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Ready, Set, Go!

Ready, Set, Go!

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

Collaboration can come in all shapes and sizes-or ways and means. I recently attended a women’s leadership event in my area that was well planned and executed. The event drew an extremely large number of local women. I can hear your questions already: “what’s the problem? Isn’t that a great opportunity to network?” Like most attendees, I formulated a deliberate plan prior to the event. I wanted to meet a specific number of women in certain businesses that I felt I could help. When I arrived, it became clear that the size of the event might prevent real collaboration and connections. When the event is too big or there is too much going on, it becomes a bit of sensory overload. Too many nearby conversations, bright lights, a large event space with lots of vendor booths all combined can be detrimental to a networking plan. I witnessed other attendees leaving the event for those very reasons. Don’t get me wrong, large events can yield great connections. Just don’t put all your eggs in that basket. We all learned about diversification in 2008.

Casual venues can yield actionable connections just as well as an 800-person event. Every time you leave the house or office, it’s a potential networking opportunity. I’m reminded of a bio that I read for a local area business woman. She says her career in this industry began when she ran into “so and so” in the bread aisle of the local grocery store 30 years ago. So… before you go running down to the corner market to do some casual networking, let me say this: not all conversations will bring about a mutually beneficial collaboration. Be choosy. Make sure that you both have a similar approach to business or even the same sense of urgency. If partners are not well matched, working together can leave one or the other feeling some anxiety. ‘What’s in It for Me’ works both ways.

Goals don’t have to be in lockstep to make a fruitful collaboration. It’s probably better that you’re not stepping on each other’s toes. A connection doesn’t even have to be financial. I recently met another businesswoman at a networking event. We have similar personalities and have become each other’s biggest cheerleader as we bring our ideas to market. Our common denominator is communication and a willingness to dialogue about those ideas.

I’m just saying, you can fish in a small pond and still bring home a whale.

I welcome you to connect and reach out on BVisible Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or for virtual coffee or tea. Have an amazing and profitable day.

Cheesecake with Ghee and Glee

Cheesecake with Ghee and Glee

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. Jesse Owens

When I first started in this business, there was no grade school primer to guide me. I made a lot of rookie mistakes. Some more costly than others. Now, looking back I can laugh but at the time, small mix ups seemed catastrophic. My family can attest to the determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort that we’ve put forth to bring us to this successful place-living the dream.

Most of us are pretty narrow minded, we don’t dream big enough. If you don’t dream big, you can’t step into the possibilities. You’ll never have the chance to discover the opportunities. Regina Belle sang it:


If I was unaware, if I didn’t care

About people and places and things

How could I live a life full and satisfied

Now knowing how to dream

When I dream, oh, yeah

When I dream, I dream in color


That big technicolor dream needs to be pretty specific as well. Who are you trying to reach? What message do you want to share with them? What rock are they living under? How will you reach them? As you are dreaming and exploring your ideas, be sure to communicate with everyone around you. Be specific about what you’re looking for but accept feedback and suggestions that might help flesh out your ideas. No idea is too big or too small. Don’t dismiss suggestions or advice.

Identify a need and figure out how to meet that need. Widen your focus, go outside your comfort zone. Use a spray gun approach here rather than a paintball. Remember that your solutions don’t have to be perfect. You just have to solve the problem enough to give the client the idea. You’re telling the stories that you’ve written. Your goal is Speed to Market. You can’t do everything yourself. Know your strengths, you can hire out the rest. Look for a partner with their own strengths that can complement yours.

Use trends to guide your business plan. You need to be one step ahead. Set goals for yourself-one year, five year and long term strategic but don’t be afraid to tweak those plans. If something isn’t working, don’t follow the plan blindly. It’s like your life-always changing.

As you move forward, you’ll want to measure your positive results in connections not revenue. Remember you’re building relationships not transactions. Those connections and your communication will keep you moving forward.

I welcome you to connect and reach out on BVisible Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or for virtual coffee or tea. Have an amazing and profitable day.

Rock Paper Scissors

Rock Paper Scissors

Event real estate can be priced like Monopoly® properties. How can you land on the right location? Is there a perfect spot? Do you want to be on the end of the row near the entrance? Does the corner booth see more traffic? You’ll need to weigh the investment against the opportunity.

Volunteering for my local chamber helped me get a great location. Unassigned, contiguous space gave extra storage for supplies and a kind of backroom area for private conversations and breaks.

Try setting up next to a friend or complementary business partner and use the combined space to maximize visual impact for both businesses. I witnessed two exhibitors build walls using their product that funneled show traffic from one booth to the other.

No show can promise that your “Ideal Client” will make an appearance although a larger show with high traffic might increase your odds. You could market to that segment prior to the show and pre-book appointments for interested parties. Perhaps you might provide an incentive for passers-by such as free snacks or cold water on a hot day.

Festival type events might offer indoor exhibit space as well as outdoor spots. Outside can present sensory overload for an attendee. The aisles become a sea of blue and white tents with lots of distractions. Perhaps you have unique signage with larger fonts or a branded tent? Indoor events like bridal shows can be challenging for conversations. Check the Farmer’s Almanac for weather forecasts and Community Calendars for multiple events on the same days.

How large should your booth be? Remember your smile and positive attitude take up no space at all.

Let’s get to work!