Networking is like stroking a cat (& more pearls of wisdom!)


This is copied from my personal blog but wanted to share on the WIBN blog.  I am member and chair of the Wokingham Group.


Today has been a good day. Today was the day I got back on track with my life and my business. So today’s the day to restart my blog.

My plan was to kick-start this blog when the kids went back to school. That was over a month ago. It didn’t happen. It’s a long story and I’ll blog about the last month soon. But for now I’m focusing on today.

I woke up and didn’t feel exhausted. I woke up and couldn’t wait to get started.

Today I got together with the most wonderful group of women. A super enthusiastic bunch of women, all running their own businesses. We get together for a monthly meet up to chat business, share ideas, put people in touch and generally get some good vibes going when it comes to our work.

I’m the lucky person who gets to chair the group & to keep everyone in line. Well, not really keep everyone in line, they’re a great gaggle, but if I didn’t keep my eye on the clock there’d be kids waiting for mum at the school gates and coffee time could easily transition into cocktail hour.

So, what pearls of wisdom did we share today?

Well our resident beauty guru summed up networking by saying it’s like stroking a cat. Keep stroking that cat and one day it’ll come sit on your lap. And yes, we all totally got that.

Our amazing fashion stylist said that what makes our group so exciting and so credible is not just what we all do. But how we all do it. Competence needs to go hand in hand with confidence. With 20+ women sitting around that table, we have competence and confidence by the bucket load and it’s wonderful.

Our graphic designer talked up the benefits of getting together face to face with people , chatting through your businesses, opening up about your flaws and being honest enough to ask for help. Delegate the tasks you’re rubbish at so that you can focus on the stuff you’re brilliant at. I straightaway got home, messaged the amazing VA in the group and asked her take over my database. I feel lighter already.

Our SEO expert was inspired to run workshops to share her knowledge and since she started them, they’ve sold out. So a big shout out to our networking associate who made the suggestion.

And for me, the photography PR junkie, the September session focused on feedback. Our newbie business coach gave us the lowdown on ‘the shit sandwich’ (an industry term apparently) and how to give feedback without hacking people off. I listened, I learned , I actioned. Client appreciated the feedback and they were cool about it, rebooked us and offered us more money. So happy days.

We ended the October meet up with tips on how to turn challenges into opportunities and will report back in another month’s time. That month will fly by so best get cracking on those challenges. The first of which is to get blogging again.

Sometimes it’s good to be one step ahead rather than on the back foot and I just know this month will they’ll be a spring in that step.

Have a great month!

Rachel Bradley