Let’s face it, being here, right now, at this time of our lives … different. The pages of the book of our lives turn a little too fast, like those animated cartoons they draw and then wizz the pages by so frantically until it all seems to come alive. Woosh!
Everyone though is different. Some are content with the blessings bestowed and some well … really starting all over again. Complacent or energised? So much to do, much to accomplish, a few dreams to be dusted. Life not even close to settling.
Starting or building up a business at this stage … it’s not so different to all generations. We have the same blocks to build, the same networks to form, the same goals to achieve. When it comes to networking … it is different. We are fortunate to have the experience, so you see, times it does count. Might not be in your known field, you may be wanting something totally different, but this is where I find the concept of networking so special. And more so as a women in her Silver Street.
Let me tell you why. And this is important.
I network a great deal for my business. What I have found so enriching about most of it, is that the people I network with, almost all become friends.
Women are like that. We don’t meet on a golf course or in a board room, but in a coffee shop, over lunch, in a park, in our homes. Sharing similar goals and ideals on how to achieve financial freedom. Doing what we love, be it in the creative, financial, medical or education fields. We chat, first about ourselves, our families, our history and before long we are connected on a deeper level – we actually care about each other over and above our business interests. We want to help each other on a level deeper than business. How can we help? How do we tell others and recommend their business? Foster their goals? How do we serve someone who is perhaps, also beginning a new life, a new business – see what’s happening here? We are friend-preneuring.
Of course we want those we form relationships with through networking to help us in our endeavours, believe us worthy of recommendations and build lasting relationships, but we are going deeper than that, we are caring, as women do, and wanting to help. Is that not our nature, particularly at this stage of our Silver lives, to embrace and empower our sisters and in doing so they will do the same for us? If anyone said friends and business don’t mix, I disagree. It is the many friends we make through networking, the coming together of like that encourages and fosters our business. We form a network of kindred souls and my business has grown because of this. Because friends, some new, some from long ago, are also out there, working hard for their families and themselves and understand the silent language of women in business with lives that may be difficult, wonderful, personal. Women who have lived and turned over many chapters. Friend-preneuring is about the personal. My clients become my friends, my friends give me business, my business thrives because these friends care and I endorse them and care for them in return.
True success in life and business only grows if those you believe in, believe in you.
Networking in this hurried world is not all about landing the contract. The brief. Not in my business anyway. Being in the travel and events business, being a writer and motivational speaker is a business I can only grow if I learn to understand my clients, their personalities. They want the best wedding for their children, a memorable trip, a resonating voice. To be heard. I am not selling a material object but a dream. To be successful in this, I need to feel trusted and understood. Many great women who are in business do this. They offer more than the goods, they offer compassion, clarity, vision and in our Silver Street, understanding of what it is like on this road of life.
Networking is great. It is also hectic at times. But every so often, someone comes across your path and you connect – your get each other, your business interests may be different but your willingness to take care of each other, is mutual. You want to be there for them and they for you. And you work together, as business partners, and as friends.
I look at networking, or entrepreneurship more as friend-preneurship. And I love it. My clients are my friends and more than that I am theirs. And business is blooming.
So when you go out to network, go out to make a friend. Best of all worlds.