We’ve had two of these meetups and I’m still trying to figure out what exactly it is that we’re doing. Although admittedly I’m not trying too hard. I mean – this thing only has four more meetings and then it’s over. When the core group decided to do this (Laura, Sarah, Natalie, and Leah) – it was with the idea that most ‘networking groups’ are generally awful/terrible/ but also worse than that – a useless waste of time.
That issue is compounded when you’re awkward as heck, and trying to meet people is high on your list of things they’ll make you do in hell.
So LauraSarahNatalieLeah came up with ways to make everything less awkward, more useful, and even a little bit of fun – fun with just the right amount of cheesy-ness and not make-want-to-die-ness. We hope.
Size of the group is important as well – too small and it ends up being your same 5 friends that you already know. Too big and it’s an overwhelming sea of people that ends up reminding everyone of high school and their cliques, or worse – some kind of megachurch meeting.
The “Business” part of the name is important to these meetups. Because the business part is often times… hard to talk about. It might sound scary, or difficult, or… making money is a ‘bad thing’. It doesn’t have to be any of those things and it’s all in HOW you do something, right?
And it’s also in WHO you choose to work with – whether that’s your clients, or partnerships, or even yourself on any particular day
The group leans toward working with Energy Workers/ Holistic Practitioners and is open to all small business persons – while focused on the business part of things. It’s easy to forget those parts when you’re pushing Big Magic through and into the world.
We also don’t want it to devolve into a not-worth-it hangout party full of strangers that talk about weird things that make us feel weird. (Sorry, that might just be my past experiences from these kinds of meetings…)
Once a month we get together for 2 hours and get to work. Get to work meeting new people in business, about to be in business, thinking about being in business. Seeing how we can work together and genuinely build each other up.
And not feel so alone or isolated while trying to do that thing that is your business. Because most of the work that these people do is very personal. Often times their clients are dealing with/discovering/working through traumas from this life or past lives. So yeah – attracting a particular kind of business owner is important to the health and usefulness of the group. What kind? At it’s most clear and refined – persons that genuinely want to help other people succeed, be better, and do better. Simple right?
Now that I write it all down – these meetups are complicated, and simple, and then back to complicated when I think too hard about everything and wanting it all to go just right. Fortunately I don’t have to do much of the thinking. LauraSarahNatalieLeah have more than enough brains and magic to bring it all together without struggle.
Also. It’s obnoxious and audacious to name any group after yourself. I totally agree.
The reason it’s called the ‘LeahAndMark Business Network’ is because we didn’t want to come up with some kind of inspirational/aspirational name. Plus, full ownership. Not in the copyright/trademark sense of the word – more in the we are responsible for the health and success of this. It’s not a big organization of people pretending to be important at all. And yeah – when you see the name, you might first think “Who the f*ck are Leah and Mark and why do they have a business network?”
That is a great and valid question.
I’ll let you know when I figure it out.
But you should also come to our next meetup and find out for yourself.