I received this article from Dale Bannister of Alchemy Products: I feel his words sum up the feeling of many Community Members: The work is now focussed on The Newark Well Being Show. And Dale’s words are an apt testament to the values of Community Members and ourselves. I feel this article is of such importance it is published for the second time. Many Thanks, Dale for this insightful comment.
Change: Embrace or Die!
The winds of change are upon us, those who go with the winds, will surely succeed, those who don’t will be swept away.
Change brings surprises
Change brings resistance
Change brings FEAR
Change brings new opportunities
Change is a process…..
I have lost count how many times, through my life, I have had to adapt to situations, to avoid being swept away. Though on a couple of occasions, I failed miserably and was left by the wayside.
Simon Goodfellow told me last year (in a reading), he couldn’t believe the rollercoaster I had been on and had no idea, where I got the strength or patience from.
As I think back over my life, through various scenarios with the mindset I have now, I realise Simon was right, it’s been one hell of a bumpy ride!
Change for me came almost 10 years ago.
This change was forced upon me, my relationship at that time was toxic and I was forced to move out. Fate, Universe, Luck, whatever word you want to use, smiled upon me and I was given an opportunity.
I had 2 choices, embrace or die.
Going with this massive change, was scary, brought lots of uncertainty, but yet if I did not embrace it, I would slowly but surely be swept aside by this toxic relationship.
I embraced the change, adapted best I could, wasn’t easy at first, but once I got my head round it, it just got easier and easier.
Not only that, it brought new adventures, opportunities that would have never presented themselves, if I had let the winds cast me aside.
I eventually entered a new relationship, gained a new home, things were on the up and up. A new business opportunity presented itself. (which those of you who know me, are aware of.)
This was a dream, having my own business, being my own boss, but more importantly something I was very passionate about and knew I could make work.
Looking back now, we had taken a business decision, not to go online with our retail shop, finances, staff all played a part in that decision. I had a shop, why the hell did we need to go online, I wanted people in the shop, not buying from home.
“Yeah, yeah, we know all this, what’s your point!”
Yet all around us, the world was changing, evolving, people were more and more, shopping online, preferring to click a button. They wanted the same shopping experience as walking into a shop, just didn’t want to leave the comfort of their home.
Four and a half years later, I had a choice, as change would again be forced upon me, close the shop or struggle on.
It wasn’t an easy decision, all that hard work, blood, sweat, tears let alone a serious amount of money, I just waved “bye, bye” to it all.
“Are you mad?”
I look at this way, I could either force the change that was inevitably coming, in my favour, or I could struggle on, watching the shop lose money daily, till one day the winds would just cast me aside without a care and the shop would DIE
“How is that in your favour, you are mad!”
I wasn’t about to put myself in debt, for a seemingly failing business, that would have swallowed me up, not only financially but personally.
By shutting the doors, I forced the change, (as I look back now,) I took control and embraced it.
Did I know that then, hell no!
It took me six months to process it, lots of tears, regrets and “what ifs”
That process could have consumed me, nearly did, but I wasn’t going to let it.
In that time, I tried to focus myself, read lots (still do) rattled ideas around my head, visited shows.
I knew somewhere inside me, that I should be at the shows in one form or another, had no clue how (which we know from previous articles)
I noticed about certain shows, that they were all the same, obviously stand holders go from show to show, but the actual look of the stands, products offered were all the same and had been for the last few years.
“How dare you criticise our business/stand/products!”
Personally, if I go to shows and see the same stand, same products, that I’ve seen at numerous other shows, then I walk straight past.
Ask yourself how many other visitors do this?!
If you think this article is about criticism, then you are fearful of change, this isn’t about me having a “pop” at anyone or business.
What I will say is this, if you are offended by the above or it has hit a nerve, then maybe it’s time for a rethink?
This is about a process, that ALL have to face, at one time or another.
When I first got the business, the first 3 years were very successful, but yet in that time, I did not walk round the supermarket holding my head high, proud of my achievement. I walked around, not wanting eye contact, not wanting interaction with anyone, because of the sheer weight of stress!
Which brought FEAR
Anyone in fear, is in a holding pattern, some would say running backwards, you are certainly not growing or evolving.
In The Meantime
Liz Clarke and Ian Timothy had started organising the Trowell show and from what I had heard, having a degree of success. Gaining interest, visitors, good reviews.
This is going to be interesting I thought and whilst I was dealing with my own fate, I was keeping an eye on theirs.
Then I got word from a friend, that they had acquired the Lincoln and Newark shows, yet (as I believe it, please correct me if I am wrong) turned down other opportunities.
Now this was getting interesting, here were 2 people I knew, not very well, but I respected them, at that time, the conversations I had especially with Ian, were very enlightening and gave me food for thought. He had an in-depth few of things, similar to my own, he just did/said it miles better!
Website appeared, Facebook profile was made and a company was formed Lizianevents Ltd.
Change Is Coming!
During this time, my mindset was changing, I was starting to look at things from a different angle and wasn’t going to be moved from it!
Too many times in the past, my thinking had been altered, clouded by others, because I was wrong apparently to think the way I did.
After reading a book about highly intuitive sensitives, I knew it wasn’t me who was wrong, it was others who didn’t/couldn’t understand my thinking process.
I was now walking around the supermarket (for some unknown reason) with my head held high, I was drawing attention, I was gaining eye contact, smiles and returning them!
I had ladies come up to me and start chatting, again for some unknown reason (don’t tell Tracy!) usually whilst I was choosing wine.
Maybe I had an air of confidence around me or maybe arrogance, no idea, do I care?
Hell no, whatever it was, it was working!
Lizianevents Ltd in the meantime, were blowing their own winds of change, they introduced their ethos, terms and conditions.
I read them eagerly, hoping they would implement what was needed to inject new life into the dying shows. Boy did they!
This was the time, I seriously considered about my future, I’d been in new relationship for the last 3 years, that brought its own challenges, again changes had to be implanted to make sure that didn’t die.
The Winds Are Blowing
A decision was made, Tracy and I entered into a business relationship, AlchemyProducts was born around February this year. (rest you know)
I was determined to get up and running for the Trowell show, I wanted to embrace these winds that would hopefully breathe new life into the shows.
Liz & Ian had introduced a concept of “Community” where we would/should grow together, all pull in the same direction.
Looking back, I had tried doing this 2 years ago in the industry I was in before, the idea/concept was the same. I wanted all shops/suppliers to pull together, to better the industry. After a year of trying, risking my own business to achieve the “bigger picture” I walked away from the “monster” I had created. Majority of shops saw each other as competitors instead of allies and would stab each other in the back, suppliers were only interested in bleeding cash from the shops in the shop term. No one would look or think about the long term.
No Mercy, Winds Are Relentless
As I said a couple of pages back, I knew Liz and Ian would do it miles better, they would not be waived from their ethos. They would firmly raise THEIR flag and no one would sway them.
*Stand holders, tried to test the ethos, I would presume at the first test, they were very politely told, to read their T&Cs again.
If a second test came, again I presume, they were told “the rules” again but with more vigour.
If the third test came, well I can imagine, the winds would cast them aside *
*The above is only my thought process, without ANY knowledge of what or could happen.
Community starts to grow, it gains momentum, everyone now wants to be a part of it. Yet there is only a handful of people who actually grasp the concept that has been put infront of them. These few work tirelessly to like, share, comment, whilst the rest of the so called Community reaps the rewards of others.
By now the momentum, should be gaining speed, but yet it’s in danger of slowing down, then eventually dying.
EVERYONE needs to be on board this ship, pulling together!
Riding The Winds
This year I personally hope to see the community pull together for the “bigger picture” the future of all shows and ALL our businesses.
Whilst Lizianevents Ltd, brought in these changes and THEIR ethos, that forced these changes. They are the FLAGSHIP and if the flagship (which it won’t) sinks, we all sink.
This last weekend at Lincoln has shown, it is coming together and people are coming onboard, though we still have (in my opinion) those who want to push and resist the winds that are already blowing.
Coming Into Dock
“Thank God” I hear you say
I personally have embraced these new winds and very much looking forward to seeing where the flagship takes us!
I have faltered in the past, I have learnt the hard way, what it means if you RESIST change!
If you came into dock with me, thank you very much, for the ride.
If you bailed out long ago, I hope the winds don’t cast you aside!