Belinda Lindhardt

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Business Mums Network Conference - Change of Life

This past weekend I attended the Business Mums Network Conference.

BMN is a organization that I belong to for business mums here in Australia.

As you may or maynot know (seeing this blog is an artjournal), not only am I an artist but I am also a graphic and website designer.

I provide both services (my artworks and design services) as part of my business and if you have read anything about being a professional artist you will know that one of the first things they tell you is to start treating your art as a business.

I wanted to make this post about what I learnt about this conference in the hope it might help someone in some small way. And also bit more selfishly to remind myself all that I have learnt from such a fabulous group of people lessons that I don’t want to forget.

What did I receive and learn about from the business mums conference?

- Connecting with people and making Friendships is so important and even just the act of going has given me the confidence to do this more and make more of these important friendships in the future.

- Encouragement – inspired me to push forward, not to give up even when everything feels like it’s failing apart.

- Understanding – from other members knowing that I can’t do it all and to ask others for help as everyone is pretty much in the same boat.

- Permission to allow myself follow my own values, beliefs and thoughts and ignore all the other guff that keeps being put my way.

- Actually changed the way I “speak” and communicate with others, all of the networking really changed my way of thinking and speaking about myself and my business and put importance and value to it. Something which I haven’t always allowed myself to have.

In particular the words of keynote speaker, Kathie Thomas touched me significantly. Much of what Kathie spoke about gave a voice to my own thoughts and beliefs, things I had heard before but I didn’t allow myself to listen to. As I was listening to her seminars I was thinking “hey this is what I have been feeling / thinking all along”. Here is the remarkable woman who essentially has been had much the same issues and thoughts as myself and yet look at where she is all because she believed in herself and pushed forward. My next thought was: I can do this all I need to do is listen to myself!

FAMILY: I have always believed that family life is extremely important as has my own family. My mother was always home for us kids when we came home from school and especially as when we were older even though we probably didn’t always appreciate it then, it was always nice to know deep down that mum was there. It wasn’t until discussing all my various issues recently with my own father that he mentioned how he always felt it was important that my mother was there for me and my brother and it was an intentional choice for her to be there even as we were getting older. It is something that I have always wanted for my children, and when others have discounted this important issue I have tended to agree with them but in hearing Kathie speak about how she has done it and how important it has been to her and her daughters especially as they were teenagers and growing up, I can see that it can be done and I am going to try my hardest to do it! A big part of the weekend has been for me to challenge where I am heading and where I want to go and this is definitely one of the most important decisions I am sticking to.

DIRECTION: The truth is I enjoy what I do, I like designing and coding and I really do enjoying being in business for myself but what I also did realize is that I do also enjoy mixing with people and in essence supplying them with something they can be happy with. From an art perspective I love hearing that someone has enjoyed sending one of my greeting cards, or what an artwork they have bought reminds them of every time they look at it. This is such an important thing to me and is one of the parts in life that give me the most satisfaction. I need to remember that this is essentially what I am trying to achieve with everything I do rather than just getting through the day. There is something much more important here I am trying to achieve this gives focus and direction to my actions and allows me to have something to align myself to (if that makes sense).

Kathie’s personal stories in particular really touched me, to the point in her seminar on Are you working for your family or because of your family? I had to fight back tears when she read her poem as her words spoke so clearly from my own experiences. I came out of that seminar emotionally drained but also uplifted finally understanding and giving direction of just where I want to go from here and why I am doing it. I might not have all the answers right now, but i know i can search for them and they will come.

Helping others and enjoying the importance of giving is something I have always done. During my personal life and the 12 years I have been in business, circumstances and people have often taken advantage my giving nature. In turn recently it has meant that I have pulled back from that slightly as a defense strategy and tried to inwardly cope I guess sometimes provide the bare minimum. I think following the conference I have realized that giving is as much for me as it is for them. I enjoy it, its part of why I write this blog, do my art, and share my experiences and knowledge with others. Connecting with people is something I realize is I must do in order to survive and move forward not just with my business but with my art, my children and is a good place to be.

All in all I learnt so much from the conference, I am still absorbing it all and I think I will continue to do so for weeks and perhaps months to come.

When I came home my children looked just that little bit cuter, that little bit bigger and that little more innocent. I spent the day giving them extra special love and attention and vowed to continue to do this as much as possible in the future and not let all the other stuff get in the way of that. They are my strength, and are so precious, they really are a gift I must protect and nurture and help grow and I am so lucky to have been given them. Now it is up to me to do all that to make my life and theirs as happy and fulfilling as possible.

Business Mums Network website is:

Kathie Thomas 's website is:

Kathie's new book "Worth More Than Rubies: The Value of a Work at Home Mum " has recently been published one i will be devouring over the next few weeks.


Anonymous said...


I love all my friends from Australia, and stay very close to Kathie Thomas through email, groups, and her ning group Proverbs 31 Woman. She shared your blog post with me and some of our friends today, and it was delightful to read.

I am so glad that you got to attend the conference where Kathie spoke, and I am thrilled that she touched your heart.

It was wonderful to read about the things that you learned, and how much you appreciated your family when you went back home!

Dr. Sally Witt

Anonymous said...

Kathie is a member of my Boomer Diva (global) Nation Community. She is all the things you have described her as and a woman after God's own heart.

Be Blessed!

Anonymous said...

It is awesome to hear how you have new resolve to go for your dreams and achieve your professional and personal goals. Take things one step at a time and you will reach them.

Kathie Thomas is a very godly woman whose Proverbs 31 message is reaching women on a global scale. She is a member of our Boomer Diva Nation and is a wonderful person. She is a kind and loving woman who genuinely cares about others.

Thank you for your post. It was uplifting to me today.

Belinda Lindhardt said...

Thankyou Ladies,
Its an honor to be visited by you all.