Next week’s Networking Challenge is quickly approaching. I wanted to set the parameters around what I consider to be a great networking event vs a mediocre one. I tend to start off as an observer. When I enter a room I am looking to see who looks most approachable. The approachable person usually has a happy disposition and is already engaged in a conversation. If the person is not engaged in conversation they at least smile or nod at your presence. If I walk into an event and everyone is cold or reserved my time will be limited at that particular event.
Beyond what I can see, I’m scanning the room for a feeling. The subtleness of what surrounds me. Everyone has had this feeling at least once, where you walk into a room and it just don’t feel right. You can’t verbalize why it doesn’t feel right but ‘something’ tells you to leave or you feel uncomfortable enough to leave. The ‘something’ is your inner voice or intuition. It’s what you can’t see but naturally guides you if you listen. The act of listening is what I call attunement.
Attunement requires you to check in with your body. That can be done by a simple body scan. A body scan is where you notice how your face feels, then you move on to your neck, shoulders, on and on, down to your feet. As you scan you might want to ask yourself a few questions. Take the shoulders for example, we tend to hold tension in our shoulders so ask yourself the following questions. Do your shoulders feel tight? Did the tightness take form once you entered the room? Is it ok for your to relax and enjoy the moment? Our bodies will give us the clues. Or you might notice that you naturally get uptight when you are around strangers so the awareness of how your body feels can make you relax. The awareness alone can also help you resolve a fear or anixety that you no longer need.
Next do an emotion check. Do you feel happy, sad, angry, etc? Does the event seem like it will be pleasurable or worth your time? Do the people in the room look angry, sad or happy? Does the audience seem engaged? There are times when the mood of the room can change your mood. If you spend a few moments doing a body scan it will help you gauge the room.
After I check the pulse of the room I am ready to network. It only takes me about ten minutes to make my assessment. I also check the pulse throughout the event. If the energy of the room shift then I can make a decision on what to do next. Many things can create a shift including arrival of more attendees, someone makes an offensive comment, people start to get bored, temperate of the room gets uncomfortable or someone you felt connected to left the event.
Below is my list of top five characteristics of any event that need to be in place in order for me to have a successful experience.
- Warm and talkative host/hostess who consciously work to make attendees to feel welcomed and included. The host will usually greet you as soon as you walk in the door or at least make their way to you within the first thirty minutes. The person will do a quick introduction and ask for you to do the same.
- More than one host/hostess. The additional hosts tend to be floaters who continuously break the ice and work the crowd pass any awkward pauses or transition between activities.
- Creative icebreakers that engage the audience. I love ice breakers that force you to have at least one intimate session with another attendee. Mastermind themed ice breakers are also very good.
- Interesting speaker with a relatable story. Everyone has a story but not everyone is a good storyteller. I like to walk away knowing that I can keep pressing forward as a result of the speakers authenticity and transparency. I want to feel inspired by the speakers journey and words.
- Connection with other attendees. I am more focused on quality so if I make one strong connection then it was time well spent. Usually there is a common theme or bond to link you with the person. You can see the person as someone you wouldn’t mind being friends with in real life. You exchange information and/or agree to contact each other outside of the event.
Networking is a great opportunity to meet new people and make future business connections. Not all experiences will be positive but the hope is that the great ones outweigh the mediocre ones. Join me next week as I detail my experiences in the land of networking for the attuned.
Peace and Blessing
I have officially rounded up my first month in self employment. I started the week by spending the first few days in my old vocation again. By Tuesday morning I was over the idea of traffic and getting to the office by 9 am. By around 3pm I remembered exactly why I quit the first time and I quickly wrapped up for the day. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with working a 9 to 5. Self employment is not for everyone and I spent most of my career at a 9 to 5 so you will get no judgement from me. However around 3 o’clock I started feeling uncomfortable, irritated and extremely tired. I was starting to miss my nap time and I was definitely neglecting my new life. I hadn’t seen an email, sent time developing my ideas or finding new avenues to reach more clients. I felt grumpy and out of touch. I decided to call it a week.
Wednesday however was perfect. I focused on reconnecting with my business and getting some much-needed rest. I did some poolside yoga training. I planned my yoga class sequences and caught up on email. A new opportunity was waiting in my inbox further proof that my efforts were paying off and possible clients wanted to learn more. Thursday I was greeted by even more exciting news. My main corporate client has expanded their mindfulness program to a different office and 46 employees were expected to participate. Between the two offices I would be leading a total of 83 employees for 4 sessions a week. Last year was the first year for the program and it started with 23 attendees so this was exciting to know that the word was spreading and employees were interested and loving the results. All things are falling in alignment with my mission.
We empower others through body awareness, breathing techniques and yoga postures to enhance their overall health and well-being. We teach you how to create space in your life to balance your daily challenges and align with your higher purpose, increase happiness and find inner peace.
Friday was back to networking. I attended two amazing events. The first one was hosted by a business radio talk show. The show is an unedited and unscripted public broadcast station for businesses. It was my first openly spiritual event. I think all things have a spiritual undertone and implication. However this was different because at least three people approached me and freely spoke about their spirituality, theories on energy and synchronicities of meeting the right people at the right time. I even had two other people mention that I looked familiar or they felt we’d met before. I smiled and nodded knowing that we probably had met, maybe in another lifetime.
The second event I attended with friends and no intentions. A county official sat next to my friend and begin to chat. He ended up asking what I do and I talked about mindfulness in the workplace. He mentioned that he wanted to possibly start a mindfulness program where he works. Sometimes all the cues put you in the right place at the right time. Hopefully that will turn into a long-term business connection. I am open to all possibilities.
All in all last week turned out perfect. It was a good blend of the old and new. It allowed me to refocus on why I made this choice and why it was important for me to continue.
Peace and Blessings
Week 2 is getting off to a rough start. I have plenty to do, calls to return, appointments to schedule and events to attend. My ‘to do’ list continues to expand. I have 2 missed calls, 6 missed text and 4 missed glides (an app my friends and I use for group chats). Monday was a wash because I traveled back from Dallas that morning. By the time I got settled at home it was after 12pm. I planned to attend an event last night but was too drained to get it together.
Today started off promising even though I didn’t wake up until 6am. Everything was scattered around my apartment so I decided to straighten up a bit. It’s hard to focus in a disheveled space. Plus I prefer to clean first thing in the morning so I can come home to a tidy place. Cleaning was a part of my ritual to start my day in my former vocation. I washed dishes, swippered floors, organized clothes, set up my meditation and yoga space. Two hours later I had to mentally force myself to take a seat to regroup. I somehow hadn’t even gotten to my mat time and was still far from starting my ‘work day’. After about 10 minutes I pulled out my notebook to see what was needed for the day. I wrote one thing down then absent-mindedly stumbled down on the mat.
I turned on the music but felt annoyed and decided I’d listen to the birds instead. I jumped up to opened the windows. I sat back down for my yoga opener. Ten minutes later I was folding clothes. I don’t even remember when I drifted off the mat. I stopped folding and got back on the mat. Glazing at my watch I promised myself 30 minutes on the mat then I’d start my day. I picked up where I left off and immediately went into pigeon pose. I listened to my body and allowed it to guide me from pose to pose. After 45 minutes, I ended my yoga sequence in dancer’s pose. I cannot hold dancer’s pose for long but as I switched sides I knew it was necessary for me to leave the apartment. I became very aware of my lack of focus. Although I had candles burning and sage smudging in the background I mentally drifted in and out of focus.
Standing on the edges of my new life awareness is key. There are many reasons why people decide to start a business. I started my business to have freedom and flexibility in mind, body and spirit. Freedom and flexibility are not useful if you aren’t focused. I love ending my day at 2pm if needed or starting it at 5pm if I choose to. Today’s awareness allowed me to see freedom and flexibility still need some level of structure, parameters and balance. Lucky for me I’d already scoped out a few locations with some level of structure. I headed out the door in ripped jeans, flips flops and a “sleep is for suckas” t-shirt. Time to get to work.
Peace and Blessing
I made it through my first week of self employment. I am definitely still getting adjusted to my new timing. From some people’s perspective they treat me as if I’m unemployed and always available so I get calls in the middle of the day especially around my midday nap. My midday nap make others think I’m not working at all. While I am loving the outpouring of love, it is my responsibility to redefine my boundaries and inform others of my business hours. No I do not sleep in and get up late. I continue to wake up at 5 am
. Early morning is when I’m most productive. I work when I am most productive. I shift my attention from my phone to focus on my business. My most productive times are 5am to 10am
and 5pm to 9pm
. I don’t know why but that’s when I get the most work done. I’ve started to adjust my life around those times. Here is what my days look like
- 5am to 10am yoga and meditation, administrative duties, content and class planning, training, marketing and success visualization
- 11am to 1pm working out (i.e. walking/running or weights) and yoga stretches
- 1pm to 3pm running errands or handling personal business
- 3pm to 4pm taking a nap
- 5pm to 9pm networking, marketing and business development
Yes it appears that I am off a lot earlier than in the past however when you’re asleep I am working. When you are done with your day, I am working. My day now includes what’s most important to me not what’s important to my employer. I spend more time in mind, body and soul zone. When you are commuting I’m visualizing my success. When you are at breakfast, I am meditating. When you are wrapping up your day, I am regrouping. My nap is essential for second part of my day. If I don’t plan for it, I become exhausted. The beauty of my new schedule is I get to adjusted it according to what is needed for the day or week. If I know I have an event later in the day, I adjust my late evening schedule to afternoon. In a few weeks my corporate classes will start so my workout will move up and that time will be dedicated to my classes. My errand time slot may fall off completely or be moved to specific days. The lines appear blurred but I am very much employed. I am not unemployed. I am self-employed.
Peace and Blessings
I’m so excited. Everywhere I go I’m telling anyone that will listen. This is a huge step and it feels right. The outpouring of support is amazing. I had a long talk with a close friend and was literally cross-examined on every piece of my plan. The questions were far-reaching but I had a response for every question. I feel like I have an airtight plan but it’s also flexible enough to make immediate adjustments when needed. Some people are just the messenger. This become for me a divine coaching session in a series of final gut checks. I have literally thought through every scenario. I have a plan A, B, C and D if not more. I am pursuing at least three avenues to diversify my options. All things complement each other yet there is enough diversity to prevent the ‘all eggs in one basket’ syndrome. I have been quitting my job for 16 years. On paper I have started at least 5 other businesses prior to this. This is the first one that made sense and fuels my passion. I have no regrets, each step was divinely meant to bring me to this point. I am not looking back. There is only forward movement. I am living in the present moment as I began to live my life outloud. One can only succeed when they get pass the fear of failure.
I am perfectly positioned to pursue the next steps in my life. I am in alignment with my purpose.
Peace and Blessings
Most people don’t know I am up by 5 am every morning. That is the time I get my best work done especially as I transition from employee to employer. This morning was different. I was wide awoke and staring in the darkness at 3:32. I always check my clock because numbers mean something to me spiritually. I know from memory that 3:33 relates to Ascended Masters. Ascended Masters are Beings that protect and guide us. Even though I was a minute off I knew there was a good reason for my insomnia.
I heard the phrase “what is your end goal”. I am already a business owner so you would think I knew off-hand. In truth I did not. I thought about the goals I have written. My written goals are categorized by timing (i.e. three month, six month and one year). I figured I’d play the rest by ear and see where I was being lead spiritually. This was the first time I was asked what was my end goal. I got excited to be honest because the question signifies that I am at least on track with my beginning goals. It was now time to look further and put it out into the universe. I laid in silence for a while.
In the silence an unrelated idea came to mind. Yesterday my spiritual sister reminded me that she was still waiting on a ‘how to start a business checklist’ I had promised her weeks ago. I wasn’t dragging my feet on the task it just keep slipping my mind. I initially told her there would be three items on the list. In the silence I typed up nineteen in my electronic notebook. I was listening to my spirit and replaying everything I had personally done to get to this point. I immediately jumped up when I got to nineteen. It was time for me to deliver my end goals. It was time for me to put into universe where I wanted to be in the next 2-10 years. It turns out my end goal is to mentor and lead others in connecting the spirituality of their experiences with their purpose and life path. All of my pieces started coming together. I immediately got five new ideas back to back. Ideas were literally pouring out of my head and they all related to everything I have done up to this point. I never did get back to sleep but waking up at 3:32 was well worth it. I will be sharing those five ideas in the coming weeks so stay tuned. 9 Days and Counting….
Peace and Blessings
I follow my dreams. Most dreams are hard to remember but the ones remembered are messages from the soul. The dream had enough impact to remain imprinted for me to bring back into my waking life for a reason. I am in alignment with imprinted dreams. I am balanced. I am whole. I am a dreamer. I hear my words. I am in alignment with my dreams. I allow myself to follow my dreams.
I am my life’s work. I was born with everything needed to meet my destiny. My life’s work bring happiness and purpose. I inspire and empower others through my work. My spirit arrived with promise, purpose and ability. I honor and use my special skills and abilities. I am my life’s work.
Peace and Blessings
I am the chosen one. In every family there is one destined to bring about change and create new pathways. I move fearlessly into the wild. I am clearing the way for more to follow. I am clearing the way for my family to have options. I am the hope others need to make it possible for them to follow their heart. The universe guides me. I am spiritually supported. I am the chosen one. I am protected.
Peace and Blessings