3 Tips to Succeed in Networking

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Networking is a Science and Art
Talking to my daughter's school counselor the other day got me thinking. It got me thinking about the basics and the power of Networking. To set the picture for you, I'll be presenting for career day at my two daughters school. 

However, before that I had emailed a teacher and the school counselor about presenting at career day with an high school chum of mine Damon Jones, he's an educator and the Founder of S.T.E.A.M America a non profit for the advancement of science, technology, engineering, art and math for youth.
Get back, get back. You don't know me like that
She hadn't replied yet after a couple weeks had passed. I had already spoke with my daughters teacher and we were looking to hear back from the counselor. I caught her that day in the school office and I asked her about whether she got my email and her thoughts on it. I actually got her name confused with another member of the staff and she politely corrected me. She told me that yes she had got my email. Thought it was a great idea, yet had not had a chance to reply. I didn't give her a hard time (after all, I flubbed on her name), but of course I wanted a response to my email out of courtesy. I told her that I understood, then moved on to my questions at hand. She joked that she should have made a better first impression, because one day she may need a job from me and that she hadn't had a good start. Turns out to be a very good point.

You are an Entrepreneur
We talked a little more about what Damon and I would present. She loved it so much and ended up asking if I would be interested in being somewhat of a resident career day presenter depending on how well things went. I gladly obliged and I went on to further explain to her what I do as a marketing consultant/coach, web designer, and blogger.

She expressed that she wish she had the guts to go out in her own and be her own boss. I told her she did, and that if she thought about it we all have the entrepreneurial spirit within us. I gave her the example of moving up in your career as being the same as an entrepreneur. In the spirit that you are always selling yourself and your talent to get ahead in the workplace or with clients. Be it an increase in pay, a promotion, a potential client or a new job. You're only as valuable as your ability to express your assets effectively.Which leads me to... 

3 Tips to Successful Networking

Respect others time and reply in a reasonable time.

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When networking in person, via email, or on social media with an individual or a business. Remember that just about everyone has a busy schedule, but be courteous and always try to reply within a timely manner. Even if you're not interested, reply quickly and inform the other party. You never know if there could be a productive connection in the future.

The counselor wasn't trying to ignore my email, I seriously don't think so. She just failed to get back to me in a timely manner. I've been guilty of this myself a time or two in the past. Just like the counselor joked about the bad first impression and the job. She's correct and her acknowledging that helped to lighten the situation.

You never know who and how a connection may pan out to be. That person just may be that someone that's instrumental in the progress of your career or business. Not everyone is understanding that you don't reply and their perception of you has now been compromised. You can always fix this is you know how, but why even do it in the first place.

Always get your contact name correct and try to know their background.

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Don't make the same mistake I made. Which was purely a slip of tongue by the way, and nonetheless incorrect. Don't get your connections name confused if you can help it. Granted both names start with the same beginning letters, still that's no excuse.

This detail may seem trivial or as something that may not need to be focused on. Once again, depending on the situation the party involved may perceive you as less professional and not focused. You may even come of as disingenuous and one minded.

If you don't have the background story, you don't have all the tools needed tho connect. If possible try to look up your connection online. This away you have something tho build on with that individual our business. Know to grow. It's all about building a relationship/rapport.

Always close the deal and get your story across.

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After getting the names and background out of the way. Now it's time to get to the business at hand. What makes you, you? Be sure to clearly get your story across, while listening intently to the other persons responses. I call this closing the deal for a number of reasons. Here are three:

1. The whole point of connecting with someone is to get your story across.
2. You need get and understand their story and what part you could play in that.

3. Your reason for contacting them was to get some goal accomplished and successfully add them to your network if possible.

You either want to end with your answer questioned, get key information, lead this individual somewhere or leave room for a follow up down the line and build a pipeline. Either way, you want to close the deal. So get out there and network til your hearts content and make it count.

For more posts like this and to join the conversation. Visit my Facebook page Hip Mommy Chicks or follow me on Twitter @hipmommychicks for valuable tips and advice.

By: Narjah Stewart, Marketing Consultant

You may also like this article from The Next Women Business Magazine

Tasty Vegans Meals, You Don't Have to be Vegan to Enjoy

Fettuccine With Cannellini Beans & Artichoke Heart Alfredo

via meettheshannons.net
Tasty Tuesday Vegan Meals
You'll love these vegan dishes. Ok...don't be afraid of the word Vegan. After all, it's not as if you don't eat these same fruits or veggies on a regular basis or at least at some point in your week. If you don't, you should.

Don't Label Me!
I know for some, the very fact that it's labeled "Vegan" is enough to stay away from even entertaining these recipes as a whole meal. I just ask that you keep an open mind and consider the incorporation of vegan in your diet. Think of it as a lifestyle adjustment that tastes great and is good for you. Even if it's, initially 
for one day out of the week.

Sometimes I do, Sometimes I don't
I have been an on and off Vegan for the last 5 years or so. With the most amount of on being in the last 2 and a half years (on and off). I wouldn't label myself as a Vegan, just a sometimes Vegan that eats pretty healthy the rest of the time. It has worked well for me, and as we all know moderation is the key with anything. With Spring being here and Summer around the corner, lighter dishes just make sense.

Quick and Easy Mac & Cheese via healthyblenderrecipes.com
30 Delicious Vegan Recipes
Check out these delicious Vegan dishes, that are ready in under 30 minutes. All of these delicious recipes in a compilation of several great food bloggers from the BuzzFeed website. 

Enjoy and change your lifestyle and your waistline!

Cinnamon Bun Waffles {Your Kids Will Love This}

Cinnamon Roll Waffles
Such an ingenious, lazy parent idea. This is so easy and so quick. It's almost 8:10 in the morning, while getting the girls ready for school and preparing to cook breakfast I realized when I opened the fridge that I needed some breakfast food. I saw that we had Cinnamon Rolls, but these tasty buns are normally left for the weekend when we have more time. I just didn't have time to preheat the oven ( 15 mins.), wait for the rolls to cook about another 15 minutes and get the girls off to school in time.

Too Easy
The other day my husband showed me a picture of this and I jumped on it. All you have to do is heat up your waffle press, spray with cooking spray. When ready place 4, or however many you want to on it and wait. When I first placed them on the waffle iron, I pressed them down with the lid to flatten them. They rise as they cook, you can continue to press it down again or not. It was wonderfully easy. The girls were able to eat them with their hands, without too much a mess. They whipped up in less than 5 minutes and we made to school on time. You know you want to try this tomorrow :-) Let me know if you do at @hipmommychicks or leave a comment below.

What You Need:

Waffle Iron
Cinnamon Rolls
Cooking Spray

Thanks for reading and be sure to share, if you enjoyed this post. Check me out on Facebook for more like this.


Women Owned Business Wednesdays-- FREE {ChallegeHER WOSB Forum}

Women Owned Business Event- FREE {ChallengeHER Federal Contracts Program}
It's Women Owned Business Wednesday, I'm an advocate for entrepreneurship, especially when it comes to women. I've always been that person and have always been an entrepreneur. I strongly believe, that even when gainfully employed, the entrepreneur spirit is needed in all of us to succeed. You are always selling yourself and your abilities in order to get ahead in the world. 

This weeks Women Owned Business Wednesday (WOBW) focus, is an event that is for empowering the women that owns a small business and is interested in contracting with the government. I found out about this event through a Meetup Group that I just joined called Entrepreneur in High Heels. Yours truly will be in attendance for this great networking opportunity.  

Who's Hosting
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN (OPEN) have partnered to host women business owners for this special contracting event. I'm also a proud new member of the WIPP. I'm trying to come up in the world...of public policy.

Spring Fashion for under $25: Cleopatra Bodycon Dress with Wedge Sandals

Be an Egyptian Goddess
Spring is here and the warm weather brings the sexy dresses out. The dress is from Rainbow, I got it online for $17.99. The wedge sandals are from JustFab and I got them for FREE, yep free. After a certain amount of purchases, that I don't know off hand you get a free pair of shoes. I just had to pay the shipping. Not bad right. I know

Live on the Wedge
I was looking for a way to keep this dress kind of "casual" and not too over the top. I tried it on with a number of heels and everything just seemed too dressy. I think these brown strappy wedges compliment this Cleopatra bodycon dress perfectly. The whole look was under $25. I'm all about looking good on a budget.

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Your Hip Mommy Chick


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The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States: Why Don't More Women Stick Together?

Women In Business
More and more women are becoming the respective leaders in business. A quintessential powerhouse of sorts. Women are employing more people than the major corporations put together. Yet, women are still behind when it comes to legislative public policy and pay rates alike. 

The article below, lead by the National Women's Business Council displays the economic impact of women owned businesses in the Unites States. Reading it led me to thinking about a past conversation my husband and I had. The women have the money, and the know how but, somehow lack the power structure for real change.

The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses in the United States | National Women's Business Council

I'm With You Through Thin and Thin???
If you look at the gender and economic gap over the decades. You will see that it is and has always been men that get the positions of leadership. Why is this? 

My philosophy is that not enough women "stick" together.