Yesterday was DC’s first Small Business Expo.
I went with no expectations and was greatly surprised at what I accomplished.
Since I broke out of my comfort zone, I wanted to stop by and share with you but first an apology ~
My blog has been dead for a good part of this month. For that, I apologize. But next week will be bananas!
Here’s what I’ve been up to ~
❣countdown to Japan!!!!
Leaving in a few days and have been swamped handling my deets ~
❣Gearing up for the second Ladies of Ink Summer Tour
Can’t wait to tattoo with these amazing women and introduce y’all to my tour mates ~
❣Launching Little INKPLAY Shop’s kawaii + creative workshops
Check out my growth updates and take the workshops survey ~
And now to the meat & potatoes …
🌸Small Business Expo Event Recap
This share isn’t photospam heavy.
I was out of my comfort zone and my personal challenge (to self) was simply to be present and engage.
Getting dotted upon coming in was a brilliant icebreaker. I truly enjoyed connecting with people by color (no pun intended 😹)
This was mislabeled. It was more like a person taking a picture of you with tour phone.
A few attendees and I laughed about that ~
But kudos for an interactive red carpet experience ^^
I’ve always wanted try speed dating. But this was even better! I also loved that it was offered through the day so you could speed network as long as you wanted 💗
Here’s what I didn’t care much for ~
❣Email Marketing Spam
I didn’t enjoy the amount email reminders and solicitation for showcasing at the expo. >.<
It just got annoying ~
The floor layout was a bit confusing and hard to navigate, even for a small space.
Also, the business card bar would have been better as 3 small bars strategically placed for efficient networking.
❣Get Dotted Meetings (set-up)
Designated spaces were too open for such an intimate activity.
It also would have been a polished touch to have a note of why you’re here, what to expect, and how to sub-network within the respective get dotted meetings.
🌸 Out of My Comfort Zone + Engaging
Here’s 3 important lessons and highlights that I will hold near and dear as I grow ~
✨A Different Perspective on Networking
First thing on my schedule was speed networking. And I decided to sit where I didn’t have to move, to allow people to come to me.
※It’s something I do for live painting and other art related events when I’m a fish out of water. So I just readjusted that introvert engagement thingy I do to yesterday’s activities. (Annnddd … It worked 😉 )
EVERY conversation was a good one!
And the lesson learned from one of my fav convos was a different perspective on networking – we are all good at networking, we’re just good in our own ways.
✨Honesty is the Best Policy
A gentleman and I didn’t start on the best foot while power networking.
When asked why I didn’t care for him, I shared honestly that he came of as a douche.
Without mincing words? I explained why.
In our later exchanges, he apologized and shared where his excitement came from.
It was an honest exchange that I find most people aren’t adult enough to have, especially in business.
I respect and salute him for that! ✨
We DID talk business … that I’m surprisingly looking forward to ~
Lesson – sometimes it’s necessary to be frank in order to break the 4th wall and get to something a bit more meaningful.
(If you’re reading this homie 👋🏾👋🏾👋🏾 and thanks for being you!)
✨Creative Energies are REAL!
Ever wonder why you were meant to be in a particular place at a certain time?
Yeah, well I get that a lot in my life because of my empath nature. And yesterday was one of them.
My new homie, Felicia, and I decided to go to some of the mutual things on our schedules, together.
Felicia and I met during an entrepreneur start-up get dotted meeting. Somehow we enjoyed building with each other so much that we naturally latched on and became a team in navigating the expo and processing info based on where we are as a business (because there was lots!)
We also started brainstorming ways to help empower each other *swag*
We went to the Creatives get dotted meeting and a 30-minute session became a 3+ hour mastermind.
We didn’t know the importance, but I think we found our answer in the end ~
It was AMAZING and truly the highlight of my small business expo experience. And the best part is that everyone was melanated!
No crabs in a barrel over here baby! 🙌 INSPIRING!
Can’t wait until we all connect again (after Japan!!!) 😸
I’m taking it back to Jerry Springer days with that heading 😹
If you’re a fellow entrepreneur (of any kind) and second guessing the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone …
Take it from me and DO IT!
You’ll probably surprise yourself. 😸
In the creatives meeting, Gabe asked “What do you need from us” My answer ~
I need nothing. I am full and overflowing.
With no expectations, I definitely got more than what I came for.
For that, I am thankful.
Being in such a place, I can now ask …