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What would you do differently if you had to start again?

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I was recently recording an interview for Antoinette Oglethorpe’s series “taking the plunge” masterclass series. In the interview, she asked: if I could go back and start my business again, what would be one thing I would do differently?

It’s a tough question u001f– isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? If I could crystallise it down into one thing that I would do differently, it would be this: 

When I left my previous employers – as a result of redundancy – I had a slight attitude of “I’m going to make a success of myself, all by myself, without any help from you or any others…” 

An understandable attitude at the time – after all, they had just rewarded my five years of contribution by telling me I was surplus to requirements.

Those who know me will know that I can be a little headstrong and driven. Only a little, mind you. But I now wish that I had been far more tactical about my existing internal company network. 

I should have swallowed my pride and spent more time keeping in touch with my existing company network, rather than trying to build everything from scratch. I strongly believe that I would have had a faster start and clients earlier on in my business life if I had focused more on my existing network.

When I say “keeping in touch with my existing company network”, I mean being better about asking them for introductions – and following up on those introductions if I didn’t see them happening.

Given the benefit of hindsight, what is the one thing that you would have done differently when you set up your own business?

Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks.

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