Tuesday, September 18th at the new ROC location in Santa Monica
LA Master Event: “The Ask” Getting What You Want in Business
This panel is all about how to ask…for anything. The art of “the ask” is a nuanced dance between getting your own business needs met – from financing to favors – and allowing other people to benefit at the same time. The best “asks” are win-win, for you and for the giver. Come hear how these four business owners are asking for stuff every day, and getting it! We’ll talk about getting staff or vendors to work with you, raising capital, getting speakers to donate time to your events, finding a mentor, asking for free advice from busy people, the psychology of favors and the underused power of saying “thank you.” This, and so much more!
Last month we read Seth Godin‘s Small is the New Big for Business Book Club. I emailed Seth to tell him how his book affected me, and in our email exchange (yup, he wrote back), I realized that he doesn’t just espouse marketing brilliance, he lives and breathes it. By replying to a ‘fan’ like me, with hundreds of other emails he must be handling, he inspired me to write this blog, which is now reaching thousands of you with a positive message to buy the book. A few clicks of his keyboard created a grassroots marketing campaign. Smart(y) guy!
One thing I loved about this book is that it made me feel good about my “size”…no, not that size! As business owners we continually strive to be bigger but what if instead we really leveraged our smallness? SMARTY isn’t big in the sense of millions, but we, as a community of small business owners, are incredibly influential. And who really wants to be big when you can be powerful instead? Does that resonate with you, too? Are you small but mighty? Do you make a play in your market and people listen? Don’t feel bad about where you are in your business. As I told someone the other day, if you went from zero to sixty in your business you’d have know clue what to do when you GOT to sixty. You have to do 20, 30, 40 and 50 first to avoid missing opportunities or looking like a joker. Highly recommend this book…good beach reading, too.
SMARTY is designed to help you set your goals, get you on the right track to growing your business and connect you with other like-minded entrepreneurs, so that none of the issues the WSJ article mentions have to be YOUR issues. Although wealth-building is of critical importance to women, it’s not the only factor in determining what “success” means. Our Members appreciate being able to work from home, spend time with their families, monetize their craft, product or service and raise the quality of their life while running their business. We have empire-builders and more grassroots lifestyle businesses; the way we see it, both achieve “success” but in ways specific to a woman’s goals for her life.
Smartiquette question this week is about networking – “How do I network gracefully? IE, enter or join a conversation with people I don’t know, network effectively, utilize the art of timing and move on?”
What a great question. Personally, I’m totally flummoxed by networking. When I walk into a room full of strangers I immediately find myself dreaming about what I’ve got saved on Tivo and how soon I can get home to watch it. Without getting into this being one of the reasons I started SMARTY, there is an art and finesse to “good” networking – meaning, the kind that doesn’t make you seem corny, contrived, aggressive or desperate. Here are my tips:
1. Attend events with a friend (or two.) This isn’t for “safety” although it’s nice to have someone to talk with for the first 5 minutes as you acclimate. It’s really because each of you bring your own set of contacts and the more of you there are, the more likely one of you is to run into someone at the event/party who will know someone else, and someone else, etc.
2. Wear your smile. Yup, grin it up. People want to talk to someone who seems open and approachable. This isn’t New York where you have to look cool and aloof – this is sunny Los Angeles where you can be happy and still be cool (I said that just to provoke a bunch of reactions from defensive Manhattanites.)
3. To get a conversation going, use any of these as long as they make sense and are true:
“I love your bag – where did you get it?”
“I love your style – that XX is super cute.”
“I love your haircut – who does it?”
“I love your INSERT HERE.”
Get it? Just make sure you really do love it because likely if you’re into someone’s outer layer, you might be into their inner one too.
4. It’s quality, not quantity. Even if you only meet 3 new people, you’ve made a better connection than if you worked the room and gathered 20 business cards.
Networking is a hideous word with even more horrid connotations – it just seems lame. So approach it lightly, with few expectations and as though you’re there to make friends. Everyone feels the same way – so jump in, talk about other things besides business if you can, then get around to what you do and why. Oh, and have your business card ready!
Special thanks to Kendall Rhodes and Spin and Stir Media for creating this video!
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