I had a delightful Thursday afternoon/evening this week. Clearly it was that good that I felt the need to post about it. It was that thought provoking that my plan is to make this the first post in an ongoing, monthly series of updates. Here goes nothing.
Usually my Thursday evenings are not that reportable 😛 – dinner, house cleaning, breastfeed the youngest, fall asleep in the process or work until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. My kids are often up late, they don’t seem to need much sleep. On the odd night I might watch some TV; I do that – even though many people I value say that successful people don’t. I watch REALLY no-brainer type shows, reality is my favourite. For me, it is about something that I don’t have to take too seriously and about an escape from my self-talk. Something I can laugh at or with. Anyway, this Thursday was something new. I got out of my trackies and into business attire. Ok I have to quickly back track because I love to give you the full picture on things. I actually first got dressed and ready on Tuesday. I was in the car when I realised I had the day wrong. 2 days later and I’m actually going somewhere.
I drove to my first ‘After 5’ function as a new member of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce. Little Eco Nest were recently finalists in the Powercor Geelong Business Excellence Awards 2013 and as a result were invited to join the Geelong Chamber of Commerce. Little Eco Nest were elected as a Member of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce this September. If you are a business in Geelong no matter how small or large, taking up membership at the Geelong Chamber of Commerce is something you should seriously consider. If you are building a business in another area, why not learn about your local options for similar connection and support?
The [Geelong] Chamber of Commerce is one of Australia’s leading regional business bodies – boasting more than 700 members and a rich, long and successful history of advocating on behalf of Geelong business. (Source)
The Geelong Chamber of Commerce have an active support role in nurturing Geelong business and are an integral force in establishing corporate community in Geelong. I would have to say that the concept of networking felt intimidating and I have to push myself to engage with others in a large crowd, regardless of how interested I am in meeting them. It’s the first step of introducing yourself that feels difficult to some. What then if I just called it, a gathering where people meet for interesting conversation with like minds? A group that get together because they have passion for where they live and operate their business and want to support a united voice for that group? I know that many readers of our blog are growing a business; be it a small seed of a concept, a micro business or something bigger. I have found that in this experience, it makes a difference to feel that you are not alone. Feeling that you belong and having support and guidance can improve productivity and presents resources you didn’t even know you needed.
WAHM’s particularly can feel that sense of isolation and disconnection – but people feel this everywhere, lost in the mundane daily grind and missing connection and belonging. It really does help to renew the sense that you are not alone and I can suggest you might find that through membership at the Geelong Chamber of Commerce or by finding your local chamber. Of course there are benefits to being a member in smaller mastermind and business people groups, however arguably more so for joining the peak professional organisation representing commerce in your area. It feels great to meet new people, to hear new voices and see new faces and to learn something about what someone else is doing. If at some point you can apply that learning and growing to an aspect of your own business or personal life, it is simply a bonus to me. For me at the most basic level, I simply enjoy knowing who is turning the cogs of business in Geelong and having the chance to get to know those people. I met some lovely people and I’m going to shout out a little about them and what they do here.
Geelong Chamber of Commerce 5After5 Faces
I thought that each month I would introduce you to 5 of the people that I have met at each get-together event.
Mark Sanders: Mark is the General Manager at City to Surf Solar but he is also the Immediate Past President of the Geelong Chamber of Commerce. Mark definitely put me at ease and was kind and talked to me a little when I arrived.
Roxie Bennett: Roxie is the Director of Plan.it Roxie which is a Geelong based event management company that have a fun roll of staff and some great people on board. Roxie and I were chatting as part of a networking game which was a whole lot of fun and laughs.
Jess Young: Jess is an Event Co-ordinator for Plan.it Roxie and an inspirational young woman with a lot of drive and ambition. Jess is an example of how relevant this gathering is for all ages and I am sure that she would love to see more Chamber members in her age group.
Sarah Moor: Sarah is a photographer specialising in capture of birth experiences as Sarah Anne Photography and is producing some beautiful work.
Adam Tribe: Adam is the Managing Director of The Tribe Film and Television Productions who create an array of video content. Adam was very passionate about his work and a fun guy to meet and talk with.
The Geelong Chamber of Commerce are reaching for their goal to support 800 members and they are so close, we would love to see them reach this goal. We would also love to see you at the next After 5 event. so join! They’re not stuffy, there is no gender, age or income barrier. There is no big time commitment and the membership fees especially for small business are very reasonable and of course a tax deduction. I’ve given you a bunch reasons to come along and meet the business community that is waiting to get to know you. See you there in October?