Three years ago, I first went to InspireFest. My children were still toddlers then and it felt very extravagant to pay a babysitter so I could attend a two day event by myself for no discernible purpose. I knew literally no-one at it. Not a single person. Not even @Pamela Newenham from @GirlCrew who gave me the free ticket.
I came away from it completely inspired. I was blown away by the speakers, the energy, the sheer force of ideas. If I am honest I came away a little frustrated as well. Being at home with three small children full time meant that it was not the glass ceiling which was holding me back but the sticky floor. I knew I wanted to start my own business but didn't have the faintest clue where to start.
I went to InspireFest again last week. It still felt a little indulgent to take two days out of a working week to attend an event for no real reason other then the sheer enjoyment of listening and learning from different people. But this InspireFest was a completely different experience. For starters I went with Tracy from @Mumager and we had a great natter about business and how everything was going. I met WorkJuggle customers, women who have attended the @workjuggle workshops and even start ups whom I have managed to help along the way. When people talk about business it is often in terms of revenue, user acquisition and hockey stick growth. And that is all important stuff. But what sometimes doesn't get mentioned along the way is the community that grows with you alongside your business. No one can build a business completely on their own. And one of the real joys of starting and growing a business is the people you meet along the way; the customers you are always happy to see, women who came to a talk or workshop and found it helped them in some way and of course, your fellow start up friends who always tell it like it is :)
This years InspireFest was a reminder of how quickly things can change and for the better. Starting WorkJuggle is without doubt one of the best things I have ever done and InspireFest reminded me of that. I came away invigorated with new ideas, fresh energy and ambition re-ignited. Thank you to @Ann O'Dea and all the amazing speakers (particularly loved @Des Traynor, Jim Fitzpatrick & @Nilofer Merchant's talks.) Can't imagine it is easy organising a two day event like that but it is so worthwhile - bit like building a business :)