Home businesses are great and we can all expound the advantages: flexible hours, no commute, working in your sweats, convenience, and independence, etc. But when was the last time you got out of your bunny slippers and attended a live function with real people?
I think it was Woody Allen who said that 80% of success is showing up, and although it was a satirical remark, there’s truth in it. If it’s been awhile, let me refresh your memory about why it is essential that you get out of the house regularly. It’s good for your business, and really good for you too!
There are many different ways of getting out of the house with your business in mind, such as calling up a colleague and meeting for coffee or a drink, attending a networking event, or signing up for a seminar.
Start by checking your news outlet’s business events calendar for local happenings. Consider attending your chamber of commerce networking gathering, Business Networking International, local entrepreneur group meetings, or local CRAVE party. To make a lasting impression with people at these events, make a point to attend regularly, and they’ll think of you when they need your type of product or service.
You’ll want to sign up for your local organization’s newsletters, Facebook, and Twitter accounts so you can keep abreast of their events. Be selective and attend the gatherings that really appeal. Grab a colleague or friend, and you’ll be sure to have a great time, no matter what, or, if you’re more daring and want to really connect with new people, go solo.
I know it takes effort at the end of the day to get dressed up and go out, but it is sort of like exercising, once you do it, you’ll feel great. Here are some of the advantages of attending live functions:
1. You’ll meet old friends, make new friends, and see face to face what people are up to. We all get busy and forget to reach out to one another sometimes, but seeing people right in front of you is stimulating and renews your core.
2. If you’re attending a meeting or training session, you’ll learn new, exciting information, hear first hand other’s successes and get tips about what doesn’t work. These mixers are great places to learn about how other people are getting their business needs met and how to learn about great deals and save money.
3. You’ll have a chance to meet potential mentors, people who are ahead of you in the game, and then in turn you can become a mentor to someone else who needs your guidance some day.
4. Just being in the room with a lot of like-minded people can be invigorating, and can give you the necessary jumpstart to dive into a project you’ve been wanting to start, and keep your momentum going.
5. There’s no substitute for showing up with your smiling face. People forget quickly, and by getting out there, you remind them that you’re still here going strong and ready to offer your products and services.
6. Every successful entrepreneur eventually needs to be comfortable speaking publically before a crowd. Attending these smaller mixers and honing your message first one-on-one, then at your table of networkers, and then finally in front of the entire room, is a fantastic way to build your courage. If you need more help in this area, Toastmasters, whose mission is to help people with public speaking and leadership skills through public speaking and feedback, comes highly recommended.
7. Attend with the intention of connecting with at least one individual, and you’ll never be disappointed. This may not be a potential client, but if they become an acquaintance and colleague, they may know someone else who may need your products and services. Get to know people deeper than these one night events allow, and grab some cards, make some calls, and have some coffee dates. That’s when the more fruitful conversations transpire.
8. Remember that people attending these functions are all trying to spread the word about their businesses too. Be interested in them, what they’re doing, and what they offer as well. Even if you don’t need their services, you may be able to connect them up with someone else, and they’ll remember the favor.
As you see, there are so many benefits to getting out of the house sometimes even if you are a die hard home-based business fan. Exchange those bunny slippers for high heels at least twice a month, and I’ll see you out there! (By the way, in case you didn’t hear, my own SHINE Event is networking on steroids, so you’ll want to check it out.)
© 2010 Ali International, LLC
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