Letters from Lucy: September 2019
This month Lucy writes about self-development, motivations speeches and the benefits of being part of a community both online and offline. Hi All, It’s been another crazy month for me! I’m a great believer in continual professional development, or good old CPD as it’s known. Every day you should be working to improve yourself and not necessarily in one area either. You might laugh when I tell you that when I’m driving to the workshop (or to see clients) I often listen to motivational speeches or TED talks, so I’m working on myself not just my business! This month I ended up going to a talk on “Healthy Backs” presented by a vet and a saddle fitter as well as attending a dissection! (Don’t worry I won’t share the pictures.) You can even learn a lot from your customers, one of my favourite clients (he manufactures x-ray machines and their accessories) comes in and we end up having conversations like the similarities and differences between camels and horses legs! I think this the main reason to be a part of a society such as the Society of Master Saddlers, leatherworking groups on Facebook or having a meet-up with your peers. There are plenty of people to bounce ideas off, get inspiration from or hear about a new course or scientific paper. For saddlers especially, CPD can be a struggle, even more so if you’re in a “sparsely populated” area where saddlers are few and far between. My family certainly think I’m mad for going to so many things, especially the ones across the water. Sure, it’s easy to say “that’s a lot of money for a day of no work”, because these things DO cost money but you’re learning from some of the best in the business! However, even if it is just one thing you learn, it could be a total game changer, or it could just sit in your brain until one day you need it, but at least then, you’ll have it. I went to a fundraising quiz for The Donkey Breeds Society NI and learnt plenty that night let me tell you! I’ve never owned a donkey (and I’ve been told I never will) but a lot of my clients do, so it’s up to me to be able to have their animals welfare first and foremost, which will include things such as knowing about their digestive tract and feet- Usain Bolt doesn’t break world records with a sore tummy and bad shoes.
It’s also societies such as the Heritage Crafts Association and QEST that work hard to keep dying crafts alive and deserve plenty of support. They also provide CPD and news for their members, including when funding happens! Even Abbey England do their bit - I hope you’re all writing your scripts for your video application for the Abbey Scholarship program! Please, please, please don’t opt out due to feeling foolish by having to send in a part of your application by video - I write a blog every month and often have a sleepless night or two thinking I’ve put my foot in it or offended someone, however I usually get over it when I think about how much work is waiting for me the next morning! It’s due to being a member for QEST that next month I’m heading over to England and getting stuck into lots of exciting things next month - but no spoilers! I’ll tell you all about it next time. Till next time L