July 7, 2014

The Power of Networking and a Cry for Help!

How a simple comment at a business breakfast led to great things!

I was at one of our weekly network meetings in February for Network Dorset recently when I discovered the power of networking. Network Dorset is a business group I helped set up last year. Anyway, I stood up and said just one line for my one minute presentation and that was enough…

The Power of Networking

As some of our readers may know, I have been incredibly busy with my photography for the past few years. However, I have also had the burden of having to pay a large monthly mortgage on our house in Spain.

This is despite moving back to the UK more than 7 years ago. The economy out there in Spain 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. 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.

The thought of doing this for another 17 years bore heavy on my mind

It was like throwing money into a bottomless pit. 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. This would clear our Spanish mortgage but even so, I was in need of more work. I needed to try and pay the mortgage off or die trying.

I was already busy with ATP running training courses and doing 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. They wanted me to help clear the backlog of websites that they needed building for their franchisees. They are 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 so far. The real icing on the cake came last week!

Lanzarote or bust!

Myself and a large chunk of my camera gear were flown to a 5 star resort in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. This was to photograph and film a "Millionaire's Retreat" where all their new franchisees had a week of intense training for their businesses.

The Power of Networking

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 this. If you run your own business, and even if you don't need additional work right now, you may well do in the future. Joining a networking group is one of the best things you can do. Look at:

  • BNI
  • Chamber of Commerce breakfasts
  • Independent clubs and associations
  • Business groups etc

These work well for me as a sole business owner. This is 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. This time shooting properties in and around Dorset.

The Power of Networking for You

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 is incredible.

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. It is right on the beach, and will be holding more courses here later in the year. Courses on stock photography, weddings, DSLR training, business and so on so watch this space.

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