Happy Sunday! We recently attended the most amazing networking event we have encountered yet. It was small, intimate, and a little bit of a drive, but worth every minute. The power and the energy in the room was unmatched. The S.W.A.T. Foundation, Inc. and it's founder, Marquitta Rucker, is an organization to watch and support.
Networking is such a powerful tool that we do not utilize often enough. A lot of people correlate networking with a big event. While that is one way to network one of the speakers said it best. Networking is interacting. Networking is intentional. I could not agree more. What does that mean? Networking can be an intentional 1 on 1 meeting or conversation between two people that are looking to support each other. You may meet someone in the grocery store checkout line and you spark a conversation. By being engaging, you may find out that this is the connection you need to take your business to the next level. It is so important to know your industry, whom and what you need. Networking is not about making friends, it is about making business connections. Even if you don't need that person and that person doesn't need you right now, establishing the relationship can be exactly what you need in the future.
One of the speakers, my gosh she was phenomenal! Charmeka Love spoke so much truth, especially about us as women in business. As women we will not deal with someone because our "best friend" doesn't like them or had a run in with them years ago. But why? Why is that relevant to your business. If home girl is your best friend, she should be saying girl get "the bag". Why as women do we need validation and approval from others that have not invested $1 into our businesses. Am I saying I don't accept advice from anyone that doesn't invest in my business? Absolutely not. However, if you have not been where I'm headed. Your advice and counsel is unwarranted. All that to say business is business. Separate the personal feelings and put on your business owner hat. If for one second you believe that you will only do business will people you love and adore, you need to stick with your day job.
Nevertheless, I digress. If you take nothing more from this conversation. Please understand the importance of networking with people that can help you and people you can help. Every networking event is not meant for you. So be INTENTIONAL! Support others by purchasing vendors slots. Show up and be ready to talk with others. DO NOT go to a networking event to toot your nose up and judge. Be open to gain something and if there is nothing to gain, be a resource.
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