Women In Business
At ScotPac (formerly Scottish Pacific), we’re passionate about sharing our expertise with the business community in order to aid the growth of New Zealand businesses. Over the last four years we’ve built a solid friendship and strategic partnership with director of The Engine, Catherine Cooke (nee Sherwood).
Do you ever wonder what being a business woman is all for? Do you sometimes think it would be easier to pack it all in and go back to work for someone else rather than for yourself? I’m sure many women in business feel that way at some point. This page is designed to help you always feel you have someone with you, to support you on your journey and provide you with tips and tricks to help you keep moving forward.
We put way too much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect business woman, the perfect mum, the perfect wife.
What’s perfect? And is it even achievable to be this super person? The answer is whatever we achieve is still great – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
I know I feel the pressures of running my own business every day, and it’s not just managing the workload and nurturing my clients – what spills over into those feelings of pressure is the mum guilt – my brain constantly going in to overdrive about the housework that hasn’t been done to the standard of other ‘good mothers’, the dinner not planned, and the kids getting a half-hearted answer as I am deep in my head in work.
I want to have a house that’s completely dust free and the washing isn’t competing with the kids growth chart – oh reality check – they are not kids anymore – when did that happen! Let’s face it – there just aren’t enough hours in the day, money in the bank, or energy in your body, to be superwoman.
What I do know now is that it’s so important that you take time for you and don’t burn out. This page can hopefully provide you with some help, but breathe girlfriend as this page is written by someone just like you. Be kind to yourself, be the best you can be and fly.
Working Capital Solutions
Cash flow is by far the biggest stress point for business owners, whether you’re a business owner or an accountant, adviser or broker working with SME clients, the important thing to note is that unlike the inevitability of death and taxes, there are ways to improve working capital! There is a style of finance that, allows you to boost cash flow and relieve the worries, pressure and stress related to day to day financing of the business. Invoice finance (also known as debtor finance or receivables finance) is a line of credit that smooths out cash flow peaks and troughs for businesses that sell goods or services on credit terms. Find out more here.
10 Steps to Achieve your Goals
1. Focus on commitment, not motivation. | 2. Seek knowledge and information, not just results. | 3. Make the journey fun. | 4. Get rid of roadblock thoughts – transfer them to solution based thoughts. | 5. Be creative – use your imagination. | 6. Stretch your rubberband – it’s called growth. | 7. Get rid of distractions. | 8. Own it. | 9. Plan, plan, plan. | 10. Protect yourself from burnout.
Get rid of unrealistic expectations
These are filling your brain with stress and they are going to weigh you down to the point that nothing will ever be good enough – in your eyes anyway. Don’t worry that the washing doesn’t get folded for a few days – as long as everybody has clean clothes to wear each day, it’s irrelevant whether those socks came from the closet or the laundry.
Don’t worry if you occasionally dish up a gourmet meal of eggs on toast for dinner – it’s still nourishing food, and still made with love. When you stop worrying about these little things, you’ll start to realise that it really doesn’t matter and you’ll have more energy to focus on the things that really do matter.
Delegate to elevate
Once you’ve gotten rid of those unrealistic expectations, you can delegate some of the other things that you’d still like to be done, but don’t have the time or expertise to do them yourself. Learning to delegate is the
key to leveraging yourself. Hire a cleaner; engage a tutor; employ staff or contractors. This leaves you to work on the important things – the things in your business that you’re passionate about, and of course being the best mothers and wife you can be.
Manage your time
I can literally hear you rolling your eyes at me – but it really can be done. Now you’ve realigned your expectations and delegated some tasks, here are three ways you can manage your time better:
- Learn to say no – it’s physically and emotionally not possible to say yes to everything. It means nothing, other than you’ve got other things, at this moment, which are more important.
- Use a schedule – write things down and you don’t have to hold them in your head – there’s enough already going on up there.
- Eat the frog – if you haven’t heard this term, it means do the most difficult task first. Otherwise you could spend a lot of time fluffing around and wasting time because you’re avoiding this task. When you get that out of the way first, you’ll feel so much more relaxed getting on with the other things you need to do.
Remember that you’re only one woman. You’re already a cherished wife and mother to your husband and children. You’re already a successful business women. So be kind to yourself – you’re already the best woman you can be, right now!
The Engine helping women to achieve their full potential as businesswomen
Business Advisor & Funding
Whether you are planning a new business, running an existing business or would like to grow or exit, The Engine will work by your side to help you achieve your business goals. We offer expertise and specialist business coaching, advisory board or advisory support to help you start on the right path for the best chances of success.
The Engine coaches & advises business owners of today and tomorrow.
The Engine helps all business owners but we know there are real challenges being a woman in business. We have therefore through our experience as woman business owners:
1. Amplifed women whose voices are unheard.
2. Reached out to pull a woman up the mountain.
3. Leveraged their business network to expand their reach.
New Business 101
The New Business 101 course is designed for professionals with strong management experience. It’s for those ready to get to the next level of owning or running a business. Current business owners may use our course to determine best business practices. They can also place their 2IC or a key-person through our programme to provide in-depth knowledge to delegate more responsibility within the business. Our programme will provide participants with specific subject knowledge each week. It broadens their functional or operational knowledge to perform at Employer/Owner 101 level.
The total cost for our course is $10000 + GST with a $500 + GST deposit required to book your space. The Engine are approved Service Providers to the Regional Business Partner Network. You may be eligible for 50% funding for this course. You will walk away having built the foundations of your business through proven methods to steer you in the right direction.
NEXT COURSE DATE: TBA | 1 Parkhead Place, Albany, NORTH SHORE, AUCKLAND
Membership to The Engine
Good deals are hard to find and we at The Engine believe the money we can save you can be used back in the business for growth, education and more. At The Engine, we have developed a PHONE APP for our members. As a member of The Engine, you will have access to special discounts and services right at your fingertips on your phone! We have negotiated the best deals possible on a variety of goods and services. Our Alliance Partners believe in helping businesses.
You can even extend these savings to your staff too via your account which makes staff feel more valued. It really is a win-win membership with extraordinary benefits. Not only will you save money, but you will also attract staff to a company that wishes to save their employee’s money.
We have 3 tiers of membership, each tier provides savings, business support and networking. Pick the one that works for you and your business. More on membership here.
*Alliance Savings are only valid with current paid up Membership.
Catherine Cooke (nee Sherwood)
The woman behind The Engine.
Born in Auckland, New Zealand 7th of 8 children, Catherine started working at 14 as a part time model & at 16 as a checkout girl all the while studying hard at school. Always with an eye on business she successfully project managed a number of fashion shows in her school with one show yielding in $60k in revenue. Abandoning university to work in the finance sector (while still maintaining her checkout role) she found herself challenged by a male dominated industry but in true Catherine style she soaked up the opportunity to deliver where others were shy.
At 26 years Catherine was relishing being back in the fashion sector. A major health setback having suffered sudden hearing loss and then a miscarriage within weeks didn’t slow her down. Ignoring the advice of her specialist to concentrate on a quieter life and be a mum at home Catherine proceeded to build a successful business of her own – 11 years running, securing and retaining renewals on major contracts & tenders nationally & globally.
Runner up – Employer of the Year 2008 as the world entered a round of recession Catherine continued to build the business year on year to a multi-million enterprise with 90 staff. To her success she launched brands that are now global and turned impossible to possible with the creation of a unique franchise model. The world has been a big part of her life having supplied and purchased via UK/Europe, Pacific/Asia and Australia.
If anyone knows the complexity, the hard yakka and the adversity of business Catherine does.
Perseverance, resilience and grit are traits reserved for those who get to success no matter what happens to them. Catherine’s armour has many chinks and today she shares her journey to challenge others to be better than their best. To remember that it is OK to stumble or fall but stand up, dust the coat off, regroup and strive forward.
Pictured with her female heroes – her mum, Phyllis and her daughter Holly. Phyllis is a role model of hard work having raised 8 children single handedly. Holly arrived in life short of 30 weeks and has continued in the same vein of grit, resilience & perserverance.
Women in Business
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What People Are Saying
The first time I meet Catherine was in her role at The Engine. I was in discussions regarding becoming a provider and was struck by her positivity, engaging and warm personality and her exceptional business acumen. Catherine is an extraordinary business woman, with a wealth of knowledge and understanding across all critical areas of business. Catherine is one of the most proactive, high energy individuals I have meet. Her drive ensuring things get actioned along with her ability to encourage and work with others in order to effective change or development is second to none. Being level headed and people focused coupled with being very process and operationally driven in all areas, Catherine can do it all…..with a smile! Vicky O’Connor, Director – iRecruit & HR (June 2017)
As a preferred supplier, I have had the pleasure of dealing with Catherine at the Chamber and have found her to be professional, down to earth, knowledgeable and vivacious. She not only lights up a room with her energy and enthusiasm, she also delves in depth into problems and situations and gets things resolved quickly and efficiently. Her people skills are exceptional. She is an asset to the company and a breathe of fresh air. Wanita Zogby-Fourie, Mum & Director of The Online Business Academy. (October 2015)
Catherine’s positive, can do attitude, along with the ability to push boundaries and deliver a well thought out and well marketed product were the first things that drew me to her as a recommended supplier. Catherine has a great understanding of networking and the strong foundations required to build a successful network. Catherine played an instrumental role to the infant hosiery programme for The Warehouse from 2006 through to 2013, managing the program through multiple buyer changes, ensuring consistency in range and supply. Details are always very important to anyone in our industry, and having a supplier who can streamline is invaluable. Catherine stood out from other suppliers in her ability to manage her team. Her staff engagement created a positive and happy work environment that encouraged staff to push through barriers and deliver products that were not only accurate to brief, but had the extra sparkle. She would provide detailed and on trend options prior to being asked, and followed through from the concept to finished product. Catherine and her team also managed stock holdings, sell through, and cover for stock on the floor, and reduced stock for change out. I also worked with Catherine on garment ranges as boyswear buyer and infantswear buyer. Catherine was able to think outside the box, and take initiative on areas that were not met within the ranges we sourced directly. Due to Catherine’s ability to manage not only a growing design house but also a well-managed business, she was granted the rights for RWC2011. Catherine produced ranges that fit into tight criteria along with meeting costing requirements. Catherine’s attention to detail and providing quality always placed her at the forefront when major brands became available. She identified a niche market, designed, sourced and marketed a unique retail opportunity. Catherine has a broad range of well-developed skills that would fit into a range of roles, she brings a wealth of knowledge and the maturity to fit within any team environment. I would recommend Catherine for any role she wished to pursue. Nicole Terry – Mum, Wife, Business Owner & Former Buyer – The Warehouse (June 2016)
Discover Your Own Truth
Live It Fully
In my life I have been lucky enough to come across many people that have challenged my thinking but none more than Ines Curin and Yvonne Letton from GirlsTalkBusiness NZ who awakened my beliefs to look for an underlying reality that is hidden from plain view. This has led me to question many things; not only what I see, learn, and read, but also question myself. What is it that pushes me? What is it that guides me? What do I want to be, or feel in this life? Going to the depth of my soul, I started on a path of discovering experiences, new out of the ordinary things that would show me what it is I thought I was looking for, reflecting a differing view point to one I would naturally gravitate too and understanding what life was actually trying to show me. These new experiences started with five minutes of stillness. For some of you meditation may be for you. Catherine Cooke (nee Sherwood) xo
“In meditation it must be clearly understood that there is no control of thought, no disciple of thought, because the one who disciplines thought is a fragment of thought, the one who controls thought is a fragment of thought. If you see the truth of that, then you will have all the energy dissipated through suppression, through control, through comparison, to go beyond what is.”
Krishnamurti, This Light in Oneself
Crossing the threshold
“What am I going to do?” I asked myself, holding back tears of frustration.
And then I jolted to the reality I’m a SEVEN on the Enneagram
Sevens need to look in to pain. Living in denial of pain and brokenness might help us feel better for a short while and meet our need for comfort and happiness temporarily, however it is not real or healthy. Entering into the pain is actually a way for Sevens to achieve great joy, as we have the opportunity to join in the work of making our world a better place (or, in my case, reflecting and then working an alternate way that is outside of my comfort zone to achieve peace but which brings me true comfort, harmony, and satisfaction. I know I can only be satisfied if I get to those places through the pain instead of around it.
A healthy Seven is an amazing force for good. But we have to get serious about entering into the real world, having real conversations, and pursuing real joy.
Thank you Innes Curin & Yvonne Letton for walking this journey with me, making me feel safe, secure and loved through the process. And most of all helping me find my truth.
The enneagram is a profound and powerful tool for understanding your personality and inner workings.
There are many tests available online, however Brave Talks have one the research to find the very best one.
Once you have your results, find out more by booking into one of our insightful Brave Talks.
This will help you quickly decipher the meaning of your test results and provide specific insights on how to gain the most benefit from the enneagram.
Be sure to read the Test Instructions first! Yvonne, Ines & Lori xo
“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”