I’m 4 weeks post-op from hip replacement surgery. I truly had NO idea how major a surgery this was. I packed the fridge with about a week’s worth of food and assumed I would bounce back 7-10 days later, as good as new. Wow was I wrong!

As a woman living alone when I realized I was having MAJOR surgery I was a little panicked. My sweet son stayed with me the first 2 days and nights, but then I was on my own and feeling quite fragile. I sent out an email to my women friends in my immediate area to say: “I may need your help. Can I count on you to be available to help where you can if I ask?” Pretty vague, but I didn’t really know what I would need.

I got dozens of emails and texts back saying “I’m there. How can I help”.

The biggest surprise was not that women showed up to help me, but that they texted daily to be sure all was OK. And that was more important than actual hands on deck.I felt loved. I felt supported and I knew I was not alone.

So, I’m really not the connector type. You know the ones, these people who are always in touch, expanding their tribe, introducing people to each other. It’s a real art.

But this experience has made me double down on that going forward.

I used to belong to a group of women who all were a part of the direct marketing industry when catalogs were the name of the game. It was aptly named “Women Eating Dinner” by the very young daughter of one of use. We liked that. So WED it was. There were about 20 of us and we met for dinner once a month or so for almost 20 years. I’m still close with many of them today.

Networks or the glue that creates continuity in life if we are lucky.

Why am I telling you all this? Because our business network can become our personal network as well. I realized that ALL those friends that I reached out to were women I had met thru business. And your network needs to be nurtured. Not just when you need something. Not just when you have something to sell. But just staying in touch.

So here are some of the things I will be doing going on a daily and weekly going forward. It’s my 3-2-1 action plan. This can be used at networking events or daily in your social media outreach.

• Make 3 brand new connections to expand your network
• Develop a closer, deeper connection with 2 people you already know.
• Commit to follow up with at least 1 person.

I’ve got a whole cheat sheet on how to network well, whether in person or online. Click here to download a copy.

One more invitation: Women’s Networking Alliance.  I have belonged to a networking group for the past 6 years and would like to invite you to join us. Each of our members owns and operates their own business, which presents tremendous opportunities, along with unique difficulties. When you are a part of WNA, you know that these women share many of the challenges and triumphs that you face on a regular basis. This common bond allows fellow businesswomen to open up and share what’s really going on to get advice, encouragement, and comradery. We have several virtual chapters, so no need to be local. Join us for a meeting

Last thought: I’m on LinkedIn more than any other platform Come connect with me there!  and let’s get to know each other a bit better.

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