Tag Archive | blogging

Seize the Moment!

Photo by Tom Fenner at the BBC

AN ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS EXPERIENCE.

As one gets older, you start to recognise that experiences can only happen if you decide to seize the moment and go for it. I don’t mean ridiculous, dangerous things, like jumping out of an aeroplane (that’s my idea of hell, but I’m sure it’s someone’s idea of exhilaration and excitement), I’m talking about seeing an opportunity and acting on it, right there and then. If you’ve got your ‘business’ head on at the time, you may even consider the moment to be one that could propel you into another realm of business success. If the possibility of that is in your head, then why can’t it become a reality. You’ll never know unless you try.

People who know me, know that I am quite outspoken at times, but I’m also not one to need that ‘centre of attention’ feeling. However, sometimes without thinking too much about it, I find myself not only centre of attention, but on national television. Yep, it’s that moment of madness/excitement/opportunity (insert your own word here if you like), that can be the one to open up an experience that you’d never normally dream of considering.

Back in June 2016, I was slobbing on my sofa one Monday night with my daughter, watching the lovely Alex and Matt on The One Show. Towards the end of the show they were talking about a silly game that they were going to play with one lucky viewer the following night, with none other than the Absolutely Fabulous (clue there), Jennifer Saunders and Julia Sawalha. It was obviously all about the release of the new Ab Fab Movie and as a die hard fan from years gone by (back in the early 90’s), I felt well equipped to go for it! All the ‘viewer’ had to do was email in and say they’d like to play the game and confirm that they were free for the following two nights. I wrote a quick email, hit send and thought nothing more of it.

Hi Alex & Matt, Definitely a fan of AbFab & can definitely be in London Tues & Wed! Would love to play your AbFab game. Cheers, Cathie

theoneshow-preshow-1To cut a long story short, The One Show rang me the following morning to see if I’d like to be on the show. It wasn’t a long moment between the question and a very excited reply of YES! Various emails followed about where to be and when, what to wear and what to expect when I get there. Before I knew it I was on my way to London to be a guest on The One Show. How excited was I? Ridiculously!

I arrived early at BBC Broadcasting House in the heart of London’s West End and hung round in the local coffee shop, people watching and collecting butterflies in my stomach before heading to the studio. The next couple of hours were spent in the holding room (only celebs get to go into the Green Room) with other normal guests, discussing our purpose for being there. In comparison, my reason wasn’t quite so high brow, but a hell of a lot more fun.

The time finally came to be escorted to the studio, I was introduced to Alex and Matt (as lovely as they appear on the telly) and waited until my moment in front of the camera. My piece was to be the last 5 minutes so the wait was a killer – the butterflies had turned up there fluttering by now – industrial strength wings in action. I stood there watching Matt and Alex interview their guests, and the obvious stars of the show, Jennifer and Julia, waxing lyrical about their new movie, old episodes of Ab Fab and life in general.

My moment finally arrived. I was introduced as ‘Super Fan Cathie’ (hilarious) and was lead over to the sofa to sit myself next to Matt. Being introduced to Jennifer and Julia felt so surreal – the whole moment felt surreal. What to come was even more so. I was given an eye mask and Jennifer had to describe members of the cast of the new film and I had to guess who they were. I did myself proud, guessing most of them. But that wasn’t the shining moment. Next thing I know, Jennifer Saunders is personally inviting me to the World (yes whole wide world) Premiere of Ab Fab the Movie the following night at the Odeon in Leicester Square. Gobsmacked, speechless and ever so slightly wanting to scream with excitement, I expressed my sincere gratitude and the show was over. Credits started to roll, a little chat with my new friends (not really friends but for that moment it was nice to think so) and I asked for a few photos, which they kindly agreed to and well, that was it. It was all over. My 5 minutes of fame, my 5 minutes of excitement and a lifetime of memories and opportunities.

Needless to say, the next night at the Premiere with my good friend Jan (who had booked tickets for us to see the film at the Aylesbury Odeon on the night it was released on the following Friday), was a night to remember. In simple terms – glamour, glitter, celebrities in abundance, gorgeous ladies, equally delightful men, half the transvestite population of London who were simply fabulous and two birds from Hertfordshire.

Thanks to The One Show, I’ve got a story to dine out on for many years to come. Boring my friends with the details over and over again – not being able to get my head around it actually happening.

If I’d not bothered writing that email, it would never have happened. If you see an opportunity and think, I’ll leave it, not worth the effort, it’ll never happen to me, think again – there’s as much chance of it happening to you as it did for me. And you simply don’t know where any opportunity might lead you. The thing is, 6 months ago I was on the telly, people stopped me in Boots in my home town the next day to say, “Did I see you on the telly last night”, my kids friend’s parents saw me, blah blah blah. That was one moment, no one apart from me (and my long suffering friends) even remember that item on The One Show that night, but what it did was open up doors for me (hence this blog piece). I’ll always remember it and I’ll never regret sending that email.

An over used phrase maybe, but ‘Seize the Moment’ is definitely something I’ve done many times in my life and quite honestly, there’s always been more good than bad come out of it. Be your own marketing guru and be brave. Go on, give it a try! You may just enjoy it.

To Blog or not to Blog

In an ideal world I’d be blogging every week, several times a week but to be honest, I simply don’t have time. Who has time to sit and write about stuff that annoys us, fascinates us, inspires us? Lots of people, so it would seem, so what am I doing wrong? I’m guessing I may not be the only one who vows to keep a blog on a regular basis, but never finds the time to do so. I’m also guessing that many of you out there who do manage to do this will be screaming at me, ‘just do it’!

What I may be doing wrong is not allowing myself time to be creative with words. I know I can be, I just find excuses not to be. I dream of creating that blog that becomes the next big thing, but again, I’m sure I’m not alone with that. So what makes those famous bloggers famous in the first place?

I’m off to find out, research the do’s and don’t’s and hopefully come back very soon with a whole new outlook, new design for my page and something worth reading. See you soon!

2013!

Well here it is, another year…

What will 2013 have in store for us? No Jubilee, no Olympics and hopefully no major natural disasters. I must say, I’m quite looking forward to this year, not really sure why, I just feel it’s going to be different with lots of positive business challenges and opportunities.

What about Resolutions? They are always a bit of a sore point for me, I make them in my head and mostly don’t stick to them. By keeping them in my head, it’s only me who gets annoyed when they aren’t fulfilled. There is one that I would like to share and that is my determination to get my business heading in a direction that provides greater security for me and my wonderful children. I’d love to find a contract that would offer me regular work, something that I can rely upon every month and proudly fulfill. Being freelance has many benefits, working my own hours, fitting work in around my life, rather than the other way round, being able to work from the comfort of my lovely little home on a daily basis. However, it would also be nice to know that every month I have a job to do that guarantees financial security.

One thing I really want to get my teeth into is social media. My first experience of social media and graphics crossing paths was a fortunate opportunity that came my way via local recruitment firm Ten2Two. When they contacted me back in May last year to see if I could do some web banners for a Royal Mail group, Simple Ways To Grow, it became the first of many small jobs for me. I went on to produce their Facebook & Twitter graphics (covers/header/profile pics), a printed brochure for their products and an e-brochure to be viewed through their website. A very exciting, new and useful opportunity to gain knowledge of yet another area of design.  I now feel I could easily provide a range of clients with reasonably priced options for their social media platforms and hope to move into this on a grander scale this year.

I’m really hoping that I can move forward with web design, social media and other such digital options in the coming months and look forward to getting out there and marketing myself in a different way. Joining a networking group will hopefully help with this. Once a month I’ll be meeting with other local business people at what must be the most un-intimidating  network group around – An Afternoon In The Pub. No shoving business cards down each others throats, no standing up for 1 minute singing my praises and trying to find something interesting to talk about. Just a casual meeting to see what other people are doing, see if we can help each other out in anyway and even indulge in a sociable glass of wine. My perfect sort of networking group.

So, for 2013 I’ll be marketing, networking, working hard at expanding my business and above all and why I do all this, looking after my beautiful children. Bring it on! I’m looking for a challenge and hopefully this year will offer me plenty of positive ones.

Happy New Year!

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