Even though I had the most fabulous time and came away feeling utterly inspired, I toyed with whether or not to put together a post about the experience. I like to write things that will inspire you to do more, think more positively or try something new. So I didn’t just want to do a review of an event that you can’t attend until next year (though when tickets are out, you absolutely should, I certainly will be). But equally, I knew I could let the moment pass by without sharing some of the fantastic lessons I learnt with you.
Stylist Live certainly reminded me that anything is possible; here’s the best of the life lessons that reinforced that.
For a whole day of the show one of the learning labs was dedicated to the ‘School of Stylist’. I have always had a hankering to work at a magazine, or more specifically to be a magazine editor, so I naturally wanted to attend every single lesson #geek.
It covered everything from how to be a magazine editor, digital journalism, travel writing, as well as beauty and fashion. There was some really practical advice about making it in the world of journalism, but actually so much of the advice applies to many careers, so here is the cream of the crop:
- Always over deliver. If your boss asks you for an idea, give them three. It shows you are keen and creative.
- Know how to edit yourself, sum up your ideas in a nutshell… or even a social sell, how would you pitch the idea on social media?
- Seek inspiration everywhere, sign up to newsletters in your field, follow blogs, read magazines. Make some time to do it everyday so that it becomes habit.
- Whatever field you work in, seek out for the projects that you are really passionate about and use them to really show what you can do.
I also attended a fantastic talk by the hugely talented (and diverse) Lorraine Pascale about how to discover your passion. She imparted lots of wisdom but I particularly took away:
- If you really want a particular career, research how you get there and work hard to make it happen. Even if it means taking on extra projects in your spare time.
- If you are not sure what you want to do, write down all the things that you like doing in life and then map them to potential careers. With a bit of research you will start to get a feel for the particular areas that you are most drawn to.
- You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with, surround yourself with positive people.
- Be kind to yourself, constantly update your truth. It’s ok to change career and try out different things. We all need different things at different stages in our life and that includes your career.
There were lots of talks about starting your own business as well, perfect food for thought in the entrepreneurial age that we live in. I picked up some great snippets from a :
- Make sure you know what your unique selling point is, whether that’s about your personally or about your business idea. Know how to sell it and yourself concisely.
- If you are not sure what your USP is think about what problem your business solves and why you are uniquely positioned to do that
- Find a hook that makes what you are doing sound new and exciting.
- Research your idea online extensively – the internet is so vast there are bound to be people already talking about it. Joining the conversation can give you great feedback and input, as well as start the beginnings of a community for your business or product.
The final session that I attended was hosted by Julie Deane, founder of the Cambridge Satchel Company. It was my favourite session of the whole weekend. She was so incredibly inspiring simply by being open, honest and not trying to over complicate things.
- It doesn’t matter what you are doing, go at everything with a positive attitude.
- Be bold, your idea needs tone really strong to get noticed so be creative with it.
- In the beginning, interacting with customers personally is really important – engage with them online, via email or social media. Involving people in the process and the conversation helps to make them passionate about your brand.
- Diversification is key, be ready to move with the times and with technology. But your products or business must always be distinguishable as yours. Think about what your signature elements are and the things you absolutely will not change, as well as the areas where you can get a little creative.
Wellbeing was another huge strand of the weekend. I saw talks on rebooting your body and mind by the fabulous Madeline Shaw, advice on how to be happy by Samantha Clarke and a step by step guide on managing anxiety by Jody Shield. Here’s just a snippet of what I learnt:
- If you are trying to eat clean or just more healthily, think of it as crowding in now cutting out – so rather than thinking about all of the things you are giving up, think about the new things and recipes that you will get to try.
- Design a happiness manifesto, what does happiness really look like for you. Display it somewhere prominent to remind you every day.
- Make yourself a daily gratitude list of the things you are grateful for achieving every day, things that have made you happy that day and also ways that you have made other people happy. It’s all about positive affirmation and writing it all down helps to reaffirm it in your mind.
- In moments have anxiety always remember to breath deeply to calm yourself.
- Once a day, in the morning or the evening (or both) empty your mind. Write down all of your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be coherent. Just jot down exactly what comes to mind. And then screw it up and put it in the bin.
Even with all that going on, I managed to squeeze in a session from Alice Levine and Laura Jackson about setting up a supper club. Now, I was otherwise uninitiated to this fabulous world right between a restaurant and a dinner party… so not only did I promptly add it to my list of things to say yes to in the near future (attending more than hosting more likely) I also picked up some great tips for party hosting that don’t just apply to supper clubs:
- If you are hosting a dinner party have a menu that tells a story or has a running theme. It helps tie the flavours together and gives your guests something to engage with
- Dress up your venue even if it is just your living room – little details like rosemary in place settings, vibrant flowers on the table, can really transform a room.
- Create a little keepsake that your guest can take away, even if it’s just a cute menu card with their name on it.
That’s a whole lot of learning for one weekend, right? And it doesn’t even touch the surface. So I guess my final lesson would be an old favourite of mine; embrace learning. To be interesting we must all be more interested after all, and there are so many great events out there that can inspire you. Seek them out!