Yesterday, I attended the Womenetics Young Entrepreneurs 2012 – The Millenial Money Makers symposium in Atlanta. I had the opportunity to meet many female entrepreneurs who are truly following their passion & living their dreams. Julie Smolyansky of Lifeway Foods was the keynote & spoke about becoming (through the tragic & sudden passing of her father) the youngest CEO of a publicly held company in history (she was a mere 27). Wow! What a down-to-Earth, funny and lovely woman. Julie epitomizes the principles we tout at Beauty and the Business. From traveling to foreign countries to provide hands on interaction & charity work to incorporating her 3 year old’s “tweet that” remark into her speech to blatantly taking on her decades older, male counterparts by standing up for her beliefs – this chick gets it! I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her speak & would encourage you to check out her story here.
The topic of networking seems often to stir a lot of discussion among entrepreneurs as it relates to: new business owners feeling intimidated, introverts having difficulty in an extroverts arena, what to wear, to sell or not to sell etc etc. I try to think of things in as simple terms as possible. As I age, fewer & fewer situations fluster me and here are my general thoughts on networking.
Mind-Set of Business Networking:Networking can be invaluable in terms of simply placing yourself in a situation to encounter people, companies, jargon, inspiration and knowledge you would not otherwise encounter. For example, I came across 2 companies yesterday that support women-owned start-ups right in my own backyard. See networking as a way, not just to make connections, shake hands & sell. See it more as a juxtaposition for your future. For you never know what or whom you will see, whose path you were meant to cross, what words will stick in your mind for the perfect future reference. While being an entrepreneur will stretch & grow YOU like nothing else will, you well know I am a staunch believer in staying true to yourself. And networking is no different. Be yourself. Whatever that is….just be yourself. No lofty expectations. If you’re a natural salesperson, by all means, do your thing. And if you’re not, I suggest you think of networking as a “who knows” opportunity. Nothing more, nothing less.
Beauty: If you have doubts about what to wear to a business networking event, you cannot go wrong with a nice pair of slacks & stylish (business appropriate) blouse. Make sure to accessorize & spend some time on your hair. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable about how you look. Having your appearance put together will foster a put-together mind set. Don’t skimp on time spent considering & implementing the physical aspect.
If you have certain go-to pieces of clothing, networking mantras or experiences, etc you’d like to share….I’d love to hear from you!!