This week’s guest blog is brought to you by Hannah Liversidge
I must admit I used to be a little sceptical about one-gender networking. Perhaps it’s because of past experiences with some meetings being the “general” business owner…please note that I am a woman and believe that we (as well as men) can do anything, but I was a little underwhelmed when I went to my first one-gender networking group, where there were a lot of florists, bridal-wear and hypnotherapists.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think that we need all of these professions, but ladies please at least have someone in there that isn’t the stereotype!
Thankfully my first experience was not like my most recent ones. I decided to get back into networking and I thought our latest business AlcheBee (which specialises in beeswax, natural products) would work fantastically with women in business, because, as I am happy to admit, we do love getting little gifts for our friends, (or is that just me?). So, after a bit of pushing, I went to my first all-female networking group (Athena cappuccino connections) and I must admit, I wish I had done it before. There wasn’t an overwhelming number of ladies in the stereotypical business and they were so supportive of each other it was like a breath of fresh air.
So why had I kept away from this for so long? Because, again, fear came into play. I was fearful that if I joined an all-ladies networking group that I may only get in touch with the same type of woman, boy was I wrong! In my first meeting I gained 2 new potential clients, my second (at Ladies at 11 in Richmond which has now unfortunately closed) I had 4 ladies who wanted to chat with me and 2 of which are now clients. My first experience could have made me miss out on so much more.
So, what have you missed out on because of your first experience with something? It may not be networking, it may be something as simple as using a certain business tool or service. Don’t let the first impression stop you from a future that could be bright.
Hannah Liversidge: Is the Founder of Amethyst PA and also runs “Get Virtual” consultations to help ensure our clients make the most of outsourcing being virtual. Hannah also looks after key clients and remains the first port of call for all tasks and connect with new clients through networking. Connect with her on twitter: @amethystpa or visit her website http://amethystpa.co.uk/