Independent, Capable Women Need Friends At Work Too!

When I moved to a small town after marriage and set up my own business, I had no women friends... until S came along.

S was very pretty, vivacious, and full of positive energy.

We had just been introduced as fellow entrepreneurs by an official in the District Industries Centre. While mine was a manufacturing unit and I dealt with males mostly; S was in the field of craft and design and interacted greatly with women.

We hit it off right away

Although our nascent businesses were going through ups and downs, the troughs much deeper than the flights upwards, we were called to give talks to groups of young people. To inspire them.

Having moved to a small town after marriage it had been difficult for me to find friends in the neighbourhood of housewives. The attitudes of a larger city I was raised in seemed strange to my neighbours although they were friendly. S was heaven sent.

We visited over lunch and tea, met between bank visits.  We took the children to each other’s houses. She lived in a large rambling house, forever trying to tame it and the garden.

In a small town, the number of female entrepreneurs outside of schools and traditional roles, were few. I was always glad to see S, get refreshed.  She reinforced the feeling of ‘I am not alone, there is another person out there doing different things, with different strokes.’

Our friendship went beyond work

S was always more adventurous, eager to grab the next opportunity. She did not pay much attention to the cons, trusting that she would be able to manage the pitfalls as they arose. Trust and friendliness are parts of her that people love and sometimes stretch to breaking point.

She was always in hot water – leaping from one tub to another in good faith! So, we had lots to talk about when we met. Sharing notes and counsel.

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We met often on personal levels. Exchanged notes on everything. S was very good with dealing with people. People were drawn to her by her infectious energy.  I learnt from her to be more open to my staff and more supportive. Accounts and cash flow were her weak points. I went over her books and gave her a system to price her products.

Some years ago, I closed shop since my product no longer had a market. I got busy with my daughters’ weddings and babysitting. S was there at all the functions, at the nursing home, staying up nights with a squawking baby. Bringing nappies and quilts. Now her sons have married and moved far away. Sometimes they hurt her badly and she feels sorrow. But always recovers. She does not travel so much. Her family is her artisans and workers.  She is looking for someone to take over her business.

But for our friendship which has spanned over 3 decades; there is no end in sight.

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Think a little, walk a little more, Cook a little, eat a little more than needed, Read a little, Watch a little more, And now Write read more...

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