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What support is there for women running an export business?

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What support is there for women running an export business? article image
Are you feeling isolated running your export business? Cynthia Balogh has some solutions for you. At a recent Women in Global Business training workshop, a WIGB member came to me to express how grateful she was for the opportunity to meet and network with other businesswomen. After chatting for a while, she leaned in close and almost whispered how lonely she was running her own business. It’s not something we often talk about. We have all heard the saying "it’s lonely at the top", but this woman was communicating more than this. The message being conveyed was that there is little support, minimal social interaction and few people to brainstorm with when you are running your own business. We know there is a well-trodden path of corporate business women swapping often inflexible work practices for the chance to develop an innovative idea and run their own show. But what they often don’t factor in, is how hard it is to keep motivated and on course when the phone doesn’t ring and there is no small talk or chit-chat with colleagues during the day. This isolation can be crippling and can, and often does, lead to depression. This can have serious consequences for even the most sensational business concept. Isolation manifests in a number of ways. Orders might be slow, which gives you more time to worry. If the funds are too low to hire staff, then keeping the business motivation going can be tough. In response to these concerns WIGB developed a program to workshop some solutions. What strategies work to counter isolation? Schedule at least one lunch or coffee with a friend or former colleague every week. Join a professional organisation; join a virtual-entrepreneur association; join social media groups and women’s business organisations; volunteer for an advisory board; volunteer as a speaker at government and private industry events; take the initiative and organise a group of like-minded women and meet on a regular basis. You will be amazed what structured networking can lead to. On a lighter note, some women suggested that just dressing up in business clothes and going out was enough to brighten their spirits! A remedy for isolation is coming up in the Women in Global Business Speaker Series coming to your capital city in late July/August.  Last year over 750 businesswomen heard fascinating personal stories of struggle and achievement. Don’t miss out. Join us in 2012.

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