Not that long ago if you had asked me to go and ‘network’ with 25 business women, my response would have been “I would rather stick pins in my eyes!” I was used to working in a male-dominated environment where there was a distinct lack of support between working women. It was just easier to be ‘one of the lads’.
Breaking free from the 9-5
I made the bold move of starting my own business, a little under three years ago. Many people advised on the importance of networking, but I couldn’t get past the thought of walking into a huge room and nobody talking to me.
On my first day as a Sole Trader, I took the bull by the horns and attended my first women’s networking meeting. Guess what? I survived! I would even go as far as saying I relaxed and enjoyed myself.
I discovered that when women are doing something they believe in and are passionate about, they are not only interesting to talk to; they genuinely want to help and support you in being a success.
Some of the most inspiring networkers make you feel like you are the only person in the room. They seamlessly introduce you to a number of people with effortless style, as though they had known you for years.
As a result of networking, I have generated business, been asked to speak at a number of events and evenings and created a support network of fascinating and inspiring women in business.