How to Network for Business

by Lisa on September 14, 2012

Part of the journey of becoming a successful woman is accepting change, moving through life with an open mind and accepting adventure and newness in your life.  All of this gives you the skills to teach your daughters, nieces and granddaughters and develop meaningful relationships in your life.

Because of my career choices and my husband’s, I have lived in 9 different cities.  This includes special assignments when I was with Levi Strauss & Company.  As I landed in Dallas Texas for a career move, I quickly realized the importance of friendships and I knew absolutely no one in Texas.  Making new friends was on the top of my list and I became very good at it.

how to network for business

photo from Town and Country magazine

Whether you work for a corporation or you are an entrepreneur, your professional life crosses into your personal life and vice versa.  When I landed in Philadelphia ten years ago, again I was faced with not knowing a soul.  I had to start from scratch to build my business and my friendships.  To start the growth of my business, I attended as many networking events as possible. One day, about 9 years ago, I attended a networking event just for women.  A woman on the panel of speakers stood in front of the group and “wowed” us with her innate sense of style and charisma.  I instantly knew we would become friends.  And boy did we ever!

You never know who, where and when you are going to meet someone, especially a new friend that will survive the test of time and life changes.  Yes, I met her at a business networking event but it did not stop there.  Not only have we partnered on many business ventures over the years, we have cooked together, meditated at yoga retreats together, traveled and got lost at Penn Station together, appeared at a television audition soaked to the bone from a rain storm with frizzy hair together….you get the picture….a lovely, deep connection all from one networking event.  It is called being in the right place at the right time all with an open mind about who is standing next to you and how they might brighten your life.  The person I am speaking about is JoJami Tyler of the popular blog, Fabulous After 40.

Once you start networking, it all becomes six degrees of separation.  We really do live in a small world.  JoJami introduced my to Laura Novak.  At the time Laura was starting her photography business and I needed to update my headshot.  I attended a “headshot” day that JoJami organized and ended up with a photograph that has served me and business well over the years.

Ten years later, I  ran into Laura Novak again at  Femfessionals, a networking event/organization for women.   Laura suggested I meet with Tracy Elliman, her business development manager. Laura now owns Little Nest Portraits which has three locations in Wilmington, Delaware, Glen Mills and in Wayne, PA.  As Tracy and I were meeting and discussing ways in which we could partner on events for children we discovered something we have in common!  I happened to compliment Tracy on her dress.  It was a hot and humid summer day and Tracy certainly had dressed the part.  She was visiting with area schools about “picture day” and she did a great job of dressing the part. Tracy had on a shift dress, Jackie O style.  It was timeless and so pretty (as is Tracy).  As women do at times, we started talking about style, dressing etc.  We discovered, she too, knows JoJami.  Not only do they know each other, JoJami had picked out and styled the dress Tracy was wearing. Of course we talked about how great it is to have a piece in your wardrobe that is still so stylish and works so well for so many different types of events (note her closed toed wedges; perfect for a casual business meeting) .  A big part of networking is establishing a connection or commonalities. What a small world.

Femfessionals networking

Tracy Elliman, business development for Little Nest Portraits

Never underestimate the power of networking.  If you are looking to grow your business, meet leaders and entrepreneurs in your community, check out a new group that has formed across the country, Femfessionals. They  have chapters nationwide. You never know where you are going to make your next business connection or friendship.

Open yourself up to new things and adventures.

Now, go get dressed and network with abandon and adventure on your mind.

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