Last night I joined a group of people, most of which I hadn’t met before, for a curry (a food I absolutely don’t enjoy!!!) Why did I do it you may ask? Well I have been a member of a networking organisation for well over a year now and have met friends, customers and new team members for my business through it.
4 Networking is not like a lot of the traditional networking organisations where you are pressured into passing on referrals and helping people do business with people they don’t even know. It’s all about building real relationships with individuals and getting to know, like and trust them before you go on to do business with them. To be honest most of the people I work with have become personal friends.
When you are in business as a sole trader it can be a very lonely place to be. Joining this organisation has meant I have support and lots of people who I can bounce ideas off. It seems to attract people who are my sort of people and I genuinely look forward to going to the meetings.
My first introduction to 4N was when I went to a lunch group over in Chard, Somerset (sadly this group has since folded). I was met at the door by the lovely Kirtsy Grimes from http://www.weloveourlocals.co.uk Kirsty was wearing a cat dress, cat ears, cat paws and even a tail. I instantly knew that this was the right fit for me as I absolutely adore cats and also anyone who has the nerve to dress up like this inspires me to do funky things too. The meeting was held at http://www.ferneanimalsanctuary.org and there I was introduced to the magic that is 4N. I joined up and can’t imagine being without the support of everyone I have met at all the meetings since.
Brad Burton, the founder of the organisation, also runs a private members group, on facebook, which gives you tasks to help you further develop your business. Last night’s curry meet up was a chance to meet some of the people from that private group so I went along to discover the two dimensional people I had gotten to know online were actually real life flesh and blood people too. It was great fun. In the featured image you can just see the top of my headband at the end of the table behind Alison’s (lady with long black hair) head.
Yesterday’s experience inspired me to write today’s poem so here it is for you to enjoy.
How to explain what 4N is
It’s Brad’s magical network, it’s just the Biz
So who is Brad I hear you say
Well he used to be a drug dealer, back in the day
But then he had life’s shit in his face
He turned around and left his place
To go down south and start again
He left behind that grief and pain
He didn’t know a soul down there
So went to network and lost his hair
The groups he joined were formal and stuffy
So he formed his own, they’re a bit more fluffy
Instead of sharing boring facts
You get to know some personal stats
The meetings are half business, half fun
If you don’t like the person, just cut and run
That way you meet your own little tribe
Get customers, referrals and a lovely vibe
It takes some time to build rapport
So carry on and you’ll get more
4N rocks, it’s like having support
When you work on your own it’s your home port
So don’t go it alone, come along and join in
You’ll go away with business and a big grin
If you’d like to find a local 4N group near you then message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can book you into a meeting to check it out