Expand Your Centers of Influence

One of the challenges for women today, in particular, business women, is the opportunity to expand our network.  Social media helps to some degree, however, we are creatures of habit and often find ourselves surrounded by the same people, having the same conversations.

I learned of a business woman recently who created a “new normal” for herself by finding a new group, association or organizational meeting to attend each month. She enjoyed the relationships she’d developed at her local chamber of commerce, but found the people and conversations to be the same.  She wanted more of a challenge.  She wanted to meet new people.

So after doing a little research, she began to attend luncheons and networking events for groups that she’d not previously considered.  A successful entrepreneur in her early sixties, she attended a networking meeting for social media up and comers and found herself having cocktails in a room filled with technie twenty year olds. She met some interesting people, learned a ton and walked away with a better understand of a different generation of thinkers.

Her background and focus is in finance, but she stretched outside her comfort zone to attend events for Sales and Marketing professionals, Communication Specialists, Technology wizards, and even small, start-up women’s events.

She practically glows with her new knowledge and the energy she’s found from meeting new people and expanding her centers of influence.

When was the last time you stepped outside your normal routine to attend a new event? MeetUp.com is a great online resource that provides information on activities, events and meetings for groups with a variety of interests. 

Look for women’s events in your area.  Groups like ATHENA InternationalNAWBO (National Organization for Women Business Owners) and the National Organization for Women have local chapters and frequent events.

Connect with a friend and suggest that you attend a meeting together. Check your local paper or visit the InfoPlease directory of associations and find something that sounds interesting in your area.

The groups you currently belong to serve a purpose and I’m not suggesting you abandon anything that allows you to give back or connect, however, adding a new event to your calendar periodically will help to expand your network and your knowledge. 

What new group would you like to attend? When is their next event? What is stopping you from attending?