The leader of a new business networking group in Nanaimo says the Connect Now group is off to a great start with three pillars of business presented at the inaugural meeting.
“I feel very satisfied and grateful for a powerful and positive start and look forward to seeing how Connect Now Nanaimo evolves,” says Shaeah Love. “Ideally it will be in a way that strengthens relationships and continues to nurture our community so that everyone benefits and thrives.”
More than 17 people came for the meeting which was also attended by Mayor Bill McKay.
McKay, who just returned from a business trip to China, says that networking is critically important to the Chinese.
“One of the expressions they use is, ‘make friends first, make deals later,’ says McKay.
He says he was previously criticized for having the highest expense account because he went everywhere making connections with people in business.
McKay told those at the meeting that networking is powerful locally and beyond the local community.
“Don’t be afraid to go outside the boundaries of your own community,” he said.
Love says Connect Now is based on three pillars – vision, heart and action.
“It all starts with a vision of what’s possible. My vision is of a world that’s united where we’re all taken care of.”
Other people attending chimed in with their vision as well.
“My perfect vision of networking is kind of like Cheers – where you walk in and everyone knows your name,” says Debbie Wilder.
Alana Newton, a coach who is leading the Coach Consortium part of Connect Now, says “A perfect networking community supports quality referrals with trust and authenticity.”
Love says the heart part of Connect Now shows business people how to bring an “increased sense of aliveness. It brings passion to what we do. Heart can be about professionalism. It makes people feel you went that extra mile.”
Many business people are solopreneurs working from their homes and don’t always have enough of a connection with other people, says attendee Line Brunet.
“Everybody wants to know that what you do matters. It’s so easy to stay stuck in our little worlds, our little bubble.”
The last part of the pillar is action, which Love says is important for business people to follow through with potential customers.
“I would really like to see people up their integrity in communication,” she says.
That means making phone calls, making referrals, sending out cards and following up with customers and potential customers.
The next meeting for Connect Now in Nanaimo is Dec. 17. Visit www.connectnowbusinessnetwork.com.