Networking - a Chance To Learn About Yourself and Others
If you have read, seen or heard Steve Jobs’ speech to the graduate students of Stanford University you will recall he told the graduates, that you can see your path by looking backward but are never sure where the future path will take you. I can certainly relate to that.
Networking Assists and Supports Others
I started out in the Travel Industry, then studied to be a teacher, established a craft market, spent time in a classroom, and then had a role assisting international families to settle into a new country and community. Then I worked in real estate before starting my own business, Your Time Matters. I never would have thought I would be running networking events to assist business professionals!
The common thread I see when I look back as Steve Jobs suggested, is a strong link between
· Love of people
· Teaching and facilitation
· Building community and networks
· Finding solutions
· Event organisation
And, most importantly helping others achieve what matters to them and making a difference in their lives.
For the past 9 years, I have run my business Your Time Matters. My original tag was “Do what you do best and delegate the rest to us”. I helped individuals, business professionals, families and international executives with the time consuming things they had on their to do lists. As the business developed, the tag changed to “Finding Solutions for your Lifestyle and Business".
So where does networking fit? When I started Your Time Matters, I knew the most cost effective way to build my business with a limited marketing budget, was to build a network. To increase brand awareness and visibility of my service, I needed to meet people. I knew it was important to engage with other business owners who could help me develop my business skills, build relationships with people who in time would become my advocates, suppliers and clients.
My ability to make conversation and ask the right questions were key skills I had developed throughout my career. I had a diverse network and the ability to connect and establish relationships.
Learn Grow Achieve
Five years ago, I changed the tagline of my business to “ Learn Grow Achieve” and I now focus on creating opportunities that allow business owners, professionals and teams, to find the solutions they need through our vibrant community which provides support, connection, knowledge and opportunities to real have deeper and authentic conversations about running a business.
YTM events run monthly in Brighton , in addition I have used my unique Conversation Starter Cards with various organisations and in a conference setting to make sure participants connect in a relaxed and effective way taking their networking conversations from “awkward” to “awesome” . My many years of escorting groups overseas, creating communities, and witnessing how crucial a support network is, has developed my interpersonal relationship skills and I encourage better and deeper conversations to support individuals to grow personally and professionally.
As a teacher, I knew that my role was very much facilitation, to know where to find the answers, as it is at YTM. I seek out presenters to extend our knowledge because often “we don’t know what we don’t know”.
We can spend too much time “in” our business and easily delay working “on” our business. My teaching experience helped me to design three formats, providing time each month for our participants to reflect and work “on” their business as gaining insight from expert presenters who may challenge current systems and processes, or, introduce new concepts and ideas to implement.
Conversations to Amplify and Inspire
With such a diverse background, and having had conversations with many, many interesting people, I spent last year writing a book “Two Ears, One Mouth and a Big Hear – Conversations to Amplify and Inspire”. I share many stories of many local heroes and my thoughts on the value of networking. The book is due to be released in March, 2019. If you would like to know when and where it is available please drop me a line HERE and I will be in touch.