Connect with me
- New Year, done different?
- Peace to Prosperity – the Space Between
- The Prosperity Process II, Creating a Culture of Continuing Education
- Emerald Valley – One year old!
- Cross Border Development Zone, Business led!
- On Communities Growing Professionally…
- Storytelling…What it Helps to Know
- Storytelling…Why We Tell the Stories
- The Prosperity Process, A Conversation in Three Parts
- On Authenticity…
Category Archives: The Journey
I’m passionate about the privilege of living in a place so beautiful that C.S. Lewis modeled Narnia on it. Carlingford Lough & the Mournes is where he spent childhood summers with his grandmother.
I’m passionate about working to teach entrepreneurship, creating jobs and bringing investment. The granddaughter of a reluctant emigrant, I returned a century after he left to find work. The children of this island are leaving again. We are exporting 1000 a week. 54,000 left in a 12-month period between 2010 & 11.…
It has been a year to the month that we set up on Canal Street, and we are Empowering Change in Emerald Valley now!
We’ve grown, we’ve pivoted and we’re better than ever!
…at the Bath House:
Artful First Fridays is now a regular feature. Launched in October, Peadar Jackson generously shared his work. Ten pieces are on display through November. It has transformed the space. Visit and tell us which should become part of our permanent collection!Rostrevor artist Colum McEvoy will exhibit in December with an Artful First Friday reception on December 7th. We are open by appointment and most Friday evenings.
Winter Showcase! “Good News” stories abound. Join us Friday, 23 November.
The Women that Work group is hosting an open house and members will display their products and services. Start your holiday shopping or visit to see how our professionals can help market your business with their services.
Our partners at Absolute Entertainment Ireland have kept the Bath House busy! We were delighted to have hosted the filming of a music video by Allison McGrath.
With Wasted, we added film to our arts & culture repertoire. Cathy Brady and her film crew were resident for two weeks. A Newry native, she returned from England to set her latest film in the Mournes and Donegal. We are hoping to host a screening soon! Whet your appetite with a look at her work.
We hosted Minister Arlene Foster on a Newry visit arranged by Councillor Connaire McGreevey. She toured the Canal Street co-working space, chatted with our resident start-ups and SME’s but seemed most taken with our young volunteers. …on Canal Street:
Our Summer Showcase introduced you to three new businesses we were proud to have “incubated” on Canal Street. Phlok.me – sponsored the Belfast DANI (Digital Advertising in NI) and I was delighted to join them. The application offers loyalty points and a social network to keep you up to date with friends & participating retailers between Dublin and Belfast. Sign on and get points for following Grounded, Jack Murphy Jewelers, Maypole Interiors and more from Newry.
Then add merchants from Belfast to Dublin. You are on your way to a points award of £25.
Resident company, SocialClix biz won recognition for their work on Tyrone Timber Frame. If your digital marketing is “do it yourself”, follow them on Phlok, Facebook or Twitter for a stream of updates to maximize your digital marketing impact. If DIY is exhausting visit SocialClix.biz – they’d be happy to review your strategy and propose a plan to streamline it.
We were delighted to read what Kallsafe.com had to say about their experience at Empowering Change:
The offices provide everything a start-up needs; space to grow when you need to, meeting rooms, good infrastructure and an environment of collaboration where entrepreneurs come together, meet, exchange ideas, challenge each other and celebrate successes.
Mobipaypoint – another pioneering resident has rebranded as Mozobi – after worldwide market research indicated this had the broadest appeal. The rest is hush-hush until the official announcements – we can’t wait! Tech startups are not our only residents.
Traditional businesses and consultancies form the core of our residents. Prestige Design & Print (PDP), NetCare & Relive Productions – all resident for a year now, offer support – sharing their combined 1/2 century of experience – with folks just starting out.
New startups, residents & members include: Anabu, BMM People Development, Terra Nova and The Gaelic Foundation.
Startups don’t just happen. Eve Earley and Empowering Change associates create the environment to energise success.
…at Empowering Change
We support your change in a disciplined, collaborative & supportive environment with individual coaching & counseling, group work and courses or by inviting you to participate in events with like-minded people at “Cafe Conversations” or “Friday Meet-ups”.
We also support Neo Ireland, a social enterprise whose board comprises our pioneering residents. Its mission is to grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting businesses and projects that will help change the culture to embrace the idea of self employment. This will make the way easier for us all.
A few of those projects include: BizCampNI, Learn 2 Learn 4 Life and Newry’s POP – Newry’s Pride of Place.
Interested? Call in for a chat or join us on a Friday evening to catch the buzz on the Quay!
*Wondering about the “for Rent” sign on Canal Street? Help us out! It’s only the ground & 2nd floors that are available. We want great neighbours!
Our “pivot” moved fhalf our residents to the more comfortable 1st floor (nearer the coffee!). We still offer memberships, desks and conference room rental. We’re also supporting “The Hub” and “Mind Your Business NI”. There are now 3 co-working spaces in Newry. There is no excuse for spending the day at work in a hotel lobby or coffee shop. Take your small business seriously with a professional or virtual home with one of us!
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
People often ask me what BizCamp is. An unconference. What’s that? Quite simply: it’s a labour of love.
Congratulations to the BorderBizCamp team; the day was brilliant, every detail was attended to and operations ran like a well oiled machine. The speakers were outstanding, the range and quality was excellent.
It was as it should be everywhere. A small group of motivated and determined business people took what works best about their relationships with each other, the local enterprise agency and the M:TEK location and modeled it for the world. You genuinely brought the best out in everyone.
Thank you also to the Monaghan Enterprise Agency staff for volunteering on the day; business is business and I have often heard it said that agencies “don’t get it”.
Not this MEA team; look at enterprise defined and it could be seen in the energy and enthusiasm of every volunteer.
[ √] A project undertaken, especially one that is important or difficult or that requires boldness or energy;
[ √] The participation in such projects;
[ √] A company organised for commercial purposes
[ √] Boldness or readiness in undertaking; adventurous spirit; ingenuity.
Among the synonyms suggested:
[ √] plan, undertaking, venture
[ √] drive, aggressiveness, push, ambition
They definitely ticked those boxes.
Thank you to the sponsors who fed us and to the young volunteers. In the end it’s about the children. They watched more than 100 people come together to create a prosperity to allow for enough jobs on this island. They’re entitled not to have to leave home!
Kevin Kling came into his own as a storyteller when while in college he realised: Saturday night was only as good as the story you could tell about it on Sunday.
It’s the way in which we share the full measure of our experience.
The onus is on the listener to take what you like and leave the rest. Carefully chosen words unconsciously deliver a full message. Just how full, is revealed not just in the first telling, but when compared to the retelling.
We, in the West, let go the gift of storytelling in the last half of the twentieth century; in large part because we devoted ourselves to science. Science would reveal explanations for everything “unexplainable”. We no longer needed to spin yarns for children about the noise of thunder or from where the rain came.
The filmmakers, songwriters and poets never lost sight of the value of a good story. Interestingly, and most notably in the case of film, they just keep retelling the old ones. If I said that StarWars was the Jesus story redux, a few might agree, some would deem me blasphemous, others just dismiss. If I argued that the Matrix was like the Abraham story, perhaps the same result. It doesn’t really matter, the telling of a story is enough. J.K. Rowling got a generation reading again! Harry Potter’s adventures don’t require interpretation, but -
the Monomyth is a term academics use to describe one story common to the mythology of all cultures– the Hero’s Journey. The visual says it all:
My intention is to further explore how our understanding of this universal story can inform our own. How grasping the significance of it may actually be a call to action. There are hero’s among us. You are invited to explore your own story.
We live in challenging times. We can choose to despair, or to allow them to be transformative. You can choose the journey. It begins with you.
If you are intrigued, these links may be of further interest:
The developer of the Matrix, Christopher Vogler, describes it in his words http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73c36lzbyNw
A lovely comparison of the myths of different cultures and life stages can be found at: http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00212/monomyth.html
Our own history on this island was well preserved by the efforts of the Irish Folklore Commission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Folklore_Commission
The archives are available to the public, and many on-line thanks to University College Dublin: http://www.ucd.ie/folklore/en/
A Belfast filmmaker recently described the experience of growing up next door to a police station. Awakened frequently, the family regularly evacuated and returned to blown out windows. Did he realise that 25 years later that he referred to the building next door as “the playstation”?
My work centres on helping folks get “unstuck”. I support their journey through career change and business start-up.
The method is rooted in their stories. They learn they are not “Sean the accountant” or “Susan the mother of 4”; I begin to know them while they begin to understand themselves. They describe where they came from, I reflect their story back. They start moving in a new direction. Not one I choose for them, but one illuminated by the light of their own story telling process.
Simply put it is the way in which we share the full measure of our experiences.
Stories are delivered not entirely in the words. Therein lies the magic. An adolescents’ yarns spun about where they were and what they did reveals the most important truths often in what was left unsaid.
The onus is on the listener to take what you like and leave the rest. The carefully chosen words unconsciously deliver the message in the moment, and a fuller one later when compared to other tellings.
Sometimes hard truths are so painful that while we initially take in the whole story, we describe only part of it to ourselves and others; it is how we are able to live with the pain. Later, over many years in the retelling, we process the experience in safer times and places. Ultimately, we come to terms with the whole truth, by observing the edits and enhancements across time.
When we devalue storytelling we lose a way to communicate, even to ourselves. How many of us have told the story of a difficult experience so many times, that in each retelling we let go of a piece of the shock, pain or horror and come to terms with it. We plant the episode in the past, we grow and learn new ways to cope. In retelling or reframing an experience, we are applying new coping skills to the remembered event.
That Belfast filmmaker now tells stories for a living; more importantly he has come to understand the grievous long term impact of having believed a life of midnight evacuations and shattered windows was “normal”. He now knows it was not. It was trauma.
Fear is the Enemy of Creativity; Fear is the Thief of Dreams
“First, creating a legacy requires a fundamental shift in the way we think about ourselves in relation to success. This is not about being the fastest rat in the race or the one who knows how to play “the game” better than anyone else. This is about acknowledging and honoring who you really are and aligning your goals with the opportunity to feel satisfied with your daily contributions. When you operate from this platform of strength, not only will you improve your chances of success, but you also will greatly enhance the happiness you experience along the way.
Second, all the success you achieve will mean very little if your brand (your authentic self) and values are not aligning with the other. Eventually and sometimes tragically, this disconnect between the two will come to the surface and when it does, you will be faced with a legacy that no matter how great your prior accomplishments, they will pale beside the revealing light that will show you were not true to yourself.”
This is not from some self-help book. The author is a highly respected corporate trainer and the entire blog post on Branding can be found at: http://goo.gl/h5or8
It is not my habit to direct folks away from my site, but this is important. We are inundated every day with Klout scores, Facebook likes and LinkedIn requests to connect. What does it all mean and what is it in service of?
You are your brand. When you are in the marketplace can folks accept you at your word? Are you working to live, or living to work? What do you want your legacy to be?
Start reading obituarys! Ask yourself what you want to be remembered for. If your work life and your personal values are in conflict, ask yourself how to align them.
Start by becoming a story teller. Tell yourself, or a trusted friend, your story. Say who you are. Is it who you wanted to become? If not, explore what you think the obstacles to becoming that person were and are now.
At Empowering Change in Emerald Valley, we offer programming – in a group or an individual setting to help you begin to align your human “doing” with your human “being”.
This is not a dress rehearsal, choose an authentic life!…
Emerald Valley, the third quarter looms! Half a year gone! And it flew!
Emerald Valley II – all tech, all the time has opened at the Carnbane Industrial Estate in some seriously upscale headquarters. Nichola Bates is moving her clients in along side MJM Marine in their new facility. It is close to the motorway and offers tech start-ups (particularly those with hardware development needs) the ability to grow beyond a desk or two and have light industrial space and distribution facilities close at hand. Monthly she hosts CoderDoJo in the Monaghan Street training room of Prestige Solutions. Following two successful monthly sessions there’s a “rock star” mentor, Greg Maguire, who will fill the house in May – register at CoderDoJoNewry .
Our new Canal Street residents include two consultancies. Both are women making the leap from “Work @ Home” to Work @ Work” (and home). Entrepreneurship is always a leap of faith and they are now in very good company!
They are joined by another young entrepreneur giving a PC repair business a go while maintaining his “day job”.
Two of our tech start ups are reaching new heights, patents achieved and US marketing partners knocking at the door. Two have outgrown us – and we are pleased to have given them their start.
And that is just what is happening at the office.
The Bath House events continue to evolve and delight. Conferences and training sessions have been booked as expected. Now we’ve expanded our reach. Art & Music comes to Canal Quay this Summer and Fall!
Sunday afternoons beginning in June we offer a destination for musicians. In a six month pilot we will provide the space for practice and jam sessions. Send us your pitch, tell us about yourselves and the space at cost. This program is designed to encourage musicians to take themselves seriously.
If booking a hot desk, then renting one monthly is a leg up for traditional and tech entrepreneurs, then a place to practice, meet up and jam should be all it takes for musicians. We’ve proved the model, now we’re growing it.
The folks from Absolute Entertainment (Julie Lynch) are leading the charge, Big Space Studios (Declan Legge) and Soul Ambition (Tracy Dempsey) are advising behind the scenes. With their encouragement Empowering Change has committed to producing a CD which reflects the Emerald Valley journey from living room to Greenshoots to Canal Street.
Lastly – we’re ordering fittings to accommodate art shows. We’ll be using the brick archways to showcase the work of local artists and artisans. We offer the walls and an opening reception – it’s up to them to do the rest. Shows are month long, three artists are in the queue; call or email if you would like us to consider your work. Creative Dynamix (Roisin Markham) is my mentor on this one.
So join us! All of this change is catalysed in good company. Members can come, have a coffee, use the space and catch the creative spark from residents and visitors alike. Give us a call and ask us how we can help you do what we’ve done. Begin to live the dream.…
“The Ark was built by amateurs, the Titanic by professionals”
A frequent challenge to my work with clients re-entering the job market is confidence. Otherwise skilled, even expert in their field, I am met with: “But I don’t have a degree”.
Sir Ken Robinson, renowned educator, education policy advisor and author, describes college degrees as currency.
A university education was once a guarantee of a job. Why? Because a relative few attained the distinction. Greater numbers now achieve graduate and post graduate degrees. Few would question the benefit. Even fewer would discourage their own children from pursuing one.
This “over supplied” currency is, nonetheless, devalued. A degree is no longer a guarantee of work. Perhaps not a bad thing. Education, like the pursuit of any skill set, is just a process.
Let’s learn to value skill, not the degree, as currency.
Proven results are the only measure of value. Nearly every banker, regulator and complicit government official responsible for the recent economic meltdown had a degree.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were college dropouts. They are admired as “self made” men. After the fact. Let’s choose to suspend judgment before the fact; no one needs a degree to excel.
Employability needs to be the currency of the 21st Century. What has greater value: employability or a degree?
Education often happens “at home”. Do we devalue second language fluency because it was learned there?
Computers, the smart phones, games and medical devices are now an integral part of our lives. More importantly they drive our economy.
They are run by a language. We think of it as complicated. It is not. Fluency and proficiency in this coded, binary language can be achieved by 6 & 8 year olds. They learn to think, develop and create in that language.
Their computer ceases to be a time trap of numbing games. It becomes the canvas on which they can create their own game (or hack the one they are playing to win).
These skills can be self taught. Apprenticeships in this field are simply trial and error. They rely on a community of peers, on and offline. There is a vast shortage of programmers and developers on this island and worldwide. There are lucrative jobs to be filled.
Self taught fluency or competency is not limited to programming or web design. Leadership, sales, logistics – these are all skills learned “on the job” by experienced workers who started employment and rose through the ranks. No degree.
Collectively a community needs skilled joiners, plumbers and electricians to build our homes, farmers to see that we are fed, and merchants to procure the goods we require. Most learned from masters and mentors, formally or informally apprenticed.
Physicians “practice” medicine. Their skills are developed after their studies, in training best described as apprenticeships.
The artists, artisans, musicians and writers who enrich our lives are judged simply by their work product. It is the only measure of success. Their distinction is excellence.
My point about the Titanic?
Simply that the loss of so many lives was owed to the judgment of experts that “enough” lifeboats would be redundant. Her sinking was owed to a series of failures by the professionals into whose hands she was delivered.
What do we honour 100 years later about the ship herself? To quote the locals, descendants of the skilled tradesman who built her:
“She was fine when she left here”…
Recently there was an “ah ha” moment in the shower; have you ever noticed that the last half of the shampoo (and toothpaste) last longer than the first? We mete it out more carefully when we are approaching the end – whether or not there is a “back up” under the sink.
That certainly explains a lot about my impatience in this “third half” of my life.
Irritability with folks “slowing me down” has crept up; oh I’ve always been the impatient sort, but the idea that folks are “stealing” what little time I have left on the planet is accompanied by a rage that is shocking, even to me.
I don’t know what’s worse: that I‘ve been downright uncivil with Sky, Talk Talk and BT while waiting over 4 months for proper phone, cable and broadband, or that I’m not embarrassed by or inclined to apologise for my incivility when I reach a call centre powerless to resolve my complaint.
Then there are the adaptive accommodations to aging I didn’t even know I was making.
My arthritis had been advancing markedly for years but when I moved my household from two years of storage, I was unable to use kitchen tools like the peeler and the paring knife that I had just unpacked, I was astounded. Unconsciously, when I’d only moved a few favourite kitchen things, I’d chosen the handiest and most comfortable. They were all the newer – with fatter, softer grips. Unconsciously, adapting all along, I hadn’t noticed just how disabled I’d become.
Joan Walsh Anglund is the poet, this is an excerpt:
I shall be older than this one day.
I shall think myself young when I remember.
Nothing can stop the slow change of masks my face must wear, one following one.
These gloves my hands have put on, the pleated skin, patterned by the pale tracings of my days.
These are not my hands! And yet, these gloves do not come off!
I shall wear older ones tomorrow, til glove after glove, and mask after mask, I am buried beneath the baggage of old women….
I was enamoured of her sweet, simple rhymes illustrated with charming drawings. This is the only one I remember; I was haunted by it. At fifteen I knew I was seeing my future.
If you have been in the way of my impatience lately – or experience it in the future, I apologise. I’d just like you to frame it with the knowledge that there is much to do and I’m trying to squeeze twice as much production out of the last third of my days.
All this is punctuated by crankiness over the fact that now that my head is screwed on right, my body is failing me… and customer service at BT needs a heads up, I’m calling tomorrow for a new line.…