I remember reading an article or hearing an interview about war-torn Syria, and in the article, a young woman described how life goes on even during a war. Now, it never occurred to me about the practical logistics of the people who are indirectly affected by a serious crisis.
The reality; there are many businesses, lives, and events that continue outside of the main crisis, although they live and exist within direct contact of the situation. These individuals sit in a position of having to walk the fine line of remaining focused on their personal endeavors at the same time responding to the needs of victims.
This post is inspired by the fire at Grenfell Towers, West London, where one of the key issues of discontent and anger is the social and economic divides. Now as I write this post we are in the throngs of the emotion of victims, families and the local community.
People are responding in mass making contributions, donating money, time and resources. Giving a caring hug and a listening ear.
However, my questions are, what happens beyond the current impact?
What is happening to the local business who may have employed and supported local people?
Will they survive?
Will there be jobs for people to go back to?
What happens to the employees who may lose their jobs or will not be paid due to their absence?
What happens to people on zero hours contracts?
What happens in the future, when these victims (direct & indirect) are seeking employment, will their connections to this event, place them in a marginalised position.
One of the issues I am concerned about is what happens when the eyes of the public have shifted to something else. (Similar to parents with a new child, life really begins after everyone has left, the home after the initial excitement).
The same is true of trauma and a crisis. In the midst of the incident, people can become very motivated to provide solutions. However, what happen months, and years later. How are we treating and managing those people?
I think people forget, that life is made of those seconds and not just of those big moments.
So, I am thinking about what happens after the fact?
How can businesses show compassion?
What can I do to help build sustainable businesses?
How can the small businesses of today be the compassionate multi-national employers of tomorrow?
I am sad that a crisis has to bring about the neccessity for compassion in business.
My name is Nicola and this is my blog. I write about things I love and consider important.
Today in London, on the day after the tragic fire at Grenfell Towers, we are already in the throes of speculation and recriminations.
However, in a time where ‘lessons are always learnt’ there is one area I want to cover – the power of the blog or Influencer, especially in this instance.
As the news broke, I became quickly aware of an article that was posted on the blogGrenfell Action Group, In addition, I have heard of a few other bloggers who posted articles to voice their concerns about the dangers that were looming.
I have always seen that the power of Influencers, across all sectors, as being very important within the landscape we live in today. The curators of these platforms can provide an unfiltered voice to issues or businesses that are not seen as sexy or enticing to mainstream press. But their independent voices and regular content can prove powerful. Influencers can warn, educate, inform and entertain.
There are many nuances to be being a successful Influencer. However, one of them is about writing about and serving your community.
ADVICE TO THE WRITERS OF CONTENT
Keep writing. Consistently serve your core audience and keep being persistent. Eventually, your tribe will grow.
You never know who is watching or whose life you are impacting
The Power of Words – Dr. Maya Angelou
“Words are things, I’m convinced. You must be careful about the words you use, or the words you allow to be used in your house.
In the Old Testament, we are told in Genesis, that in the beginning was the word, and the word was God and the word was with God. That’s in Genesis.
Words are things, you must be careful. Careful about calling people out of their names, using racial pejorative or sexual pejorative and all that ignorance, don’t do that.
Some day we will be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things, I think they get on the walls, they get in your wallpaper, they get in your rugs, in your upholstery, in your clothes and finally into you.”
There are many things I would like to study and anthropology is one of the topics I would love to dedicate some time to studying.
As a marketing professional, I am interested in human behaviour, I am intrigued at the ways societies have evolved and what creates a shift? I have found it very interesting to hear the change of rhetoric over the years as social media amplifies the voices of different cultural groups. I am not a major in this area yet, but there are certain things taking place in society today, that is breaking the status-quo and changing the common norms.
However, way are people afraid of change, especially within race, in 2017, 50% of society is saying ‘TIME FOR CHANGE’ and as a result, other marginalised groups are supporting that call for change. 2017 kicked off with millions of women saying change. However, the movement triggered a global desire for emancipation from the same old, stale society norms, to create a ‘new normal’.
However, particular cultural groups are afraid that their historical behaviour will be reflected and inflicted on them. Although, (as the saying goes – revenge is sweet). Many people who are seeking ‘change’ have recoginised that, that behaviour of our society is a pathology of the current system, and therefore people are seeking equality through a loving and kinder route. This is being reinforced and demonstrated through the growth of the Mindfulness Sector, Yoga, Meditation and much more.
Uncertainty about what we want. It is so much easier to push against something we don’t want, but harder to create something that we do want. Therefore, fear is created as a result of that uncertainty.
Social Media and mobile phones make you face your indiscretions. It is harder in today’s society to hide from your negative behaviour as you visual evidence reflects and reminds you as well as others of your behaviour.
As mentioned, I am interested in what makes people tick, how we got to where we are now and what the future holds.
I would love to have a great discussion with you, so connect with me and let me know your thoughts!
I was recently interviewed on International Women’s Day about women in business. During the interview, the host asked, “Why should we care about your business?” I answered honestly and from the heart. However, the question got me thinking about my clients and other businesses. Why should we care about your business? Why should people pay attention to you?
This question was further compounded by an interview I watched, with a physicist, who is pioneering groundbreaking cancer treatment using lasers that leaves little or no side effects. Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green shares what inspired her research and what is needed to take it to the next level. What struck me was her persistence of asking this simple question WHY NOT?
In this world of so much noise and ‘look at me’, the question to ask yourself is Why?
Why should someone care about your business?
Why should we not be able to find a more effective cure for cancer?
Why can’t more women receive funding for their business?
I believe in the answer you find the heart of your goal.
My personal final thought?
I just want to challenge you to ask yourself, WHY you do what you do? In the answer lies the truth of who you are and your purpose.
Valentina (a truely hidden and shy figure in business) created a sustainable approach to urban chic. London’s antidote to fast fashion. Where every piece of knitwear is one-of-a-kind. That’s because we use surplus yarn from large factories that would otherwise have gone to waste. Seeing the impact of fashion waste first hand, Valentina has made the main goal and ethos to be sustainable. The collection is made to order, zero waste, this means no overstocking, no discounting, just buying consciously, great quality pieces that look stylish and chic.
Valentina, what is the inspiration behind Valentina Karellas the brand? My original focus was to bring back manufacturing to the UK. I felt the industry was yearning for good quality knitwear that the UK could have pride in. However, I then found that finding factories to make my designs were few and far between, therefore, I took the plunge and created my own mini production. I found by default, (through having the machines and know how), that I was led to observe all the waste produced. This made me ask myself; if I as one small brand was creating all this very expensive waste, what was the impact globally from the waste the rest of the fashion houses produce? What responsibility do we have as producers in keeping fashion chic, beautiful, yet sustainable?
What are the key foundations of your business? Essentially, chic, sustainability and quality are my foundations of my business. Keeping the designs and ideas fresh, yet creating long lasting, timeless pieces – meaning you don’t need to follow trends or buy items that will only last a few months.
How has your business grown since you first launched? My business is only 6 months old, still in its early stages, however, since the launch in August 2016, I have had my own solo pop-up store in Clerkenwell, which has gained a whole new clientele for the brand, there has been steady organic brand awareness through referrals and social platforms. I have also been selected by the Department of International Trade (DIT) to showcase my work and brand in Hong Kong to encourage British Brands to export internationally, this is very exciting, as my brand will be seen on the opposite side of the world where they appreciate quality and style from the UK.
What have been your biggest struggles since launching? Being seen and heard, I am definitely plankton in a sea of whales, even though my message is clear and admired, there are far more brands out there with big budgets for marketing to demonstrate their uniqueness, however, this has just meant I have had to work harder and learnt a great deal, which only comes with having your own business.
What have been your greatest achievements?Soon after launching I was selected to be in the directory of Not Just a Label, it may have been small for a lot of brands, but I like the idea that I am up there with all these amazingly talented Designers – my peers, and I am proud to be alongside them. As well as being selected by DIT to showcase my work in Asia, there was a lot of applicants, therefore, I am very pleased they took the risk on me, as it allows the fashion industry insiders to see my work in a Hong Kong, an amazing fashion hub.
What differentiates you from your competitors?The main difference is I don’t think there are many luxury Knitwear brands that also produce in London, there are a couple knitwear companies that produce outside of London. I also feel my designs are not completely traditional in terms of knitwear, I like to play with lines and colours. I also don’t see other brands as my competitors, I see them as my peers where we can learn from each other.
How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?The bottom line is money. Will someone spend a significant amount more for a piece of clothing? Well, when people understand the true cost of buying ‘disposable’ clothing, they will think twice about buying a £3 top, but expressing the long lasting look and design, for a piece that can be worn for 30 years and passed down generations, that I would say is a huge saving.
What are your goals for your business over the next few years?To continue as I am going, spreading the word on sustainable fashion and the effects of fast fashion on the environment. I would like to build brand synergies with tech companies, mixing fashion with tech, as well as build international stockists. The end goal is to fundamentally go back to my original idea which is bringing back manufacturing to the UK and hopefully London, train already talented people to make great quality, long lasting clothing.
What is your message to the reader? Don’t be afraid to start your journey, don’t be afraid to be different, step away from the norm and be brave. Think about what you buy, what you wear and the quality it brings to your life and the people around you.
Valentina, your story is perfect for my blog and this series. You exemplify the true meaning of an emerging, sustainable brand, in my eyes. As you grow and blossom, I wish you so much success and hope you grow from strength the strength.
Natasha Puri is a student studying Global Public Health and Social Entrepreneurship at New York University. Natasha has been an active youth advocate, promoting public health prevention efforts and health policy. Most notably, she is working on a mobile app with other students called, emp(a)t(h)y, an innovation to combat mental health around the world. On January 31st Natasha presented her vision on how to combat mental health at the Youth Marketplace on Social Innovations for Health & Wellbeing event hosted at the United Nations by Every Women Every Child in partnership with the Office of the President of the General Assembly supported by the SDG Media Zone.
What is the inspiration behind your business and organisation? As college students in New York City, we have seen at first-hand the prevalence of mental health. Although resources are available for mental health, there are so many barriers that prevent youth from seeking them. In fact, many find them unhelpful as youth often seek for understanding, or empathy. After conducting numerous interviews, we were inspired by the ability for an individual to transform someone else’s life – through meaningful discussion and peer-to-peer connection. Humans have the ability to feel, understand, and relate – a certain consciousness that technology does not have.
What are the key foundations of your business? Empathy serves to provide the human-to-human connection that is most beneficial when confronting adversity. We understand the value of empathy, and its ability to connect people on the basis of shared experiences. Our goal is to combat mental health by humanizing healthcare.
How has your business grown since you first launched? Our business is currently in the preliminary phase. Six months in, we’ve developed a scalable and sustainable business model that is fit for a global platform. We initially targeted college campus where students felt a gap in mental health resources. After receiving positive feedback, we thought why not take our local initiative to a global platform? We were operating in an environment that already had resources available and thus decided to take this innovation to locations where resources were little to none
What have been your biggest struggles since launching? Given the gravity of mental health and the consequences, we want to ensure the app is a safe space where individuals can trust one another. In addition, as we are trying to implement the model in different places, we need to adjust it to fit the respective market. This includes being aware of cultural and social norms.
What have been your greatest achievements? Youth have truly begun to value our idea and mission – this is a huge achievement. Through our research and marketing efforts, we are developing a strong foundation of individuals who can not only use the app, but also benefit from it. Such support is integral to our innovation and its model.
What differentiates you from your competitors? We are not a mental health intervention or treatment, but rather a social innovation that provide an alternate outlet for individuals who are experiencing adversities. Our idea of empathy – shared experiences – rather than sympathy is what differentiates us. We are removing the stigma surrounding mental health, and providing an anonymous space for discussion.
How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service? This service is a great way to engage with someone who has gone through a similar experience! Whether it is anxiety due to a bad boss, or dealing with the loss of a friend – there are some situations that warrant an understanding. Perhaps another individual can give advice that is helpful or some reassurance, which certainly goes along way. Moreover, you have the opportunity to help someone else! For example, parents of children who are battling cancer and wish to share support, advice, and encouragement.
What are your goals for your business over the next few years? We want to expand our user base and target schools starting in the United States and India. Having these two environments to pilot our app will surely be advantageous to our scalable model. Overall, we want to decrease the burden of mental health illnesses and work towards Sustainable Development Goal #3 – “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being.”
What is your message to the reader? You are not alone! No feeling or experience is too small or too big to overcome. Mental health needs to be a discussion, and please be part of it. We need your voice, your experiences – you never know whom you can help.
Natasha, I am so inspired by the care and love you have for those suffering from mental health. I believe that in a society where empathy can be lacking, it is heartwarming to know, that innovations like yours, created within the mainstream entrepreneurial environment, places people at the CENTRE.
Thank you for sharing your story and please keep us updated on your progress.
Arapina is a Healthy Lifestyle Bakery, with roots in reinvented Mediterranean recipes, offering delicious and guilt free products for a sophisticated clientele. We’ve mixed things up to create a range of delicious desserts that not only taste great but support today’s healthy lifestyles and dietary intolerances. We make decadent cakes and desserts from the best natural ingredients so you can enjoy scrumptious guilt free treats.
Terms and conditions: You will need to collect your prize from Arapina: 8 Little Thames Walk, SE8 3FB, London, UK or you can pay for shipping
To enter it is simple: Follow Arapina Bakery on any of their social media platforms and enter with your name and email address below.
As a mentor/guide, Laurie Seymour, M.A., is a #1 best-selling author, speaker, host of the Wisdom Talk Radio podcast and founder of The Baca Journey. She helps women and men who are in the midst of great change to have a direct experience of their inner wisdom, dissolving self-doubt. Then she teaches them how to sustain their inner connection so that they live the life they know is possible.
Laurie, what is the inspiration behind The Baca Journey? Well, the Baca Grande is a physical place located in Crestone, Colorado. It is home to many groups of a spiritual nature as well as people who are drawn by its high-desert beauty and provocative energy. It is where a group of inner explorers held gatherings for 20 years, dedicated to learning about our own potential. We had a passion for inner discovery that transcended dogma, religion or mental constructs. We wanted to learn about how energy worked and we wanted that learning to come from within.
We wanted to learn about how energy worked and we wanted that learning to come from within. The Baca Journey was born from this exploration as a place for discovery, for learning, for dialogue, and for exploration. It represents that place within each one of us, as human beings, that is connected with a greater truth and a desire to discover more about how to live aligned with that truth in everyday life.
What are the key foundations of your business? Our core operating values are:
Conscious participation in life is needed for creative action to take hold.
As you trust and take action, a new way of living everyday life unfolds.
This new way of living gives rise to answers for life’s challenges.
Life has meaning.
There is a bigger picture.
The journey (life) is exhilarating!
These values underlie everything that we offer, whether that is through one to one sessions, online programs (like Turaya Meditation Live Online and Prospecting Your Inner Jewel), corporate mindfulness programs or live classes such as Turaya Touch.
How has your business grown since you first launched? I launched The Baca Journey while I was working full-time for a major telecommunications company. At that time (and for several years until I left) it was primarily a vehicle for online writing, building a library of resources for people who were ready to explore and claim a bigger picture of themselves and life’s possibilities. Now it is a full-fledged service company dedicated to unleashing people’s potential and having a life that works. It’s really a business that has been decades in the making, since my first career as a psychotherapist and university instructor.
What have been your biggest struggles since launching? My struggles happen whenever I forget that I’m part of a bigger mission to remind people of who they really are and what is possible. It’s when I think I’m in this alone.
What have been your greatest achievements? When someone connects with the big truth inside of themselves and they feel loved from the inside-out. Then when they discover that this is sustainable and that they can make life decisions from within this clear space of mindful presence even in the midst of outer turmoil. Actually, these are really their achievements. I’m kind of like the Sherpa who provides the tools, shows the way and helps carry the load on the journey.
What differentiates you from your competitors? If we each have our own expression of who we are, and if that expression is represented with love and integrity in what we offer, then none of us can do what another does. I know in the depth of my being that this is true, so I have no competitors. Nor do “they.”
How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service? More than anything, you want to know that your inner guidance is coming from the deepest, truest part of you. You are ready to create the bigger picture that has been calling to you. You’re ready to trust the answers inside of you even if you aren’t sure how. I’ll provide the strategies you’ll require to get through the portal to the “other side” and illuminate your next steps. Let’s do this together.
What are your goals for your business over the next few years? Personally, 2017 will see the completion and publication of my first solo book (I’m a #1 international best-selling author of two collaborative books). I’m expanding my signature online program, Prospecting Your Inner Jewel in 2017 that teaches people how to access their own inner direction so they can navigate successfully through life’s changes. I taught my first classes in London in 2016 and will be taking Prospecting Your Inner Jewel live on the road nationally and internationally.
Ultimately, I look to The Baca Journey to be a provocative catalyst for people to come together in community in the joy of how life can work.
What is your message to the reader? There is a reliable resource already within you that can bring a new simplicity and clarity to determining your true next step. It is part of your original “blueprint”. It is waiting for your rediscovery. I call this your Inner Guidance System, your own unique GPS. There’s a new life waiting for you and now it’s your time to make space for you. It’s time to answer the inner call that you feel whispering inside. Because you are ready. Because you can.
Laurie, I am so happy that you shared your vision with my readers. I firmly believe in our inner power to create change. However, it is great to know that there are people like you, who can help people like me un-tap our potential.
Thank you for participating in our series.
If you want to contirbute to my Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent series, please message me at email@example.com