Today I’ve been into Manchester viewing venues in preparation for our big expo event in March next year to celebrate International Women’s Day – oh, have I not told you? It’s called Womanifest – a lifestyle & empowerment LIVE weekend event to celebrate all things womanly, female & feminine.

Anyway, I’ll tell you more about that later….
Choosing a venue for a big event like this is a mighty big deal, especially when you’ve never done anything like it before – it’s nail bitingly nerve wracking when you’re on the cusp of spending £20K on a space, and that’s just for starters! We’re looking at an investment on this gig of somewhere in the region of 100K. So, because of the enormity and scale of this thing, I’m super keen to find a venue that I feel in safe hands with, who will bend over backwards, who I can trust and that will give me a really good deal! And that got my thinking… you know, about ‘doing deals’.

It took me back to my corporate days of when I would have to negotiate my budget for the year. What a fecking palaver that always was. If you ever have to manoeuvre the same territory I’m sure you’ll know what I mean and will have found it equally as painful no doubt! It went a little something like this…. (I’ll keep the numbers simple for the purposes of the exercise)
I needed £500,000 (worked out to the penny), therefore I asked for 1 million.
Why did I ask for 1 million? Because I know I’m going to get bartered down by approx. 50% so I need to inflate that amount so that I actually get what I need.
The CFO also knew this. In fact, we all knew this! It was just a merry dance we all did every year to generally waste some time, energy, effort (and cash) and all get really pissed off during the process! Sound bloody out loud doesn’t it? But it’s culturally a thing in most organisations. It’s bloody nuts! If we really totted up in hard cash just how much that time, energy and effort cost us we’d all pull our socks up!

I long for the revolution where we operate in really high trust, transparent teams and organisations – where we can say what it is that we actually really need, that is trusted and therefore that’s what we get and were all accountable enough to deliver on our commitments. So back to the venue hunting scenario….
I really don’t have the time or inclination to play that silly game and so rather than get into a negotiation façade, I opt to be the best, assertive & transparent version of myself. This means I talk straight about what I’m prepared to spend and my available budget, I’m super clear about my expectations in the relationship we will create, I extend my trust to the people I meet and ask that they reciprocate and do the same for me and finally, I seek to satisfy not just my wants and needs in this transaction, but also the needs of my supplier – I want them to do as well out of this as me!
Signposting and stating my intent, clearly and succinctly upfront in these meetings today has meant that I got all my visits done in a morning and I’m confident I’ve found the right venue not just on price or space but on the vibe and relationship to make this a success between us.
So next time you’re out to do a deal, whether you’re asking for a pay rise, buying a new car or submitting your budget request, here’s my top tips for an assertive, speedy and smooth ride:
1. State your intent of high trust and transparency clearly upfront

2. Consider what the other party/person’s wants/needs are and work to deliver those as well as your own

3. Talk straight about what your own wants/needs are, without inflating them – there should be no winner or loser in these scenarios, so that is your litmus test of success.

So, you wanna know a little more about our event do you? Sure!
Womanifest stands for…. “when a woman uses her innate force of feminine energy to make shit happen”
It’s hosted by my online members club that I run with my biz partner, Roxy. It’s called the Ladies Life Lounge. We’re on a mission to turn the notion of ‘pretty’ on it’s head and get women back on the map for the value they bring, not just what they look like so we encourage them to define their own version of pretty – pretty clever, pretty strong, pretty awesome! We have 7 ‘secrets’ in the club that we believe that if well developed in each area you can live the happy, fulfilling & successful life you deserve! They are: Pretty Confident; Pretty Assertive (obvs); Pretty Balanced; Pretty Smart; Pretty Tough; Pretty Fit; Pretty Stylish.
The vision for the event is that women leave feeling like a different woman than when they walked in! They will be inspired, educated, liberated and have the best fun ever!
The show will have other female led businesses exhibiting, showcasing products/services that enhance women’s wellbeing, lifestyle & success alongside a main stage with headline speakers, a inspirational story stage and over 30 seminars, workshops and experience events (plus a few glasses of fizz thrown in for good measure!)
You coming? It’s on the 7/8th March 2020. Get first dibs on tickets and other amazing rewards by supporting our crowdfunding campaign and pledging your support. You can get in on the action between now and the 15th July at www.natwestbackherbusiness.co.uk/womanifest.

Get the general lowdown or tickets after this date at our main Womanifest website.

 

That’s all from me in this weeks instalment – I hope you find it useful. I’m also keen to hear your stories having a go of my tips so if you try them out then get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!