Albert Hall Conference CentreI attended the Business Mums Unite 2011 conference in Nottingham on Wednesday, run by the lovely Charlotte Pearson.  Its the first conference I’ve been to for women in business, but definitely won’t be the last.

The location was great – it was held in the Albert Hall Conference Centre in Nottingham.  I don’t know Nottingham at all, so didn’t know what to expect, but it was a really impressive venue and the food was fabulous – especially the cheesecake!

I had a bit of a hiccup getting there, having carefully programmed the postcode into the satnav I ended up about 10 miles north of Nottingham…  But luckily I’d had such a good run up from Maidenhead I still had enough time to work my way through the Nottingham rush hour, park, and walk there and still be there more or less at 9.30 for registration.

For me, one of the best things about the day was getting to meet so many like minded women (and a couple of men too..!).  The risk of working from home is that you can feel isolated – well, attend something like this and you won’t feel isolated for much longer.  It was great to find out what people are doing, and the driving force behind the decisions, which is often trying to fit an opportunity to earn money around family.  All of which really resonates with me.

This feeling of being surrounded by a group of supportive business mums was then built on by the speeches.

The keynote speaker was Elaine Hanzak-Gott.  Her speech was uplifting, thought provoking, and incredibly touching, both I and the woman next to me were in tears at points in her talk.  I just hope that if I have to go through half of what Elaine has struggled with that I will have the strength to continue, and to use those experiences to help others the way that Elaine does.

The other speech that particularly resonated with me was from the Red Shoe Business Woman Rebecca Jones, who talked about how it is possible to achieve your goals without having to become superwoman.  Although some of her anecdotes made me laugh, the laughter was very much recognition of some of the mad juggling that my life has become over the last couple of years.  Real food for thought – I need to take the time to sit down and work out how I can do less, but how I can do it really well.  Thanks to Rebecca for giving me the inspiration to get some balance back!

I attended one workshop in the afternoon, on Blogging for Business run by Becky from Baby Budgeting.  She had some fantastic hints and tips on how to get your blog to generate income.  I’m a long way from doing any of that on mine, but it was great to get some ideas for the future.

I then ran a workshop on Small Business Accounting.  Hopefully the attendees were able to take something away of value, they certainly did a good job of staying awake – and of asking some really good questions – despite it being the last session of the day.  I can see a future blog post coming up addressing some of the questions about the tax implications of blogging related income – watch this space!

All in all a fantastic day – I am hoping Charlotte can be convinced to run Business Mums Unite 2012

Business Mums Unite 2011 Logo