Whoosh, January's already over! January can feel like a long, slow month for some, but for me, it seems to have flown by. As a solo founder, it's been a whirlwind of activity with a seemingly endless to-do list. It's been a month in which I've experienced personal and professional growth, making some profound choices, and taking advantage of opportunities that have presented themselves.
One of the most exciting and potentially game-changing opportunities of the month was my business's inclusion in a funding readiness program with a major bank, which has given me valuable insights into the funding landscape.
It all started with a chance meeting at the end of November, where I shared a little about my business. The person I spoke with was impressed with my progress with the business and the vision, and could see the potential of the business, recommending that I contact the program, which I did. I was thrilled to hear back in December that the business had been accepted. The program began in mid-January. It's been an intense time, balancing the program requirements, homework, and pitch deck revisions with the new insights. I'm excited to embark on the 1-2-1 mentoring to follow.
While juggling this program, running my business, and maintaining my personal life & health has been no easy feat, it has compelled me to make radical decisions about priorities and focus. One of these decisions has been to concentrate on finding the right resources to build a team that shares my vision of creating a more sustainable and community-focused platform. A team that is not only capable and kind but also understands the bigger picture of our mission to make commerce work for our communities and environment.
Peace Lily Gifts is more than just a gift platform: as well as finding you the perfect gifts to enhance your relationships we work with carefully selected local artisans, bringing you high-quality, UK-made products that make a positive impact on people and the environment. We ensure your gifting packs a bigger punch. I'm looking forward to building the right team to help take the business to the next level. So, I am hiring!
As we move into the rest of the year, with Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter just around the corner, I’m reminded of the importance of taking care of ourselves and those around us. - loved ones, neighbours and colleagues. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running a business as a solo founder, but participating in the funding readiness program has given me the opportunity to assess the bigger picture, learn about various funding options available, revisit some of the astonishing stats on funding for female founders (oh mustn't forget the likely impact of the redefinition of high net worth individuals on numbers of female angels) as well as to connect with other entrepreneurs and founders. But I’m also reminded of the importance of carving out the time for self-care and my restorative walks.
Overall, January has been a month of growth, learning, and progress. I'm excited to discover what February (and the rest of the year!) has in store and thankful for the opportunities and challenges that have come my way. What are you most looking forward to in February?