…The nicest things can happen.
One such thing happened to me recently at the St. Lucie Networker for Business Women luncheon. To begin with this is a wonderful group of women who meet for lunch once a month to network and promote their businesses. Some of the attendees bring door prize offerings to be given out in a business card drawing. Plenty of goodies here – wine, candy, note paper, and lots of things pertaining to an individual business. (One gal represents a moving company and she frequently contributes those handy-dandy sliders that make it easy to move an armoir from one side of the room to the other.) I donated a copy of “Cracks in the Sidewalk” and a financial planner from Vero Beach won the book. That was two months ago.
The way these luncheons are organized is that we start off with the door prize drawing, then each attendee gets 30-60 seconds to introduce themself and promo their business. (You'd be surprized at how much can be said in that seemingly small amount of time) After everyone has taken a turn at that, we sit back to have desert, coffee and testimonials. This is a time when anyone in the group can get up and talk about their experience of doing business with another of the group's members. This is always the most fun and often the most surprizing part of the presentation. There is no time limit on this presentation and only one rule…you are up there to endorse someone else's business, not your own!
Well…remember that book I gave away at the luncheon two months ago? Yep, the gal who won it – DeeDee Williams – stood up and spoke about the book. DeeDee didn't know who I was and asked that I raise my hand to identify myself…so there was no personal relationship to color her opinion. “This is without a doubt the best book I've ever read,” DeeDee said, “I couldn't put it down! And once I'd finished reading it my husband started.” She said so many more wonderful things, but at the moment I was too starstruck to take them all in. I had no idea DeeDee was planing to talk about my book, which made her endorsement doubly delightful.
Have I ever heard people say things like this before? Yes, but so often it's from a friend, or a fan, or someone at a speaking engagement – people who are predisposed to liking the book because I wrote it. DeeDee said these things simply because reading the book elicited that feeling from her. To think my writing could have so profound an effect on someone without any foreshadowing of who I am or what I've done before, absolutely made my day. It is the purest compliment an author can recieve-one based only upon the merit of his or her work.
And now onto what is perhaps the most important part of this story…never miss the opportunity to say something nice about someone if you have the chance to do so. At the very least you'll make the other person feel good about themself (and good about you too) but you might also make a new friend. Thanks DeeDee Williams and a special thank you to Lourdes Welhaven who organizes and runs the Networker group.
I've been to numerous ‘networking' events, but none quite as successful and well done as these. If you are a woman in business please check out www.networkerforbusinesswomen.com and be at the next luncheon. Trust me you'll go away glad you came! Oh yeah, and there is no membership fee, no long term committment, nothing. You simply enter your lunch reservation, pay twenty-bucks for lunch and show up.