Set Your Networking Goals In 4 Steps


A few things you need to get straight in your business (and head) about networking, it’s a process. Like any other process, you need to have an action plan with goals of your outcome. Below are a few things you should do to start networking effectively.


Know the Basics of What You Need

Seems a little silly to say, but you need to know what your needs are before networking. Yes, everyone needs to make sales and gain new contacts, what I am speaking of are the needs within your business. What services or products do you or your business need to perform better? Are you currently looking for a new graphic designer or need another payment processing solution? Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations when attending events, the purpose of networking is to get help and be a help to others as well.

Also, do you have a Strategic Partner? If you are looking for one, begin by thinking about what products or services would complement yours.

For example, a Personal Trainer and a Distributor for a wellness product would be great partners, they are going after the same type of client, but not offering competing services. This process will help maximize your time and efforts while attending events.

You should also be prepared to explain what you are looking for in a potential client or customer. I know what you’re thinking, you know what you are looking for, but make sure it’s easy enough for everyone else. I like to ask myself a question about my prospects. What situations are people or businesses in that make them an ideal client for me? Are they suffering from high turnover in their sales department? Are they closing a branch office or relocating? Whatever circumstances make for an ideal client, be prepared to describe it to others. Make the task of finding leads and referrals for you as easy as possible.


Finding the Right Events

The next step is to start looking for the right events to attend to maximize your time. There are several sites that you can check out to see what events are coming up in your area. A great place to start is your local chamber, if you are looking for more specialized events, you can also try Meetup. If your ideal client is a woman business owner, then try to target women’s events that are hosted at lunch or after hours.

You may see some results at a Golf or charity event, but keep the picture of your ideal client in mind. Ask yourself, would they be attending this event, if the answer is no or not sure, then move on.


Treat it Like a Sales Appointment

When you schedule time to network, it’s a great idea to set a goal of attending a certain number of events per week or per month. When you find events to attend, be sure to treat them like sales appointments, don’t skip out or reschedule them. Like any sales activities, don’t let it overwhelm your calendar, attend an amount of events that you are comfortable with, being consistent is key.


Have a Number in Mind

Have a number in mind each month, not your sales goal, but a networking goal. You will continue to build those relationships with the connections you meet, but you should have a goal in mind. Whether its meeting a certain number of people a month or attending five to ten events a month, stay consistent in your efforts as it will eventually pay off in your business.

6min read

What Sexual Abuse Survivors Want You to Know

In 2016, I finally found my voice. I always thought I had one, especially as a business owner and mother of two vocal toddlers, but I had been wrong.

For more than 30 years, I had been struggling with the fear of being my true self and speaking my truth. Then the repressed memories of my childhood sexual abuse unraveled before me while raising my 3-year-old daughter, and my life has not been the same since.

Believe it or not, I am happy about that.

The journey for a survivor like me to feel even slightly comfortable sharing these words, without fear of being shamed or looked down upon, is a long and often lonely one. For all of the people out there in the shadows who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, I dedicate this to you. You might never come out to talk about it and that's okay, but I am going to do so here and I hope that in doing so, I will open people's eyes to the long-term effects of abuse. As a survivor who is now fully conscious of her abuse, I suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, quite frankly, it may never go away.

It took me some time to accept that and I refuse to let it stop me from thriving in life; therefore, I strive to manage it (as do many others with PTSD) through various strategies I've learned and continue to learn through personal and group therapy. Over the years, various things have triggered my repressed memories and emotions of my abuse--from going to birthday parties and attending preschool tours to the Kavanaugh hearing and most recently, the"Leaving Neverland" documentary (I did not watch the latter, but read commentary about it).

These triggers often cause panic attacks. I was angry when I read Barbara Streisand's comments about the men who accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them, as detailed in the documentary. She was quoted as saying, "They both married and they both have children, so it didn't kill them." She later apologized for her comments. I was frustrated when one of the senators questioning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (during the Kavanaugh hearing) responded snidely that Dr. Ford was still able to get her Ph.D. after her alleged assault--as if to imply she must be lying because she gained success in life.We survivors are screaming to the world, "You just don't get it!" So let me explain: It takes a great amount of resilience and fortitude to walk out into society every day knowing that at any moment an image, a sound, a color, a smell, or a child crying could ignite fear in us that brings us back to that moment of abuse, causing a chemical reaction that results in a panic attack.

So yes, despite enduring and repressing those awful moments in my early life during which I didn't understand what was happening to me or why, decades later I did get married; I did become a parent; I did start a business that I continue to run today; and I am still learning to navigate this "new normal." These milestones do not erase the trauma that I experienced. Society needs to open their eyes and realize that any triumph after something as ghastly as childhood abuse should be celebrated, not looked upon as evidence that perhaps the trauma "never happened" or "wasn't that bad. "When a survivor is speaking out about what happened to them, they are asking the world to join them on their journey to heal. We need love, we need to feel safe and we need society to learn the signs of abuse and how to prevent it so that we can protect the 1 out of 10 children who are being abused by the age of 18. When I state this statistic at events or in large groups, I often have at least one person come up to me after and confide that they too are a survivor and have kept it a secret. My vehicle for speaking out was through the novella The Survivors Club, which is the inspiration behind a TV pilot that my co-creator and I are pitching as a supernatural, mind-bending TV series. Acknowledging my abuse has empowered me to speak up on behalf of innocent children who do not have a voice and the adult survivors who are silent.

Remembering has helped me further understand my young adult challenges,past risky relationships, anger issues, buried fears, and my anxieties. I am determined to thrive and not hide behind these negative things as they have molded me into the strong person I am today.Here is my advice to those who wonder how to best support survivors of sexual abuse:Ask how we need support: Many survivors have a tough exterior, which means the people around them assume they never need help--we tend to be the caregivers for our friends and families. Learning to be vulnerable was new for me, so I realized I needed a check-off list of what loved ones should ask me afterI had a panic attack.

The list had questions like: "Do you need a hug," "How are you feeling," "Do you need time alone."Be patient with our PTSD". Family and close ones tend to ask when will the PTSD go away. It isn't a cold or a disease that requires a finite amount of drugs or treatment. There's no pill to make it miraculously disappear, but therapy helps manage it and some therapies have been known to help it go away. Mental Health America has a wealth of information on PTSD that can help you and survivors understand it better. Have compassion: When I was with friends at a preschool tour to learn more about its summer camp, I almost fainted because I couldn't stop worrying about my kids being around new teenagers and staff that might watch them go the bathroom or put on their bathing suit. After the tour, my friends said,"Nubia, you don't have to put your kids in this camp. They will be happy doing other things this summer."

In that moment, I realized how lucky I was to have friends who understood what I was going through and supported me. They showed me love and compassion, which made me feel safe and not judged.