Before Christmas I attended, at a friends invitation, a networking group called "Triad Networks." It's a business support and referral group that I think has been around for over 30 years. I was impressed with the attendance and the breadth of professionals within the group. I found out later they allow only one member per business category. So, for example, there is one attorney, one property insurance adjuster, one life coach, etc.
It's a typical networking group in that everyone goes around the room and gives a 30 second commercial on what their business is and what type of leads they're seeking. What's not typical though (because I've been to a lot of these groups) is how much fun this group had with process and the number of connections I saw being made. Even just attending as a guest landed me a new ongoing writing assignment and 2 possible future assignments. So I've decided to join and become the groups "writer in residence." Plus, if I do decide I want to grow my speaking career, this would be an excellent venue through which to market my services.
They meet every Wednesday morning in GSO from 7:15 -8:30 am, which means I'll need to leave the house around 6:45 and miss my 6am yoga class. But I think I can squeeze in a Tuesday session instead, so I'll still be going at least 3 days a week. I've found anything less just isn't beneficial, and I'm trying to find time to work in 4 sessions a week.
Wednesdays are becoming my "day in GSO." I have Triad Networks until 8:30, then meet my friend Bernie for a writing session from 9-11:45, then Toastmasters from noon-1. After that, I try to schedule auto interviews for my News & Record column. It's a busy day, but Wednesdays are one of my favorite days of the week. By mid-week I'm itching to get out of the house and be around other people and going from place to place makes the day fly by.
I have much work to do in the next 2 months for Toastmasters. I want to reach ATM (Advanced Toastmaster) status this year which means I need to give 8 speeches--some of them over 20 minutes long. I've signed up for my first 2 in the next 6 weeks and have vowed NOT to wait last minute to come up with a topic and throw them together, but rather to actually put some thought and practice into the speeches. We'll see how well I do in keeping that vow.
Much work to do today though. Need to finish up some query letters, work on a new networking column, and spend at least an hour on book PR.
And of course, pause a moment to reflect and honor one of the great leaders and inspirations of our country, Martin Luther King, Jr.