grasping nettles

The Art of Grasping Nettles

A blog on courage, preparation and giving it a go by Jane Binnion

When I bottled my first brew of nettle cordial years ago, it was an experiment. I’ve been making nettle soup for many years because it’s highly nutritious and I just love free food, but this was a first for me and I had no idea how it would turn out.

Sometimes we have to do that though, right? We just have to have a go and see how it turns out even if we know we might get stung in the process. However, we can do things to minimise the pain too.

Courage yields results

Of course, nettles hurt. I fell into a ditch of nettles several years ago while cycling in rural China. It’s pretty nasty and hurts for a long time afterwards too. I still get stung when I’m picking nettles for soup, but I seem to have decided that it’s worth it.

But it got me thinking about the expression grasping nettles and what that means for those of us running a business or charity. It’s an expression that’s very meaningful to all of us. We know exactly what it would feel like to grasp nettles. So why on earth would we deliberately do it?

Well, there are a few reasons. If we don’t, they keep on growing anyway, but also look at what happens when we do pluck up the courage to grasp them. We may get stung but the results are great. When I eat this delicious soup or drink the cordial I can remember the stings, but I still feel really delighted with the results.

We can prepare ourselves for nettle grasping. It isn’t necessary to just rush in. Taking time to get organised can make it all a lot less painful. Nettle grasping is not an opportunistic task. If I was walking past a great crop wearing shorts, sandals and a T-shirt, I know that diving in would end horribly. When grasping real nettles I wear gloves, long sleeves and take scissors.

What are the nettles in your business or organisation that you need to grasp?

  • What is it that scares you about doing it?
  • What can you do to minimise the pain?
  • What will be the positive benefits of finally grasping those nettles?
  • Do you ever send others to grasp nettles unprepared?

As for the cordial, it was actually really nice. It’s very refreshing and far better than any bottled cordial you can buy. Well worth a few stings.

If you’d like to chat about how we can help you to overcome any fears or issues in your business, please do drop us a message here.

*This post was originally published on janebinnion.com and has been reproduced here with permission.

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Case Study: Jackie Bennett Shaw

Jackie Bennett Shaw owns and runs a public relations consultancy in Lancaster called Marzipan PR, and has done since 2017.

Jackie took part in our project, where local, established women in business are trained to support and mentor other women who are running a business, in a non-hierarchical mentor relationship.

This was a fully funded project by Lancaster City Council, as part of the recovery and resilience strategy, and was a brand-new initiative in the region.

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Case Study: Nikki Cookson

Nikki Cookson is the owner of Woodcroft Crafts. She shares her story about how her business started, and how The Growing Club CIC has helped her gain confidence with her business through peer support and a strong network of women in business. Nikki is currently on the Bloom and Grow online training course, on a Pay It Forward grant, funded by Boost: Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub. The course helps women to develop and grow sustainable businesses.

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Women & Money: Exploring Savings & Investments for Beginners

We have an excellent event coming up this month, led by money experts Cleona Lira and Rebecca O’Connor. They’ll be talking about financial investments that aren’t just for the rich.

Worries about money and financial independence affect most women. And with the change of the pension age many women are now also worried about how they will manage financially as they get older.

When many of us think of investments we think of stocks and shares and it can feel confusing and nothing to do with us. But making good decisions about our money is important, whatever our income.

Workshop aims

This workshop is suited to a beginner level, for those with a smaller investment potential and curious. You can start investing with as little as £50 per month in an investment, or £25 per month in a pension. The information will be more suited to a UK audience however general principles of investing will also be covered.

The session will be interactive and fun, with small breakout groups and invitations to post questions.

By the end of the session, you will leave feeling confident about getting started with investing and taking some action.

The session will to cover:

· Why invest?

· Common investor self-sabotaging behaviours

· What are wrappers? ISAs v/s pensions

· What are shares and bonds?

. Sustainable Investment

· How can I get started? What are the differences between active/passive/ethical/impact investment funds?

Q&A section – ask anything about investing. We will aim to answer as many questions as possible, but we request please that you write a concise, clear question that you can post in the chat when asked. If your question is difficult to understand, it may not get picked up to be answered.

Disclaimer: It will not be possible to provide any kind of personalised, individual advice in this workshop. The information provided is for informational purposes only and cannot be considered as financial advice. We have 50 tickets available and registrations will close by 5 pm on the 18th of April. Please book as soon as possible to ensure your place.

Ticket prices

We have some funding for this event, however, it does not cover all our costs. We need financial support which enables us to help more women.

So, if you are able to live comfortably, then please consider investing in yourself and in other women by choosing the higher ticket price. Tickets are £30 and £50.

Book your ticket here.

As always, we have some free places for women in hardship – contact lisa@thegrowingclub.co.uk to book a free place.

Income from this event will go towards supporting the work of The Growing Club. The Growing Club CIC is a not-for-profit organisation. We provide a range of skills training and opportunities for women, using a creative and alternative peer-support model.

Cleona Lira

Cleona is an Independent Financial Adviser, based in London and has been working to help people with their financial goals since 2001.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Cleona is a Chartered Financial Planner and a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute. She is also a sustainable investing specialist.

Becky O’Connor

Becky is Head of Pensions & Savings at interactive investor, the DIY investment platform, and co-founder of Good With Money, the ethical personal finance website. She spent eight years as a journalist at The Times covering personal finance and business and three years as communications director of a renewable energy crowdfunding platform.

Becky is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her work in raising the profile of ethical personal finance and a trustee of UK Mortgage Prisoners, the charity campaigning on behalf of mortgage prisoners.

February wellbeing

Wellbeing in February

New month, new initiatives! We’re still busy creating support systems for women in business, and indeed, all women who would like to access our wellbeing sessions.

We’ve created a handy guide below to The Wellbeing Programme for February, for the workshops and events that are scheduled for February. You can download the PDF copy here.

March’s programme is currently being finalised and we’ll publish this towards the end of February.

Any questions? Drop us a message here and we’ll get back to you. Happy February-ing!