I started my practice over two years ago. I had no clients.
I started a practice because I refused to relocate with my in house position and so there I was, jobless with a severance package.
I had no clients.
So, J said, well go get some. Start networking.
I hate the word "network". I think the concept of networking is a crock of shit. Walking into a room in which I know NO ONE and "networking" makes me nauseous. It requires a "fakeness" which I do not possess. I am blunt. I am honest. I honestly don't want Mary Kay products. I also don't want a financial planner - if they were doing so great financially they wouldn't need to be networking. Right?
I have heard MANY networking experts talk about how networking is about relationships. Even today at my NAWBO meeting I heard the speaker talk about "relationship marketing". BLECK. "Relationship marketing" is the new networking. This is not to say that the speaker was not good. She was very good.
"Relationship marketing" just makes it sound even more awkward. Doesn't it? The word network sounds clinical. Relationship marketing sounds like urinary tract infection. Add marketing to the word relationship - and to me, the relationship is somehow gone. Why can't they just call networking - "be human and make friends and be a good business person and see what happens."
But, I guess that is what I ended up doing. I went to 12,000 meetings and did not fit in with a lot of different groups. Then, I found a few groups I liked because the ladies seemed nice and the speaker topics were good. So I joined those. I got on the Board. I became friendly with these women. And, AHA, relationships! The referrals I get are always from people who have become friends or colleagues because PEOPLE DON'T GIVE YOU BUSINESS BECAUSE THEY GET YOUR CARD. They don't know you. I won't put my name behind someone unless I know them. And yes, there isn't infinite time to know everyone but "networking" takes time, a LONG time. Because getting friendly with people takes a long time. This month they are working on "friendship" at Luk's preschool. I am thinking that instead of getting advice on relationship marketing we should just all attend Luk's preschool? Any takers?
However, I think that when people hire you (if it's not just a cold call), it is because they've seen you over and over. So, they assume, that person is dependable. I can give her work. They don't know the quality of the work necessarily. They just know that you can show up, make friends, and be nice for 1 hour. For example, I went to Tae Bo classes for about 1.5 years in Long Beach. I became friends with a girl in there - she referred her Dad. He is a good client. I got a client because I DID TAE BO. "Networking" anyone? Nope. I'm just going to work out more.
Speaking of working out more, one of my EB DIs actually was asking me trademark stuff today and e-mailed me. I think this is God's way of rewarding my fatness and rolls or rather, getting rid of fatness or rolls.
Today was a pretty good day at EB. I got there feeling pretty good. Not in pain anywhere. Then we ran. Even with my new cute RUNNER tennis shoes, I still had some pain. But, not as bad and mostly in my left knee. That's an improvement, right? Then we did a variety of things that were hard to do with a bad knee and fat hanging everywhere.
Specifically, there was this very special exercise called the crocodile or the alligator or something reptilian, I can't remember, I was suffering. You start out sort of in push up position, then you inch your hands back until your bootie is in the air, then you inch you hands forward until you are back in push up position, then you do a push up, and then you start all over again. After doing 45 of these (or maybe 4 or 5), I wanted to pretty much keel. It was fun. No reptile would do this and if they did, I suspect it is easier for them and they don't add a push up. Lucky little reptiles.
Moral of the Story: Workout and Go to Preschool, Business Will Come.