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Ladies' Launchpad / Kathy McShane

Published 10:55 am, Thursday, February 28, 2013
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Thank you so much for your fantastic emails. I look forward to reading more. This week, we're exploring the question, "Do women take their businesses too personally?"

Unfortunately, many women have a hard time separating their businesses from themselves. This is partially because of our DNA, that of the nurturer.

It goes without saying that the services women bring to the world of business have purpose and meaning. We often start businesses around personal values, families, desired lifestyles, natural gifts, passions and causes with which we are aligned. A business can help you be the best you can be.

When we can't see a line between who we are and what we do, the path to success becomes a muddled one. Without that distinction, we equate the possibility of professional failure with that of personal failure, thus making us far less likely to take risks, value ourselves correctly, or let a failing business go. Maintaining that distinct line keeps us from intertwining our personal and professional achievements.

Lisa Corrado, of Lisa Corrado Nutrition in New Canaan, gives her own insight into her experience with this common problem. "It's very easy for people, especially women, to include their profession as a major part of their identity. Think about it: probably the most common question we ask someone when we first meet them is, `What do you do?' "

As a nutritionist, Lisa says she often feels like a walking billboard for her business, saying, "If I'm eating right, my hair, my skin and my weight show it. If I'm not, they really show it."

Lisa sees empathy as a solid support tool for her clients. "Many have issues with food and struggle to take care of themselves. I feel such empathy for them that it's impossible for me to not take their situations personally and want to help them as much as possible. As women, we tend to want to nurture those around us, which connects us even more strongly to our customers/clients, and thus our business."

Lisa makes busy people healthier by combining clinical nutrition with culinary training. Learn more at www.LisaCorradoNutrition.com.

So ladies, you're not alone! Any time you are feeling badly, ask yourself are you making a personal decision or a business decision? Remember, they are different decisions and, in order to be successful, you must learn to separate them.

Kathy McShane is managing director of Ladies Who Launch, Connecticut. She can be reached at kmcshane@ladieswholaunch.com or ladieswholaunch.com/southwestct. Send your business questions to phines@bcnnew.com.