Stamping on the business rulebook

IT’S a New Year and a good time for a new column, so I am here to shake things up a little here within the business section during 2011 – maybe even causing a little bit of mischief along the way.

It is no secret that I am known to people for being a non-conformist businesswoman. I take the

rulebook and stamp on it with my best high heels!

Why? At the age of 24, I want to be the master of my own destiny, and not give someone else the pleasure of manipulating my own fate.

Most people who meet me see Rachel, not the businesswoman, but the person.

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They will find me in my skinny jeans, sipping a cappuccino at my favourite coffee shop Baileys2, ready to have a casual chat about how I can help them.

Is it written somewhere that as a “business person” you have to act a certain way, dress to a code, follow the crowd?

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If there is I haven’t come across it and I certainly won’t be another sheep in that field.

When I started my business more than a year ago I walked into the business community blind, from

employee to director overnight – a big step up.

I had no clue how to set up or run a small business but within seven months I was winning the East of England Young Businesswoman of the year title.

So I must be doing something right and I want to share this with you.

Being young and na�ve was probably my biggest advantage; I had no-one to tell me how to be, act or perform – I simply made it up!

I strongly believe my success comes down to following some very basic ethics – manners, respect and courtesy.

My parents taught me whilst growing up, “treat people how you would like to be treated.”

We use it in life so why not in business?

A client is someone you would like to form a long-term relationship with, no different to a friend or partner, and from time to time some of my clients do become my friends.

So why in business must we be cold and corporate when in life we can be ourselves?

I have have come across companies who treated their clients as another number, a pound sign to rub the ego of their bank balance, and who were disrespectful whilst doing it.

This was why I would try to change this perception of a businesswoman; you know, the one that says “I am a hard-nosed battle-axe – don’t mess with me or I will feed you to the lions”.

Whilst I appreciate there are times in business when you have to have a thick skin, there are ways to handle situations through peaceful means, and nine times out of 10 if you are yourself, you will be straight from the start and problems should not arise.

Join me for future columns in which I will be exploring why I am purposely breaking

the traditional stereotype that labels us as “business people” and sharing my experiences with you.

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