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'Why' are you even in business?

Looking back and looking forward, this International Women's Day!

This isn't just a random pic of me!

Women’s Enterprise Scotland asked me to help create content for a video being shared amongst young girls aged 5-11 years within school for International Women’s Day.

The purpose of the campaign was to challenge biased expectations of women, which begin across genders at a young age. It highlights alternative routes to success, relatable role-models, and the power of women to shape, not only their personal future, but the future of our society and economy. Drawing from the idea ‘if you can see it, you can be it’, this project seeks to inspire young women to overcome gender expectations and pursue entrepreneurship.

I was asked 3 questions:

1) Why is International Women's Day Important?

2) What you are proud off?

3) What has helped you become the successful women you are today?

These questions gave me time to reflect and to look back at 9 years in business, supporting hundreds if not thousands of young girls and women over the years and of course there was too much to put in a short clip.

But firstly, international Women’s Day is incredibly important. It doesn’t just celebrate all that women have achieved over the years but is a movement for what is yet to become. Over 100 years ago, women were excluded from vast areas of society, now 100 years later we are still fighting for gender equality! Of course it’s important.

Looking back at what I am most proud off took me on an interesting journey which included my business memory box sprawled across the floor, lots of cards and newspaper clippings read and lots of giggles.

I am proud of so many. The team, the dancers, the grownups, the communities, there has always been so much love, support and encouragement but there was a moment, quite recently in fact, that has left me feeling incredibly proud.

As a business mentor, I often tell my mentees that they should always have a ‘why’ in business. Why you do what you do! But my why changed (not so long ago) because of this particular moment.

If you look just above my head, there is a small card with a big statement! It’s not just a small card but in fact a dancers wish!

For a little back story, at our annual event, dancers are encouraged to write wishes. The team and I look through these and work with our dancers to reach or achieve their dreams.

But this one wish blew me away, I actually cried! I was lost for words! I was incredibly proud!

This wish was made by a dancer who began her dancing journey at such a young age, was always quite shy and quiet. This wish was made by a dancer who has grown with not just grace and poise but confidence too.

This wish says: “I wish to have a business like Miss Charlotte!”

At just 7 years old, this dancer went on to explain to me her business idea. At just 7 years old she expressed passion in her pitch. At just 7 years old, she knows what she wants and I am sure she will achieve!

It left me feeling overwhelmed and it also made me realise that I am not only teaching dance but also inspiring young girls to become the entrepreneur that they can become!

Emily’s wish sits above me. I see and read Emily’s wish every time I walk into the office. I am reminded daily of my ‘why’ and of Emily’s wish!

I was also asked what has helped me to become a successful women and for me it isn’t a what but more like a who. The women within my family!

I have a step mum who is strong and determined!

I have a godmother (who happens to be my aunt) who is kind and loyal!

I have a granny who loves life, family and laughter!

And I have a mum. My mum has faced challenges in life so insurmountable that most would give up, but my mum fought. She didn’t just survive but she succeeds.

I believe a successful woman surrounds herself with people who show strength, determination, kindness, loyalty, who loves life and laughter and who fights for success.

I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity to not only support young girls and women but to have the time to reflect, to look at the importance of International Women’s Day, to share with you my ‘why’ and to express gratitude to all.

This International Women’s Day, why not take the time to ask yourself or your daughter, mother, sister or friend these questions and take the time to look at what you and others have achieved, what your proud off and who or what has helped you along the way.

If you would like to watch the full recording check out below and thank you for joining me this International Women's Day.

Thank you to Emily for my 'why!'

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