Andrew is an insolvency practitioner based in the heart of London. Fortunately, I don’t need his professional services right now, especially as I’m welcoming a new client on board today. Andrew and I were introduced by Michael, a branding consultant I met at a music networking evening in Shoreditch who, like me, loves putting like-minded people together.
My initial meeting with Andrew was highly entertaining. Rather than discussing his insolvent clients, we focused on his creative writing; Andrew has published a range of kids’ books in alliterating rhyme. He also told me an eye-opening story of his life as a gigolo… but that’s another story!
So when he invited me to an evening where he’d be entertaining the audience at Liz Gee’s Lecture Club – with nibbles and wine – I happily accepted. As it turned out, I’d met Liz at another networking event, at a casino in Gloucester Road, but I hadn’t yet attended any of her events. What I hadn’t realised is that Liz welcomes her guests into her own home, a beautiful and elegant property at the edge of Holland Park.
Some people believe that the true test of whether a networking event is successful is meeting people with whom you can do business. I disagree. It’s simply about connecting with people that you like and would be happy to recommend to others. I won’t do business with everyone I met at Liz’s house because I don’t have a need for everyone’s services. But in the course of the next few months, it’s likely that I’ll meet people who will be pleased for an introduction to at least one of them – and that’s what it’s all about!
Equally as important in my opinion is the venue, as that’s what I tend to remember. A casino that serves chocolate and nut cookies at 9am, a private club overlooking the Thames with mini fish and chips in teeny tin buckets, a gallery on the 42nd floor above the city of London, a football stadium… and now a fabulous home in west London with luxurious furnishings and an eclectic gallery of artwork adorning the walls.
It was such a lovely environment to be in that it was more like being at a private cocktail party than a business event. Huge thanks to Liz and Rowland for their hospitality. How great for them to be able to network right in the comfort of their living room… most of us social network from home – in my case that involves more chocolate than wine.
I got the bus to Holland Park that day, a hot and airless Boris bus… then enjoyed by a gentle stroll through the gorgeous park. It followed an afternoon stuffing myself at Choccywoccydoodah (yes, more chocolate) so the inertia of a bus ride was good – and it certainly beat the tube on a warm summer’s day. Although the tube ride into town is time I usually utilise to paint my nails. Well, multitasking is often the key to getting everything done. (But not always. Sometimes a solid time management plan does away with the need to multitask and allows you to focus clearly and achieve more.)
A wise man once said: “You can spend all your time making money; you can spend all your love making time.” If you’d like help managing your time to be more productive, or fancy a little networking, give me a call. Or chat to me here: @WeekendWitch.
(That wise man was Don Henley.)