for Women in Business but ESPECIALLY Irish Women in Business. We have the fear of being seen to have “notions ” about ourselves and our abilities! As soon as I started to move away from that crippling way of thinking almost everything changed – actually everyone was really happy and supportive. I had lots of questions and what I believed was genuine interest. Every Aunt shared my social media posts and the love and support was great fuel for me to keep going!”
Emma urges other women in business to trust the process!
Even though it may sound cliché, in the beginning, everything you do can feel very small but one day you will wake up and realise you have a business … and that is the best feeling! You work so hard and keep your head that you don’t feel it growing around you. Then BOOM, you will wake and think WOW ok this is actually happening now. Not one day … not next year .. not nearly there … actually NOW!
Connect with Emma
We highly recommend that you follow Emma on social media also
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/11pr_events/ and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/11prandevents/
Fiona Flood is the owner of PA 4 A Day providing administration support to sole traders and SMEs.
Fiona’s big advice is to learn how to use software that makes it easier to organise yourself, your work and your data. In particular, she says, Learn Excel!
Fiona has a great practical tip in Excel as follows:
How to take out blank spaces in cells in Excel, so it will filter properly and be alphabetically correct.
First press Control & H. Now click on “find”.
Next, put a space into the cursor bar and then click on “replace with”.
Now make sure the cursor is all the way over to the left and now hit “find all”.
This will remove all the blank spaces, allowing your data to be more easily manipulated.
Connect with Fiona
We also recommend that you connect with Fiona on LinkedIn
Most people in our network will be familiar with Joanne Gallagher not only due to her role as our local bank manager, but also because Joanne is the vice-chairperson for Ballymun4business.
As we are celebrating women in business throughout the month of October, Joanne kindly agreed to share her own journey and here it is, in her own words.
As a single parent and a young woman in business, I felt I had to work ten times harder to achieve my goals. I had my self-doubts. I had negative internal and external commentary. I had feelings of inadequacy. These obstacles made me strive to work harder and hold myself to a very high standard. I used these negative feelings and emotions to self-motivate and drive myself forward.
I realise now that it was not the healthiest strategy for being successful in business.
Did it get me to where I want to be? Yes.
Did it make it harder to get there? Perhaps.
Did it impact me mentally and physically? Absolutely.
So, why am I sharing this with you?
Life is a journey not a destination. We all have our ups and downs, but it’s what we do with the experiences that we have that is the measure of who we are – both in our personal and business lives.
I have gone through a period of self-actualisation. I have accepted all facets of myself and the opportunities that exist for me to realise my potential. Now I am more creative in my planning and innovative in my thinking. I have learned to pause, reflect and analyse – where am I now and where am I going? It is so easy to get swept along, particularly during challenging times like the current Covid crisis. I have had to stop and take stock regularly.
I realised that confidence is a work in progress. It comes with experience, is aided by reflection and built through acceptance.
- You will not always get it right, but you can learn from your mistakes
- Emotions are normal, we are all human. Embrace them and turn them into something positive
- Don’t try to be someone else’s version of success, just be you – you are enough!
Connect with AIB Ballymun/Finglas
Kate is the owner of Plasma-Med and she has extensive medical experience also. She has listed EIGHT amazing tips on how to properly care for your complexion.
1. Thorough make-up removal, cleansing, toning
The basis of care is thorough make-up removal, cleansing and toning. This is the first and the most important skincare step that allows any cream and serum to work. If the skin is not properly cleansed, the next stages of care will not bring the expected results.
2. Choose products according to your skin type
To be effective, daily care should be based on cosmetics dedicated to a given skin type. It is important to choose accordingly.
3. Mandatory eye cream
The thin skin around the eyes needs special care. This sensitive area quickly loses hydration, and therefore ages faster. It is best to take care of this area with a product intended for this purpose.
4. Remember about sun protection
Protective filters are worth using regardless of the season because even on cloudy days we are exposed to UV radiation.
The basis for the care of all skin types is moisturizing – not only dry, but also oily skin. A common mistake in caring for oily skin is to use only degreasing preparations based on strong acids, without moisturizing it in any way. By drying it, we intensify the secretion of sebum, as the skin defends itself, and at the same time leads to its dehydration. It is also extremely important to moisturize the skin of the body. It is recommended to apply the preparations immediately after bathing so that the water does not evaporate from the epidermis.
6. Regular exfoliation
We must not forget to exfoliate the dead skin regularly to increase the penetration of active ingredients from creams and serums. However, it is important to choose the right peelings for your skin type.
7. Washing hands before and after applying cosmetics
The essence of proper care is to maintain proper hand hygiene while applying cosmetics. Washing your hands before application reduces the transfer of bacteria and impurities to the face, and therefore reduces the risk of skin breakouts. Hands should also be washed between applications of different cosmetics with different effects. For example, if hands aren’t washed after using a strong preparation with acids/retinol, and then we apply eye cream, we increase the risk of irritation to the delicate eye area.
8. Caring for the skin from the inside
In addition to cosmetic care, our diet plays a huge role. It should be rich in vitamins and minerals, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. It is also necessary to drink 2-3 litres of water a day.
Connect with Kate
You can also find Kate and Plasma-Med on Instagram
Marie-Clare (known as MC) is a content creator and the owner of Now Media, a business that supplies digital content creation and training. MC is one of our most long-standing members and can usually be seen at events working behind the camera – but look quickly or you’ll miss her.
When offering tips from her field of expertise, MC advises a relaxed approach to being on camera.
“Be yourself on camera, you’re not reading the news! Show your personality.”
She also advises that we all have something to say and we should not be hesitant in putting our message out there. “Believe in yourself, your voice matters.”
Connect with MC
You can also find MC and Now Media across all social media including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Mary Conway is the founder of Janus Estates. In addition to Janus being a traditional estate agency, Mary is Irelands first Senior Move Manager and live-in-place professional. She specialises in assisting clients with property matters related to large life changes such as ageing, mobility, separation and bereavement. Her clients often need help with deciding to downsize or modify their home in order to age-in-place. This can mean anything from decluttering to project managing necessary adaptations.
Mary quotes Francis Bacon in saying that old age is always 15 years older than you think it is. Her own advice is that the time to prepare to age is before you “have to ” do the modification because of illness or injury. Janus is the Roman god of new beginnings she wants people who are “Rightsizing” their home to see it as something positive and a fresh start.
With 30 years nursing experience, Mary’s advice in life is to always be kind – you never know what hidden burden somebody is carrying.
Mary tells us she is getting ready to launch some interesting projects and we are very excited to learn more when she is ready to share. Something she could share now is that she really enjoys being part of our network, as there is a great energy and enthusiasm in the group. We agree and reciprocate by saying that we really enjoy the energy that Mary brings to our network, so thank you Mary.
Connect with Mary
You can also find Mary and Janus on LinkedIn and Facebook.
Meet Pamela Doyle, who is a Co-Founder and Director of JobAlert.ie providing job advertising that is affordable to all businesses. We were delighted to hear that JobAlert.ie is growing all the time and has never been busier. Pamela very generously shared the following wisdom from her field of expertise.
Pamela’s No.1 recruitment tip is: When recruiting take the time to sell not only the role on offer, but also your company and the team the person will be joining.
Pamela said this is a very important aspect of recruitment that could easily be overlooked.
Pamela’s advice on life and business is borne out of experience. She says; Take chances, don’t overthink things, just feel the fear and go for it! Remember you are setting an example and raising the bar for all the younger women in business coming up behind us!
Connect with Pamela
JobAlert.ie have pages and groups across Facebook for every locality in Ireland. You can also find them on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Paula Mooney is a holistic therapist and the owner of Infinity Therapy Room. She promotes mental health management through self-wellness, by giving a range of treatments for stress management, anxiety and overall wellbeing. She also delivers a range of self-help classes where clients learn to maintain their own mental and physical wellbeing. In addition to this, she offers a range of natural skincare products. This vegan-friendly range suits all skin types and needs. There is also a range of handmade natural products including lip balms, baby balms and sports balms. Paula is currently rebranding her skincare and balms to launch for public sale.
When it comes to a great tip for life, Paula’s advice is simple. “Always make yourself a priority. It’s ok to look after you first ?”
Paula’s advice for business is to believe in yourself and follow your dreams no matter how far away they seem.
Connect with Paula
The best way to connect with Paula is through Facebook as follows: https://www.facebook.com/Infinitytherapyroom/
That Advice again, as a video…
Thanks again to everyone who took the time to participate in our celebration of Women in Business. We are so proud to have you in our network and we think you are Mnásome!
Here’s a recap of just some of the most stand-out gems as quote cards