Sometimes people have a difficult time believing that I am introverted.  Maybe that’s because I can strike up conversations with almost anyone (if I have to), or because I can stand in front of hundreds of people and talk about topics I am passionate about.  However, the older I get, the more introverted I seem to be.  As a solopreneur in such a unique industry, it is particularly important to network and connect with people in the community. Personally, I use social media to help. We’ll talk more about that later.

Another very important tool is a tip I got from Lisa Gillispie over at Anatomy Conversations. She was sharing her story with one of my classes and telling us how she overcame her “stuff” around networking. Three words: Make it fun. 

That moment and another with a client added to my life purpose. 

Neither woman probably has a clue how much they changed my life with such simple sharing.  We are all teachers. ❤ 

But I digress (surprise, surprise)…

I belong to two wonderful local networking organizations: Awesome Women In Business and DamesBond. Over the years, I have found that these groups resonate most with who I am and want to be. Take some time to discover which organizations work best for you, there are so many possibilities out there! If you need help figuring out how to start, let me know.

Yesterday, I attended an un-conference (DamesProsper) presented by DamesBond.  These fabulous dames have monthly events, but this was an all-day annual kind of thing. I have been a member for years and due to scheduling or personal conflicts (read don’t feel like stepping outside the zone), only seem to get to one-or-two gatherings per year. (Yeah yeah, not the fastest way to make connections with any group. Since I tend to be more tortoise than hare, I’ m relatively cool with it.) 

I was on the fence. ~ Do I go? Do I skip it?

Ugh… that kind of stuff can be fabulous. Or not.

And is way outside my comfort zone, especially in Winter.

Then the email came.

Not one from DamesBond. One from my friend, Cindy (a fantastic e-Merge Realtor by the way). She was just letting some of us know about the DamesProsper event and that she would be there. That was all I needed; to know that someone I truly enjoy spending time with was going to be there.  Someone I already knew to sit next to. Someone who wasn’t going to ask a lot of questions about who I am and what I do. Just like most of my students, I’m not always ready to deal with that. Shh, don’t tell them. 😉

Anyway… after ignoring multiple emails about the event, with one note from a friend, I found the time and money to register. Within the hour.  Yep, sometimes it’s like that, isn’t it? Suddenly you just feel like this is what you should do, where you should be. And sometimes you act on that feeling.

This time I did.

I have to tell you that after years of attending conferences, lectures, classes, networking events and that kind of stuff, I tend to keep my expectations pretty low. I figure if I can walk away with one good nugget, or one good connection, I’m golden. Any more is a bonus. Well… yesterday was the goose that laid the golden egg. 

The presenters were fabulous; the women compassionate, generous, talented, and wise; the theme my ideal ~ collaboration.

A truly inspiring day. Thank you Mary B. and Steering Committee! Thank you Cindy and all of you brilliant shining women, for sharing yourselves, being authentic, and mostly, for having my back! I feel you. I know you’re there. And even though it’s waaayyyyy outside my zone… I’m going to let you stay there. Lean on you. 

Thank you for yesterday and for many tomorrows.

PS.This event was made EXTRA FUN by the fact that it was held at Shadowbox Live, with great food, drinks and entertainment! A local gem. If you haven’t been there, get going.

PPS. This post (2/20 in the February Blog Challenge) was inspired by Susan Duve of Royal Fireworks Sauces. Thanks Susan, this one’s for you!