I had the pleasure yesterday of attending my first eWomen’s Network event. I’ve been getting emails from the local chapter for a few months now but had been procrastinating on going to one of the monthly meetings. This January meeting got my attention because the founder, Sandra Yancey, was going to be speaking. A quick look at Sandra’s bio tells you she’s got some good advice to share. I love the idea of networking with successful female business rock stars, so I filled out the registration form and off I went. It’s a New Year, not a time to procrastinate.
I’m guessing we’ve all had that feeling of apprehension that comes with walking into a room or event where there are no familiar faces and you feel like a complete outsider. As I walked up to the event yesterday I have to admit I was feeling a bit of a sense of dread. Gosh, what was I getting myself into. I have loads of work I could be doing right now… what was I thinking… is this really worth it? I pushed ahead, it was time to put my big girl networking face on!
I was immediately greeted with a warm welcome and an explanation of how the event worked. There was assigned seating at the tables (which I’m a fan of) and I was escorted into the exhibit area and welcomed by several exhibitors and other members. The room was cozy and inviting. I breathed a sigh of relief. I made a quick trip around the exhibit tables and then it was time to sit down for lunch.
After a brief welcoming, we were introduced to our table ambassador who lead introductions and generally got everyone chatting. Juliann Stitick, you did a great job. Thank you for being a great table host.
Next up was the keynote presentation from Sandra. She was polished, she was personable and she was passionate about her mission to help women entrepreneurs. She delivered a great talk as she shared her thoughts on what truly makes someone successful. She framed her message using the word ACCESS as an acronym.
A=It’s all about being Authentic. Be clear about who you are and what you need.
C=You need to constantly Cultivate new and existing relationship. Push yourself to build new relationships each month. Don’t just acquire contacts but build connections with people.
C=You have to Care. Nobody built a successful business kinda caring, you’ve got to be all in and love what you are doing.
E=Effort… you have to put the work in. Successful people are willing to do a lot of the things that unsuccessful people aren’t.
S=You have to Show Up. You may not always be ready but you have to show up… you’ll figure the rest out.
S=You’ve got to Stand Out. Focus on over delivering. It’s really crowded in the “me to” and “same as” lane but there’s no traffic jams in the “extra mile” lane.
What I’m not communicating in sharing the above is the wonderful stories and genuine connection I witnessed from Sandra and the many members in the room. And let me be clear, this was a group of highly successful and accomplished women including several best-selling authors, million dollar retailers, service providers, international speakers, and the list goes on. These ladies are business rock stars! Check out the Twitter stream from the event by searching hashtag #eWNconf.
I guess it’s pretty clear that I was impressed! I’m looking forward to learning and sharing with this new group of friends and will keep you posted on my adventures.