My Big Blog of Gratitude

This may be a long post, so I am going to ask you in advance to please indulge me.

When I was growing up, I used to look at ‘successful’ people and try to figure out how they got there. What did they do differently to everyone else? Was there something I could learn and emulate? You see, I didn’t have the proverbial ‘old boys network’ – far from it. I was not ‘privileged’ to be born into a connected family where my parents could simply introduce me to whomever I needed to know, or bankroll my ideas. I didn’t spend my summers in the South of France, I spent them working, from the age of 13. I didn’t have anyone to turn to for business advice, guidance or expertise. There was no one to show me the ropes, the shortcuts or flag up potential issues that in my naivety, I could not see. I had to learn the hard way, from experience.

But what I lacked in financial or ‘experienced’ support, was made up in emotional and spiritual support. I grew up with no expectations that life owed me a living and instead realised that I need to carve one out for myself, that being ‘rich’ did not make you a good person, only being a good person did that. I never judged someone by where they came from, or what school they went to, but how they treated others. I was not perfect, but I knew what really mattered in life; the people in it.

No matter where we come from, or what our backgrounds are, we can carve out a path for ourselves, one that is true to who we really are and how we really want to live our lives. We are not here to be carbon copies of someone else, we are here to be our true selves. We are not here to fulfill someone else’s expectations of us, but to be the best versions of ourselves.

I don’t know about you, but being surrounded by incredible people inspires me to show up as the best, most congruent and authentic version of myself.

On New Years Eve, I was extremely honoured to be awarded an MBE for my ‘services to Business and Enterprise’, but that would not have been possible without those that blazed the trail before me and the people who have stood by my side, travelling this wonderful, crazy journey called life with me.

This is for you.

Jett, my adorable, smart, kind, charismatic and wonderful son. Everything I do, I do for you. My Mum and Nan for being wonderful role models of how to live your life without judgements or limitations and for always encouraging me that I could be anything .

To Naffie and Suzy – thank you for all the love you have given Jett and support you have given me. Knowing that Jett was in safe hands whilst I was working has meant the world to me.

For those that believed in me before they had reason to – you gave a young woman the confidence and hope to believe anything was possible. Lady France, the former Headmistresses of City of London School for Girls, who took me in, gave me a chance and inspired rock solid confidence. Marcelle D’Argy Smith, the formidable former Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine – you gave me my first break and taught me that as a woman in business, it was our duty bring as many woman along with us as possible. There was room for all of us and if there wasn’t, we would make it! You truly led by example.  Chris Eubank for teaching me how to fight – not physically, but mentally and for never giving up. You opened up a world of possibilities for me and for that I will be forever grateful. Sir James Dyson, working with you taught me more than any MBA, not just in business, but in life. I am truly grateful for the trust you put in me, for the experiences you gave me and the belief you had in me. You were and are an inspiration.

 My most valuable asset has nothing to do with business or material possessions and everything to do with people.

If your network is your net worth, then I am rich beyond measure.

I may not have had an old boys network, but I have the most incredible support network.

Oli Barrett – Words cannot express what you mean to me. I have never met a more thoughtful and generous soul. If the world was full of more people like you, it would be a much better place. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you.

Matt Thomas – You have been there by my side for the last 6 years. I couldn’t have done this without you. Here’s to the future …

Daniel Priestley – You taught me that I had a message people needed to hear. I owe you a lot. You have been a great friend and I love you for it.

Troy – I miss you so much. Like having part of me missing. Thankyou for being my rock.

Brenda – What a journey. The ups, the down, the in betweens. We’ve always been there for each other and always will.

Lisa – You had me from hello. They say people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. You are for life.

Kanya, June – Imagine that … three friends, ‘growing up’ together, supporting each other, encouraging each other … 3 MBE’s to go with it!

Steve P – None of this would have been possible if you hadn’t believed in the vision from the beginning. Thankyou. For everything.

Kyle – From the moment you heard the idea, you were there. Not just in words, but in actions. Looking forward to the next chapter …

Afzal – You’re one of a kind. Thankyou for being there when it counts. Always.

Stephen D – Thankyou. For your support, your belief and your friendship.

Simon, Ronan, Ben – You gave us wings and empowered us to achieve more than we could every have done by ourselves. Through your support and partnership we have empowered 1,000’s of businesses and will empower thousands more.

Scott, Brendon – Your belief in me has literally changed my career, my path and my life. Love you guys.

Jayson – Seeing you flourish gave me inspiration to do the same. I owe you.

Dandapani – AKA ‘My Monk’ – From the moment we met, I knew you were all kinds of special and it wasn’t just because of the strange markings on your head! You are one of a kind. Thankyou for not giving up on the other part of me – the most important part. I adore you.

Dan Martell – You and Renee are the best. You’re an inspiration in business, but more importantly in life and your relationship. I love you guys. Can’t wait til the day we live closer.

Michael Fishman – You have impacted me beyond measure.

Christina Rasmussen – Our paths were destined to cross. Thankyou for opening the door. We have work to do … Love you!

Clay Hebert – I’m honoured to be colluding with you … but more honoured to be your friend.

Jesse Elder – Watching you embrace your true self left me no place to hide mine.

Andy, Simon, Kevin – Thankyou for all your support, encouraging me to pursue my ‘flame’ and giving me a platform to do it from.

Andrew – Everyone deserves you in their life. I’m lucky I have you. It’s easy to be a fair weathered friend, you’re a friend for all seasons. The best kind of friend.

The Smarties who believed in the original vision and have worked tirelessly to make it a reality. This is yours.

To every woman who has ever attended The One Retreat – thankyou for allowing me to follow my heart and serve you. I am so proud of what you have all achieved.

My friends who make my world – there is nothing in life greater than true friendship, I am blessed to have that in abundance.

For everyone who has inspired, supported and encouraged me, thankyou for being part of my journey – I hope I can be part of yours.