I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I have three kids.
I stay at home with them all day every day and consider it my full-time job. However, I have a couple of other part-time jobs that I do, including a new videography business that I’ve been working on getting off the ground. (We can discuss the wisdom of all these jobs another time, that’s not my point.)
My point is that I have a client/consultant who is pushing me to market myself and network in order to drum up business, and thank God he is, because although I know lots about putting together effective and creative DVD projects, I don’t know a lot about business. Or marketing.
Tonight I went to a “networking event.” Of course the whole point of this type of event is to walk up to people you don’t know, strike up a conversation, and sell yourself. Hmmm. Zero out of three ain’t bad. Oh, wait, yes it is.
See, I’m used to hanging out with moms that largely stay home with their kids. Now with these women, if I need an opening, I have one: it’s three feet tall and standing right in front of me. We do talk about non-mom things, but I know I have a common reference and I definitely don’t have to sell myself.
I can’t think of many more stressful situations for me personally than networking. I have summarily dismissed careers from my realm of possibility for the sole reason that they require schmoozing. I just can’t do it. But tonight I sucked it up, put on a smile and entered conversations right and left. Or at least left. I’m not going to say it was fun, but it was enlightening, and hopefully it gets easier with practice.