So, let’s talk about last night. Did it really happen?! Did Vickie of INPOLife really come to Norwich and make us laugh and love her a bit more? The complexities around flexible working are real so if we can be inspired to set up in business, earn and feel empowered and see our kids - why not hear from someone who has made such a huge impact in only a year!?

Hands up who thought instagram was a way of filtering photos🤚🏼🙊. I discovered the motherhood world of instagram by accident whilst trying to find a coconut oil for my babies dry skin (you know, when they say "it will go by itself" but you really want them to be perfect!). As Vickie says, it's SO MUCH MORE!

We found out about tappy-tappy techy hairy Mr INPOlife and how he is the reason the prints actually get to their destinations. How it’s ok to not be all strategic and worried about numbers, and to chat as if you’re talking to one person. Use instagram as if it's real life - chat and socialise and support and lift each other. Everyone needs to make a living but better things happen if you don't do it for the clicks (in the words of Sara @wildflowerdgtl). Work out your personal quota, how often you want to post, how often you want to explore, how often you want to reach out - and give something of yourself. Vickie doesn’t share EVERYTHING, but the journalist in her means she relates to us in the same way a magazine might.

If you have an idea, and you’ve done your groundwork and are naturally building your network, go and ask people. Don’t wait for people to come to you. Your view on the world, your experience and your outlook is unique, be yourself and see where it takes you. So what’s the worst that can happen if you approach people? DMs is where its all happening. Be sociable. And once you start, the shyness starts to melt away. 

Don't upload a post and walk away - if people are taking the time to talk to you, hang about for 20 mins to chat. Work out who is a friend and who isn't. Get running. With someone. Have a look at Snapseed for photo editing. Go with what feels right for you. 

Ultimately what has propelled Vickie is herself - her personality and genuine delight at stuff, which makes other people want to share her, and then people buy into INPOlife prints as they want a little piece of the rainbow in their lives.

Thank you to all the mums from different stages in their mothering journeys who came - some about to start businesses, others wanting to sustain and grow, others wanting to support their families and others scoping the opportunities to work flexibly. It takes a LOT of work running your own business and ultimately it is the most flexible, but it is HARD work - and I have a huge amount of respect for all these women. It is SO GOOD to meet you in real life! As Charlotte @stanleyandmaud put it 'it’s so hard running a business single handedly but you're never alone when you have instabuds!'

Thank you to Nicki @jrconstructionanglia and Sarah @meraki_interiors_ for your help and handholding and so sorry you couldn’t come Tracey @theolucamummy and Sally @wifeofawigwearer. Thank you to @wallowwine for the yummy food and wine vending machines.

All photos by @emilygrayphoto