End of March 2020…. We all know what was going on then. This isn’t about that.
I’m walking in the New Forest near home and I think “F*** it!”. And I did a video… more on that in just a bit.
Having set up my own business in 2018, things (as business owners will know) had been a bit up and down but had begun to settle into some good, regular client work. One of my main aims though – to be more locally tethered and have impact for local business – was not happening as I was too busy doing rewarding work very many miles away from home.
I had also been looking for a space I couldn’t find. I was looking for something that wasn’t networking, and wasn’t formal coaching… but a space where I could test my big ideas, socialise my thinking or work through my concerns. I was looking for a safe space to share my ‘stuff’ and have support in working it through and coming up with a plan.
At the end of 2019, I was vaguely thinking about creating a space like this – a physical, local space to bring people together. I had started to suss out venues and everything. I had no idea if it would work, how I would fund it, or what it looked like.
When ‘you know what’ happened, I put those plans on the back burner. I lost income literally overnight and like many people had to focus on “what now?!”.
So, back to my walk.
I had the week before spoken to the amazing and inspirational friend Garry Turner and as ever he had tested my assumptions and thinking with me. I was holding some thoughts about this space I needed.
On the walk, I just had that moment where I thought “why not, let’s jump in – right now”. Surrounded by ponies, with my camera on video mode, I talked about the space I was looking for… I asked if anyone else was looking for the same kind of space. I got home, and I posted the video – shaky, not planned, a bit rubbish. Post.
By the way, I still didn’t actually know what this space would look like or the format I should follow at this stage.
I had 18 people contact me to say yes please – I’m in.
Woah. Ok, so I thought, let’s ask these people to come and help me figure out the space.
26 people in month 2.
By just starting – jumping in – 5 months later, we come together as a community and give each other real, true value. And it’s not just about the space because – because of it – there are great conversations, connections and collaborations going on outside it too.
It felt oddly brave, oddly reckless and oddly ‘so what’ to post that video. But I’m so pleased I did.
What have you jumped into recently?
I built #ConnectUp because I was looking for a different, special space.
- To offer you a space for safe thinking, that is not in isolation
- To hear (and properly listen to) other people’s thinking
- To give you an opportunity to develop your thinking and consider any actions that come from that
- To give you a space to come together with a mix of like-minded people who are interested in what it means to be human, to connect, and be authentic
The idea is that we Show Up – Connect – and Ignite some thinking.
ConnectUp strives to make a positive impact on people’s working lives by recognising the human need for meaningful connection at work and to the work we do.
We recognise that every person, and every business is unique.
ConnectUp offers a bespoke mix of consultancy, facilitation, thinking space, team events and strategy development.
We work with large corporate organisations, leaders of teams of whatever size and owners of SMEs to build connection and meaning in people’s working life.
At ConnectUp we are led by 3 guiding principles:
- Every business is unique
- Business success relies on the efforts of it’s people
- People work at their best when they feel connected to what they do, see meaning in their efforts and can see how they contribute to success