Today I did something a little out of my comfort zone, that I’ve been meaning to do for some time. I went to a networking event. I always used to enjoy networking and feel that I was actually pretty good at it, but two kids later and feeling a little out of touch with my corporate self (which isn’t a bad thing!), I was a bit nervous. Especially as I had to take my smallest along with me…
We had plenty of excuses not to go (Tesco running late, deliveries turning up as we were trying to get ready, a dirty nappy when we were finally about to leave), but, armed with toys and snacks, off we went (albeit a little late).
It was a small meeting of local business owners (all women), who all knew each other – which made it even more intimidating. While everyone was friendly, it felt like an established group, plus they appeared older, wiser and more experienced than me. It took me back to my early corporate days when I was usually the youngest in any meeting and I had to work hard to establish my credibility.
How it all went down…
So, me and the small one turned up, trying to exude confidence from the start, despite the fact I had a baby strapped to my front, a rucksack on my back and milkstains on my top!
I’ve spoken before about how I need to get better at ‘selling myself’ (and my products) and I think (hope!) I did a pretty good job at speaking confidently about them. (Remember I had the added pressure of a 10-month old too – although she was, as usual, very well behaved.)
It was definitely worth going, for the confidence boost it’s now given me that I can do this (especially with baby in tow), it gave me an opportunity to practice speaking about my products, to a group of people who know nothing about me, or them. In fact, I even sold a box of swaddles to a lady who has a baby shower coming up!
I think, especially in the early days, it’s good to talk to as many people as you can about your business, as you just have to be brave and get out there. Today, I’ve done both!
One rookie mistake was forgetting to bring any products along with me (which is annoying, as I always have at least one in my bag…until the day I really needed to have one in my bag!) Something for next time though.
Plus, from a personal perspective, everyone I met was interesting and they all have businesses that offer services I will definitely be making use of.
So, all in all, a good start to the week and to the year! Go me!