Tell us how #SBS has affected your business - I love it how people who come and stay, "get" what we're about. #SBS has been a massive endorsement of that. It has proved, that there is room in this world to succeed, whilst still managing to be a little different.
Life's all about finding your own way, isn't it?
I had enough of spending my time doing things I didnt believe in.
I started out on a career path - first as a teacher, then moved into Education Management.
My life took a surprising turn when I married my lovely "farmer" husband. I then fell in love with the farm, Dove Farm; which is where we have built our business and raised our family for the last 17 years.
Not trying to sell The Dream here - because I recognise that my choices would be some people's nightmare.
All the same, finding a "place" where you feel grounded and confident to be yourself, helps you focus on 'being' - which is equally important as 'doing.' That concept applies equally to business too.
When I was juggling three small children and a series of part time jobs, it left me feeling jaded and disillusioned. Time to make a life that was more meaningful. I decided to try and develop more of an income from the farm, which is where I enjoyed spending my time, and didnt mind the extra effort it required.
Together with my husband Henry, we have diversified the business, over the years, to reflect changing business climates, as well as our own family circumstances.
Our farm holiday cottages serve a rewarding niche market: short breaks all year round, for groups - mainly family get-togethers, special occasion weekends, and gatherings of various kinds. We love sharing a little bit of countryside with our guests, and we provide a well-earned "breathing space" for many who live hectic and busy lives.
Spending time with people you care about, whether it's family or friends will never go out of fashion. I love bringing people together, creating a comfortable "home from home" environment - and helping them to make the most of their "time out."
We are still a working farm too, and one of the highlights for many of our guests - is pottering about the farm in their wellies, meeting the animals, and walking alongside the river Dove.
Dove Farm also provides a welcoming and slightly quirky setting for small business events and training workshops. We try to ensure a farmhouse welcome, with home-made cake and wifi, of course!
I have always valued being part of networks that really work, and I have been a volunteer network leader and advocate for WiRE (women in rural enterprise) for many years. I work with a co-leader these days, and we host most of our local group meetings/workshops at Dove farm. I have hugely enjoyed the connections and friendships that have arisen from this network of fabulous and talented women.
I am professionally respected for my integrity, straight talk and generosity of spirit.
A personal interest in coaching and positive psychology has led to a new business venture for me. one-to-one coaching and small group work, enables me to work more formally with business owners in particular, helping them identify their own natural strengths and apply them to best effect for their own business and personal success.
Always act with integrity, your self respect is too precious to compromise.
Never be afraid of being "ordinary" - it's difference that counts, not being extraordinarily super-human. When we speak as our ordinary self, we find a naturally effortless way for to communicate and connect with other people - now who says that's not good for business?
I have written a twitter guide, to encourage people to simply be who they are on twitter; to be open to new connections and ready to engage. I better get it on the website!