If you have been following me for a while. You should know that I am a business owner. And I’m not your traditional business owner that most of you see on social media. I am the owner of 5x Environmental, Health, Safety, and Environmental Consulting Agency. I know that’s a lot to say right. It’s a different world. In order to get contracts and to advertise my business, I have to go to networking events. So first things first. Let’s talk about finding networking events. I live in Alabama. And I’ll be honest, there is not a lot of networking events like in bigger cities. For example in Atlanta, there are tons of networking events. Basically in your big major cities, there will be networking events. So I find it. I won’t say hard because I do find networking events, I have to do my research times. 1000 to find networking events that will benefit me, though, let me tell you about a networking event I went to and how I tackle these events. First, before I sign up for the event before I paint any money because some events do cause money to go to them. I look to see if this networking event will benefit me. Sometimes I have to drive 10 minutes to an event. Sometimes I have to drive two hours to an event. Why, because I want my business to be successful and it is going to be successful so I do the footwork. I decided to go to the Atlanta next industry day at the airport. When I tell you, it was one of the best networking events I’ve been to. (Okay and a side note, they fed us and the food was, oh my gosh. Amazing.)
But back to the story at hand. So, with my business. I can (and WILL) work with the airport and it takes steps to work with the airport so it’s not a next-day thing. I want you guys to get that misconception out of your head. Every time you do something in a business it’s immediately. Sometimes it is but in my sphere of business…Sometimes it’s not. I went to the event, got there, and they had the question and answer session where you know you could find out more about what the Atlanta Airport has on the horizon, how to do business with an Atlanta airport, and also time to have smaller roundtable sessions. You know. Get a little more insight. Little did I know that one of the construction companies that I have been looking to work with was there. WOOOHOOO. I admire his drive, determination, and how he built his company from the ground up. His story was just an inspiration for somebody like me.
First, let me talk about what I wear. Depending on the event. I may wear a dress or wear my pants. In this event, I decided to wear a dress and my chunky heels. At networking events, I am going to do a lot of walking, and my feet will hurt I’m not even gonna lie. I have tried shoes for days, and these feet still hurt after all that walking. If you know of any comfortable heels, LET ME AND MY PINKY TOE KNOW. I make sure that my hair is presentable. Don’t get me started on the different hairstyles. The first thing they see before you reach out and shake your hand is YOU! I make sure my hair is nicely curled and my makeup is not too loud. I keep it 100% professional. I know everybody was like, oh they should accept me for who I am. Ladies and Gents! Get over yourself and get over. If you want to succeed in life. Sometimes you have to play a game to start winning. I understand what needs to happen, especially in my line of work, because I’ll be honest in my line of work. There are not many females, and there are not many African American females.
So needless to say, your girl got to be on point 1000%. Yeah, I keep it professional, even when it’s not for the businessman. For ONE, I’m a married woman. I respect my marriage and my husband so I’m not going to be out there flaunting my body to the world that’s just not me. When I do go, I have tons of business cards. I try to meet as many people as possible and hand out as many cards too. I’m able to meet with different vendors, meet other people that are there for their business. Sometimes they have raffles. Do you know what that’s free advertisement for you if your name gets put in a raffle and they pull your company name? They are going to say…And the winner is – Kendra Nix with 5x Environmental. The first thing they see is you walking up to get your prize. You’re professional. You’re intact. And you go up there and get your award and your smile. That is free advertising, right there. Next, we go to eat. YASSSS!
Let me just say this. If you don’t know how to properly, eat at a classy function, do yourself a favor. Look at a YouTube video and or go to an etiquette class. I am thankful for my parents that they did that for me they put me etiquette school. Not to say my parents know how to raise me because they did a damn good job, but it’s how you present yourself to the world how you sit at the table, how you eat your food. How you ask for certain things at the table it all plays a part. You just never know who is watching you. And the reason why I say that I was sitting at a table. And it was about eight of us at one table. And I didn’t realize this guy we were just talking I’m just being myself you know posture correct Kendra. Listen, this guy’s company is amazing too. And I follow up. And he replies. Hey, he wants to talk with me. I was like, oh my gosh. He runs this company, very modest Gentlemen, I would never have known that, but my presentation of myself and my company was superb. So you have to know how to play the networking game. Trust me when I say, how you look at how you present yourself and your company speaks volumes. I have seen people who have come looking like they just woke up out of the bed, and I’m just like, I don’t know if I would do business with you because that means you yeah you question certain things like that, you question things. When you see someone’s appearance is not in order.
Okay, once the session is over. Food is done. That’s the event. But that’s not the end of the event for you. If you collected business cards, you need to take the time and respond with a Hey, it was a pleasure meeting you at the event. Just want to drop my information if you need me, you respond with the email you just never know they’ll be like, oh my god yeah I remember you Hey, my company needs you for ABCD. So, make sure that you play the networking game. Well, and like I say, they may not respond the next day they may not respond, but you will always follow up, keep your follow up game strong and good things will come to you, I promise you. I’ve been hitting this pavement, and I realized a lot as a new and improved (okay cause in a short amount of time, I’m showing OUT!) businesswoman. I’ve improved big-time and understand that your network is also equal to your net worth.