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Image / Editorial

5 Minutes With Paula Fitzsimons Of Going For Growth


by Jennifer McShane
25th Nov 2016
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At December’s IMAGE Networking Breakfast, we’re talking about seizing the moment. In business, this can mean taking big risks and a (very occasional) leap of faith. But this is what happens on the road to success; we have to take chances, grab opportunities and get going while the going is good, because otherwise, how will we know what might have been?

Ahead of our Networking Breakfast in?The Marker Hotel Dublin on December 2nd, we had a quick chat with one of our speakers Paula Fitzsimons, National Director of?Going For Growth?- a programme focused on peer support as a means of assisting women entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses, which has given many of our Businesswoman of the Year winners and nominees their crucial starting point – to find out a bit more about why she decided to take that leap of faith:

Tell me about the moment you decided to set up Going For Growth, and went “that’s it, I’m going to go for it”?

I was having a shower and suddenly got a ‘eureka’ moment as to exactly what was needed and how I should go about it.?Going for Growth?was conceived and scoped out in those few minutes.? The context was that there was a call ?for an initiative to research women entrepreneurs and their development and growth of businesses.?I bounced my idea off Anne Heraty of CPL and Rita Shah of Shabra Plastics Group, both of whom were tremendously supportive. One offered to endorse. The other offered to become the first voluntary Lead Entrepreneur. I had just 24 hours to get a fully-fledged proposal written and submitted. The insight which I had in the shower meant that I had the proposal fully formed in my head. All I needed was to write it down.? I got it submitted in time and was successful. That was?nine years ago.

Can you describe a standout moment in your career journey?

There were many, but one was at the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards last Monday night when I saw?Oonagh O?Hagan?of Meagher’s Pharmacy group win the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. (Oonagh is a past participant of Going for Growth, a member of the Community and now a voluntary Lead Entrepreneur having led a roundtable for the first time on the 8th?cycle);?Marissa Carter?of Cocoa Brown win the Young Businesswomen of the Year. ?(Marissa is a past participant of Going for Growth and an active member of the Community).; and?Margot Slattery?of Sodexo win CEO of the Year. (Margot is a voluntary Lead on Continuing the Momentum within the Going for Growth suite of initiatives). All are wonderful ambassadors of Going for Growth, and I am very proud of their achievements.

Is there anything you’d go back and do differently now? Why?

I would do it all again in exactly the same way and be prepared to work equally as hard.

And what advice would?you give to the woman hesitant to seize an opportunity??

If you have a vision and are determined to work hard to bring it to fruition, there are a great many people out there who will help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. But at the end of the day, nobody can make it happen but yourself. ?So be proactive, seize the moment, and go for it. What’s stopping you?

The IMAGE Networking Breakfast will take place at The Marker Hotel Dublin on December 2nd, where you will hear from three women who have taken leaps of faith, with fascinating outcomes. Join editor-in-chief Melanie Morris for a morning of insight, prizes and more.

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