Monday, September 27, 2010

i'm an entrepreneur. now what?

One great part of my journey as a MOMpreneur is meeting other awesomely incredible and amazing MOMpreneurs! Now I've never been good at "networking”. Frankly that word alone makes me shudder and want to run away and hide. I hear the word "networking" and it seems so cold, so rehearsed, and so like 1985. Now I do understand the importance of the act. The more people you meet and present your "elevator pitch" to (Ugh, elevator pitch! Another one of those blah terms in the world of entrepreneurialism.) , the more likely your business will thrive and grow and blah blah blah. If you have your own business then this is not by any means breaking news. If you have your own business, and this comes easy to you, then you get two snaps up! (In a Z formation of course!). But, if you're like me, if this whole networking, elevator pitch schtuff seems way over your head and like the scariest thing ever, then what are you left to do??

There is the obvious, and kind of a good idea, PRACTICE! You know how you stand in front of your mirror with your brush and give your big Oscar acceptance speech? And don't lie, we all have done this at one point! Well, this is the same idea except instead of tearfully thanking your spouse, children, parents, cast, crew, the academy and your new best friend and co-star Jennifer Aniston, give your pitch. Do this often. Pretend you're a guest on Oprah and she's featuring YOU as HER favorite thing. Again, don't lie, we all have done our very own Oprah interview in our heads. Then once you feel like Oprah is totally going to call you to invite you on the show, grab the person you trust the most and practice on them. Before you know it you'll be ready and set on your way grabbing people at Target to give them your pitch. Kind of like those Mary Kay ladies who stop you while your shopping to tell you how beautiful you are and would you like to buy some make-up. NO, do not do this. That's annoying. BUT do note good opportunities and give it a swing. You never know who you might be talking to.

Now I know I may still have not sold some of you. It's still very frightening and uncomfortable. I'll be honest with you... I feel the same way! I may talk the talk but my walk ain't got much swagger. So... where does that leave us? Luckily there are so many cool options now with social media being so huge. Facebook and Twitter are my top faves! They are not replacements for old school, face-to-face networking (sorry it just must be done!) but they are marvelous accompaniments.

Still feeling awkward? Well, remember way at the beginning of my teachings here (bah – I know, I know) I spoke about MOMpreneurs? I have had the most fun networking with other MOMpreneurs! Yes, I said I had fun networking! The community of MOMpreneurs is vast and full of fantastic talent. But, it’s not only moms, women running businesses in general is so HOT right now! How fantabulous is that?! Maybe I need to invent a new word that encompasses all women entrepreneurs. GALpreneurs? Ok, I’ll keep working on that. In the meantime, all you fellow “networking” haters, go out there and get involved in the MOMpreneur community! The energy, love and support is crazy good. I feel so blessed to be a MOMpreneur and to know so many others. As women we must support other women owned businesses! I truly believe this is a huge key to the great, big, heavy door of success. It’s not only important but it’s fun! As serious as you should take your business, you should also find joy in it every day. I find so much joy in networking with other women entrepreneurs. They help to feed my drive. They make me want to succeed. They hold me up and they probably don’t even know it. So much opportunity is out there but you cannot let fear of anything hold you back.

Not quite sure how or where to venture out and establish some MOMpreneur relationships? Here is where I will come in! Yes, right here on my blog you will find two great sections of information. In the MOMpreneur Love section there will be links available to sites I love and love to support! In the My Favorite Things sections I will feature women run businesses in detail including photos of products and interviews with the women themselves! There are also some awesome sites out there like Market Mommies, LaunchHER and Savor the Success that are specifically geared towards women entrepreneurs and they all offer something a little different. I am so looking forward to all I plan on bringing to the table here. I hope to meet many more amazing women entrepreneurs and maybe together we can kick networking’s bootie and conquer the world.
Peace & Love.