What a lovely evening we all had on Thursday 24th February listening to Susan Symes showing us some of her amazing collection of buttons and their history. I didn't know how interesting and entertaining buttons could be so those of you who weren't there missed a good event.
I also had the opportunity to tell the ladies of my really bad experience of TripAdvisor. As we all know TripAdvisor is unreliable and has had some bad publicity recently. I advertised for housekeeping staff a couple of weeks ago and a local Brockenhurst resident applied for the job. He was not successful as the position had been filled internally by a part time member of staff who requested full time hours after the advert had been placed. I received abusive emails from him followed by unpleasant phone calls to my staff. He then put an 'AWFUL', as he put it, review on TripAdvisor saying and I quote 'my hotel was dirty, the sheets were stained and the owner was only good enough to be on her knees cleaning the toilets' He had never stayed at the hotel. I then discovered he had done the same to Forest Park Hotel in Brockenhurst after he had been asked to leave their employment in October. After alot of hard work and perseverance I managed to get TripAdvisor to remove it from my site. Here is another example of how unreliable TripAdvisor is and how it can damage a business.
Looking at the positives I was on a panel of entrepreneurs at the Business South event at the Rose Bowl on Thursday 25th February. 'Entrepreneurs Tales' was the title of the session and I had been invited by Peter Czapp of the WOW Company to take part with three other entrepreneurs to share my experience of how I have grown my business into a successful hotel. The Wow Company are a national firm of accountants offering a genuine proactive service to small businesses across the UK and who sponsored the event. I was the only woman on the panel and didn't feel I gave my best performance but I was surrounded by women from the audience afterwards who obviously had enjoyed it. My passion in life is to inspire women to reach the top of their profession and to believe in themselves and I think I achieved that on Thursday.
As I write this the sun is shining, the crocuses and snowdrops are out in the garden and the daffodils are beginning to come into bud. Spring is on the way, a lovely time of year in the New Forest National Park and it won't be long before the foals will be appearing.
The next Wessex Women's Network meeting is on March 20th when Dennis Tomlin will be telling us about his experience as the Queen's bodyguard. This should be very interesting as well as topical as it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year.
For those of you who are interested in ballet, and I'm sure some of you must be! I have just finished two fabulous books I was given for Christmas. 'The Everyday Dancer' by Deborah Bull and 'A Dancer in Wartime' by Gillian Lynne Although these are not business books I lived every page of both books as I was trained in ballet and ballet is my passion. In fact I am a Life Member of the Royal Academy of Dancing and had a fantastic training at the Arts Educational School! Both books tell you of the hard work and dedication needed to succeed in the ballet world, an attitude that is needed if you want to succeed in business too.
Finally a quote for the month
'Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow'
Ronald E. Osborn
Until the next time