I have always thought of Networking events to be very corporate and a place where only people with big business go. I used to work in an Estate agent so the Networking events I saw were always run by solicitors or accountants and were very corporate and everyone who went was very confident and dressed very smart. I never thought for a minute that I would fit in with my book and blog writing business at a networking event so I shied away from going to any.
It wasn’t until I found this amazing group over Facebook called Mums in Business Association and found so many like mind mums running their own business. It was set up by two sisters Leona Burton and Estelle Keeber to create a safe networking environment for mums running their own business (it is also open to ladies that do not have any children or grandmothers). The group is so supportive, everyone helps build each other up and inspire one another to succeed. Mum’s in Business Association or MIBA for short also offer child friendly networking events in over 50 locations worldwide.
I am a shy, anxious person and not very good at talking in a room of people so the thought of going to a networking event even if it is with like minded friendly mums filled me with fear. I was part of the group for well over a year reading all the post, looking at the photos from events wishing I could get over my fear and attend one.
It wasn’t until after I had my first book published that I decided that I needed to start meeting people face to face to do some networking as well as build my confidence of talking in public. I finally bit the bullet and booked my first event at my local Somerset MIBA networking event.
On the day of the event I was so nervous, a few people that were attending I had spoken to them before over the Facebook page but to meet them and others I didn’t know in person was quite daunting to me. I was worried that the event would be full of very confident ladies all trying to be heard about their business and I will end up getting lost in the room.
I couldn’t have been more wrong all my worries and fears were completely for nothing. Everyone at the events were so friendly and welcoming and no one was competing for space. Some of the ladies even run similar business and instead of treading over each other they helped one another and thought up ways to work together. There was also a few others that like me were also nervous but we were welcomed and listened to.
The event felt more like meeting friends for a chat than a business network event. However on a business level the event was a huge success I made some amazing new contacts, promoted my business and even made sales on my book and most of the other ladies attending did too. It is amazing to see how everyone supports and up lifts one another. You can also bring your children with you so no need to find childcare to attend an event.
I have attended 3 events now and will be attending more. As well as Networking all events have a guest speaker giving out advice on different areas of business and each attendee gets a goodie bag packed full of amazing gifts and samples from ladies in the main networking group.
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