Put Your Big Girl Pants On!
I have been in business now for nearly 2 years, growing, tweaking and developing my virtual assistant business. The journey from the nervous beginnings to where I am now has been exciting, challenging and a steep upward learning curve.
The biggest challenge I have faced is networking!! I had been advised that the best and most effective way in growing my business is to get meeting people face to face. ‘People buy people’ they say.
So last year I decided to give it a try. Armed with my notes for my 1 minute elevator pitch and a pile of business cards, I hesitantly walked into the room. Luckily for me I already knew one face and on entering the room I saw another friendly face. Phew, broken in nice and easily I sat down with 6 other attendees ready for the speakers. All the time I was listening, I knew I would have to stand up in a room full of nearly strangers and sell my precious business. My palms began to sweat when the introductions started and before I knew it, it was my turn. I couldn’t let go of my piece of paper with exactly what I wanted to say but in 60 short seconds I was done and could breathe. That was the most nerve wracking bit of this whole self-employed journey.
After the introductions, it was time to circulate the room and get chatting to like-minded businesses. After speaking to a couple of people I looked around the room, another opportunity to ‘spread the word’. Everyone was talking to someone else, what now? Do I leave and take the success that I had been to my first networking event and survived, or do I continue to get to know more business people? I chose the latter, and started speaking to a lovely lady who I believe requires my services and made my first proper connection.
Walking away from that first event I was very grateful to Simon Cox at Kettering Business Network Group for his networking event and Bryan Lade for the one face I already knew. It was a great relaxed environment to meet like-minded business people.
I am pleased to say that after a few more networking events with KBN I am now even venturing out to other groups. If you are feeling a little like me on your first step of the journey, take a deep breath and (my favourite saying) put your big girls pants on!