Thursday, 21 April 2011

Everyone Needs a Holiday

Everyone needs a holiday to refresh their body and mind, to be-able to relax and have a break from the routine of everyday life.  I have just returned from a lovely relaxing holiday in Cyprus, The hotel was excellent and the weather warm and sunny so I am now refreshed and ready to do everything I can to help my customers relax, unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest National Park. I understand that the weather was lovely while I was away and the Cloud Hotel was fully booked but I'm in the lucky position of having excellent staff who I know continue to give the caring and excellent customer service that is expected of them. I think it's really important to have a break from your business and have the confidence to leave your staff to take responsibility sometimes. They will actually enjoy the fact that you trust them and will grow in confidence. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on your business and often return with new ideas. It's a win win situation.

Easter is here and the New Forest National park is coming to life with the fresh green shoots appearing on the trees and the yellow gorse bringing a mass of colour to the area. I spotted a baby donkey in the forest yesterday but I'm still waiting to see my first foal of the year.

The next Wessex Women's Network meeting is on Wednesday 27th April when Jake Simpkin will be giving us a talk on The Monarchy which ties in rather well with The Royal Wedding that takes place two days later.

While I am on holiday I always take the opportunity to read inspirational books to improve my business skills. While I was in Cyprus I read 'The Power of Focus' by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. It was given to me by Karen Guttridge of Slimfocus. Karen is a member and regular attendee of Wessex Women's Network and knows all the best books to read. I can thoroughly recommend it, I couldn't put it down and have come back from my holiday inspired and motivated once again!

I hope you are able to enjoy this wonderful weather and I wish you all a happy, peaceful and relaxing Easter.

Finally. Consistency and persistence are the key to success. Never give up because success might just be around the corner. Winners never quit and quitters never win.


Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Travel, Leisure and Tourism

Avril Owton MBE voted one of the Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism 2011

On Thursday March 31st I attended the Women 1st Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism and Shine Awards at the fabulous newly refurbished Savoy Hotel in London. Women 1st was launched in 2009 by Cherie Blair and is an initiative from People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, leisure travel and tourism to address the lack of women being represented in senior positions. Since its launch it has provided opportunities for over 400 women to undertake tailored development training and to provide mentoring to support them in their career. The event was attended by 250 people and was all about celebrating the success and achievement of women in the industry and launching the inaugural Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality, Leisure,Travel and Tourism and recognising the impact and influence women have throughout the industry. The champagne reception gave us all a chance to chat and catch up with friends and colleagues. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was buzzing with excitement not knowing who were going to be on the list or win the Shine awards. Dinner was served in the River Room and we all waited with baited breath to hear the results.One by one the names and photos of the Top 100 women appeared on the big screen and I can't tell you how excited and thrilled I was when I saw my name and realised I had been voted one of The Top 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality along with Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson, Prue Leith and many others. It is such an honour to be recognised amongst so many high profile women. There was only one thing for it but to have more champagne! Following a delicious 3 course dinner the Shine Awards were presented. The event was compared by Gaby Roslin, one of the country's most popular television presenters who was most entertaining and very natural. You can see all the results including the winners of the Shine Awards celebrating outstanding achievements by women on
It was a great night full of inspirational women and I will continue to try and motivate young women to reach their full potential. Don't forget to follow everywoman's Modern Muse website.

The Cloud Hotel is now on Face Book and you can keep up to date with all the news, events and special offers. I'm desperately trying to get as good as my young grandchildren on the computer, I have a long way to go but with the help of Karl Jones of KN Media Limited I am improving my skills.

I always say that business is like dance and you can never stand still so I accepted an invitation from Emma James from Tasty Marketing and Stephen Burge of BH1 Promotions to attend a workshop about Lumpy Mail!  Lumpy Mail is an American idea and quite fascinating and if any of you are interested in finding out about it look at and contact Emma or Stephen for more information I think you will find it very interesting.

I hope to see some of you at the next Wessex Women's Network meeting on April 27th when we are having a talk about the monarchy by Jake Simpkin two days before the Royal Wedding. Even if the monarchy doesn't interest you it gives you an opportunity to meet like minded women to share ideas and have fun over dinner. Spring is here and with the lighter evenings on the way I hope I will see some of you who do not like driving in the dark during the winter months.

One of my favourite proverbs is

Just as the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

The snail only reached where he was going through sheer perseverance!

Never give up!