If you witness Julia Telford at work inside Goondiwindi’s Business Hub, you may question how she manages to get any work done at all. Her phone is constantly ringing and buzzing; it doesn’t frustrate her, rather she answers each call with the same enthusiasm and excitement.

Callers range from local leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs, all looking for a bit of guidance from the experienced businesswoman who founded Engage & Create Consulting seven years ago. The flurry of phone action is the inspiration behind her latest business venture, ENGAGE, a five week e-course to help business with their strategy. “When I was asking businesses ‘why’ they did things, they couldn’t give me a straightforward answer. I wanted to create a tool to encourage them to work on their business instead of in it,” Telford said.

Telford uses her extensive knowledge in business to ask the hard questions around values, strategy, goals and success; the same things she asked herself two years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At 38 years of age, Telford was forced to stop work to undergo surgery and subsequent chemotherapy and radiation treatment. This made her realise certain aspects of her business needed work. “My business was only me, so if I wasn’t there it wouldn’t exist. I started asking myself the questions I now ask through ENGAGE to ensure my business was sustainable,” Telford said.

ENGAGE guides participants through five video modules, with the goal of giving them clarity, purpose and confidence. Telford also created an online group, which has encouraged an emergence of entrepreneurial activity in regional and rural areas. “Many of the participants are new business owners, so the ENGAGE group, is giving them a supportive environment to discuss their ideas, which in turn is giving them a lot of confidence.

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