Networking Makes Me Tired
Conferences are exhausting. And yes, I know I have been to three in the last 6 months (Blogher, Rockstar Marketing Bootcamp, Ewomen Network). There’s an element of content overwhelm going on. But aside from the sheer number of learning opportunities placed in front of you, if you are introverted, it is also mentally and emotionally draining to be “on” for numerous days straight. I mentally steel myself before these events to prepare for the abundance of networking that makes these things work. And part of why I keep pushing myself into these situations, is because it is uncomfortable. Meeting and understanding and finding synergy with new people is hard. And not everyone is partner, collaborator or role model material.
When It’s Not a Fit
Sure there were people I didn’t jive with at all:
- Nice Lady from LA who was all super religious (not spiritual) and trying to convince me to sign up for a mastermind when I wasn’t vibing with the leadership. .yeah, no.
- Or Tricky Dude who tried to convince me that he knew the perfect coaching program for me (even though he knew nothing about me and he himself had yet to see any results from his program).
That feeling you get in your gut when you first meet someone may not always be accurate but it is telling you something. Now that I teach workshops around unconscious bias, I challenge people to unpack their assumptions and get curious. But after you ask the questions, trust the answers you are getting. Not everyone is meant to help you grow. Some of the people you encounter are serving to introduce you to the right people, and create new pathways. That’s good too.
Finding The Inspiring Few
But then there was Carol, the author from Connectiut who is on tear speaking because of one free engagement. And there was M and D who wanted to interview me for their new podcast (fingers crossed) and see if we could work together in the near future.
And there was Annette, who is a coach like me, only 20 years older who was amazed that I had so much wisdom so young, knew what I wanted, and was making my life a reality. She kept reminding me how amazing it was that my business was profitable. :0 And it occurred to me that meeting new people is all about getting to tap into someone else’s perspective. She helped me see myself as a role model, just by way of doing things my way.
the best version of you. . . you know who that is, and you don’t tap into her enough!
And there was Sandra and Rachel, and so many others who I connected with on some level through our shared experience. When you find yourself in a room full of people dedicated to building a business, there are a few topics that are sure to come up:
- The toxicity of Corporate American work culture
- The need to understand and define your own worth
- Having the right mindset as a critical component in any and all success
These people not only affirm your journey as a small business owner, they also keep you focused on the reasons you chose this path in the first place.
Marcia not Marsha
And then there was Marcia, who reminded me that being around the right people, pushes you up intrinsically, causing you to look back on yourself and want to be the best version of you. Because you know who that is, and you don’t tap into her enough! My last night in LA, I found myself without a hotel room (long story – maybe I’ll put that in a different post). And Marcia, an ewoman I had met over the summer happened to be at this same conference, and happened to have room in her room for one more. There are no coincidence. I think I may have been at that conference, just to spend that one night bunking with Marcia.
Her being herself was the most powerful of all.
I was extremely grateful for the offer and gladly accepted. I was already enamored by this woman because of the success of her business and her seemingly boundless energy, but what I wasn’t expecting was the impact her regular routines would have on me. Her being herself was the most powerful of all.
That evening I went to dinner in the hotel to unwind.
Marcia spent 3 hours working on her operations manual.
The next morning I slept in, tossing under the hotel duvet.
Marcia was up at 6, reading and doing a daily meditation.
I rolled over.
She went to the gym.
She didn’t have to say anything for me to hear the message loud and clear. Successful people are disciplined. Routines foster discipline. If you know the routine that works best for you (and I do) you have no excuse to not be leveraging it.
At 8:30 when Marcia went to take a shower, I felt so guilty/lazy/ashamed I ended up working out for 30 minutes, doing my meditation for the day and making a recommitment to my daily writing routines. She didn’t have to say anything. And I’m sure she wasn’t doing anything to intentionally solicit a response from me either. She wasn’t even thinking about me! That’s the thing about role models. Their influence is more powerful than words. They don’t have tell you, they show you, and then the onus is on you to watch, learn, and adapt.
Beast Mode Pays Off
This month is going to be hectic with travelling, and teaching, and continuing to work on my member site, and edit content. But it is all worth it. Every once of disciplined work time I am putting in is reaping amazing rewards. I’ve seen it pay off already this year when I look at all my business has done for me:
- I got to take my husband out of the country for his birthday.
- I made sure my son had an awesome birthday with his friends in the Park (it was a perfect day).
- I took myself to LA on the company’s dime and had no issue having breakfast and dinner in the hotel restaurant each night.
It was a sweet relief to know that I worked hard for all of this. I did this. And I am going to keep doing it. And along the way, I get to take people with me. I get to inspire others, start a movement, make the world better by shining my light; being a role model.
If you are still in your first couple years of business and struggling to figure it out, this one is for you. This one goes out to everyone out there brave enough to keep doing it. I see you. And I thank you for being who you are.