Something weird happened this morning.
I drove 25 minutes to Ballantyne to meet with a gentleman and get to know his business better. When I walked into the coffee shop, he was speaking with another man, so I grabbed my coffee and sat down at a table, responding to emails until he was finished.
A few minutes later he came over, apologizing, but he had run into someone from a networking event - and he said the guy's name. The exact guy I had just emailed on my phone. We had been playing planner roulette, trying to get on each other's schedule after being e-introduced by yet another person a few weeks ago.
After my initial meeting was over, I went over to the guy sitting at the table and asked if he was who I thought he was. He looked at me for a second like, "How the heck does this stranger know who I am?" Thankfully, I just had to say, "I'm Cassandra," (not a lot of Cassandra's running around), and he knew exactly who I was. We shook hands and he asked me if I had time now to chat as we were both waiting for other meetings.
This was the second time this week that I ran into someone I already knew at a networking event. I haven't been doing this that long - literally 24 days. It's certainly comforting to show up at a networking event and say, "Oh, hey! I know you!" but it also made me pause and consider if I'm not branching out enough. At some point, of course, I would begin to run into the same people. But this early on?
Ask any personality test, and it will tell you that I am an introvert. Meaning that I can go in and have a conversation with you, and maybe even you and two of your friends. But after I meet with you and your two friends, I gotta go home and be alone. I'm drained. The concept of networking is exhausting for someone with my personality type, but I know that I gotta do it to build my business. So maybe I shouldn't be surprised that so early on, I'm beginning to find a rhythm with the same group of people - they're familiar.
So this afternoon I spoke with my business coach about my struggle and overall weird feelings about networking. I've been doing a lot of it, but at the end of the day, really, just meeting some nice people. Networking needs to be more than that. I know these things take time, but it's already beginning to feel too repetitive - and not in a good way. My business coach told me I was just looking for my tribe - people that I meshed with who also would help build my business. He told me, what he keeps telling me: to date before I marry.
Sigh. Fine. But I really, really hate dating.