Irene D. Baker
I’ve been in business since the early 2000’s and to this day I still love the opportunities it brings. The idea that I can follow a passion, a calling if you will, and share it with others online and in my face-to-face work is very exciting.
My passion for over thirty years has been supporting women to find a path that takes them to a place of greater self-acceptance, without needing to ‘be’ someone to achieve this state. I believe women can use their experiences in business to more deeply explore the way they feel about who they are and what they are capable of.
Every ‘calling’ is always personal first of course. My vision for you is the same as for me – that as women we learn to rebuild and strengthen the beliefs we hold about ourselves, through the experience of business. I hope you will join me.
The Lotus Flower Motif
I chose the lotus flower because it represents the self awakening process we all engage in throughout life. The lotus flower emerges from muddy and murky depths to bud and open into a magnificent bloom. It is a Buddhist symbol of divine beauty and purity emerging into greater self knowledge. We are all lotus flowers struggling up from the murky depths of unhelpful thinking and into the light to bloom!
The lotus flower is particularly associated with Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth, prosperity and happiness. Her name comes from two Sanskrit words that together symbolise the phrase, ‘know and understand your goal’. For a website on women in business, she stands as a fabulous symbol for knowing your purpose in business and receiving abundance from it.
“A big thank you to Irene Baker who challenged our mind set with discussing how the brain works, mind maps and reclaiming confidence. The brain is an extremely complex organ and Irene was able to offer simple strategies to help understand more about what the brain does and how it works. When you know more about your brain, you can discover you can do more with it. This knowledgeable and inspiring session was totally different from any training undertaken by the ladies before. Highly recommend Irene for training for other organisations.”
My Business Journey
Business Attempt 1 & 2
Feels like a lifetime ago…
While an employee, I had a burning desire to be in business and like many others, I started selling at the markets. As an Early Childhood Teacher I loved inventing practical and fun craft kits that gave mums a break over the weekend.
Business No.2 was as a sole trader helping parents navigate the sweeping tide of child care options which exploded in the late 1990’s. However, the rapidly changing regulatory environment meant I was always three steps behind this shifting landscape. I exited in the wake of booming childcare lobby groups who led the way instead.
Attempt 3 & 4
Business No.3 was a website to assist women in adminstration roles to access professional development. Often overlooked for training, many women can find themselves stuck in jobs that offer no advancement, with limited options for sourcing relevant training for career development. However, with no discernible business model, I realised I had to change tack if I was to survive in business at all.
By Business No. 4 I had learned a lot about how not to run a business! Setting up my company Inzpire Pty Ltd, was another leap of faith but has led to awards in training design and working with over 50 corporate, government and university contracts and projects.
If I’ve learned anything, it’ that I’m a superb model for demonstrating resilience and persevering in business despite the setbacks. It’s not that my business dream stayed the same – I’ve had to adapt it many times, but my thinking stayed focused on what I wanted, and how I could obtain it.
Reslience comes in many forms and I’ve learned that to adapt is to survive. In recent years I rely more on gut intutition, on spiritual wisdom and on quietening the little voice in my head that likes to focus on fear. Instead, I trust that no matter what I face, the experience of business will lead me to greater understanding of myself and others.
tips for small businesses
Edition 18 of the Small Business Connect Newsletter highlighted quick tips for changing your mindset from survival thinking to growth thinking. The Claim Your Confidence course is an opportunity for you to consider how well the beliefs you have about yourself and your business, help you achieve your goals. If you find that your inner talk is focused more on staying safe than reaching out to new things, your beliefs are behind this thinking. Unpacking even one unhelpful belief will show you the way to change them all.