The other night I was chatting with my neighbor, who was offering to introduce me to the wife of the American ambassador to New Zealand, a personal friend of hers. Of course I said I would love to meet her. And, I told my friend, I can’t wait to hear her thoughts on the state of women in New Zealand—I’m so curious about this country that is so much further ahead than we are in women’s rights—and what professional opportunities she has found over there.

My friend looked at me and said, “No, Fred. That’s not why you’re going to meet her. You’re going to meet her so that you can have a friend, who understands the move, and who can share tips for enjoying your year in New Zealand.”

Ohhhhh. Right, I said. I forgot.

She then proceeded to remind me that this year is what so many of us in D.C. dream of. A quieter life. A slower pace. A year to reflect.

And I started to cry.

I’m just not sure I know how to do that, I told her. I am completely programmed to think about connections, and business, and making an impact.

So last night I got online and I went to read what will be my new local newspaper, the Gisborne Herald.  I read about the upcoming Quilt Show, the status of this year’s cattle sales due to the weather, and how to make a smoked fish and spinach tart.

I started having trouble breathing again.

And then I found a small article about a pop-up business school trade show—a free two-week crash course to grow small businesses. I breathed a small sigh of relief.

Okay, I thought. Okay.
I can do this.

And I will find something familiar amidst this reprograming exercise.



Hi. I'm Frederique. You can call me Fred. I am the founder and CEO of Her Corner Inc., a global network of women business owners committed to growth in their businesses. When I'm not managing the business operations of Her Corner, you can find me either running accelerator programs for Her Corner members or at the Kogod School of Business at American University where I teach entrepreneurship, business management and organizational behavior. I am passionate about the topic of Entrepreneurship, and in particular the State of Entrepreneurship for Women.

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