I worked very hard and still do at building relationships of trust, and this is because it’s not very comfortable feeling alone, at any time, but less so when you are in business. Being the new girl on the block so to speak is a bit like looking in from the outside and I wanted to fit in and be accepted, especially in my local community.

What made my situation worse was not having worked in the corporate world in Canada and also being quite shy. I felt like a fish out of water, but I knew I had to fit in somehow, and somewhere. I had made the decision to start my own business so I had to either suffer the consequences of never getting to know anyone, or be proactive.

Networking was one way for me to reach out to others, but also requesting information sessions with other small business owners who lived and worked in my local community. I would sit opposite them, listen to their stories of struggles and success, and I slowly built my own network of people who liked and respected me.

Looking in from the outside can be lonely but it also won’t get us where we want to be. Making the effort to help ourselves is definitely a benefit, but asking others for help is also the way to go.