I recently filmed client and business coach, Chris Ruisi giving a presentation at a networking event and one of the perks of documenting all of these events, is that I get to benefit from the content as well. The one thing that Chris said that day that really resonated with me was “you have to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable”. It’s so simple, yet so profound and it made me realize that I did exactly what he said a year and a half ago, when I joined the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce.
2010 wasn’t a particularly good year for business and I realized that I had to make changes in the way I attracted new clients. The first thing I did was take a social media class given by Lisa Kanda from Elkay Corporate Advisors that was offered by the Long Branch Chamber of Commerce. From there I started Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts and one fateful day I was on Facebook and received a message from Hypnotist James Giunta, who invited me to something called a “Perk”. The “Perk” is the weekly meeting that the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce (NMCC) holds every Friday morning at the IHOP in Keyport. Up to this point, I only had a few experiences with networking and since I am introverted by nature, they weren’t very successful.
So I got a haircut, dug my big boy clothes out of the closet, set the alarm for 7am and headed to my first “Perk”. The rest is history as they say. I was welcomed with open arms and felt right at home the minute I walked in the door, but that cozy feeling was about to turn to queasy when I had to get up and do a 30 second elevator pitch about my business. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest, it was beating so hard … not to mention I was 3 shades of red having all of these faces staring at me while I fumbled through my 30 hour, I mean 30 second speech.
Since that day, I have given well over 50 of those speeches and I can now say that I’m pretty comfortable and confident standing up there and telling other members how I can help them with their businesses. Step 1: conquered fear of public speaking…on to step 2: attract new clients.
Through the NMCC, I have made many contacts and attracted many new clients: the business coach I mentioned, the hypnotist, a motivational speaker, an educator, a chef, a limo service, a dog trainer and many more people in diverse fields. So with a strong client base already in the chamber, how do I take my new-found networking adventure to the next level?
I decided to join the Marketing Committee…again, stepping out of my comfort zone of being someone who preferred to work alone, rather than with a large group. It was a great decision … not only do I capture all of the chamber’s events on video, but I get a platform to promote what I do best…shoot and edit video and share it through social media to further spread the word about this great chamber of commerce. Win-win. As a member of this talented committee, we are looking forward to designing a new, dynamic website, as well as many more exciting enhancements as the chamber evolves and I look forward to many more years being an active member of The Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce.
But wait! There’s more! Not only did I conquer my fears and attract new clients, I also made friends…not just acquaintances, but what I feel will be life-long relationships of give and take and both personal and professional support. The one person that helped make joining the chamber a life changing experience was Alyse Liebowitz from 3 Chicks that Click Photography. We hit it off right from the start and when I found out her husband was an independent filmmaker, we made dinner plans and have been connected ever since. In addition to numerous Action Media projects and 3 Chicks That Click projects, we have collaborated on independent films and look forward to producing several more in 2012.
If you want to join a group of professionals who are friendly and committed to being advocates for you and your business, then look no further. To see some of the events I’ve captured, check out their website and listen to the testimonials of its members, you’ll see there is a common thread. http://northernmonmouthchamber.com/. Please visit our website to learn more about Action Media Productions, LLC.
If you made it this far, I’m sure you will agree that joining the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce changed my life.
PS: 2011 was one our most successful years …