Developing Your Network
It’s always a surprise to me when young female entrepreneurs are ignorant of the skills and etiquette necessary to make them successful. In some cases, they may know better. In other cases, they just don’t care or they think they know better than seasoned professionals. These are typically well-educated young women between the ages of 18 and 27. Regardless, these young women could benefit from networking and creating lasting connections with women that have more experience. The reason I am writing this post is to give you pointers to help you become successful now and beyond.
Show Respect to Accomplished Female Entrepreneurs
We use to be taught to respect people with more experience, knowledge, or education. I cannot fathom why a 25-year-old would act like she knew more about business than someone with 40 years of experience. Working for the Women’s Leadership Exchange gave me the opportunity to meet and network with highly accomplished women. There were entrepreneurs, business owners, corporate leaders, and government officials. There were entertainment and media moguls. Some of the most impressive women were in academia or national associations that shared their expertise on how women work. I loved meeting all of them and became friends with some of them. I learned so much from them. To be honest, if I had not researched each of them, their businesses, and expertise it would have been impossible to have a conversation. It would have also been impossible to make a connection with them.
Learn All You Can About People Interested in You
We are taught to research the people and companies we want to work for upon graduation from high school or college. The same is true with college interviews or meeting with an advisor or counselor. Imagine what the conversation would be like if someone has not researched a prospective college or business before meeting with its representative.
Recently, I experienced an incident with a young woman who showed complete ignorance of business etiquette. She was probably 25 years old or a little older. I learned about her on a professional social networking platform. She had worked in the corporate and political worlds prior to starting her business. Everything I found on the Internet about her convinced me she would be a fine role model for high school girls. I also thought she would be excellent for a video interview and quite possibly a participant for our next Realizing a Vision conference. I wanted to learn more about her business. Most of all, I wanted to learn more about her as an entrepreneur. We arranged a time to speak by phone.
Much to my surprise, I learned she had not researched the Girl’s CEO Connection. There is plenty of information on the Internet. In fact, some of the information has to do with my support of women entrepreneurs for many years. Her ignorance of business etiquette amazed me. By the end of the conversation, I no longer considered her a role model nor wanted to have a video interview of her.
Our words of wisdom for creating connections:
1.) Learn the skills and etiquette that contribute to the success of accomplished women entrepreneurs and business owners.
2.) Be curious and learn the background and expertise of people you want to meet or will be meeting. There is a lot to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs and experts.
3.) Treat everyone with respect. Many will want to help you move forward with your business. Others may want to become your mentor. You never know what will happen when you follow these words of wisdom.
Please feel free to contact me here or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org