Well it's not often one can claim to have lunch with Prue Leith, twice in one week, even if only once was actually in person ....
I'm not usually particularly good at actually stopping work and taking a break, especially for lunch, but today was a day for a little indulgence. Sun shining, a summer salad, with hunks of bread to mop up all the deliciously flavoured olive oil, plus a naughty glass of chilled crisp white wine to accompany a few chapters of Prue Leith's captivating novel, The Gardener.
I was extremely lucky to have the pleasure of meeting Prue Leith in person and listen to her words of wisdom about business and combining this with a family life on Wednesday, at a lunch organised by the lovely Caroline from Talking Tots on behalf of Motivating Mum a fantastic mentor scheme for mums in business. Caroline had seen my stall at Grovestock last weekend, picked up one of my cards and invited me to join the lunch with Prue and I'm so glad she did :) My shyness normally prevents me from attending these kind of events but this format worked really well plus everyone else there were just so friendly, even when I wittered on in an attempt to cover up my shyness!
As well as obviously being an incredible businesswomen, I found Prue Leith to be utterly charming and truly inspiring. She has such a warmth, an energetic zest for life which completely draws you to her and it is easy to see why she has made such a success of anything she does.
A couple of points she made particularly resonated with me, treat the people connected to you and your business as you would your family, respect them and you will get so much more from them. I so agree with this, although my only 'employee' at present is Olivia and perhaps she would say differently :)
In my twenties I worked for a company where the MD held the same views as Prue on this, as a result everyone loved and respected him and really wanted to do their best. Such happy times at the company although we did work hard! I remember my secretary at the time, Amanda, nearly falling out of her chair on her first day when he made a particular point of coming to find her to say hi and welcome, she had previously worked for a firm of stuffy old Partners who barely acknowledged the presence of the junior staff let alone go out of their way to welcome them.
When Prue also mentioned that she was very tenacious, always follows her gut instinct and doesn't give up, I was sure she was speaking directly to me, obviously she wasn't - she was looking at me when she said it though .....
It really was something I needed to hear. In my heart I know London Mummy will eventually be all I want it to be and more but I would be lying if I said that there aren't times when I feel, albeit briefly, that it will be more London Granny than London Mummy at the speed with which I am growing it!
So, it's time to get out of my comfort zone. So many people have asked me in the past if I would wholesale and I have lost count of the number of times it has been suggested that I go and see Buyers with my own London Mummy range - but I've always resisted, the old shyness and low self esteem getting in the way again - how daft is that!
So this weekend, whilst Livvy is away, I hope to be enjoying some sun in the garden and coming up with a few new ideas to expand the range, might just have to finish that book first though .....
Thanks again to Caroline for organising such a great event and to any other mums out there, either in business already or thinking about it, I would definitely go and take a look at the Motivating Mum website.