This blog was originally written on Clare’s website so dates are from that, the photo above is a portion of the attendees but many had to run for trains or were slow coaches in leaving the pub (ha, you know the ones) so it’s not everyone that was there.
Last Friday was phenomenal.
This year I was lucky enough to be invited along to join a networking group that was just starting out. The story behind it was a mutual friend of the founder had started a similar group in Glasgow and wanted to replicate their groups success.
It was only on Friday that we discovered the full scale of that success.
It’s easy to think that networking groups fleet in and out and you join to do business, but increasingly it’s that human connection that is really craved. Working alone I know I need to be around people.
We are still very new and we had commented in our own group that in the 6 months since its inception that we thought it was going incredibly well, that we were pretty close, and were probably more open about our challenges with each other than we were with friends and colleagues.
And we are right. We are.
So to sit with this other group, who are essentially the reason we are together, was incredible.
This group started off exactly as we have, and 14 years later the bonds are incredible. These are people who came together to network for (essentially) business purposes and have been together through thick and thin. Literally describing the group as having seen them through some incredibly dark times where the only day they could guarantee being uplifted was the day they met to network.
I felt myself well up at that comment.
Did they always talk about business? No.
Probably rarely did.
The got to know each other. They acted as each other’s mentors, without ever officially adopting that role. They were confidants when times got tough and knew they had that strength to help them when they needed to draw from it.
They are best friends, how beautiful is that!!
Jings we have a lot to live up to.
It was once mentioned that members had said that this group was the highlight of their week, I feel like that. I never want to miss it.
I’m also a little bit scared that someone will start sitting in my favourite chair.
So I get there early.
I truly hope that I’m reporting back in 14 years that we are still going strong, and as cheesy as it sounds, I think we will be.