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'Age should no longer be the barrier it was to motivation and success'

Kate Wilde, managing director of business management consultancy Engage with Business. Picture: Andrew David Photography

Kate Wilde, managing director of business management consultancy Engage with Business. Picture: Andrew David Photography

Andrew David Photography

Kate Wilde is managing director of business management consultancy Engage with Business, based in Marsham.

Through conversations with other women business owners of my generation, I’ve discovered that many have lost their motivation and drive. Where has it gone and how do they get it back?

Like many women making money wasn’t the motivation for starting a business. It was what I could do with that money, particularly for my daughter – she gave me my purpose.

Self-employment offered the flexibility to work around her needs, many long hours into the night because I chose to take time out to stand at the school gate, to see the smile on her face running as she ran across the playground towards me. Priceless.

But when our children have grown and flown the nest, what happens to that sense of purpose?

Along with the loss of motivation, we often see the decline of self-confidence. So many clever, talented women questioning their capability.

There are plenty of self-help books and blogs but if your self-confidence has dipped, try this:

Write down your three greatest achievements, times when you shone brightly. Then, during those moments of “I can’t do this, I’m not good enough”, challenge yourself with your list. How can you not be good enough? You are the woman that started and ran a business. You are the woman that brought up these beautiful children. You are the woman who won an award. Tell yourself you are amazing.

Maybe it’s time to re-invent yourself, to find where you fit into this new digital age dominated by a younger generation. Challenge yourself to learn more about the impact technology has had on your industry, discover the thought leaders, learn their language.

I have recognised that regardless of the technology, successful businesses are led by inspirational leaders and managers. Motivation, delegation, and communication can all be supported by technology but the need for human contact still has a big part to play.

As mothers we learn many transferable skills – it’s up to us to decide whether to embrace new opportunities, apply and share skills and experience or get left behind. It’s time to brush yourself down and get out there, time to shine, time to move to the next level.

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