Redefining Networking

Deep, meaningful, supportive relationships.

Phil and Adam, profile photos

I have always balked at the idea of networking. The word itself makes me shiver with dread. Socializing? Socializing about…business? I’m a creative, what do I know about business? What I have I got to offer other business people? Suits? All I have are t-shirts? I’m a videographer, I produce videos for those people that do the networking – I’m not enough of a business person to be in that world. I’m not good at networking – that’s not for me. I don’t belong.

These are the sorts of thoughts that would come up when I was invited to a networking group or event.

But the truth is I’ve been networking all along, just in my own way. I’ve been so blessed over the past 8 years to be part of a very small group of very special people here on the Kapiti Coast. Up until recently, we had met every single month to ‘network’ and talk business. Sometimes we would discuss business in a very formal and structured way, sometimes we needed specific advice about our work and sometimes we simply helped in eachothers’ gardens or cleaned the windows, but always with the option to discuss what we needed help with. Through this group I have received an incredible amount of support, from my humble beginnings to my now much more widespread video presence. They have seen me grow and encouraged me to flourish and I have done the same for them. They are deep, lifelong friendships. The picture below was taken right back at the beginning of our bizz group days.Β  It shows me on the right, standing next to Anna of Help Me Net, with Tink on the left, who at the time had a sustainable clothing business.

Rachel Dickinson of Soulhaven (right), Anna of Help Me Net (centre) and Tink of ElementAll (left)

At the end of last year, we sadly had to say goodbye to one of our core members, legendary garden guru and all round inspirational person, Kath Irvine of Edible Backyard, who sold her amazing land and home and tootled off with her hubby in their newly developed house truck to live a new adventure of life on the road. Don’t worry you garden enthusiasts, you can still access her and all of her amazing online content and books…Edible Backyard continues – albeit on the road! As for the rest of the group, life had changed for some and I found I was the only one in the group still ‘doing business’ and really wanting and needing the same sort of platform. So with that, the group has reformed somewhat, with some additional new faces and new business dreams and goals to set alight.

portrait photography

So it was on Easter Monday that I spent some time with some of my new bizz networking members (and friends), Phil (pictured above – Phil Townshend – π—ͺ𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗯𝗲𝗢𝗻𝗴 & π“π«πšπ§π¬πŸπ¨π«π¦πšπ­π’π¨π§πšπ₯ Coach, Regenerative Lifestyles & Workplaces) and Adam, (general IT whizz and business systems planner/analyst/all round smart person and permaculture gardener). Phil and Adam are soon to be running a second gardening workshop at their amazing home up in Peka Peka, and they needed photos for their marketing, which I was happy to provide. Phil also needed some pictures of himself for his general marketing.

SIDE NOTE: I don’t publicize it much, but I’m quite skilled at portrait photography, having learnt the post processing tips and tricks as a professional photo editor for local photographer, Tara Lemana, and having done several boudoir and erotic photoshoots over the past year – yes you read that right. As someone who has spent a decade learning how to help people relax in front of a camera for video work, portraiture and intimate photography is something that comes naturally to me, and I love it!

portrait photography

Back to the main story – Adam had already given me his time with some bizz planning and Phil gave me celery seedlings, so I felt well supported in my work and soul in order to give back with my photography!! Phil has a hard time in front of the camera, but he did a great job and we got some beautiful shots for his bizz.Β  I will also be doing some photos for another member, Penny Beale, in exchange for some of her wonderful coaching. It’s a lovely cycle of giving and receiving.

On top of that I finally joined a Venus Networking group this month. Wow actual networking!! I have been putting Venus off for years, for various reasons, but I finally came to a place where I felt ready to stop listening to those silly voices and just give it a go. I’ve already met some lovely, inspiring people there and I’m sure that will continue the longer I develop those relationships.

So what I have learned about networking? What I have done is redefined in my world. It is an act of developing deep, supportive, meaningful relationships; of giving and receiving. Now that I can get behind!

p.s. Phil and Adam’s gardening workshop, ‘Easy, Lazy, No-Stress Gardening’ is being held on April 30th in Peka Peka. Adam is a permy guru and Phil is an up and coming gardedning superstar with a gentle coaching methodology behind him. Click here for the details!