When we think of networking events, we tend to think of individuals dressed up in their best suit and tie, pushing their business cards and awkward conversations being had to make connections with “super important people.” Networking events can seem intimidating and even stressful. Maybe you do leave the event with some connections, a lunch meeting set up or an interview. Great! But whew, you’re glad when it’s over.
But what if you went to a networking event where you felt like you were supported, inspired and excited to make your plans a reality?
That’s how I felt at my first networking event, RVA Emergers.
CEOs, business owners, influencers, creatives, and professionals gathered together at the Jackson Beer Garden & Smokehouse for the second RVA Emergers event.
Senator Jennifer McClellan, the keynote speaker, spoke along with entrepreneur Shanae Harmon, of Paint & Sip. Both speakers gave attendees useful advice, but also lead an interactive conversation about entrepreneurship. That’s what made this networking event a bit different from any other. It was not just about meeting people, it was about having a meaningful discussion on how to become an entrepreneur and discussing the important issues within our communities.
At one point the crowd was asked: “What’s the first step that you need to take to become an entrepreneur?”
Among the answers were:
– Get a good team
– Save money
– Find your niche (don’t be a broad brush)
– Be open to collaborating with others and don’t be a control freak
– Get your thoughts down on paper and speak them into existence
One of the answers that stood out to me was “Fail quickly and get excited about the nos.” One of my worst fears is rejection and failing. All too often we have ideas in our heads that we don’t think will come to fruition because “it’s just not realistic” or “it’ll never happen” or “I don’t have the time or money,” or in my case “what if no one supports this?” But you have to invest in yourself FIRST and taking risks is investing. What’s the worst that could happen? You fail? Failing doesn’t have to be the end of your world–it can be your start.
All in all it was a great event and I’m glad I attended. If you missed this one join us at our 3rd annual Emerge-Preneur Summit on September 8, 2018!
By: Brianna Scott
Photography by GSImagery
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