I recently had a friend email me with a question about her budget and the value of continuing her membership to a business network. She was wanting to get clarity around the value the group offered from a monetary perspective.
I know when you are doing a budget sometimes even the smallest amount of money wasted can make big difference to your bottom line. Especially if you have lots of small amounts going out on low-value items every month. So, I wanted to make sure I gave good advice.
Taking part in networking groups means different things for us all. We all have our own reasons for being involved in a particular group. I am heavily involved in two, and two others that I am on the fringe of. I am in each one for different reasons, and I pay varying amounts to be a member of each of them.
It is interesting to see how different people use the communities they are part of, but essentially if you are going to invest in networking communities, you need to be either earning, learning or building relationships. If you are not doing this, then you are wasting your time.
What makes a good networking community?
Like I said earlier there are many reasons to be involved in different groups. But, how I judge the groups I am involved in is like this. If I was not a member what would I be missing out on? Most people have a need to be included, it makes them feel special. I fall away from a group once I lose the feeling of being special and don’t I feel like I am missing anything. This always comes back to the relationships I have built amongst the people in the group.
My business mentor Roger Hamilton says, 'Your wealth is what you have left when you have lost everything.' What he means by this is, if you lost all your assets today, your true level of wealth is how quickly you can recover and regain that which you lost.
My interpretation of this is, our ability to recover from losing everything comes from the people we know and the quality of those relationships. If you were to find yourself in this position which network or community of people could you go to get help to recover.
Crystal Circle Conference 2016 Bali - Roger Hamilton's Community of Entrepreneurs
I believe, to recover and to keep all bases covered, you need to be keenly involved in building relationships in 3 communities. But this will only work if you are active and prepared to build those relationships.
The value of the communities that I am in is in its members, not for what they offer in monetary value because those members may never be my clients, but they know and trust me as a person. Therefore they will refer potential business to me.
I know if I was ever in a position where I had lost everything I could go to my community, and they would help me to recover.
The advice I gave my friend was to ‘decide if you are in the right community to get that help. If not find another one that will give you the relationships that will help build you up when you are down.
Sometimes life has a way of sending us little teasers and tests to make sure we are putting into practice what we are learning. Last week I attended a seminar called the Big Juicy Member Maximisation. The seminar was hosted by Business Women Australia and the point of it was to help us as members get the best from being part of the group.
In the first session, Jennifer Rose Bryant the director talked about how to show up to an event. Things like doing your homework on the speaker, learning a bit about the host, making sure you know the etiquette for handing out your cards and not going in for the big sell which everyone hates. The main recommendation that caught my attention was the 5 Second Rule. (Not the I dropped my piece of Pizza 5 second rule). This 5 Second rule involves you doing something outside your comfort zone, by counting down from 5 to 1 and blasting off with that which you are uncomfortable.
This I did on Monday when I received an email from the ABC Radio asking if I would be interviewed on air about the upcoming success circle I am hosting. I was totally out of my comfort zone, counted down from 5 and did it.
This rule comes from Mel Robbins, now the funny thing is that on the day when Jennifer was talking about the 5 second rule I didn’t hear her say that, I had never heard of Mel Robbins until a few day later I was on youtube where a Ted Talk from Mel Robbins came up and she talk about the 5 second rule. This is what I love about being a human, the right information is placed in front of us at the right time, we just need to listen.
My point for writing about this is that exposing ourselves gives us opportunities but, it is the action that makes those opportunities work for us. Taking action and being focused on the result is how to achieve our goals. In my last blog, Keeping Momentum on What is Important By Using Power Statements, I wrote about my future vision and I show an image from my vision stating ‘I want to hone my skills as a speaker’, this I put out there for you all to read.
Being contacted by the radio station on Monday is the start to reaching my future vision of being paid to speak. Ok, it was only two minutes, it was totally off the cuff, not the precise, crafted talk that I have imagined in my mind. In fact, I don’t even remember what I said, somehow that doesn't matter to me, I had a go, it was very scary and I survived.
Above you will see I have added an image from facebook. At the seminar, we were encouraged to share our wins...
Yet again, the 5-second rule out of my comfort zone to brag, but I did it anyway.
This is my opportunity to grow my network and build trust in a community of like-minded women.
The energy from the collective group is empowering in itself, even without being in a leadership role, the benefits are amazing. The women are incredible to be around and you can't help but feel uplifted by them.
Since owning BCA Debt, I have spent most of my time in the back office working on growing the business and implementing systems. While I have really enjoyed doing this work and honestly love being in the background, I also realise that I had not made many connections within the business community.
I was asked by a friend Terri Billington, to attend a Business Women Australia event which I really enjoyed. I continued going to the events over the year and got to know the women involved.
After some time I was asked to become a Success Circle Leader, which I accepted. This involves facilitating a monthly event, I am not going to go into how these are run because you can get all that info from their website Business Women Australia.
My reasons for joining the network are varied, but the main one being to promote myself as a brand and to start growing my network. From the beginning, I could see Business Women Australia being a place where I could do this, while it was not my intention to throw myself into a leadership role I am now very grateful for the opportunity to lead and speak to other business women throughout Australia.
I am at a stage of my business life where I have collected a great deal of knowledge and realise it is now time for me to share that knowledge.