A little over a month ago, I left my corporate job to pursue my dream of being a full-time writer and to have time to market my novel, Single Girl Summer. So far, it’s been an amazing experience and more than I hoped it would be. I quickly learned that I have to set daily and weekly goals, keep myself on a strict schedule, and diligently work different angles to figure out ways to make money.
One angle that has helped me a great deal is strategic networking with other entrepreneurs. Last week, I was invited to a reception to preview the upcoming Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo that will be in Chicago May 23-26. I was invited by Cameka Smith who founded the BOSS Network. BOSS stand for “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” and their mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women. In the year that I’ve know her, Cameka has been very supportive. Every time I attend one of her BOSS events, I’m so impressed by the strength of her network. I finally joined BOSS last month and it’s opened me to a whole world of impressive women that are eager to help each other succeed.
Many women from the BOSS network were at the event with me last week and they spoke passionately on how great the conference is every year and how the networking done there has propelled their business forward. Before that night, I hadn’t signed up for the conference because I wasn’t ready to commit to the hefty price tag. But after the ladies of BOSS finished telling their first-hand experiences and successes, I signed up on the spot. I knew I couldn’t afford NOT to be there.
If you have a small business and a large entrepreneurial spirit, I strongly encourage you to visit the website for all the details. There is also a teen entrepreneurship component and if you have children aged 13-17, it’s your duty as a parent to expose them to the idea that they can be their own boss and create their own business. I wish I hadn’t waited until my mid-30’s to find and pursue my passion, but I thank God that I finally got here because I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope to you see you at the conference.
Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo Details:
May 23-26, Hilton Chicago in Chicago, Illinois Small business, big business, it’s ALL business.
Join 1,500 entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and professionals.
Until April 23rd, use the code BSSNTW for a registration discount. (Thanks Cameka for this hook up.)
Below are some full circle tips from Alfred Edmond Jr. at Black Enterprise for all business owners who understand the Law of Attraction. If you want to be prosperous and maintain prosperity, then make it a point to do the following:
- Spend money with other entrepreneurs in your network. Don’t expect them to provide you with free products and services. Purchase products from them because every business needs sales growth and profits to thrive.
- If you are connected on social media networks, endorse their products and services and post recommendations to their profile. Send them customers every chance you get with positive word of mouth and virtual mentions.
- When you come across a business opportunity that isn’t right for you or you can’t get, pass it onto someone in your network. The next best thing to you getting the business is someone you know getting it – and having you to thank for it.
- If you discover that a large corporation or government is looking to expand its pool of minority vendors, don’t keep the information to yourself. Share with others so your fellow vendors and aspiring suppliers look to you as a source for valuable information and support.
- Be a resource and provide support for younger entrepreneurs. Help them to make the connections and find the customers they’ll need to thrive.
- Instead of tossing out business cards that seem to have no value to you, pass them onto others who could benefit from those contacts.
- Don’t just network for yourself. Play matchmaker and connect people who can help each other.