It took me a really long time to understand what networking is and how to network successfully. I talked about being brave and confident this year, and also about connecting with more with like-minded people, as blogging can be a very isolating process. Joining the Style Collective community allowed me to learn and make genuine connections with people I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to meet. So, when there was a new Style Collective meet-up right in Orange County, I was excited to take a #mombreak. Read on for more on sipping cocktails and networking.
The meet-up was at Costa Mesa’s Mesa Lounge, which coincidentally was one of the first date spots Mauricio and I went to when we first moved to this area. It’s a beautiful space, with amazing cocktails and sexy lighting—which means everyone looks gorgeous. On weekend nights they have DJ’s, so it’s a perfect combo of a restaurant and lounge space.
Debbie Savage of To Thine Own Style be True hosted the event and secured amazing sponsors for us, like Middle Sister Wines, and Shawna Henrie of Blue Dog Fotography, who provided these stunning photos as well as the flower arrangements. While Mesa Lounge offered complimentary cocktails and delicious appetizers. Basically the way to my heart; pretty sips and pizza.
How To Network Successfully
1. What Is Networking
First, networking isn’t about finding people who can help you, it’s about putting yourself in a room with others who have the same passions and interests as you, and genuinely getting to know them. Be open to meeting people, focus on getting to know them, not on how they can help you.
2. Sit with Strangers
It’s human nature to spot your friends and sit next to them. I was bummed to realize two of the ladies I was looking forward to seeing weren’t going to make it. So I turned this into an opportunity to meet new ladies, and sat down with women I haven’t met before, and I didn’t stare into my phone, I made small talk.
3. Be Genuine
People can sense if you’re trying to sniff out whether they are useful to you, and it’s a turn off. Instead, ask questions and listen, but also share honestly and openly. I ended up speaking about a frustration I have been experiencing and other Style Collective members made super helpful suggestions.