I’m going to be honest – I used to bloody hate networking. My first experience was when I’d just started my own business and I went along to a group filled with marketers and coaches where I was expecting (maybe naively) an open-armed welcome into the networking fold. But, instead I was greeted by a series of very large chested women (this was a coincidence, not pre-planned I hope), quizzing me on my career, my credentials and making me justify why I was there. Safe to say, as soon as could get the hell out of there I did through the old ‘pretending to need a wee’ trick.
This put me off the thought of networking for months until a friend of mine, who ran a group, persuaded me to come along. And I’m so glad I did as the group I found (the Fab Women network) was nothing but supportive and collaborative. Phew.
From there on, I embraced the networking scene but made sure I found where my tribe would be and stuck to them. I knew that my style was relaxed, open and that humour was really important to me (still is!) as well as a touch of sparkle so that’s where I went. I tried a few groups and events which most allow you to do as a visitor. Some I liked, some I didn’t, some were way too early, some were way too formal, but experiencing them was fun and important to define where you want to mix and mingle. Through networking I have been lucky enough to not only get business but make genuine friends, connections and, most importantly, receive some invaluable support which we all need when running our own businesses. I now run my own arm of Fab Women (Kings Cross, third Friday of the month if you fancy) and have been lucky enough to be invited into the most wonderful tribe, Sister Snog.
Now, Sister Snog doesn’t use the networking word, it prefers to say connecting and that it does. I can honestly say I have met some of the most amazing and inspirational business women out there who support, drive and connect and I couldn’t be happier to be part of it.
And for someone that used to hate networking, I now utterly love it. So much so that myself and my friend (who introduced me to it in the first place) are launching our own sparkling group in February – so watch this space!
For those of you that may have dipped your toe in to the networking pool but the thought of walking into a room full of strangers fills you with dread – I hear you. But my top tip would be to try before you buy. There are loads of groups out there including the perfect one for you so visit, pretend to need a wee and leg it if you need to but keep going as once you find your tribe, you’ll wonder how you ever did without them.
My next meet is on:
Friday 20th October
Drake & Morgan, Kings Cross
£15 guests, click here to book