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Networking for Work At Home Mothers

Iris J Chapman Copyright ©2004

There is a myth that in order to be an entrepreneur you have to grow up in a family of entrepreneurs that guided and shaped you. You have to have gone to the best schools and rubbed elbows with movers and shakers.

There is no question that a family like that can make it easier to have a business mind set and self-confidence, but it is not mandatory. Many successful business women did not grow up learning the structure of business. Regardless of your upbringing, you always have the option in adulthood to seek out guides of your own.

Attracting the right guide makes your journey smoother. A guide is someone who sees you for who you are and helps you to find your way. Guides can be teachers, parents, relatives, mentors, coaches, friends, colleagues, organizations, communities, support groups, spiritual teachings, works of art, plays, movies, books, radio and television broadcasts, Internet information or chat sessions or any other encounter with wisdom.

For many self-employed women, guides are symbolic rather than real. As Joan Jeruchim and Pat Shapiro wrote in Women, Mentors, and Success, "Women who work alone, such as writers and artists, often have a different problem in developing a professional identity. They work in an isolated setting and must create their own culture. Often they develop professional identities by studying others' works and fantasizing about a symbolic mentors or role models. While it is difficult to maintain a personal relationship with a more established writer or artist, the careers of these symbolic mentors can be inspirational."

The same can be said about work at home mothers. The Internet has made it easier for work at home mothers to network. Listed below are three ways for WAHM's to increase their networking.

- Join a forum with women who also have home businesses.

- Ask someone in business that you admire or respect for advice.

- Join or begin a mastermind group.

What is a mastermind group? The term mastermind group was started by Napoleon Hill, who said:

"The process of mind-blending, here described as a Master Mind, may be likened to the act of one who connects many electric batteries to a single transmission wire, thereby 'stepping up' the power flowing over that line. Each mind, through the principle of mind chemistry, stimulates all the other minds in the group, until the mind energy thus becomes so great that it penetrates to and connects with the universal energy known as ether, which, in turn, touches every atom of the entire universe."

Simply speaking the group energizes each member and they are able to accomplish much more together than they would have ever been able to do on their own. The goal is to have positive energy running through your group. Have positive upbeat members on your team. A critical skill for many women is discernment - knowing whose advice is from the heart and really meant to be helpful, and avoiding people who pull you away from your goals and may be trying to undermine your achievement.

Wanda Carter summed it up nicely when she said, "Take control of your destiny. Believe in yourself. Ignore those who try to discourage you. Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits. Don't give up and don't give in."

Belonging to a mastermind group that is fully functional, positive and goal oriented is one of the best business tools you can have.

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