If it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger

My Virtual Assistant has been a member of a networking group for around six years; since I first started working for myself, and I have found it an invaluable way to generate business and learn about other people's businesses.

It's a lovely 'safe' and supportive environment in which you can share tips, advice, struggles, and successes with a fantastic group of like-minded business people.

I highly recommend joining a networking group if you are a start-up business owner or if you are an 'old hat' at running a business.

I admit that I still get butterflies when I have to stand up at each meeting to promote myself and talk about what I do, but when it comes to running a business, I have always been a believer in stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things. After all, as the saying goes... if it doesn't kill you it'll make you stronger!

This morning I ran my local networking group meeting; I was the Facilitator for the very first time.

To say I was nervous is an understatement  The very thought of trying to control 20 extremely confident and enthusiastic meeting members was something I was not really looking forward to!

As the meeting started, twenty pairs of eyes were upon me, and ears were listening, ready and waiting to hear what I had to say.

Deep inside I was wondering how I'd managed to get myself into this situation.  I took a big breath, words came out of my mouth, and the meeting kicked off.

One hour later the meeting was over.  A couple of people even came up to me and said I had done a wonderful job.  Apparently, I appeared confident and in control.  If only they knew!

I read somewhere that people who appear confident tend to enjoy greater success because others see self-assured individuals as more trustworthy.

Whereas, if you exude low self-confidence or a lack of self-belief, others may assume that you’re incompetent, untrustworthy, or unreliable.

Preparation and a good understanding of what you are saying is vital when speaking in public, whether it's when you're up there in front of an audience or when you're running a meeting.

After the meeting, as I drove back to my office, I reflected on the past hour.  I remembered to sit up straight, breathe deeply, speak clearly and a little bit slower than I normally do.  I made eye contact with others around the room and listened carefully when other people were speaking.  Oh, and I provided Hershey's kisses for everyone because chocolate bribes are a must!

One meeting down, 12 more to go...


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