Winning minutes


What a landmark – this week I won the twigs at my monthly networking meeting, for best elevator pitch. If this sounds trivial it really isn’t. It’s hard enough to come up with a new spin on your own profile, pack the words into one tiny minute, stand up and talk to a crowd of women, some of whom you’ve only just met, while all the time hoping you’ve not spilled tomato down your top; don’t still have your biro lodged behind an ear. Oh, and the talks happen during lunch, which means you also have to project your voice over the din of clinking cutlery and people asking for more water. One day there’ll be spinach between my teeth, I just know it.
Into the mix, we’ve now upped the anti by throwing in a pile of twigs for the winning minute: in fact it’s meant to be a tree, to represent Hampstead, the location of our branch (cymbal clash) of the networking group (we’re assured there’ll be a plastic one up for grabs next month); whoever wins gets to cast the vote next time.
I love writing my minutes, though lately I’d been winding down a little, felt myself sliding. It’s hard not to have imposter syndrome when you work for yourself, and no matter how much work I get or how much I enjoy it there are days where I want to crumple up the minute and write another story, about someone wearing another hat: a baking one; a running one; a lying on the sofa watching telly one.
So this week I went to work with some old craft stuff, kindergarten style and hey presto – bagged all the twigs, but of course against tough competition.
Had I been voting I would have been hard-pressed to choose between our regular business consultant, who deftly commanded attention just as a stray plate of butternut squash was causing chaos at the other end of the room. Or our visiting charity fundraiser, whose talks I always love and who brought some recent pics of the inventions her amazing company has made. One of those, probably.
Onto plans for next month and I’m already dreaming up my strategy: I’m thinking a load of plates, some tall sticks, some circus skills and a top hat. What could possibly go wrong?

Winning minute.jpg

My October minute for Athena Hampstead
I recently moved house, and during the course of our huge efforts to fit all of the old rubbish back into this beautiful new space, it occurred to me that the process of filling a brand new home with your dodgy old furniture is a lot like filling a brand new website with old words. Some of the content will be OK to stay, but a lot of it will need updating, just like your furniture.
What you don’t want to end up with is this [holds up drawn picture of house]: a brand new home, all shiny and gorgeous but filled with rubbish: [holds up picture of same house with photos of rubbish stuck into the windows].
That’s not to say your existing content (or furniture) is rubbish, just that if you’re renovating you might as well upgrade, or at least look really carefully at your existing possessions, or words, to make sure they fit in so that your new home, or website, looks all beautiful instead, like this {holds up picture of same house with lovely furniture photos in every window].
If you want your gorgeous new website to have stunning new content you know where to find me. I’m, waiting for your call in my elegant new office in NW3.

I’d like to thank my felt tip pens, my glue, my scissors…