Working solo is amazing AND it can also be pretty lonely at times. Since making the leap out on my own, I no longer have the team, the manager, the big network of colleagues right at my finger tips. Someone to run an idea past, or brainstorm with, or turn to for support (that’s where my coach comes in!).
Knowing that CONNECTION is one of my core values, I’ve been seeking to connect with my new community on the Peninsula. Yoga classes, coffees (well, chai for me), lunches, walks with the pooches, networking groups – anything and everything to connect with my local tribe. And man has it been sweeet.
I crave the connection of people, the buzz of energy created together, the sparks of ideas that flow, the support, and the general camaraderie.
I reconnected with a colleague of mine down here, and we are now busily planning an incredible RETREAT for you guys later in the year! (Keep your eyes peeled to my events page for more details on this.) So what initially was purely a coffee and a chit-chat quickly turned into an incredible collaboration. So effortlessly. Without force. No planning. It just happened, because THAT’S the magic that is created between people.
I’ve also found an incredible group of entrepreneurial women through The Soar Collective, who are all dreaming big and chasing their goals with gusto. It was pretty daunting rocking up to my first event not knowing anyone, but I pushed through the fear, went, and ended up having a great time and meeting wonderful women. The authenticity, vulnerability, support and genuine care for each other has been astounding. I’m so happy I found this group of inspiring individuals AND in my own backyard!
It’s funny you know, as the idea of ‘networking’ freaks me out a little. I imagine a cold room of people in suits, eating stale canapés, all promoting themselves and competing for business. But it certainly doesn’t have to be like that.
So I created my new concept of the word:
NETWORKING = BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships, bonds, shared understanding and connection with other people. Now that definition of networking fits with me.
A while back I read ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead’ by Christine Comaford-Lynch (COO of Facebook), WOW such a powerful read. I have shared inspiration from her on the blog before, but there’s a few key passages on networking that I’ve highlighted and scribbled all over that I want to share with you here:
“Networking isn’t just a way to find help or money; its a way to build your tribe. . . By daring to listen, to help, to invite people into my life, they have invited me into theirs.”
LIFE = the people you meet + what you create together
First learn to love networking. As you meet people, relationships will follow. . . Connecting people is like chemistry class. I put this and that together and see what happens. Sometimes it explodes, but usually it works out. Something better is created. Whether its friendships, jobs, companies, products, families, fund-raisers, or pool parties, life is about bringing people together and seeing what happens.
The biggest benefit of all these networking experiences was a radial perspective change. With each experience, I better understood how aspects of the world worked, resulting in my ability to effect change and, ultimately, my realisation that I really can do anything. I just need to find the person who can help me achieve a specific goal. Frequently its someone who has a goal I can help support, and we will provide encouragement or opportunity for each other. Helping others get what they want is both a path to connection as as well as career growth. And its fun too.”
– Christine Comaford-Lynch
Relationship building and nourishing brings me alive and connects me to my core values. AND IT’S FUN!
Have a think about your own life right now. . . Where are you going at it alone? Where could you ask for some help? Share the burden? Collaborate with someone? It could be your job, or your fitness regime, your relationship with your partner, a project, or an emotional strain weighing you down.
So where in your life do you need to give yourself permission to put down the burden?
Name it, write it down, speak it out loud – and then go and CONNECT with someone about it. A friend, a coach, a colleague, a mentor. Whose the best person to help you out?
Know that you don’t have to bear the burden like an ox. Know that it’s not only OK to ask for help, that it’s required. We are not designed to live and work in isolation. No matter how introverted you think you are, we are ALL natural connectors, relationship builders, and support givers (and takers). That’s our shared humanity.
So it’s time to stop flying solo, and dive deep into the hive. Enjoy the buzz of energy you’ll find there, and get ready to soar to whole new heights.