You are not alone.
“Networking is more quality, and less quantity.” – Jarod Kintz
Women entrepreneurs fall short compared to men on networking skills. Male entrepreneurs know and spend time with mentors, coaches and other entrepreneurs who have “been there, done that.” Men actually seek out mentors and coaches who help guide them through the difficulty of owning a business.
So, why don’t women do the same?
One thought is because women didn’t participate in as many competitive team sports as men and have not carried that personal experience into their business experience. Women might be unaware of the importance and leverage this brings. A coach, team camaraderie, and constant encouragement are important criteria to building a solid network for entrepreneurs.
We need mentors and coaches to bounce ideas, ask questions, receive wise counsel, and be encouraged.
If you haven’t connected with other entrepreneurs, seek them out now. There are several entrepreneur organizations you can join. Talk to someone from your local Chamber of Commerce or join a meet-up group. Identify a mentor — there are even online mentor matching services! Hire a business coach. Find an entrepreneur who is a little further along in their business to mentor you. Attend a seminar. We need to engage others to walk beside us as we grow our businesses. You just need to ask!
Do you have a 10 -15 second “What Do You Do?” statement? You need to be able to succinctly communicate in a conversational way what problem you solve and what solution you provide for your customer. This is something you can share not only at an organized event, but an everyday experience of connecting with someone at the grocery store, a kid’s sporting/school event or even getting a pedicure. People want to know what you are doing either for them- selves or to pass along to someone they know. An opportunity to share your business is NOT a time to be shy or retreat. Be ready!
Here is an example of our “What Do You Do?” sentence: “You know how early in their business women entrepreneurs often wrestle with self doubt? Well, we help them discover ways to conquer self doubt and arm them with business tools so they can thrive with confidence in their business and in their life.”
BE STRONG: Surround yourself with smart supportive people.
BE COURAGEOUS: Find others who have walked the path before you.
BE BOLD: Be ready to share your story at every opportunity.