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At The BWN we love to support local charities so when Farleigh’s Hospice asked us if they could talk about their new challenge for local businesses, we were instantly interested. Not least when they mentioned they already had local press and radio interested, so businesses involved would get great media coverage too.

The idea is that Farleigh’s give you £50 (I did point out this was not the way charities traditionally worked – but heyho) and your business has 3 months to turn that into as much money as possible. The 50 businesses would be welcomed to a launch night and would be congratulated back on an awards night.

I had already had my thinking cap on since talking to Julie Sawyer from Farleigh’s and come up with 3 ideas, the first was a number of pamper events, (I hosted one for charity a few years ago and made £1000 in one night, so knew this could work) a skills bank to showcase the brilliance of business women at the BWN or a naked calendar. Guess what happened?

It was like I hadn’t said the first 2 ideas as Julie’s eyes lit up with “Think of the media opportunities on THIS” and everyone else was talking at a million miles an hour with the ideas whirring in their eyes about how brilliant it would be.

No one was thinking about the getting their kit off bit.

I love that when you asked business women to come up with a solution (I’m not being sexist here, I know you men are just as capable but hey my job is to look after the business women of the world, so don’t get stroppy with me later on Twitter.) they find it – it never ceases to impress me the level of care and consideration business women have for each other and their community.

However there is a problem…

If you know me personally my name is Mandie Holgate and I am the founder of the BWN. This year has been very much a battle for me, having spent near on 3 months in bed (really it sounds fun, but it wasn’t) with Glandular fever and now I am being investigated for ME. I don’t tell you this for sympathy (although if anyone wants to send me gifts, flowers and nice handbags feel free – LOL) I tell you this because as I saw the level of passion for the calendar idea I was instantly seeing a thousand ideas and opportunities at once. A bit like when I talk to a business woman about her business.

But I know my health needs me to consider me first. So what to do?

The heart says rise to the challenge and throw yourself into it like you do the BWN, but my mind says you need to rest (words that are incredibly annoying to keep hearing, I can tell you.)

So you know what, I lay down the gauntlet to the fabulous business women of the BWN.

I know you are all amazing, let’s show the world how incredibly amazing you are, by coming together to create a calendar that is sold for Farleigh Hospice and is brought in to existence by BWN business women, is promoted and sold by BWN business women and clearly tells the world how fabulous you all are. Obviously since it is the BWN doing this, there will be tons of opportunities to promote your business, not least get in the paper, on the radio and shall we go for on the telly too?

So fancy a challenge this fine May day?

Do you fancy getting involved?

We need business women who will “appear” naked (you won’t really need to be). Behind laptops if they are in IT, hidden by picture frames if they are framers (you know who you are), by books if they are thought leaders, behind big knickers if they offer business support for business (again you know who you are) and behind mixing bowls and cup cakes (and lastly you know who you are), the ideas are endless. Apparently they already have me earmarked for naked in a Super girl cape – words fail me.

As I already said I have a poor self image when it comes to my body, especially thanks to gaining weight and turning back into a spotty teenager thanks to my health problems but I will not have a comfort zone in my life and so bring on the challenge.

I see the first challenge though is to find a fantastic printers to be promoted on the back page and print them for free, so hopefully there are none of them out there and then I get to keep my clothes on.

When it comes to selling it, I know that I would rather bung my hand in my handbag/wallet for £10 than get naked for the world to see – what do you think?

Scared you a little?

Made you excited for what you could do for your business promotion and for a fabulous local charity?

Share with your world please, Tweet about this, Post it to Linkedin and Facebook, share in an email, stop the lady at the bus stop, tell everyone at coffee break time, but get the word out there please – and lets all go a little way to make a difference.

Thanks.

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