Networking is Awkward

Originally Posted 5/15/16

i0typ

 Why is networking so weird? I mean it’s like the first day of middle school, plus flirting in bars, plus any sort of public speaking; BUT WORSE. In those other situations, aiming for personal gain is frowned upon. I’m okay with that. I believe in building relationships and finding your tribe, but networking seems different. Some how you have to balance what you need, with the needs of who you are trying to network with. In that way this symbolic relationship is beautiful, like a dance. Unfortunately, I have two left feet.

Since I’m using this dance analogy, let’s say that I have committed to two stepping my way through the party. Instead of staying in my house, I have filled my calendar with events that connect me with other entrepreneurs, not just designers. I want to take full advantage of my city and meet people who will inspire and challenge me. Worst case scenario I have a new follower on Instagram ( are you following the line on insta? @p29:18 DO IT). Best case scenario I get a gem: an industry tidbit I didn’t know; a potential mentor; a sales lead.  Basically new dance partners can teach you new moves. So I’m gonna stay on floor long enough to learn something.

Okay, I know this dance analogy is getting hackneyed. I’ll stop.  

So who am I networking with? I attended designer seminars through Seattle Fashion Week lead by a buyer from Amazon. I have attended a number of local fashion shows. I joined two business incubators  Ventures and  Black Dot Union. Both have  helped me set up systems for my business even though neither are focused on fashion.

Maybe I’ll get good at all of this. My business card will be pretty and always in hand; my pitches professional and effective; and maybe I’ll even have a mentor or two one day. But that day is not today. I’ll just keep moving toward that put together, flawless moment.
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