Networking Meetings – ‘What a load of rubbish’.
When you start your own business it seems that everyone suddenly wants a piece of you.
Almost every person you speak to has a nephew that builds websites.
Papers and magazines are desperately interested in you advertising through them.
Charities want your products or time.
Business card companies email you six times a day.
And then there are those Networking groups that you must join…and it all costs money you don’t have.
Networking meetings were about as high on my list of priorities as planned root canal surgery, after all it’s basically paying to have a chat isn't it?
Well, Miss Smarty Pants, that’s where you were wrong.
It took me about two years to join a local business club and now I’m kicking myself that it wasn’t earlier.
I got chatting to a local Gym owner at Christmas dinner and he explained how the support had helped him through his early years of business. It really opened my eyes to how much I had been struggling with various aspects of self-employment alone and suddenly somebody understood.
We shared geography and customers and those are the keys to really understanding pricing and local attitudes to start-up businesses.
I recently suffered a set-back that threw my confidence out of the window completely. My plan was to honour the bookings that I had and make plans to shut down.
I’d had a good go, but ultimately I just had to realise I just wasn’t any good at working for myself.
Then came another one of those networking meetings….
This time with a speaker so inspirational I realised that actually we all feel like that every now and again.
We all work for nothing sometimes.
We all have a completely empty bank account sometimes.
We all miss important time with our families.
But, we all have the seed of an idea that can work, it really can, you just have to dig deep and go for it.
So I've started digging - and it’s thanks to CAP Business Clubs that I am.
There will be clubs along similar lines in your area. Have a look around. You WILL get work from it. You WILL help other people with your knowledge and contacts and you WILL suddenly have a team of people on your side, helping through the rough days.
Networking turns out not to be so rubbish after all.
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