Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Schmoozing Aha Moment

You may remember that last week I had my aha moment when it came to networking (in case you missed it, here's a refresher).

The bulbs in the ceiling of the The Roof Club at the Gramercy Park Hotel

I tried to remember the lessons I learned that day, before my next event, the "I heart NYC Meetup,"  hosted by Travelzoo at this posh little wine and bar lounge called SD26 (special thanks to @nycpatty for the invite).

While I was thinking about how to be more comfortable in these types of social situations, as the Universe would have it, I stumbled across this article in Success Magazine, that said:

"start with affirmations like, 'I'm ...awesome...I know I can do this....' The bottom line is there is a much bigger person inside of you than you give yourself credit for. When you learn to master your little voice, the big, bold, powerful, rich you will emerge. It is your destiny. Now be awesome!" 

from "Its All in Your Head," by Blair Singer.

Amen to that!! So I wrote a little note to myself with a few affirmations on my wonderfulness (and kept that in my pocket). With my swagger in check I got another opportunity to try my hand at networking. 

Well prepared, I went to the I heart NYC Meetup and managed to chat it up, feel comfortable, and enjoy the networking process.

I talked @'s ear off about the prospect of marriage and family, I got to meet @ who is a hoot, and I think I really connected with @ on the whole being a lawyer thing.
I got to see @ who I haven't seen since Blogher (and she looks fab by the way) and I learned something from @.  She's so bubbly and sweet, and when she met a blogger she hadn't heard of, she immediately said, "oh, no I don't know your blog... we must connect!" To others this may sound like an obvious response, but it's a new approach to me.  I used to feel bad when I hadn't heard of someone's blog, and I'd start bumbling something like, "I think maybe I follow you on twitter?" trying to convince myself. I definitely learned something I never would have thought to say!

All of these lessons and experiences with a glass of wine in hand - a glass that I gripped like a life raft! A little preparation and some alcohol go a long way, let me tell you.

Aside from connecting with these other bloggers, I chatted it up with Mike from Travelzoo who's so great and got to meet Marley who gave me all the info on the event! At the end of it all, like a little reward for my efforts, Travelzoo hooked me up with a voucher to Kirakuya Sake Bar, which  I'm dying to use with Che

All in all, this networking experience was a positive one for me.  I made a lot of progress, and although I'm not perfect at the whole talkin-to-strangers thing, I'm learning. The fear factor was driven way down. That's really something to be proud of. 

Now, I applied none of these skills to the events I attended at fashion week, because the people I encountered were a bit snobby. But I did compliment some random people on their fabulous outfits. That too is progress, considering I fought the urge to spin 180 degrees and high-tail it out of and away from all the haute couture when I felt out of place. 

Overall, I am happy to report I'm getting my bearings on this networking thing. Thanks to the support of my fellow bloggers and deep thinkers.