Business networking gives you the opportunity to "hand-craft" the kind of people you want to spend time with.
It's one of the greatest #lifehacks ever.
You become more like the people you are around. And I want to be a successful entrepreneur. So I need to spend time with other successful entrepreneurs.
In the last few months, I've had the opportunity to network with several business women whom I admire for many reasons. They've all shown strength and determination in building their businesses and organizations.
They've made me better, just by their examples.
Plus, I've learned some very valuable things from them. Keep reading to get a few of these insights.
LaDonna Snow, President, Snowflake Designs
Snowflake Designs creates, manufactures, and sells gymnastics leotards, clothing, and accessories.
She began her business in her home by sewing leotards for her 2 1/2-year-old daughter. All they could find at the time were plain black or pink ballet leotards. The other gymnastics moms loved the little leos (as they call leotards in the business) and started paying her to make them for their daughters.
Here are a few of the 35+ employees LaDonna now has:
A lot of people start businesses in their homes. Many of them fail. Many of them stay in their homes and happily keep it as a lifestyle business.
Snowflake Designs is now a multi-million dollar business!
Was that LaDonna's original vision? I asked her and she laughed!
"No, I just knew I had to keep moving forward."
I suspect she had maaaaybe some idea ... but she just kept moving forward and growing without a limited or specific expectation except to keep going.
I'm taking that lesson to heart. I don't know exactly where I'm going, but it's absolutely toward growth.
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Farin Montanez, The Spirited Veg
I recently connected in person with Farin Montanez, journalist and blogger.
We've almost literally "run around each other" because we've been at the same road races or training in the park on the same days, but never met. (That's Farin on the left).
She's a journalist, but after the publication she works has been letting their most well-liked and locally-known journalists go (to save money? who's going to read their paper now?), she's "seeing the writing on the wall."
Forgive the pun.
Farin is now planning for the possibility that she'll be next.
What do you do when life might hand you lemons in the future? Start writing about and sharing lemonade recipes!
Along with #veganhacks, Farin shares stories, recipes, and vegan bentobox ideas on her new blog, The Spirited Vegan.
When I met with her, she was teaching herself:
- image editing
- HTML ...
It made me tired just to hear her talk about it!
She's taking massive action. Maybe not every bit of it is the optimal activity for her skill set and future endeavors, but that doesn't matter. As a runner, she knows the value of momentum. And as an entrepreneur, she knows the value of bootstrapping.
Where will the blog take her? She's not sure ... Farin's just moving forward. Sound familiar?
Alison Haugen, Business Coach
When I had lunch with Alison a few months ago, my intent was to tell her about my job search. She's a well-connected entrepreneur who knows the value of business networking.
Instead, she asked a question that changed the direction of my life.
Was that question the only reason? It was in part the timing, the work I had done in a seemingly unrelated venue, and her unique perspective.
She's someone I've known for years, though business, but not closely until now.
But sometimes, those are the best people to more clearly see what you're capable of!
You know the saying that a prophet is never appreciated in their hometown. It goes the other way, too.
We often don't listen to those closest to us when they tell us we can do something.
Alison asked me a question that many of them had also asked ... but because of her bigger picture perspective, I had a different answer than all the previous times.
(If you're a businesswoman who is wondering how a coach can help you, contact me and I'll connect you with Alison.)
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