• SOPHIE WARD

AN EMPOWERING WEEKEND AT BBC RADIO LANCASHIRE

I have spoken before how creating my own business, taking the leap of faith and following a passion of mine is really helping me. Despite all the dramas of the weekend, which I will get into in just a moment, I learnt so much and DO NOT regret pushing myself outside of my comfort-zone.

I pushed myself and I AM SO GLAD I DID, to go to the independent travel agent's Christmas party - IN A CLUB. I haven't been in a club since I was 18, so we are going back 7 years now folks. SEVEN YEARS. Let's kick off with the laughable dramas, which I hope frankly you will find entertaining; 1. The Airbnb host which we had booked early last month, was amazing. He was awesome. He was responding rapidly, he was really helpful and Shannon and I thought we had got a steal when it came to our accommodation. He was very helpful up until final payment was given around 5 days before our trip. He had promised me he would text me the check in details & what was required. He knew what time our trains were coming in and al the details. I messaged him the day before but I couldn't get hold of him at all. On the morning of us travelling, I tried to contact him a number of ways but his phone was off, he wasn't messaging back through Airbnb and so I had NO choice but to reach out to Airbnb themselves. I have to say, Airbnb were amazing. They hooked us up with alternative accommodation for the same price as we were paying before. All seemed to be good. Apart from not having any hair left through stress and spending my whole journey on the phone trying to sort this whole saga out. I was just glad we had a place to stay. However, I was still panicking about check in and just wanted to get there & get in.

2. Dinner plans had to be changed, due to late check in and needing to meet the girls early so we could all go to the club together. We worried with it being so busy and a Saturday night we would get a table but looking we went to the local Zizzi's who fed and watered us.

3. We came back after an amazing night. Feeling so buzzed about making new friends. Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and beyond empowered about my business. The chaos was just about to kick off. The doors were not safe, any of them really. We had plugs falling off the wall and really the whole place needed work putting into it to make it more accommodating and SAFE. So Shannon went to the toilet and locked the door. Well the lock would NOT budge. We tried everything for a good 45 minutes and then a midnight we just had to call the locksmith out. Shannon was seriously beginning to think she would be trapped in the toilet for the night and would have to sleep in the bath. Anyway, the locksmith came and even HE struggled to drill her out. BUT WE GOT SHANNON OUT! At the cost of £85. BUT SHE WAS ALIVE AND HAD SURVIVED THE INCIDENT. We said our thank you's but were then paranoid about all the doors placing shoes and towels as door stops. If there were to be a fire we wouldn't have fire, we wouldn't have stood a chance. ALL IN ALL - I GOT MY BESTIE BACK. She didn't have to sleep in the bath and we survived Birmingham. Now for the serious positives. I was nervous, I always am when it comes to meeting people. I may put on a front that I am not fazed. I AM. I fear judgements. I always feel less of a person because of my help (however self-development is helping me with this). I just wanted to feel part of a team and be one of the girls that people enjoyed the company of. Chronic illness is so isolating and although we have an amazing community online going out in public, to events and so on is another ball game completely for us. We do value friendships more than anyone can begin to explain. We speak everyday, as we are all our own business owners and deal with the same suppliers. So, we speak everyday for advice and have regular ZOOM calls where we share advice, talk about any problems that may have occurred and help others set up their own businesses within the industry. But with people online, you are always worried that they may different in person. WELL, these girls were TRUE TO FORM. They were so empowering and just so fun. You can tell how much they love the business and I know I have spoken about this opportunity being my life-line but these girls are glowing and to me, it just proved that you CAN & DESERVE life. You can create an amazing life for you if you are willing to work hard, chase your dreams and take opportunities. Life is scary... but this trip has proven that despite all the challenges you can fight through them and not giving up really does pay off. So many of these girls, are having amazing success and I want that for myself too. I know and I am always willing to put the hard work in. I know that a few of them have been in the business longer than I have and are miles ahead but I am learning every day and enjoying it. Which means the world to me and if I am inspiring other's to do make big changes in their lives. I am one happy girl. I can't wait to meet up with these girls very soon & our zoom call tomorrow night will be highly charged with business and Birmingham chat.



LET'S JUST TAKE A SECOND TO SAY I LASTED AN HOUR AND A HALF IN A CLUB! BIG WIN, RIGHT THERE.

I LEFT THE GIRLS PARTYING HARD, BUT I AM GLAD I MANAGED AS LONG AS I DID. I AM GLAD WE MET IN THE BAR FOR AN HOUR BEFORE. That was far easier for me. Less noise, lights and everything that can trigger flare ups. The bottom line is. People can try to influence you and your dreams. Don't allow your health to hold you back, other's try to live their dreams through you or be stuck in a rut doing something that you aren't passionate about. Life is too short & you have to write your own story. YOU have to hold the pen, don't be handing it to anyone else. We all know I am the black sheep of my family & I have had to build up a lot of confidence to go against the grain, not take the easy road & maybe in some people's eyes let people down. In my heart of hearts though I know because there have been times I thought my time may be coming to an end that life is so valuable & I don't want to be doing something that I am not passionate about. Pain and health causes me enough stress and unhappiness. I don't have the magic pill for them but I am taking measures to ensure other areas of my life aren't filled with unhappiness. Just empowerment & passion. That is the important lesson, to be proactive & positive about the things you can change. Most importantly you want a story that you look back on full of pride and little regrets. People will always judge. Why worry about something we can't change? The people who judge it is often through jealousy or a lack of knowledge. Rise above it. Stay true to you. Know your worth, value YOU AND YOUR LIFE. Be a fierce boss lady, empower others, set other free and help people. These are the goals I have in my sights every day. If you want more information about my business, deals and so on. Please feel free to message me, email me & reach out. I love hearing from you. I am so looking forward to my BBC Radio Lancashire interview on Wednesday morning where I will be talking about my new ventures, Lyme Disease and what has been going on in recent months. I also love going back to BBC radio Lancashire. All the presenters are a joy to talk to & I am always so grateful to them for helping raise awareness & giving me an opportunity to hopefully inspire people too.


A special thank you MUST GO to Shannon for coming with me for this trip. The girls made her feel a part of the crew too. That made Shannon's experience but it wouldn't have been the same with Shannon she was a HUGE support as always and the best friend. Thank you!


HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE. Let's make this week count, let's make it special. Set goals and smash them. Don't forget the latest episode of Chronic But Iconic went LIVE today! You can stream for FREE on APPLE PODCASTS, GOOGLE PODCASTS, SPOTIFY & ANCHOR PODCASTS. Subsribe so you don't miss an episode.



Believe in you! Sophie xoxo #BUSINESSTALK #Business #LymeDisease #workwithchronicillness #Chronicillness #podcast

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