We’ve all been there: You get an invite to an event and you have an inner monologue battle with yourself.
Pro: “This would be a great chance to connect with new people about my business.”
Con: “But I have so much to do. I should stay home and do laundry or work on that proposal for a potential client.”
Pro: “Laundry schmaundry. Get off your duff and go.”
And on and on the debate goes until you either talk yourself out of going or realize you could miss out on an opportunity that could grow your business. It’s easy to think that staying at the office or at home to do more work will generate more business than going out.
I often have this debate with myself about attending events, whether it’s for networking or otherwise. Going out and meeting new potential customers, or socializing with existing customers, is a sure way to generate more business. Nine times out of 10, going out will generate more business, or plant the seeds for more business, than staying at your office/home isolated. You also see and hear what other business owners are doing when you go out.
A good way to quiet the nagging voices in your head about attending an event is to check out what is said about the event, meeting or celebration on Facebook, event/company website, etc. Find out if anyone you know went last year, last week or last month to the gathering. What did they get out it? You just never know who you’ll bump into or what opportunities could fall into your lap.
Case in point, a couple of weeks ago six of our Make Mine a Million $ Business winners and members traveled to Washington, D.C., for a tour of the White House. If they hadn’t taken the initiative to respond to the email invitation sent from my office, they would have missed out. They’re motivation for going: Meeting other businesswomen and networking, networking, networking.
Diane Griffin of Security First & Assoc. told me she was using the White House opportunity as a way to network with “a diverse group of entrepreneurs, and successful professional people.”
Collette Chapman of Chapman Concierge was grateful to spend time with other Count Me In women and was excited about the government’s efforts in assisting women-owned business. “What a better way to share with these efforts.”
These women were open to the opportunity of making their businesses a million. Everyone should follow their example. If you believe in yourself and the possibilities before you, there’s nowhere to go but up. What are you doing to keep yourself open to possibilities?
You must have a yearly strategy for attending meetings and conferences by putting money aside in your annual budget specifically for this purpose. Adding it to your marketing budget is a good strategy. Another thought is you are the CEO, the face of your company. You need to be seen and heard. If you attend an event that you think is good find out how you can be a speaker or panelist in the future.
Try out these strategies. Decide which business-related holiday parties to attend and get out enjoy yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Nell Merlino is the Founder and President of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, the leading national not-for-profit provider of resources for women to grow their micro businesses into million $ enterprises. She is the creative force behind Take Our Daughters to Work Day and the author of “Stepping Out of Line: Lessons for Women Who Want It Their Way in Life, in Love, and at Work,” from Broadway Books, which is available on Amazon.com.