Hi everyone and welcome to a new blog entry written by yours truly, Mama Panda!
On the 30th of April, I celebrated the completion of a Grow Your Idea/Start-up course facilitated by the founder of Bloomsbury Beginnings, Ann Nkune, which took place once a week at The Calthorpe Project in London.
It’s been a LONG while since my days of study and after having my “Three Little Pandas”, I thought my ‘schooling days’ were over! But when I was presented with the opportunity to broaden my horizons and take part in this intriguing course, I thought how could I say no?
If you’re familiar with my personal story you may have known about my 7-night hospital stint a couple of months back at the Neurology hospital where I underwent a pro-longed EEG video-telemetry. During my stay, I became extremely emotional and exhausted, especially toward the end whilst I was on “sleep deprivation” in preparation for the sleep-study for my final night.
I was discharged on a Monday and attended my first class at Bloomsbury Beginnings the following day on the Tuesday! (If that’s not determination I don’t know what is, haha!)
I was super nervous to meet Ann - perhaps because we hadn’t met in real life beforehand and only exchanged a few emails (my friend ‘anxiety’ likes to make an appearance when meeting/talking to people for the first time). The fact that I felt like an ACTUAL Panda with eyebags as dark as the night's sky probably added to my unsettled mindset, however I soon realised there was nothing to feel anxious about.
Ann was accommodating, understanding and has a glowing positive aura about her that promptly made me feel at ease. Her positive mental attitude was so infectious that following our first interaction, I would look forward to each Tuesday session and attend with a fresh head screwed on, ready to learn more!
Prior to this short course, I found myself slowly but gradually lacking motivation and focus with our business but I genuinely feel like the tools that Ann introduced us to are perfect not only for those with an idea to start their own business but for entrepreneurs no matter how far they are into their business (Three Little Pandas - 3 years old this month! Woo hoo!) who may have lost their mojo and need an extra nudge to find it again.
I particularly enjoyed creating our own vision boards and got so engrossed in this task that I decided to create TWO! One for the business and another dedicated to my personal life.
Ann also taught us how to create a lean canvas and introduced the “wheel of life” to me for the first time.
We filled out our wheel of life during our very first session and revisited them on our final one to track our progress. If I’m honest, I was a bit sceptical as to how much mine would change, but the results were a HUGE eye-opener and reinforced the benefits and impact that attending these sessions had as a result. What I found especially eye opening was that these techniques weren't limited to just business and could be applied to almost every aspect of life!
Whilst I could go on and on about how brilliant a time I had, I must take this opportunity to properly thank Ann for her dedication and vision. What she has created is a safe space for like-minded people to come together and not only learn from her and her experience but from other members on the course by mentoring each other and making ourselves accountable for the tasks we set out to complete each week.
Because of these sessions, I'd gained the confidence to appear as a panellist for an international women’s day event for WYDM (you can read about more about this event here.) and was excited to share this accomplishment with my fellow “classmates”.
I admit that public speaking isn’t my forte but the fact that I managed to pluck up the courage to do it is something I’m proud to have accomplished.
Although I’m sad that our time together has ended, I’m proud of the progress and achievements that we’ve made both as a collective and individually along the way. Enjoying delicious, healthy cooked lunches after each session in the Calthorpe Community Café using fresh produce grown within the Gardens was an added bonus. And not forgetting a very memorable mini-graduation ceremony on our last day.
I wish each and everyone of you happiness, good health, wealth and success and am SO excited to see what the future holds for us all.
If you feel like you’ve connected with anything I’ve said and would like to ask me a question, or simply want to say “Hi” (*waves*) please feel free to send me a message or leave a comment.
To learn more about Ann’s 6 week Grow Your Idea/ Start up course then head over to www.bloomsburybeginnings.org. Also, if you have Instagram head over to @bloomsburybeginnings and give them a follow! Highly recommended!
Until next blog, thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend!