6 June 2019
In the week that Empower – Be The Change is celebrating its 3rd year birthday I’ve been reflecting on what has driven our success to date.
By Jo Clay, Founder & Innovation Lead
It seems a lifetime ago that I was in India volunteering on rural community projects and working for Vi-Ability setting up an international volunteer programme but the experience I gained during the two and half years out there continuously weaves it way through Empower and the programmes we deliver.
When I set up Empower – Be The Change I was adamant that everyone should feel and be empowered. Everyone should be able to pursue their dreams and feel confident, resilient and happy in doing so. Three years on it is mind boggling to think 300 people have completed programmes and as a result can truly say they are empowered.
The company is now at a stage where demand for our courses is flowing in and we have a strong presence across North Wales. Three years has gone super quick but there’s no denying its taken a lot of hard work and effort to get us here.
Reflecting on the past three years I would say it’s been resilience and effective time management that have made Empower – Be The Change the success it’s been to date.
Throughout our courses we talk a lot about resilience and the tools we can all use to build and maintain positive mental resilience. It takes effort and a conscious decision to want to work on our own personal resilience.
In the early stages of the company my resilience was certainly tested. I truly believed in what could be achieved but without evidence to demonstrate this it was challenging to get investors, grant funders and partner agencies to share this belief. It was pretty soul destroying at times, receiving generic emails confirming that another grant application which had taken hours of work would not be supported. It took an awful lot of resilience to see the positives in this and use it to seek out the next opportunity.
Being resilient is no great secret I don’t think, it’s a mindset and one we can choose to adopt. Some of the key things I share on our courses are:
1. Learn from mistakes and see this as a way to make things better next time.
2. Surround yourself with the right people, those that have your back and genuinely want the best for you.
3. Look after yourself – working hard doesn’t mean being a workaholic.
This video also reminds me of the importance of small steps and actions we can all take to become empowered and to help other people to become too.
You can also read Rhiannon’s earlier posts about building mental resilience here:
Part one: https://bit.ly/2Klv2Bt
Part two: http://bit.ly/2HWC11Q
The other key element has been effective time management. We would all like more time and we all love to say how busy we are but how effective are we?
As the company has grown and developed it may surprise people that I now work less hours not more and this goes for the entire team too.
In year one we empowered 35 people and brought in £17,000. By the end of year 3 we had empowered 150 people and brought in income of over £140,000.
More courses, more people empowered, more income but less hours, how?
1. Being really clear about what we are trying to achieve and focusing every working day around a max of 3 long term objectives. If tasks, meetings and time spent don’t contribute to these, why do them?
2. Taking time out, genuine time out. Time away from work, completely, without checking emails and other work related things is time well spent. I have more energy for the working day and have become loads more creative about how we can support our participants.
Are you a team leader? Manager? Supervisor? Take a look at our team leader course to find out how you can build your time management skills: http://bit.ly/2WsieAd