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NEWS > Alumnae News > Lindsay Proves that Networking Opens Doors

Lindsay Proves that Networking Opens Doors

Lindsay helps women in business start up and run women-only networking groups in their community.
10 May 2024
Written by Lindsay McLoughlin (Cawston)
United Kingdom
Alumnae News
Lindsay McLoughlin (OG 1973-1979)
Lindsay McLoughlin (OG 1973-1979)

It's no secret. When the suggestion of networking was first put to me 15 years ago, I turned it down. Flat. I was all right on my own in my brand new proofreading business. But that's just it. I was on my own. I needed to build up a business buddy network for collaborations, friendships, relationships and - yes! - opportunities and referrals.

I joined The Athena Network. My first referral was via a member to a client in Manchester, 188 miles away. This client provided me with several projects and well... the rest is history. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had joined the largest and oldest women-only network in the UK. What was to follow was an experience of a lifetime!

A few years after being an active Athena member in the Maidenhead area, the franchised region became available for resale as the current Regional Director was looking for a change of direction. The words “Yes…this is for me!” flew out of my mouth. I had grown both personally and professionally since I had discovered Athena and I wanted to bring this wonderful women-only business networking community to even more women in the area.

In 2020, Athena became an online network with offline networking alongside. Women could now network wider and differently. This was blended networking; the best of both worlds. I purchased and launched a virgin franchise territory in South West Oxfordshire. I was now leading and growing two Athena business communities simultaneously.

With my husband’s retirement approaching, I sold both franchise regions. One was to an Athena member; the other was to a woman entirely new to the network. I was just considering the “What next?” when the franchisor, Jacqueline Rogers, called me. She invited me to become UK Franchise Sales Director for The Athena Network. There really was only one answer!

I am now working with Jacqueline to attract female entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants to invest in running Athena franchise regions across the UK. Franchisees earn a predictable, profitable income part-time alongside other businesses.

When I opened the networking door all those years ago, I was opening my business and my mind to experiences I would not have missed for all the world. That’s my wish and vision for all women in business and professions.

Here are my top five tips for letting networking into your business world:  

  1. Make up your mind to commit to networking, and nurture your contacts
  2. Say YES to every opportunity networking presents which are consistent with your business goals
  3. Create strategic alliances with “neighbouring” professions
  4. Build a networking reputation for generosity, outward-looking actions
  5. Read the Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann

If you are interested in getting involved with The Athena Network either as a member or as a franchisee, feel free to get in touch via my LinkedIn profile.

PF meant the world to me; it was where all my best friends were. Many of my current and most treasured friendships started right there. I made friends easily and I enjoyed bringing groups of girls together. (Some of them might remember a very pink birthday cake!) It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to think I could pick up the phone now at any time, and it would be okay. Maybe my interest in relationship-building and getting groups of women together was brewing even in my early teenage years.

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