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by Alexis Skigen Rago on
Aloha Small Business 'Ohana,
Yesterday was an incredible day of connections, learning, listening, and implenting. I attend more networking events than most people, and yesterday, was no exception with three different and fulfilling experiences.
The EPWNG Annual Speaker Luncheon was packed with 50 business women (small business owners or employed). The energy was incredible as we networked, ate a delicious lunch at Gibsons, and soaked in knowledge about persuasion and workshopped some of our new skills taught by self-proclaimed neuroscience nerd, Lynne Franklin. She took us through the persuasion cycle and body language, among other aspects of persuasion.
I volunteered to model and was fittingly chosen for the "toucher". If you've met me, there's a good chance I've hugged you, touched your arm or shoulder, and demonstrated a few of the other telltale signs.
There's also a strong case for me to be a "looker" based on my eye contact with whomever I am connecting with.
Why is this important? Understanding how others communicate allows us to adapt our style to maximize connectivity. I walked away with an understanding of different ways to show up, as well as an awareness of the various ways I adapt to others communication styles and how that impacts me.
It was great to see my Chamber 'Ohana at the NACC Business After Hours, hosted by Kelly Sopel & Bobby Hanson, the business partners leading Trim Tech Designs. If you need cabinetry or millwork done, it would be great to see what this creative team has in store for you. The workmanship is gorgeous and since everything is custom, there are no limits. I met Don who is the surface master and creates various colors and sheens; he has so much quiet pride in his work, it's easy to tell this is his passion.
While I didn't take pictures there, imagine a huge, beautiful warehouse with many stations, and pockets of people chatting, connecting, and discussing business and life, as we eat, drink, and chat. It's the Midwest version of Pau Hana.
Speaking of Hawaii, I met someone who completed the Kona Ironman and saw someone who recently got engaged at the top of Haleakala. My Hawaiian heart is full.
I ended the night at Pinot's Palette where the DuPage Alzheimer's Walk team gathered to hear some personal stories about how Alzheimer's touched their lives. It was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once. Alison McEwen, our Walk to End ALZ leader, walks for her Dad. I walk for my best friend's Father-In-Law. If you want to join my team and walk together, or you are able to support by making a donation of any size, please check out my page here.
After over 6 hours of networking, I do feel fulfilled because I was able to:
  • connect with new people and build existing relationships,
  • secure a few follow up meetings,
  • add to my professional development,
  • learn the marketing and business challenges other small business owners are facing.
And, in case you were worried, I was able to hug a lot of people. As an entrepreneur, I love that my workday involves hugs.
What makes your networking events worth your time?
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