Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Manning Up

I have spent my entire adult life working in the marketing and communications fields. I consider myself a good writer, a halfway decent speaker, and a relatively engaging person. And yet, I SUCK AT NETWORKING. I am just not good at walking into a room full of people and making connections without a wingperson.

This morning an opportunity presented itself for me to attend a local small business event. The registration process and fee was waived and the new Governor would be speaking, as well as a nationally recognized entrepreneur. Aside from being interested in hearing these gentleman speak, and the allure of hotel meal without the hotel stay, I was interested in attending to push myself outside of my comfort zone.

It is not that I don't WANT to network or that I am incapable, I am just...shy? I know, I know, hard to believe for those that know me personally.

So, I got up early, left the house before my lovelies were awake and drove down to Greenwich in the pouring rain, prepared to aggressively network.

And then I realized I had a total of ONE business card in my purse.

And then, when I got there, I realized it was a room full of older men in dark suits. I was at least wearing a suit and heels, but being 5' and female, the room was intimidating. Especially considering there were about 500 people jammed into the lobby of the venue.

Apparently my networking strategy revolves around movement. I proceeded to walk back and forth across the lobby for a good half hour. I figured instead of standing still, checking my 'Berry and chugging my coffee, if I was moving at least I had a chance at making eye contact.

And I did.

With the guy dressed as a paint brush promoting a small local painting contractor.

1 comment:

Wenderina said...

Once again, my word is priceless. Thing you have to remember at these things is that a lot of other people feel just like you. You have to sort of walk up to a person (or even a few people already engaged in a conversation) and stick your hand out and introduce yourself. The hardest thing is breaking the ice.

But maybe you at least got a coupon for painting your house?