The BYOB You Need to Know
Your brand isn't just what others think of you, but also what you think of you.
Networking has become an act where attendees put on a face of happiness to be at yet another event. These dinners/mixers/happy hours are often repetitive, ingenuine, and typical. Hearing phrases like "your network is your network" and "networking is one letter away from not working" often leave people with the idea that it is just something you have to do to build your business, social circle, or your brand. I can agree that networking is important, however, does it all have to be the same? Last week I was shown that the answer to that question is no.
BYOB Society made a stop in Dallas for to give us branding advice. The national tour hosted by Andrew of @theoagency and Jennifer of @adlt_101 is a string of workshops and activities about branding, adulting, finances, and entrepreneurship. The event gave the audience a chance to hear experiences first hand from panel members who were making moves in their respective industries.
Courtney of Think & Grow Chick empowers women through financial success. She left her high paying corporate job to fulfill her passion. She was fortunate enough to graduate college and have a contract with a brand for her work but unfortunately when that contract ended, she had to develop new ways to attack her market. She stated that finding something small or minimal buying product that her audience would support was key. She "let things snow" by rolling from small projects with people that were reachable until she got her target larger consumers.
Amanda of Mako Mindfulness understood early that working for someone else wasn't for her. Amanda admitted that she isn't the best worker when she isn't enjoying what she is doing. She let the job she was in be her investor for her passions. "You have to let your corporate work pay for your hustle," says Amanda. She also scaled back on activities such as shopping, eating out and attending events with her friends. The more money she was able to save and invest in her pursuit of opening up her yoga and mindfulness practice, the less material things became a priority.
Like Amanda, Nick also recognized the importance of letting your paycheck be your first investor. Nick was 14 months out of college and outgrowing the job he was in. Constantly over delivering to clients, he found himself being over evolved and underdeveloped. Nick's dream was to work for a socially responsible company such as Tom's Shoes. With his dream in mind, Nick put TangoTab in the works. The free mobile app allows you to discover restaurants in your area, but more importantly that every time you dine at a partner restaurant they feed a person in need that community. As of last year, TangoTab has helped feed over 1.5 million people across the US.
Lastly, like his fellow panel members Scotty was unhappy in his role and wanted more. He had bought his first property at the age of 19 and continued doing so throughout his duration in college. As he went on to work for a Big Four firm, he found that he hated every day of his life. In 2011 he had roughly $20,000 saved and parted ways with his job to set out on his own. . He quickly burned through money as bills from marketing and expenses piled up. January of the new year Scottie had $100 and responsibilities to fulfill. The new father started going on interviews trying to get back in the corporate realm. On one particular interview, the hiring manager looked at him and told him that he knew Scottie didn't want to work for anyone and Scottie knew that fact too. From that point on, he tied up his bootstraps and built up what is now Scottie Smith II and Associates, a successful real estate business spanning the DFW area.
All four people left lucrative jobs to pave their way, and all agrees that they underestimated how much it would take for them to do so. Everyone had a different goal amount but saw that they almost needed to double their goal to make it happen. Understanding who their customer/client would be was also key.
The audience was also fortunate enough to get the panelists' list of books that are vital for budding entrepreneurs.
Amanda: Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill
Scottie: The Power of Broke by Daymond John
Hearing first hand from the panelists on their experience and their real thoughts ignited the audience before the actual networking event. We were split into groups per what we had said our strengths and weaknesses were on our RSVP. We were given styrofoam cups to write information on. I appreciated that it wasn't a traditional business exchange. It was inventive and different from so many events before. BYOB Society by far exceeding my expectations of an event. It was insightful, genuine and real. When they hit a city near you, be sure to bring your own brand and get started.
For more information on the panelists, follow them here:
Andrew @brandwithdrew and @byobsociety