What if you crashed an executive networking event? The power of taking risk and networking from the heart…A True Story

Wonderful story provided by Candice Szeliga

So we all know how I have been afraid to network and open my mouth for fear of sounding ridiculous. But Veena told us about the seminar at the Duke mansion so I decided that I was going to go and I was going to get some networking buddies. I am taking control of my job search. GRRRRR!

Anxiety Level: Orange
So I arrived to this GORGEOUS home in the Myers park area with a parking lot filled with BMW and Lexus’. My little Toyota was getting a complex but I continued through the door. I walked up the path from the parking lot, around the huge fountain, up the stairs surrounded by white columns, through the black and white Marble Foyer, signed in, and entered the room. I searched to find Veena, found her at the table in the back with 1 chair open asked politely if I could take the seat and was welcomed 🙂 SCORE 1! I am with someone I know, fear level dropping.

Anxiety Level: Yellow
I see a small spread of breakfast foods (yogurts granola, fresh fruit, pastries, coffee served in mugs (not plastic). Wow, this is going to be a great day, I begin smiling and expressing gratitude to the staff for their friendly service. I go to refresh my coffee and met Bill Forsyth, who commutes between Charlotte and Atlanta. We strike up a conversation and basically I demonstrated that I don’t belong there because I gave a snippet of my elevator speech and he gave a strange look but remains very polite. So I decide that I will just fade into the background and get some info and run for the hills if I need to. No one knows me here, just another face in the crowd…..

The Key Speaker is Kraig Kramer, he addresses the room and welcomes all the CEO’S who took the time away from their companies to connect with other CEO’s and integrate new models for success for their company. HOLY CRAP! I NEED TO GET OUT OF THIS ROOM WITHOUT ANYONE SEEING ME!!!!! I listened to the speaker which was great but remain in the back of the room. Well then the raffle takes place from the evaluations of the key speaker for a signed D’Angelo Williams Mini Panther helmet. They shake the box, pull a name and…..Yup, I got it!!!! I had to walk from the back of the room to the front shake hands with the CEO of I.B.I.S Andy Vabulas and Kraig Kramer. <—– Anxiety Level: RED

Well, nothing else could go wrong after that.. so best to stay and just network and meet new folks. Still freaking out.

I stayed and got lots of good info but the trial by fire has proven that Veena and I can crash a CEO event and hold our own… GO TEAM PRONET! EVERYBODY, KEEP CRASHING PARTIES, EVENTUALLY WE WILL GET A JOB!!!

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