I don’t love networking. I know that those of you who know me are likely saying ‘yeah, right Angie!?!” And I get that as most people see me as outgoing and extroverted. However, I find networking in its’ traditional sense to be incongruent and uncomfortable.
Too often I find myself in a networking situation where I’m chatting with someone, wanting to learn more about them and the conversation ends invariably ends up being a “sales” pitch from one or the other of us. And that’s just not comfortable or what I’m looking to do.
I’m looking to create strong, honest relationships; to build a positive community where everyone is accepted and loved for who they are and what they bring to the table. In today’s business terms, I’m really seeking to build my “tribe” and to surround myself with people who see the value in working together, being there for each other, and helping each other grow.
Over the last year though as I ramp up my networking, I’ve been wondering is there a better way to: connect with each other? Learn in a more a natural setting about each other? Have honest, heartfelt, and real conversations with other women entrepreneurs?
On a personal level, it’s always been the REAL conversations that have forged strong bonds, connections that last over decades, and that help lead to personal growth. It’s these honest conversations that have allowed me to surround myself by women who inspire me both on a personal and professional level.
So I asked myself, why wouldn’t this work on a professional level with women entrepreneurs? Why couldn’t we have the honest, real, and practical conversations about how we balance work, life and pleasure? Why couldn’t we have some rich, deep conversations that were sprinkled with real life experience? That forged strong bonds between those involved as we spoke freely about our lives and our businesses?
So I decided to test my theory. And, it turns out that as women entrepreneurs we can have these conversations. And that these conversations can help us quickly and effectively establish the sense of trust, that we’re in this together, and that we’re here to support each other. And they can help us move ourselves and our businesses forward.
A small group of 10 women proved this theory in September 2016 at the 1st monthly Collective Wisdom Evening Retreat. By blending the personal stories of two inspirational women entrepreneurs with some thought provoking questions, we had some of the most honest, fun, and engaging conversation that I’ve ever been a part of. Belly laughter included! I can’t wait to repeat it this month!
If you are interested in becoming part of one of these monthly conversations, check out the Collective Wisdom Evening Retreat page where I’ll be posting monthly themes, speakers biography’s, and generally keeping everyone up to date with what’s happening around these exciting conversations. You'll also find a link to buy a ticket to our next event!
I’m looking forward to connecting with you over wine, appetizers, and some great conversation soon! If you have a theme you'd like to explore at a Collective Wisdom event, please share it in the comments below. I'm always looking for new ideas!