Building Relationships and Creating Experiences || The Power of Networking

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.
— - African proverb

Twelve days into 2016 and I have been fortunate to build more relationships and connections with strong, creative, and savvy business owners and entrepreneurs in the Quad Cities.  While juggling a full-time career, family, and education with our businesses, we make our passion our paycheck.  

The Rising Tide Society

The Rising Tide Society is a movement started by two photographers on the East coast.  The goal is to bring creative business owners and weekend warriors together to support each other, learn from each other, and build a community over competition.  It is truly a one-of-a-kind community.  In the same week, I also was fortunate to meet with other female business owners (aka GIRL BOSSES) with successful Quad Cities businesses.

At each meeting, there seems to be a new face join us which is always exciting! Pictured below are some of the creative entrepreneurs that join me in creating the bridal powerhouse in the Quad Cities.   I am so excited to see what we can build together.

 

The Rising Tide Society Quad Cities Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations

From left to right: Miriam Bulcher, Miriam Bulcher Photography; Mariah Danielson, Oh What Love Studios; Lindsay Johnson, Chevron and Champagne & launching Brides and Bubbly; Heather White, Heather White Designs; myself, Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal & Alterations; Michelle Mampre, Live Love Flowers; Angelique Lund, Laladoodles Boutique;  Kelly and Tommy Hancock, Noted Design Invitations.  (not pictured: Kate Johnson, Unpaved Creative)

 

Female Entrepreneurs Caitlin Elizabeth Bridal and Alterations Quad Cities

From left to right: Paula Bettini, Dunn Bros Coffee; Katherine Newberry, Bella Salon; Frances Maus, Me & Billy's; myself again. 

Why Community Over Competition?

Community over competition has given me the ability to gain new knowledge about topics that I am not an expert on, but are essential and beneficial to know as a business owner.  It has also given me the opportunity to inspire innovation and share my expertise with others who are walking in the same shoes.  I would not be where I am today if it was not for my amazing network.  I truly appreciate each of my relationships that have contributed to my personal and professional growth.

 

Is networking more in 2016 one of your goals? 

Here are four steps to building a better network.

1. Analyze

Identify people in your network and what you get our of interacting with them.

2. De-layer

Make some hard decisions to back away from redundant and energy-sapping relationships

3. Diversify

Build a network out with the right kind of people: energizers who will help you achieve your goals

4. Capitalize

Make sure you're using your contact as effectively as you can.  

 

Write it down and make it visual!

I'm a big list and visual person.  To stay true to your goals, write them down. If building stronger relationships in 2016 is a goal, I encourage you to make a list.   In this list include people who you want to keep in touch with on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.  Make sure to identify and categorize your connections so that you can realistically keep in touch. Keeping this list digital or on a poster in your office (or both) is a great visual to keep your goal.