How did this shy, observant, highly sensitive introvert become the owner of a successful top rated fabulously fun women’s networking organization?
Networking did not come naturally to me. I can assure you, in the early years, I hated it.
I didn’t know how to “talk to people.” In the lunch line, I could say “oh, that looks good,” or “isn’t it a beautiful spring day.” I secretly prayed they would run out of time so I wouldn’t have to give my 30-second introduction.
Speaking of 30-second introductions, although I had a killer tag line, I was TERRIFIED. I was SCARED I’d go over time and be booed and clapped off the stage.
I saw two visuals, the GIANT GONG from The Gong Show and the GIANT HOOK Ricky used to pull Lucy off stage. Yep, awkward shy me, being pulled off stage because I didn’t have anything relevant to say.
If I went somewhere new, I was happy sitting off by myself, not being forced to talk to people.
The funny thing. . . 20 years later, people remember my tag line. No one has ever told me they wish they would have pulled me off stage, that I sucked.
Although I hated networking, it led me to where I am today.
My first career was retail management. I was responsible for taking care of customers when they came into the store. Corporate was responsible for marketing and getting customers to the store.
Corporate wanted us to follow a script “Hello, welcome.” I was happy to follow the script because it made it easy for me to greet people
Before I left corporate America, I attended a 1-day conference for Women in Business. I learned:
- Most organizations will allow one to attend twice before deciding on membership.
- Helping with Registration is a Good Way to Meet People.
When I launched my first business, Errands Galore, I had lots of time and no money. I visited several groups before making decisions on membership.
I subscribed to the adage, “to be successful, one has to act successful.” I put on my biggest smile, prayed I looked okay, and faked it.
Helping with registration got me to where I am today.
I volunteered to help with registration, not because it was a good way to meet people, but because it was something to do. “Hello, welcome.” “Here’s your name badge. The restrooms are down the hall to the right.” “Lunch is buffet style and will be served at noon.”
I got to follow the script! I did not have to make small talk. I got to do what I did well in my first career.
In the process, I met people who were looking to contract with someone to help them with their business projects. I segued from errands to helping people run their businesses. I became a Business Concierge and founded The Platt Company.
I began working with a woman who launched a publication and held quarterly events. She then launched a women’s networking organization. I became the Administrator and helped her run her business. I saw what worked and what didn’t. While working as the Administrator, I also represented my company.
Together, we launched West Valley Women. Around 5 years ago, I purchased West Valley Women. Under my leadership, the organization has grown and flourished. You can read about it here and view photos of our events here.
Networking led me to where I am today. It’s a skill, something that can be learned.
In the early years, I didn’t acknowledge what I did well. I lacked confidence.
Yet, I learned . . .
- How to build relationships. Some of the people reading this blog are friends I met 10 to 20 years ago.
- The value of social connections.
- The benefits of attending regularly. Showing up is key.
- Subscribing to the adage, “to be successful, act successful” has merits.
- How to follow-up.
- How to write an introduction that works.
- The elements of Successful Networking that I call the “5 Secrets of Successful Networking™.
Most important, I learned how to write my own script. How to be my unique beautiful self without being cocky and over bearing. I’ve learned to embrace my sensitivities and use them to my advantage.
I can help you write your script, a personalized script that works for you.
I’ve built a career around networking. I can teach you how you can increase your sphere of influence, and how to use these connections to grow your business.
I can teach you how to be prepared so you will feel comfortable at any networking function. How knowing your purpose, understanding the “Why” is the underlying theme when writing your networking plan.
Let’s have a conversation. I offer group programs and work ‘one on one’ with individuals.
I work best with quiet, observant introspective individuals. I know what it feels like to be told “you’re too sensitive.”
I can help you become a Networking ROCK STAR!