Game Faces

You’ve heard it from everyone, your colleagues, other business owners, your dog- networking is fundamental to growing your business. That means you need to get out there, meet new people and introduce yourself and your business to everyone.

That seems like an easy thing to do, and it is certainly an easy thing to suggest for someone to do. But the reality for many small business owners is that we are paralyzed by fear, or our expectations are never met, or, sometimes, we are having a bad day and don’t want to socialize. Whatever the reason, sometimes we just don’t want to go to that event.

Entrepreneurs are often caught up in trying to make the best impression, trying to make sure we meet everyone- and all the right people. We end up losing touch with who we are as individuals and everything becomes about the business. Many of us are also perfectionists, so when we attend an event – we want to make sure our elevator pitch is perfect, we are on top of our game and we are feeling good.

The thing is, nothing is ever perfect. And that’s ok.

This week I had an event lined up that I was initially very excited about attending, but as the week began and the date of the event crept closer I became more and more worried about attending. You see, over the weekend, my dog accidently smashed his very large (Great Dane) head into mine- and his canine tooth punctured the skin of my forehead. This giant gash on my face was an unforeseen accident- and it completely derailed my enthusiasm most things  in life (having a crazy bad headache will do that) and especially for the event later this week. As the week wore on and my face and eyes began to swell up more and more, and the bruising began to develop I was mortified that I would have to go to an event and meet people- I mean, what a first impression!

While I went through my week feeling like Sloth from Goonies, I looked for ways out of attending and even tried to convince myself it wasn’t going to be a worthwhile event.  I was still talking myself out of it in the car in the parking lot outside the event. I took one last look at my bruised- but thankfully much less swollen face in the visor mirror, took a deep breath and decided to go in.

And, I am glad I did.

It was a great event, I met a bunch of people and made a ton of new connections. That last breath in the car was the “let all the worry go” breath- and it worked. It worked like it always does. And I was able to go in there, be myself and talk about my business. Was it perfect? Certainly not. Did that matter? No.

So listen, the point here is, I know it can be hard and there are a million reasons why you don’t want to go to the networking event. But, if I can do it with a head wound and swollen face- then you can do it.

Breathe. Let the worry go. Put your game face on. You’ve got this.