Friday, 4 June 2010

Penny Power - Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me

Only 1 2 3 4 5 6!! more Big Sleeps until my Birthday. Hey Ho. It's strange that I have reached an age where I no longer want to celebrate.

Hey!! I will get a lot of presents!! woo hoo!! *sigh* Seems a little bit ridiculous when I have just sold most of my belongings. Although I did receive a very beautiful gift the other day but have nowhere to hang it in my current abode. Perhaps when I turn the big 4-0 I will magically become more patient, too. My Dad worried me the other day by asking me what I wanted for my birthday and then saying "Too Late! We've already bought it!" Oh fab. It's either going to be amazing or truly useless - I guess the excitement is in not knowing which!

Hey!! I will get some money to go out and buy something special to commemorate this turning of age!! Woo hoo!! *sigh* Except that also seems a little bit ridiculous (I was thinking a nice piece of jewellery) considering that I cannot afford to pay my rent. Maybe I'll just have to write an I.O.Me and come back to that one later when my finances are looking more rosy.

I guess I was hoping that by the time I reached 40, I would have something more to celebrate than just reaching a certain milestone.

Anyhow, I digress. Last night I decided to turn up to one of Nick Williams "Inspired Entrepreneurs" social gatherings, as Penny Power, the founder of ecademy, was a guest speaker.

I have been a free member of ecademy for the length of time that I have been unemployed, and as it is aimed at small business support I didn't feel that it was really my forum. I receive the newsletters every day, and retained my membership knowing that if ever I did get a business up and running then it would be an excellent place to dabble.

My impression of Penny Power was that she would be very business-like and serious. A real ambition freak. I don't know where I got that impression from. Perhaps her success in business simply intimidated me.

She started to talk. The first thing that she did was to thank Nick Williams for buying each of his attendees a copy of her book "Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me". Then she started to explain that her purpose in life was to serve.

I hadn't expected her to use that word.

As she continued to talk, sharing pieces of her own history (like when her husband Thomas, and herself, were fired from ecademy at the time of the dot com crash, and lost their dream home) I really began to like her.

Yes, the fact that she was earning 100,000 a year when she was 23 still puts her in a different league, but what a warm and caring woman. And funny. Very funny. In fact, after ten minutes of her sense of humour, I knew that she would be one person I could spend a lot of time with.

She also made a couple of great points.
  1. when you look at all of the roles you play in life - in her instance, mother, daughter, sister, wife, founder, author, speaker, etc, etc - remember that they can all be boiled down in to one: Friend.
  2. Social networking is no different online than in traditional business: People buy from the people they like. If they can get to know you, and like you, they will buy from you. So be open, and be authentic. Let people get to know you.
As usual, I wasn't part of the crowd dashing to have my book signed during the break and to have a quick chat. I figured that the people who actually owned businesses would benefit from her time more than I would. But as she was walking out of the door, I stopped her and expressed my surprise to her, that I didn't expect her to be this way at all. A compliment where compliments are due.

Her response was simple. She laughed and said "It is so much easier just to be yourself"

Well, Amen to that.


  1. Wish I could be there for your birthday. Hate the fact that I can't take you out to celebrate. Not fair.

  2. Can her name really be Penny Power? Sounds like a share trading scheme. I must admit that I am instantly suspicious of anyone who publically uses the word "serve" - especially if they are running a business at the same time.

  3. So your birthday is June 10? I must remember to send a celebratory e-mail...Wish I could do more!
    Do not worry about numbers or age, they really mean nothing...Far better to just live each day and appreciate what you have.

  4. Nicola: Eee, we'll have to save it until you come home.

    Alan: She married in to the name - I'm sure she sees the irony. I think if you'd have met her you would have got on like a house on fire. No pretence, very down to earth, and very funny.

    e: That's the day! I wish I could do more too - like travel a loooong way away and hide :o) Ah but I jest. I am sure even when I turn 60 I will still feel 25... and yes, appreciation is key! Far better to turn 40 than not turn 40...