Happy Friday: It’s About Community

Happy freaking Friday, ladies. I had the esteemed pleasure of attending a GirlBoss community event yesterday evening at their Headquarters in Silverlake. I met some really funny and passionate women doing some big things in LA. And I got to meet Sophia Amoruso herself.Quickly, she’s the author of the book GirlBoss, which is the name of her current company. Her book was turned into a Netflix series, which is still available on Netflix if you want to watch it. And she started the clothing line Nasty Gal. And she/the company is hosting a highly anticipated rally later this month.Now, that we caught up, it was an amazing event as far as energy goes. And what I mean by that was the types of women who were present. Some came to learn (like, Ms. LeAnn, former social worker looking to start her own business), some came to share (Ms. Melissa, who currently is working on a digital platform called the Phoenix project), some came to network (Mrs. Lindsay, who’s based out of Fullerton but has a company called Emblem), but of all us came for the community.I think it was very on the nose when Sophia started the event with an African proverb:

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

And that pretty much set the tone and the agenda for the evening. People (as there were men there too, because anyone can be an ally) broke off into groups to talk and get to learn about one another. And although we were given a topic to discuss when we broke off into groups, I don’t think a single group I was in (I was jumping into a few groups and I loved it) stayed on topic. But in a good way. We were there to build a community among ourselves and so we did. And that’s what we women of all walks of life need.Community.

WHEN: You’re On A Roll

It feels good when things are working out and things are good. It pumps me up, it makes me want to do more and keep those vibes and energy going. And when things are good, I never question it. I just ask that they stay as long as they can.

But the best thing about being on a roll and having things go your way, is taking advantage of that momentum and using it to gain traction on other things you have going on or want to start. For instance, I finally have the concept for my business that Female, Single + Hustlin’ birthing in the back of my mind. I was talking to our guest speaker at work today and she’s been an independent IT consultant for about 11 years now. She works for home, knew back in college she wanted to work for herself and she’s about my age. And we were talking about the importance of having a community of upward bound women to bond and connect with would’ve been so impactful to our success if we knew things, like the company I work, out there existed earlier on.

And during our discussion I had a quiet light bulbūüí°moment when I was sharing with her my passion project, Female, Single + Hustlin‘. And how I wanted to help women like myself create profitable side hustles, as she too is all about side hustlin’. LOVE IT!!! So when my light bulb went on, the idea of it just kept playing in my mind over and over and over again.

So… I’m going to have to try to run with this now that it feels much clearer that what I was trying to piece together. And I hope it turns out better than I expect. But don’t worry. I will share with you the deets once I have planned and outlined everything out.

WHEN: Your Network Expands

It’s been a really long day at work. Like, not overly long in the sense of time, but long in the sense of activities and things taking place. But in my new (I can still call it new?) job, I find my days getting longer and my network getting bigger.

And I’m so okay with that.

I think all I ever wanted from my old job – other than better pay, better benefits, professional development that actually applied to the admin staff, flexible hours and decent coworkers – were opportunities to grow my network and build my career. That’s how I knew that job was a dead end one.

I had no opportunity to network with anyone in my industry because my company thought I wasn’t important enough.

Yeah, I accept that harsh reality now, but I hated it then. I wasn’t good enough to network. Which I translated into my professional goals didn’t matter.

Now, it’s essential to my role that I constantly be networking. Meeting new people, plugging in the programs we offer and the value of my role in the company. Today, I got to meet and hang out (loosely speaking) with the ladies of Sebastian Professional. Later in the day, an actress from the Hart of Dixie stopped by and talked with each one of us. And hugged us and mentioned how much she loved the work we’re doing. So that meant meeting her assistant and a photographer who was there to shoot her on site. Meeting more new people.

This is was networking like for me now. No two encounters are the same. No two experiences are alike. But each one offers of wealth to learn from and people to connect with.

PTHS: Time to Network

Tuesday’s Part-time Hustlin’ Struggles — finding time to network.¬† When you already work 40 hours a week, it can be hard to find time to work on your side hustle or business.¬† The best hours to spend making those important moves are given to someone else in a time block that is traditionally hard to break.¬† I guess that’s another reason why side hustlin’ is so appealing.¬† The practice of working on your own schedule frees you up to take care of the mundane but necessary life tasks; going to the bank, going the grocery store, picking up your dry cleaning and so forth.

But what about networking?¬† That too is a very big element¬† I’ve learned over the years.¬† And we have to make time to network.¬† ¬†And no, not just networking events, although they are becoming more convenient as they’re being held after hours on week days, is not enough.¬† Networking is relationship building and you’re not going to accomplish that in a few hours no matter how in sync you might feel with that angel investor.

You gotta make time to meet other like-minded people.

I met a woman, by the name of Keyna this past Saturday at a Starbucks near USC (USC Village).¬† And although we had talked on the over, exchanged emails back and forth, this was our very first in person meeting.¬† And it was nice.¬† The meeting was nice, getting to learn about one another was nice and finding a kindred spirit was nice.¬† Who is the Kenya gal I keep using the word ‘nice’ about?¬† ¬†She’s a broker and financial consultant and we initially began speaking through an email she sent regarding an event she was scheduled to put on but had canceled for whatever reason.¬† I had notice that her email signature stated she was a broker so I took the chance and asked her if her organization was in need of a Loan Signing Agent. She said no, but was able to put me through to someone who she knew frequently used notaries and the loan signing agents.¬† All three of us had a conference call one afternoon on my lunch break.¬† I later touched base with the gentleman again and he assured me they recorded my information in their system to use me for any doc signing opportunities in my area.¬† After that call, Kenya and I set up a time to meet face to face.

All of which may have taken place about 30 days ago or so.  Not within no 2-3 hours time span at some lavish event.

And although I do enjoy the process, finding time to connect like that isn’t easy.¬† I have to make myself available hoping it fits whenever the other party is available.¬† And if not, I hope that whenever we do connect it’s not overly long as I’m probably only on a 10 minute break.¬† In which, I don’t want to rush someone off because then I come off as aloof and uninterested.¬† Emails turn into to calls, which are either, again, on my lunch break or after I get off of work.¬† Calls turn into meetings, which are, again, after work or on the weekends.¬† Which means any errands I had planned for the weekend gets shifted to an earlier or later time to accommodate this meet and greet.¬† And this is a cycle I go through with per person.

It’s a time consuming process for someone who always feels like they’re pressed for time.¬† But it’s just one of many elements I feel like I’m always pressed for time trying to take this hustle to the next level.¬† But nonetheless, very important.