Ann HawkinsPosted by Ian on Apr 25, 2010 in Guests | 0 comments
Ann Hawkins – MD
The Inspired Group
The Inspired Group grew from an idea I had over five years ago. I was aware that a lot of people leaving the corporate world and starting their own businesses missed the more inspirational seminars and speakers because they spent their limited budgets on practical training and information packages.
I had travelled quite a long way to see a wonderful speaker, Clive Gott, and felt sure that a lot of my business contacts would love to hear him too. I explained to him what I wanted to do and asked him how much he would charge to come to Cambridge if I could get a group of business owners together to hear him. Expecting the answer to be one that I couldn’t afford, I was stunned when he said he’d come for no charge and what’s more he would recommend several other professional speakers who would be happy to do the same. (I later learned that he ‘persuaded’ them to do the same!)
From that first meeting the group “Inspirational Speakers” was born and so was my first blog as I was determined that the wonderful people who gave their time and skill to inspire a small bunch of business owners in Cambridge should reach as wide an audience as possible. Within a few months of publishing the articles I wrote about their talks I had over 1,000 readers and the attendance at the monthly meetings was growing steadily.
The people who came regularly went away with pages full of notes and a determination to put some the ideas into practice but when I asked “Is this making a difference to your business?” they told me that they were so bogged down in the day to running of the business that they didn’t have time to think about where they were going or how to implement new ideas.
In discussing what to do about this, the first Inspired MasterMind Group was formed and its members were so enthusiastic that I was quickly getting enquires from other business owners. We still hold the Inspirational Speakers meetings every month in Cambridge and we’re in the process of setting up Inspired MasterMind groups in different locations with a team of skilled facilitators.
I am one of the rare people who loves public speaking and sharing ideas through most forms of communication. If I’m not talking, I’m writing, blogging or tweeting and believe that the ‘new’ media (blogging is ten years old) is a huge advance in breaking down barriers to communication, isolation and stereotypes. I’m living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks and now incorporate teaching business owners to use social media into my repertoire!
Back in the mists of time I studied psychology, sociology and industrial relations and have continued to develop knowledge and skills of how human beings and businesses work. The theory underpins a very practical, no-nonsense approach to helping individuals, especially business owners, to become more effective in whatever they choose to be and do.
As an Industrial Relations Advisor, I was responsible for implementing Equal Opportunities Legislation and negotiating with trades unions in the most turbulent times of the British Printing Corporation. My work with apprenticeship schemes led me into the world of volunteer youth work and many happy years of helping to run youth clubs and a passion for designing ways for young people to make the most of their talents. I blame my irreverent sense of fun to working with teenagers (and on my son and his friends!)
The conflict I saw destroy the british printing industry and the isolation experienced by many business owners gave me the impetus to create an organisation that demonstrates the power of co-operation and creativity while remaining firmly grounded in good business practice.
My latest blog http://annhawkins.com is where you can find a list of topics that I speak about, the seminars I run and booklets ”First Impressions (or why we all fall for tall dark and handsome men)” and “Making Networking Fun”
.Follow Ann on LinkedIn Follow Ann on Twitter Visit Ann’s SuperBlog Visit Ann’s Website Ann’s shows
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