January is a long old month, isn’t it? It’s cold, you’re broke after Christmas, you go to work in the dark and then go home in the dark and your face takes a tone that Dulex would call ‘pallid grey’. But never fear, I’ve got just the tonic for you. This week I’ve spent every moment at my desk digesting a pile of self-help books, scouring online forums and watching motivational webinars to produce the definitive list of how you can become ‘a new you’.
1. Go on a big (ad)venture challenge.
The Roman philosopher Seneca wrote that ‘travel and change of place impart new vigour to the mind’. So where will it be – Rio? Sydney? Ulan Bator? How about Whitecross St, Islington? It may not initially sound glamorous, but it is where Unltd are based and they are currently accepting applications to this year’s Big Venture Challenge. The programme ‘supports ambitious social entrepreneurs with access to finance, business support and powerful connections to help them scale their ventures’.
2. Give yourself an MOT.
Some trivia for you – MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. I looked it up. Anyway, you can get all sorts of MOTs these days; vehicle MOTS (obviously), health MOTS, and now website MOTS. Fat Beehive, who built our website, are offering free website MOTs at CHASE 16, a free conference in Islington (that place again, it’s definitely the ‘in’ destination this year) on February 16th and 17th. Details here.
3. Socialise online.
Once you get away from the trolling, the general sense of outrage and the Kardashians, social media can be a pretty fun place. Grant Thornton would go so far to say that it’s a ‘game changer’, and they’ve just gone to the trouble of writing a report: Growing communities: How charity leaders govern social media globally to thrive online. There are some useful and interesting ideas in there.
4. Socialise offline.
Come on, step away from the computer and put your phone down. The new you needs some human interaction. If you work in health or social care, SEUK’s Fit for The Future event in Birmingham on March 3rd could be just the place.
Another suggestion for a bit of networking could be Flip Finance’s Sprints and Drinks event on February 3rd. Email David Floyd ([email protected]) if you’d like to go along. They particularly want to hear from social enterprises who might be interested in getting some help to do DIY Social Investment – raising social investment directly from investors without going through SIFIs.
5. Campaign for something that you believe in.
You never know, someone might nominate you for a Shelia Mckechnie Foundation Campaigner Award.
6. But do it properly.
7. Get a new job.
Because a change is as good as a rest. Expert Impact are in the market for a Programme Manager to manage and deliver a fast growing national mentoring programme for social entrepreneurs. Also hiring are Poached Creative, who are after a creative studio/project manager to join their social enterprise communications agency in Dalston.
8. Boost your confidence.
By attending our Action Learning Facilitator Training which starts at the end of next week; a last minute cancellation means that we have a spare place available. Beyond boosting your confidence, the course will also sharpen your facilitation skills and help you develop new skills.
9. Ask someone for help.
You can’t do it all on your own. Offering a hand are Deloitte, who are looking for 40 charities and social enterprises that they can support through their Deloitte Society Partnership 2016 – 2019.
10. Explore the Japanese art of feng-shui.
I can’t believe that I’m about to do this. This is not what a social enterprise newsletter should be used for. Oh well: I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (v good if a little peculiar) and now have a sofa that I’m trying to shift. I’ve hawked it round the office with no luck so thought I may as well try here. It really could be a life changing purchase for you…
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What’s on at SSE
- Crowdfunding for Social Enterprises, SSE London, 27th January
- An Introduction to Legal Structures, SSE London, 28th January
- Crowdfunding, SSE Midlands, 10th February
- Action Learning Facilitator Training, SSE North East, starts 11th February
- Measuring Social Impact, SSE London, 11th-12th February
- Leadership Development, SSE London, starts 17th February
- Replication and Social Franchising, SSE London, starts 25th February