July 30, 2017
A couple of weeks ago, Ryan Stewman reminded me of a time when I first launched this podcast and how perseverance was the key to making it this far. I had no clue what headaches I was headed for! This is the story of how I conquered my first networking event and learned first hand how perseverance and pushing forward can change everything.
The original laptop where the Technology = Equality podcast was recorded and created experienced the crash of the century! After weeks of planning, recording and creating, I almost lost everything because I wasn't worried about losing anything. I was almost ready to scrap the podcast idea and only continue with the consulting. I decided to make an effort to salvage the show. I was beside myself with joy the moment I restored several interviews. They were far from perfect.... but I had them and that was what really mattered. Ok, so not only did it pay to continue to try working on restoration, my perseverance paid off in yet another manner!
You know how every now and then you come across a picture of someone on the internet and it just fascinates you? Well, a while back, I ran across a picture of a man playing a digital cello! Yup, that's right a digital cello! (as some of you may know, my siblings and I played classical instruments for a number of years with the New England Conservatory.) This was just a random picture, little did I know this man was far more interesting than just a picture!! As I began researching I realized, this phantom, playing an instrument, I would love to get my hands on, was actually from Germany.....and the founder of ThingMagic!
(Quick shout out to my cousins in Germany!!! Big J., Little J. Sarah, Melissa & Petra... I love you guys!!!!)
I know, I know. you are probably saying... what the heck is ThingMagic?
ThingMagic is a major game changer in the retail industry!
Created in a garage right here in Cambridge, Ma., ThingMagic is a RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology company. For those of you who are unaware, RFID is the little chip, that identifies a product once scanned.
So, months later, as I am browsing through MeetUp.com events, hosted by my favorite local entrepreneur, Chris Requena; I see he is hosting a breakfast at which Mr. Bernd Schoner is the guest speaker, regarding his book, The Tech Entrepreneurs Survival Guide."
FYI- Breakfast networking is always the way to go if you are just starting out. Your mind & breath are still fresh!
Heels In Cambridge...
I thought I parked near the building I was going to for this event, but I was so wrong. Let's just say $60 for parking and a 1/2 mile in heels on cobblestone turned out to be, well...... priceless!
...is like a Spartan race to a networking event!
Side Note: When dressing for any occasion, always consider the commute, not just the destination!
So I was headed to this breakfast with a goal in mind.
I suggest you consider why it is you are attending an event before you just attend for the sake of attending. Now, if that's your thing.... great! Most of us on the other hand, don't make a habit of attending networking events. Having a goal for the event creates an automatic personal purpose for attending and helps to decrease the anxiety you may experience.
I had intended to clear my schedule and attend a MeetUp long before this one. Now I had double the purpose and there was no stopping me!
Well, that's a lie.... I was internally griping about parking (it's Cambridge!) to myself. Then debated if I should turn back to the car, as I trooped it a 1/2 mile in 2-inch heels to the conference center. When I walked into the conference room at the Microsoft NERD Center, I practically froze!
Instead, I sat down in the audience and began to rethink walking up to these men, with my home made business card, to be on my Podcast which I had yet to air!
I sat there feeling utterly silly for having shown up and I was trying to act casual. A wonderful gentleman (Mike if you're reading this, Thank You!) sat next to me and introduced himself.... after all, this was a Networking breakfast and I wasn't speaking to anyone! (I probably looked super silly!) I'm sure he was just curious, and I began to tell him my ultimate motive. Oh, he chuckled, and proceeded to ask what I was so afraid of... prior to telling me to get up and go!
So I did, heart pounding, hands now becoming clammy, and praying I was not breaking into a sweat! I simply walked over to Bernd Schoner, PhD., introduced myself, handed him my home made business card and asked if he would be on my new show. He graciously accepted my business card & invitation and instructed me to contact his P.R. person!
I tried to calmly walk away and look for Mr. Requena, as though I knew him! The presentation was about to begin, so I quickly shoved my business card into his hand and said I was starting the show, call me?!?
Yeah, I really didn't know what I was doing, but I did it! (And I didn't get one bite in the process.)
I then sat down, attempting not to look like a kid, giddy, and way over excited as though Christmas morning had just arrived! Bernd's entire presentation was not only informative, but he shared a couple of silly stories, making it personal & fun.
I was beyond excited they both accepted! Though I'll admit, I was afraid Bernd's P.R. person would totally ignore me. Once again, I was wrong!!!! I was able to schedule an interview within the month and personally speak with Bernd myself.
Thank you again, Mike... I did it!!
Point is.... Get started and just try!
You never know what could happen.