Tag Archives: networking

Pay It Forward Networking Revolution!

Just over 2 years ago I started a Networking group for women who owned their own businesses in the Twin Cities and named it Magnetic Business Women Community.  Little did I know that it would turn into a group of currently over 700 members.

My reason for creating it was two-fold.  One reason was I want to support women to be successful and become financially free.  The second reason was I wanted something different from I had been experiencing in the networking groups I had visited.  I wasn’t interested in the kind of networking where people come up to you, hand you a business card and proceed to talk in great detail about what they do, and walk away without asking about you and your business.

The vision behind my group has always been:

This is a group for women business owners and entrepreneurs. Magnetic Business Women have an unusual power or ability to attract. According to the Law of Attraction we attract to us like vibrations, so what if a group of women with the same intention got together and created a magnetic force for success for all of us! Together we attract! Just by being a part of this group your attraction to success grows.

At Magnetic Business Women we are creating a culture of connection. This is a networking group where women can become successful, strong and empowered through our connections with each other. Women create successful businesses through relationship building and that is what the group will be about. Building relationships means you show up, not just once but often so that people get to know you and feel comfortable working with you.  If you currently have a business you want to grow and develop or if you are looking for one, this will be a great group for you.

This group is not just about getting someone else to be part of your business. It is less about that, though that might be the outcome, and more about nurturing business relationships with women, that can develop over time and be strong and lasting.

I believe in the Law of Attraction where there is no lack and we attract to us those people who are most in alignment with us. Because there is no lack we can support an allow for everyone’s success.

Even with this mission statement I often saw a sense of lack from some members.  It showed up as taking much more time than the 1 minute allowed for check in and a sense of urgency when talking about their businesses.  There were also instances where someone would call someone from the group to get together for coffee, not telling them that their real agenda was to recruit them into their business.

My mission is to create a different culture in the world of networking and that is not it.  As I said in the mission statement, I believe there are more than enough people on the planet that we can all be successful and not worry about competition.

Several days ago I was journaling and my guidance was to explore the idea of “Pay it Forward Networking”.  I did a Google search and found very little.  That night I woke up in the middle of the night flooded with what Pay it Forward Networking would look like and what it would mean for the group.  I wrote the following declaration at our meeting yesterday and sent it to all the members by email.  The response was over-whelmingly positive.  In fact there was no one who didn’t like the idea.

I want to declare 2012 the year that Magnetic Business Women practice Pay it Forward Networking, which means, we focus more on what everyone else is doing in their businesses and less on our own.  It means finding ways to support each other to be successful.  It means listening to what each other is saying rather than thinking about what we want to say next.  If we were to do this we would see magic happen in our own businesses!  A tsunami of support would come our way while we were supporting someone else.  Magnetic Business Women Pay it Forward!

How exactly does Pay it Forward Networking work?

First, there are two key questions you want to be asking people:

1-What are you currently working on or focusing on in your business?

2-What can I do to help make that a success?  or How can I help you to succeed?

The other part of the equation is using social media to support each other.  Instead of tweeting, Facebooking or talking on linked in about ourselves, we are talking about each other!

Let me ask you a question:

How do you feel about talking about your own business on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.  Does it feel uncomfortable?  Do you feel like you are spamming people?  Do you get the kind of response from people who you were hoping for or do people usually not say anything?

How would you feel if someone else talked about your business on their page and expounded on what you do?  Awesome right?  And what kind of response do you think that would generate?  What if several people were talking about your business on their pages and popping a comment on your page about how awesome your business was?  Wouldn’t you did that?

Here are some examples:

I write on my Facebook page:

“OMG, I just wrapped myself with the Ultimate Body Applicator and lost 3 inches!  I am so psyched I think everyone should try it!

Yes there would be eye rolling and people saying ” oh there she goes again, trying to sell those wraps!

What if this appeared on someone else’s page:

“OMG, I can’t believe it! I just tried Katelyn Mariah’s (link to website) body wrap and lost 3 inches!  I was really surprised and it happened in just 45 minutes!  I know it was the wrap because I didn’t do anything else, in fact I was watching TV the whole time!”

People are going to notice, maybe ask a few questions, go to your website.

The best form of advertising is word of mouth.  Someone elses mouth!


This is what it looks like in Magnetic Business Women Community :

Paying it Forward in Group Setting

In our monthly meetings we have breakout sessions with 5-6 at a table.  Each person has a 7-8 minute brainstorming session where the other 4-5 people ask what they are working on and need support on and find ways that they can provide support.  We also find ways to include social media as a way to support each other.  Five people tweeting or Facebooking about you can have a big impact.  We can offer really affordable specials to each member at the table, barter or give out samples of something we would like them to try.  Each person commits to saying something about the 4-5 people in their group on social media.

It could look something like this:

You swap services with someone and you each commit to saying something on Facebook.

You post on your page:

” I had a fabulous chiropractic session with Dr. Katie at The Healing Loft (link) and my back has never felt this good in years!”

On Dr. Katie’s page you would say ” Dr. Katie, I am so glad I came in to see you today! I haven’t felt this good in a long time!  You are awesome!’

Paying it Forward doing One on One

Find one or two people each month to have coffee with and you can interview each other and talk about what you learned about them and their business on one of your social media pages.  You can also swap referrals.

Example of making and exchange with a fashion consultant:

The two of you go to a clothing store, the fashion consultant gives you a mini consultation and finds you the perfect outfit which you may or may not buy.  You take photos and post them on Facebook and say something about your experience.  You both win because one got a consultation and one got word of mouth advertizing!

You can do the same thing at Happy Hour events or Business Breakfast events.  Connect specifically with a couple of people and get to know them and their business and agree to support each other in some way.  You could say something about your experience on Facebook.

Attend each other events and free talks

In our group a lot of women do retreats, free talks and workshops.  Find one, attend it and talk about it on your Facebook page.  Do forget to pop a comment on theirs too so their friends can see it.

This list of opportunities to support someone else is endless!

Are you interested in joining the Pay It Forward Networking Revolution?  Wouldn’t you love to have a tsunami of support flowing in to your business?



Filed under Entrepreneurship, Just thoughts

There is an Art to Networking

Just over three years ago when I started with It Works Global, I knew it would be important to go to business networking events if I wanted to build a strong foundation for my business.  I had never done networking before and it was a daunting thought.  I have found this to be true for most people when they start networking.

I did some research and found a couple of meetings that sounded appealing and put them on my calendar.  When the time came for the first meeting, I scratched it off my calendar and didn’t go.  The second date came and I reluctantly pushed myself to get in the car and go.  I went into this room packed with people, looked around, grabbed a couple of appetizers and left.  When I reached the parking lot I gave myself the ‘high five’ for going!

It got easier after that. I was part of two women owned business networking groups for over a year and went to several other groups periodically, including a group for Latinos.  Each meeting helped me gain confidence in my networking abilities.  My point is, for most new business owners, it doesn’t come naturally.

During my second year I created my own group, Magnetic Business Women because I wasn’t satisfied with what I was finding. I wanted a group that was more laid back than many of the groups I attended, yet with some structure so we could make meaningful connections.  Many of the groups I attended were “hit and run” networking, where someone comes up to you, puts their business card in your hand, gives you their schtick, vomiting style and walks away without asking you what you do, or if they do ask, they are not listening and are searching the room for their next prospect.  Those cards go in the round file when I get home.

I often have women who are new to the group say they are nervous the first time.  That is usually when I throw my own networking story out there.

I think part of my own nervousness around networking was that it was the old form of networking, like I mentioned above. I am not comfortable being in a fishbowl, having people seek me out for what I can do for them. I have learned and believe that in order for networking to be effective it has to be based on relationship building.  Networking is about building , not hunting for leads and collecting business cards. The art of networking is simply about establishing relationships with people as a result of searching for mutual benefits and by making yourself useful.  The best relationships begin with mutual respect and are nurtured over time, though getting to know each other as people, not just as a business.

In building relationships emphasize quality, not quantity.  What good are stacks of business cards if you don’t know anything about the person they belong to.  Rather than scattering your energy throughout several different group it is more effective to focus on meeting with a few people more frequently or sticking with a couple of groups consistently. Find ways to support others in the group by making referrals, sharing with others what people are doing and finding ways to connect with them outside of the group

Networking is about creating and developing opportunities through meeting and creating a net of contacts. Over time as you build rapport and trust, these relationships lead to other contacts, relationships and opportunities.  In an atmosphere of mutual support everyone’s business grows! People buy from, collaborate and want to hang out with people they know and trust.

Two other key factors to affective networking is being authentic and being present.  I want to know who someone really is, not every detail about the company they represent.  Testimonials about your products are more interesting to me than facts and statements from the company.

When you are with someone and they are telling you about themselves and their business be present.  This means listening to them without and internal dialog about what you are  going to say next or who you are going to talk with next.  Pure listening and asking questions about what they are saying so they know you are listening.

At Magnetic Business Women we are creating a culture of connection. This is a networking group where women can become successful, strong and empowered through our connections with each other. Women create successful businesses through relationship building and that is what the group will be about. Building relationships means you show up, not just once but often so that people get to know you and feel comfortable working with you.

This group is not just about getting someone else to be part of your business. It is less about that, though that might be the outcome, and more about nurturing business relationships that can develop over time and be strong and lasting.  In the group I have seen many new collaborations start over the past two years that are beneficial to everyone involved.

Tip to Build Network Relationships:

  1. Provide genuine assistance to others.
  2. Be open-minded.
  3. Remember personal details.
  4. Respect cultural differences.
  5. Research people and companies before you go to the group if possible. Know their goals and interests.
  6. Reciprocate.
  7. Introduce people to other people that might benefit them
  8. Be genuine
  9. Be present and listen actively

I believe in the Law of Attraction where there is no lack and we attract to us those people who are most in alignment with us. Because there is no lack we can support an allow for everyone’s success.


Filed under Entrepreneurship, Law of attraction in business

Day Thirteen-Experiment in Living Spontaneously

I wonder what this week has up her sleeve for me?

On Wednesday there is a solar eclipse/new moon and the three days before and after are always impacted by it.  New moons are about seeds that were planted on the full moon bearing fruit.  My two seeds are growing nicely.  One is starting a second set of leaves and the other is still trying to wiggle out of the seed cap.  I have a good idea which is which. It is striking how the seeds are mirroring where I am with each intention and where my energy is focused.

Yesterday a wrote a blog about winning the lottery and more and more I am feeling like that is true.  I woke up thinking about appreciation.  First there was a Facebook entry from someone I know who is dying at a young age and it made appreciate how healthy I am.  I am 12 years older than this person and I don’t have any health issues.  On my way to a networking group I was listening to a man on NPR who has a son who is handicapped, who can’t even speak and who is in and out of the hospital all of the time. That amped up my appreciation another notch.

When it comes down to it, I have the perfect life.  I am in awesome health, I can use all of my senses, I am bright and creative and have a youthful attitude.  You would think I would never fall out of appreciation.  Lately I have been able to stay in that energy most of the time and have only got into my goofy, non-productive mind chatter a couple of times. Appreciation is magnetic!  It brings into your life more of what you are appreciating and I can see that happening!

So today was a great day.  The weather is perfect, the sun is shining and I have met a lot of great people.  I went to a networking lunch that turned out to be speed networking which is always fun.  When I drove up to the building it looked like one of those bars that is more of a dive, from the outside, and I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place.  Once inside it was a bar, but it was the right place for the networking meeting.  It turned out to be a smaller group than they were expecting but I made several connections that I need to follow-up with.

I have started to see networking as planting seeds rather than going in with an agenda so I find it very easy to connect and talk with people. If you are planting seeds some will sprout and some won’t and you never know which ones they will be, or which seeds will get passed on to someone else and sprout in a different way.

I have been exploring how to use the LinkedIn network more effectively, trying to avoid sending an email that says you need to know about my business.  I have just over 1200 contacts on there from all over the world in fields that I have selected purposefully.  Now I am trying to figure out how to access them.  I sent out an email last week to a personal trainer in town asking if she would meet with me.  She sent me an email saying she would and this morning asked if I was available at 3:00.  It was perfect because it fit right into my schedule so we were able to meet.

We talked a lot about her business and her passion for wanting to help people in her community be more healthy and fit, and how she wants education to be a key part in the process.  She told me she had looked at my website and how she was somewhat resistant to talking about supplements, yet she was gracious enough to allow me to do it anyway.  The cool things was she said she was looking for networking opportunities and I invited her to come to the next Magnetic Business Women’s meeting.   We never know why we are connecting with someone and where it will lead.  She needs to network now so it could be just about networking for her and I and who knows someday she might want to sell It Works products to her personal training clients because they are such awesome products!

Later I got a call from one of the woman I met at the lunch today and she booked a Get Your Sexy Back wrap party.  She is really excited to share the It Works wrap with her friends.  We had talked a long about her business and I had given her a Blitz card about my product.  I have wanted to start doing more parties so I am excited that it is happening.

And now my laundry is calling my name so it is time to hang out with my dirty clothes and make them clean again.

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Filed under 31 Day experiment in Living Spontaneously, Entrepreneurship

Day Nine- Experiment in Living Spontaneously

Today is a business networking day.  Networking starts at 1 with the Magnetic Business Women Network which I started in Oct 2009.  At our first meeting there were 7-8 of us around a table in Dunn Bros. Coffee on Lake and Mississippi River.  Now the group has 510 members and is growing every day.  Most meetings have 30 business women, some new and some regular members who meet at Joule, a beautiful co-working space in Minneapolis.

I am proud of what I have created with this group which has gone beyond what I had imagined.  There have been collaborations, business exchanges and great friendships that have come out of this monthly meeting and I have grown personally and professionally in the process.

As usually we had a lively discussion  at the break-out table that I was at, particularly focused on how to change our thoughts so we could attract what we wanted in our lives and in our businesses.

Magnetic Business Women is so popular that I am started thinking yesterday that I want to add at least one more monthly meeting, either a Breakfast Networking group or a Happy Hour, or both.

Tonight I am going to No Joke Networking at Joke Joint Comedy Club, a Business and Social Networking event for Professionals in the Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN Twin Cities Metro Area.  In between the two meetings spontaneity can reign!  So it turned out there wasn’t much time between meetings.

The Joke Joint Comedy Club is in the historic  Diamond Jim’s Supper Club building in Lilydale, Minnesota.  It was built to look like a turn of the century salon. The Supper Club closed in the 80’s and it is possible there are still ghosts there.  They seemed awfully friendly to me and I was really comfortable there.   Here is what I found about Diamond Jim’s :

Diamond Jim’s guests claimed it was the greatest show place between New York and Las Vegas.  Customers joined the semi-private club at the door and then watched costumed ‘girls’ flying over head on velvet-roped swings, electrifying diners at the tables below.  Namesake Diamond Jim Brady was an East Coast financier famous for his voracious appetite and collection of jewelry worth millions of dollars.

I was in complete flow with myself.  I know this because when I am in alignment I don’t feel self-conscious and when I am out of alignment I do.  I met and talked to a lot of the people who were there.  I am sure that one of the connections was the result of the intentions I have been setting about this new phase in my life.  I have been thinking about the concept of personal branding for several months and had done some research on the net.  I want someone to work with me from the conception phase through to social media and PR.  What I found was it could cost $10,000 or more.

I sat down at a table were 3 young women were talking and waited for them to finish.  Then on of them turned to me and we started talking.  We talked about a lot of things and when she told me that her company was BrandStory, the subject of personal branding came up and the conversation turned to that.  I am going to meet with her over coffee to talk about it more in-depth.  She is also going to have a party for her friends to try the body wrap that I sell.

I met another women who does Laughter  Yoga and we made a connection through laughter, which is one of my favorite things.  I love to laugh and make people laugh and I hear it is the best medicine on the planet.  We sat together and laughed our asses off during the comedy section of the networking.  She is also going to have a party with her friends to try the body wrap, if she can wait that long!

This was one of the most successful networking events for me, because I was in my flow!  I came home with a handful of cards to follow up on.

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Filed under 31 Day experiment in Living Spontaneously, Entrepreneurship, network marketing

Mistakes I Have Made on Twitter

When I heard about Twitter and Tweeting I thought it sounded like a waste of time.  Who cares if I ate spaghetti for dinner,if my cat had a cold or what my goldfish had for breakfast?  I am learning, those kind of tweets are probably not the best use of Twitter, Facebook or any social media site. In reality Twitter is really simple.  At its heart, Twitter is just a communication tool. Like the Web, the phone and the telegram it’s just a tool to let one person connect with another. Just like all of social media there is an art and science to how it is used.

I think I joined Twitter about a year ago because of all the talk about it.  I had resisted because I didn’t know what it was all about. I saw Obama was tweeting,  The Dali Lama, Mickey Mouse, Paul McCartney, Elvis and every cat and dog in America, so how could I resist. If they could do it so could I.  I didn’t have time to do a lot of research, watch tutorials or take workshops so I did what most people do when they are in a new environment.  I watched what the people around me were doing…and did some of the same things.  I learned from the native Tweeters as I went along. Didn’t they always say, “When in Rome, do like the Romans”?

I saw people posting a lot of links to information about their business.
I saw people talking about themselves.
I saw people posting lots of comments in one day.
I saw people posting stupid stuff about what their cat just did on the floor.
I got follow requests from people I didn’t know.
I heard it was good to follow everyone that followed you out of courtesy.
I heard you should tweet 25 times a day to have an impact.
I saw people re-tweeting
I got automated “thank you for following me, you might want to buy___” from people who I started following.  I thought they must be pretty on top of things to get back to me so fast.  Some of them were within minutes of me following them!  Now that is fast!  I noticed that the automated messages on my art Twitter page were much more authentic than the ones on my business page. What is up with that?

The biggest thing was, I didn’t get the point!  I remember thinking “ what do I do with all of this information, some of it seems pretty boring, some of it doesn’t make sense and how would I keep up with all the comments made by hundreds of followers. I didn’t realize there was proper Twetiquette, also known as Tweetiquette, when I spread my little blue wings and took off tweeting.  Big mistake!  I was a Twitter virgin and I had no clue what I was doing.  (I wonder if a Twitter virgin would be known as a twirgin?)  When you are a virgin you kind of want to give the impression you know what you are doing because you are embarrassed to say you don’t and we all know what kind of trouble you can get in if you do that!

Oh my gosh, TwitterSpeak, now there is a whole other issue!  You should understand Twitterspeak if you are going to play on the Twitter playground, I mean fly in Twitter airspace.  There are “tweets” of course , which means you only have 140 characters to make your point.  That rule you have no choice but to follow because Twitter won’t allow you to go over the limit.   Twitter is a lot like instant messaging ((IM) because people use acronyms to shorten common expressions, so you should also have a list of common ones handy. LOL! OMG!  I think everyone knows what a tweet is now that it is a household word , but DM’s, hash tags, RT’s, HT’s, OH’s, and Airport Codes, oh my gosh, my head was spinning.

If you are on Twitter you are known as a “tweeter” or “Twitterer” I think you can choose which one to call yourself, but I am not sure about that either.  There could be some kind of hierarchy that only the sophisticated Twitter users know about, so I am not going to make assumptions. I also didn’t know that when you follow someone you get their tweet in your stream and if they follow you, your tweet goes into their stream? What? That sounds kind of…you know…kinky.

Here is something I found while researching and had to RT it: “Can you tweet it up in Twitter’s very own language? Or do you just sound like some old guy who’s trying to be hip? Do you know what a ‘dweet‘ is? Or how about ‘twadd‘? Do you have a ‘twaggle‘? Have you ever felt ‘tweepish‘? Do you have any idea of what I just said?”  Do you see what I mean?  I really don’t want to sound like some old person trying to be hip, I want to understand how to use this tool, and no…I don’t understand what you just said!

Now add to the confusion, “Tweetdeck”, Twitter for your phone, Tiny URL’s, Auto Flickr tweet feature, TwitterFox Plugin, TweetLater, AutoTweet, and SpokenTwitter where you can speak tweets, repeat tweets and delete tweets! I bet there is a new tools/apps added everyday to help you tweet better.

So like I said I was a Twitter virgin. I thought it was cool when Donald Trump started following me @Magneticbizwomn and when Yoko Ono started following my art @MedicineWomnArt when I only had 58 follows, I really thought I was something else.  I actually learned about Yoko Ono following me from someone else after they started following me and was impressed that she was following me.  This is how Twitter savvy I was!  Someone on top of things would have noticed long before that, I would think. What about that Bluebird?  I thought Blue birds were a symbol of happiness and I’m not feeling real happy now!  I wonder if there are people among my readers who have ever felt this way?

Worse yet, I didn’t realize it would have been smart to send a personal thank you to Donald Trump or Yoko Ono when they started following me on Twitter.  Damn!  What was I thinking.  Opportunity missed 😦  Sorry Donald, Sorry Yoko, I have been a such a Twidiot! Please forgive me!  And to all of my other followers that I might have spammed and ignored, I hope you can forgive me too and keep being my friend. Please don’t delete my tweets.  I need all the support I can get as I awaken to the world of Twitter.

So I want to say a big thank you to Scott Stratten who has helped set me straight with his book “Unmarketing”. Scott helped me understand that Twitter is a conversation and a way to engage people around the world and it can be a beautiful thing if you know how to use it right.  He has helped me see the error of my ways and I recommend that everyone read his book.  It is twawesome!

So I end this with a little poem:

I feel like such a Twidiot!
a social media fool.
I’m only now discovering
not tweeting back isn’t cool.

Forgive me if I ignored your tweets,
or spammed you with my junk,
Instead of looking socially savvy,
I must look like a punk!

It wasn’t until I started to read,
Scott Stratten’s awesome book,
That I began to realize,
I was being such a schnook!

So I say to all my Twitter Followers,
forgive me if you can,
I promise to do a better job,
navigating through TwitterLand!

Katelyn Mariah

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