Networking I love: Soar Collective

Being a small business (and originally a home-based business), I have gone to a lot of networking events.

Some I have loved – such as when I was a part of Cranbourne BNI (I even ended up being president of the group and running the meetings for 6 months!), and the local Rotary business breakfasts…but some I have less fond memories of. There have been some networking meetings I’ve been to where it seems like everyone just wants to give you their business card, tell you about themselves and then switch off.

I notice so much talking and a lot less of listening at many of the networking events I have attended, and maybe this is because I tend to sit back and let people come to me (partly from being shy but also not wanting to be too forward). And often, I won’t go back to these types of events – it’s exhausting and I want to meet real people, not those stuck on repeating their sales pitches every time.

IMG_2767One networking event/group I have a lot of respect and love for is Soar Collective. It started last year, it’s peninsula-based, and everyone I have met through there is lovely (and most I have actually kept in touch with, not just shared a business card with!). The group started as morning tea discussions, which were perfect for sharing ideas and grievances about running a business, and it made me feel a lot less alone in the struggles faced by everyone in small business.

The group has grown now, to include cocktail events and even a conference day later this year. It makes my heart sing that you can have a networking event that is honest and warm. I am hoping it continues to grow, as the lady who originally set it up has done a wonderful job, and it’s a group I love being a part of.

Here’s hoping other networking groups can learn from Soar Collective, I think the world will be a better place if we have more events and groups that are full of down-to-earth conversation and gratitude for each other.