I wasn’t too sure what I was in for when I arrived hurriedly at the Sewell Building in Hull one rainy evening in September.
I knew I’d been offered the chance to turn what was still an idea at this stage into reality. I guessed I would be meeting with some of the area’s greatest entrepreneurs, and for free, but I remembered the sentence that stood out for me when I signed up. “We don’t ask anything of you financially, but we do expect your attendance at every session if you to make the most of this amazing opportunity. “
That evening saw the dawn of a business that I have emotionally gone through the wringer for. The process that FEO takes you through is on paper, seven weeks of Wednesday evenings covering the fundamentals involved with setting up a business. But it’s so much more than that - it allowed me the time to really look at what I was trying to achieve, how I would succeed and also how I could easily stumble and fail if I wasn’t careful. It also taught me that humility, mutual respect and guts go along way when you’re in the presence of people who have, in some instances, put everything on the line for a business they love.
What you need to understand is that to get a place on the Ignition course you must deserve it and have earn’t that place. To be sat in a room full of both wisdom and awe is at times quite a thing. To be there is to listen to and watch some of the greatest business men and women as they lay bare their very souls, sharing their accounts of their rise to success is at times intensely personal. But if one lesson is to be learnt from FEO, it’s the ability to cut through the metaphorical and allow yourself to visualize the end goal through a series of steep learning curves.
The pure adrenaline rush each session gave was incredible and it was like a good book that you can’t put down – except this book was about you, the central character.
My many years of working in media still didn’t prepare me for the moment I had to explain what my business was. This was around week 3 of the course. Up until this point I had been enjoying the camaraderie of those around me chuckling and cajoling each other into confessing to their biggest fears but also their biggest achievements.
Totally out of my comfort zone, as my new business is nothing to do with what I’ve been doing for the past 20 years, I’m pretty sure I fluffed it but the best bit about this? I think we all did at times. That’s the point you see. FEOignition exists to enable us to exorcise our demons and walk out seven weeks on with heads held high with belief in ourselves and with some of the best tips and advice that money simply can’t put a price on.
If you’re reading this, you might be about to embark on one of the best journeys of self-worth and discovery – good luck, take plenty of notes and remember, you’re in the company of greats. Add yourself to that list!
‘Christina Colmer McHugh attended the Autumn ‘16 FEOignition Programme and is the founder of Moodbeam - Find out more here:www.moodbeam.co.uk