I have a difficult time going to business networking events…whew I finally said it out loud in a moment of vulnerability. This is my truth, it may not be your truth, but I invite you to reflect on my words and see if any of them resonate with you. If they do and even if they don’t I encourage you to reach out to me with your thoughts.
I get invited to all sorts of business networking events, they sound good at the time, and I tell myself I should go out and meet people, maybe I will make a connection, maybe someone will be interested in what I do. Then the day comes and I think to myself, do I have the energy for this? And by energy I don’t mean I am physically tired or worn out, I mean do I have the energy to be something I am not today, do I need to soften myself, do I need to shield myself or harden, do I need to wear a mask, who do I need to be today to be understood?
Do you resonate with these words at all?
Most events allow you 30 seconds to say who you are and what you do; this stresses me out. I have to rehearse how to explain decades of spiritual seeking and finding, 20 years of holistic healing and creative arts studies, and how I arm myself with this knowledge to teach women how to find their authentic voices, reclaim their energy and power and recognize their gifts. All while conveying some concrete reason why someone should work with me or come to a workshop. All why being authentic and trying to make a connection, when my work is so much deeper than a 30 second elevator speech.
And as we go around the room doing this I realize I certainly don’t feel safe being vulnerable, maybe saying “hey, I have no clients right now I could really use your help and support” or “I really need that first client to experience my work so they can share it with others.” It is just not what I see in the culture of business networking.
And I suspect no one else feels safe doing so either.
We don’t go to these meetings to be vulnerable and speak our truths, we want everyone to see how successful we are, because if we look successful then more people will want to work with us, buy from us. But there are times when really the opposite is true. Maybe we are just starting out; maybe, like me, you continue to add skills and transform your work, or it is really difficult to explain in 30 seconds or less, maybe what you do has to be felt and experienced. What I have found is the structure of business networking, even in the women’s networking events, is very masculine in energy, a lot of structure which is needed to keep time but the structure can be rigid and not fluid. It is exactly the same every time the meetings are held. There is a lot of doing and not a lot of being. There is often a lot of giving of information but not a lot of attention paid to receiving. Not a lot of deep connections made, not a lot of vulnerability and authenticity, and while I understand the purpose is business networking, I want to know and share so much more with women than just what they do to make money.
How would it feel to you if we started to do the opposite?
Maybe call it un-networking?
How would it feel if you came together with other women to share your truths, your stories, your successes and your struggles? How would it feel if when you met there were breakthroughs and transformations? How would it feel if you made deep connections, and women got to know you….I mean really know you? How would it feel if you were held in reverence by every woman in the circle, and supported regardless of what you do in the world? Whether you are a stay at home mom, retired, a creative entrepreneur, in sales, or maybe want to bring a more feminine presence into your masculine corporate world, or you are all or none of these things, you know that you have a place to come to be your authentic self in your LIFE which happens to include your work in the world. What if you can come to a place where you are inspired and are encouraged to inspire?
I feel strongly that when we come together this way and get to know each other deeply, that BUSINESS NETWORKING is a by-product of creating these kinds of relationships. We become women who trust each other, work together on each other’s success, begin to co-create and leverage each other's gifts in a meaningful way.
How does this sound to you?
Does this resonate?
I am in the process of creating a circle that supports any woman that is called to be a part of it, and I am sending out the call for you to join me. Please sign up for my newsletter to be notified when the circle will begin.