We asked She Breaks the Law's Helen Burness what kept her brave this past year...

We asked She Breaks the Law's Helen Burness what kept her brave this past year...

Tuesday 16 Mar 21

What's kept you brave this year?

My community. In terms of the legal community, I have felt genuine support from so many people: clients past and present, contacts, friends. I am really touched at how many people have reached out and know that there is always someone lurking around on social media who can help cheer me along when I need it most!

    I also help run a global network for women in law called She Breaks the Law and our regular meet ups, virtual coffees, events, even a festive collaborative fairy-tale – have been balm for my soul. It has been so incredible to be able to connect with women globally to discuss the many things that have been happening. I am a huge believer in the power of community.

    Can you tell us the name of another small business you admire for their bravery and maybe let us know why?

    Hmmm – apart from Farillio you mean? OK! A business I have always admired is Freddie’s Flowers. I love how Freddie disrupted a traditional space to create something which is more than a bunch of flowers, an experience, which educates you about different varieties and how to curate. I have learnt so much about flowers through him! Freddie launched back in 2014 and I have had the privilege of watching it grow beyond our local community (he started it from his back garden in Wandsworth) to where it is now. This is a rare pandemic success story with subscribers growing from 60,000 to 100,000 over the past year. I know the beautiful weekly bunches have been a lockdown treat for so many. It takes guts to do something different in what has been a traditional space.

    At Farillio, we are all about being more ‘frog’ and have recently released a blog to celebrate and explain our obsession with our amphibian friend:

    “Frogs evolve. Frogs climb out of that pesky goldfish bowl and they go explore the world. They don’t swim in circles. Their curiosity and tenacity and general cheekiness means that they get everywhere. Literally"

      We know you are a frog too…but we’d love to hear a business story from you, which showcases your bravery and frog like manner…so that it can hopefully inspire others within our community.

      I have many frog moments. 🐸

      I left a very corporate role to work for a dynamic start-up. Whilst many thought I was losing security in doing that, I wanted to break out of my silo and be closer to a business. I gained so much commercially and working in a start-up was my most important springboard to where I am now.

      I then became a marketing consultant so I could work with different businesses and help them grow. It was hard to strike out on my own and try and build a business, especially whilst juggling young children, but it has in time turned into the micro business that is Saltmarsh Marketing, providing a range of marketing solutions to legal services businesses.

      She Breaks the Law has been another frog like moment. When three amazing women came to me with this flame of an idea for a new community, I was like “We have to make this come alive!” We did not expect it to grow into a global community of nearly 3,000 lawbreakers across the world!

      I am constantly evolving, learning and growing as a professional. I think we really need to ensure we have that as an internal narrative. It is tempting after twenty years in legal marketing to go “Oh yes I have seen and done it all.” But I really, really haven’t. And the world changes so fast – evolution is really the only option…

        So – gribbit as they say – here’s to being more frog 🐸

        To quote from the brave video:

          "Can’t shut out those doubts telling you you’re not ready.

          You’re not strong enough.

          You’re not one of the few."

          As small businesses, self-doubt and fear are really normal and a part of the journey. And we truly take our hat off to all the businesses out there fighting everyday to build amazing products, spur on team members and build an amazing future. It would be great to hear from you any tips you may have for individuals struggling with self-doubt …especially at the moment?

          That every business owner is plagued by the self-doubt and wondering if they can do it or should be doing it. Volatile and uncertain times where pivots have to be made and where we do not have the usual sources of inspiration has amplified those feelings of self-doubt, so for those feeling it more than ever – I hear you! My top tip would be to turn off the noise when you feel like this, and invest in yourself and whatever inspires you past those feelings. Maybe it is spending more time with people who lift you up. Maybe it is reading literature, art, doing a personal development course, but try and break the cycle. I think sometimes when we get in these moments of self doubt, it is so easy to torture ourselves by looking at whatever everyone else seems to be doing and achieving, so it is best to shut that noise off and focus on you for a while.

          We have found so much support and inspiration from our community of small businesses and have often been blown away by their empathy, understanding, curiosity & can-do attitude.

          How valuable do you find community in keeping us all brave and aspirational?

          Ha ha I have just come to this question and see my answer to your first question. I did not even plan this, honest guv! I believe in powerful communities and think that when we emerge into a new world, those who are actively involved in communities will find benefits in terms of inspiration and motivation, sharing knowledge and lessons, making meaningful contacts that lead to opportunities and most importantly, having fun. As you say at Farillio, #togetherwearemighty.

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