When you work from home it’s important to get out an meet people. Last week I went to the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs, run by Enterprise Nation, it is a chance to meet other women (and men) in business and celebrate some of the successes, share some tips and generally become inspired.

I went with some business friends from a mastermind group I go to and we had a good day out. But the morning was a bit stressful for me.

Lesson 1 – Be Brave

There were a good range of talks but that wasn’t what I was there for… I really wanted to ask Emma Jones, the founder of Enterprise Nation, if she would write the forward for my book. I was trying to pick a good time. I knew I had to ask or I would be furious with myself but there were over 200 people there and most of them wanted to have a quick word with her. Nerves…

There I am in the front row… four from the end.

Just after a talk on how to use Celebrity endorsement to boost your business (I know, a perfect link) I took my chance. I stood around near Emma like a lemon. I felt a right wally, she was talking to someone and I just had to stand there and look nonchalant till she finished.

When I got my chance I asked her, explaining I was writing a book about Systems for Small Business which I thought would really fit with her followers and was delighted when she said YES! I’d received some advice to be really clear about what was in it for her so I offered a reduced price for Enterprise Nation members to get a copy of the book (once it’s published). I better get on and finish the editing now.

Lesson 2 – It’s OK to Fail

Fail and fail again. It’s OK to fail. One of the speakers, Carrie from Junkbox Couture, shared her story. Her key bit of advice was to understand that failing was key to success. I’ve hear this before but it really resonated with me this time. I’m going to try and embrace failure as the lesson it is rather than a judgement on me. Remind me of this next time everything is going wrong!

Lesson 3 – Everyone is winging it!

Rob, the founder of Trunki answered the question ‘What’s the best bit of advice you ever had? with the response ‘Everyone is winging it, even the people who look like they know what they’re doing!’ He learnt this from a some business mentors earlier in his entrepreneurial journey and I can totally relate. I know that I am much further along than I was in my journey of being my own boss but I still feel like I’m making it up as I go along. A bit like getting older maybe, I’m fairly certain I’m never going to feel grown up and I’m coming to accept that I may never feel like I’m not winging it either!

I’m looking forward to a few more conferences next year. What’s your favourite? I’d love to know so I can add it to my list.