Tonight I hand over the presidency of Moray Business Women to the next willing volunteer! I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by, so I thought I’d take a few moments to reflect what I’ve learned personally from the experience.


I won’t deny, this time last year I literally wanted to hide under a rock. I felt that I wouldn’t have the time or energy to make a good job of the presidency and there’s nothing I hate more than thinking I’m not doing a good job.

But when January came around, I put my proverbial ‘big girl’ pants on and decided that there was absolutely nothing else to do but get on with the job in hand. I mean, with a brand building membership called ‘Do One Thing’ I literally just had to follow my own advice, right?


It turns out that when you take on a voluntary role alongside your own business, there’s no such thing as ‘Do One Thing.’ To be honest, life as a rural working mum and business owner is already pretty much like that – so what’s ‘One More Thing’ when it all boils down to it? If you want something done, ask a busy person!


As President, I was of course supported by an excellent committee of fellow business women all doing their bit alongside me. So this year, I learned that it’s ok to ask for help when you need it and that people do actually WANT to help – what’s more – if you don’t LET them help then you’re denying them the opportunity to do their bit too! Going forward, I’m going to find it easier to accept the support of others and I’m pretty sure that’s something I’ve got better at this year that will stand me in good stead in my own business.


What’s more, I’ve learned that there’s always someone ‘busier’ than you in life! What a jam packed year it has been by my standards – but I have to admit, partly of my own making (I don’t really like to do things by halves). Yet during the course of the year I’ve met many entrepreneurial women who have put me to shame with what they can achieve, all whilst making it look easy.


Some of the women I’ve met this year that stand out are:

The wonderful Poonam Gupta OBE from PG Paper, who generously agreed to speak at our charity fundraiser back in June. She inspired a room full of guests with her story of growing a thriving seven plus figure business starting at the kitchen table and all whilst raising small children.

ASB Co-Presidents Ann Johnson from Blaze Manufacturing Solutions and Isabel McNicoll DipFS who cheerfully demonstrated how to organise national level events whilst spinning plates in their own businesses

Janet Murray who, despite having an international audience, gave up her time to share with our small group her realistic, practical and strategic advice with a refreshing sense of honesty.


The biggest lesson I learned was this:

Successful people at every level give up their time to help others.

Having had my eyes opened, this is something that will become a part of my own way of operating over the next 20 years of my career too. I’ve discovered just how good it feels to give without any expectation that you will receive anything in return!

However, what I did receive in return for my time was an increased level of confidence. A stronger confidence in my ability to deliver. The confidence to tackle challenges I’d not come across before. The assurance that I CAN fit one more thing in, even when I feel that I’m ‘too busy.’ The knowledge that there aren’t really many crisis situations that can’t be overcome without a bit of creative thinking.  The confidence that other people WILL help, if you only ask them. The confidence to grow my own business and build my own team here at B is for Brand Ltd.


At the beginning of the year, I dubbed this my and Moray Business Women’s ‘Year of Networking & Collaboration.’

I’ve hugely enjoyed and benefitted from both meeting and working with other people throughout 2023 – so much so that networking & collaborating have become CENTRAL to my way of doing business. I’ve found that interacting with other people brings energy, creativity and fun into working life and who doesn’t want their working life to feel like that, right?

What’s more, as a small business owner operating in the rural economy, having that supportive ecosystem around you and your business is vital to maintaining drive, momentum and the opportunity to keep going.  As small business owners, we know that the thing is to begin, but the next thing is to keep going…and certainly for me, feeling supported is an absolutely key factor in whether that can be achieved.


So as I finish my year in the hot seat at Moray Business Women and take time to regroup here at B is for Brand, I am lucky to find my knowledge, my skills, my confidence and my life enriched and even supercharged by the time I’ve dedicated to this voluntary role. Whilst I do now need a few months to move my own business forward, I’m pretty sure it won’t be too long before you see me popping my head above the parapet with another volunteer hat on!

Finally, a huge thanks to everyone who has supported, connected and inspired ME this year as I tried to do the same for the members of Moray Business Women. I’ve definitely found myself ‘In good company!’ If you’d like to find out more about becoming a member of Moray Business Women, head to their website which is: