How a simple comment at a business breakfast led to great things!
At one of our weekly network meetings in February, at Network Dorset (a business group I helped set up last year), I stood up and said just one line for my one minute presentation and that was enough…
As some of our readers may know, despite being incredibly busy with my photography for the past few years, I have had the burden of having to pay a large monthly mortgage on our house in Spain despite moving back to the UK more than 7 years ago. The economy out there has nose-dived considerably and the weight of this problem was getting worse.
I was having to shell out more than £20,000 a year, for nothing and all before I could even feed my kids let alone anything else…just to keep the place running and paid for. I say “for nothing” as deep down I knew I couldn’t keep this up for much longer as the thought of doing this for another 17 years bore heavy on my mind.
It was like throwing money into a bottomless pit and we had tried selling the place before moving back to the UK but the Spanish economy had already died at that point.
In February this year, we had an inkling that we may be able to sell the property and clear our Spanish mortgage soon but even so, I was in need of more work to try and pay the mortgage off or die trying. I was already very busy with ATP, training courses, various jobs in and around Dorset but needed more so during one of our Network Dorset meetings, I simply stood up and said:
“I won’t lie, I am absolutely desperate for more work so any help would be greatly appreciated”.
I was serious and one person heard my words and when he next met the owner of the company he worked for, he mentioned my plight.
One thing led to another and after a meeting in Bournemouth with this man, I was taken on to help clear the backlog of websites that they needed building for their franchisees (it is a large, expanding holiday company).
To cut a long story short, to date I have built the main template for them and something like 17 websites but the real icing on the cake came last week!
Myself and a large chunk of my camera gear were flown to a 5 star resort in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to photograph and film a “Millionaire’s Retreat” where all their new franchisees had a week of intense training for their businesses.
I met world class business coaches, internet millionaires and even a Hollywood film producer…what a week but more about that in my next blog post.
The moral of this story is, if you run your own business, and even if you don’t need additional work right now, you may well do in the future so joining a networking group is one of the best things you can do. Look at:
- Chamber of Commerce breakfasts
- Independant clubs and associations
- Business groups etc
These work well for me as a sole business owner because (at the very least) I get out of the house once or twice a week and meet new people and old friends!
Since that dark, early February meeting and my cry for help, I have had more work come in that I can possibly handle. We sold our place in Spain, cleared the mortgage and I got another contract with another holiday company shooting properties in and around Dorset.
The power of networking is intense. Not just from the work you receive from the group but from the confidence they ignite and build in you, the connections you make and the opportunity to really present your business to as many people as possible.
What are you waiting for…get out and start networking right now!
All the best and watch out for my next post regarding the recent trip to the Canaries…totally exhausting!
P.s. We have also now taken over a guest house in Weymouth, right on the beach, and will be holding more courses here later in the year on stock, weddings, DSLR training, business and so on so watch this space.