Networking:€”It’€™s Just a Muscle

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Networking is a word that makes some cringe and gets others excited. For most it can be an experience that they dread, yet as "passionpreneurs", it is a necessary skill to hone, or "muscle" as we like to call it.

Passionprenuersa are, as the name indicates, entrepreneurs that are deeply passionate about what they do yet often time are not so passionate about getting their message out, namely networking.

The idea of a small amount of time, generally 1-2 minutes, in which to "get out" their "elevator speech" can send some into cold sweats.

Honing down the "elevator speech", what you do, why you do it and the transformation you offer, can seem daunting. We know, we are in the process of refining the words we use to say what we do.

But contrary to what we may believe there is a lot you can say in 1-2 minutes, it is all about being clear on what your message is and how you want to convey the work you are so passionate about.

Tonight we went to our first "Speed Networking" event right here in Petaluma. It was held at a local coffee shop, Aqus Café. We met at 8pm and 26 local business owners showed up for the event. Split into tables of between 4 and 6 people each one had 2 minutes to convey their message, their "elevator speech."

Cemaaj and I split up and both worked the tables, next time we will do it together. We did six rounds each. Aqus Café says it's like speed dating without the kissing!

And just like a muscle, even though this was our first time, we both felt our "elevator speech" got better each round, and we got more comfortable doing it. What seems daunting is often only so because we have not "practiced" it very much. Going to an event like tonight, in a small community setting, without the pressure of trying to "get clients" can be an invaluable to work your "networking muscles."

Not only will the muscle become stronger the more you use it but in this instance we got to know some pretty cool people in our community. This event was not just about building our own businesses but building the community at the same time. A win win situation.

We will be back next month for the next event and will keep working our networking muscle. Are you using your networking muscle or do you find yourself trembling at the thought of getting out there?

As runners often say, the hardest step in running is the one out of the door. We invite you to take that first step and you might be surprised at how quickly your muscle gets in shape!