This post is the fourth and final post in a blog series about some of the best networking and meetup groups in Charleston. Check out last week's post to learn more about Lowcountry Local First.
“Entering a networking event, you can feel the eyes of every attendee fix on you for a few brief seconds, like a pack of hungry wolves. They come up and shake your hand with a poisonously false enthusiasm, and as soon as they work through a quick calculation and conclude that you’re not “important” their eyes start flickering around the room, looking for their next meal.”
— John Westenburg, themission.co
That quote is from a blog post entitled “Networking sucks. Because people don’t give a shit.” That’s a pretty harsh perspective, but most of us can relate. Yes, networking can indeed suck… But more often than not, the suckiness has more to do with bad networking habits than human nature itself.
Networking can be a phenomenal waste of time and an absolute joy-kill if: A. you are networking within groups where people have little or nothing in common (professionally or personally), or B. you have a networking script/sales pitch that prevents you from connecting with others in an honest and meaningful way.
Fix A, and B tends to work itself out. Find a group that understands your struggles and shares your goals... Substantive conversation and meaningful connections are sure to follow.
Hatch Tribe has got this all figured out. And while the organization caters to female business owners, all professionals can learn a thing or two from their priorities (education and relationship building vs. promotion and prospecting).
Emerge Summit photos by Abby Murphy Photography from @HatchTribe.
Hatch Tribe is a private business that provides coaching and mentoring services. It is not a traditional membership-based networking group, but Hatch Tribe Founder Hillary Johnson hosts a variety of gatherings and small groups where women entrepreneurs can connect with (and ultimately learn from) one another. Events are facilitated in a way that limits promotion and encourages honest conversation...
“We believe in women supporting women. We believe in collaboration over competition. We believe in real talk, encouragement, and inspiration.”
— Hillary Johnson, Hatch Tribe Founder
In short, Hillary is creating a professional community that cares.
One of our favorite Hatch Tribe groups is the CEO Collective. It’s an intimate environment, where women business owners can connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, solicit advice and share experiences. These small groups (of no more than 7 women) are handpicked by Hillary to limit competition and promote “co-working.” Additionally, participants must meet a few requirements to ensure that they are a good fit.
While there are many examples of women-only networking groups, we find the execution of Hatch Tribe events to be top-notch and sincerely focused on what matters most—education and support. The organization offers realistic guidance that can be put to immediate and impactful use both in business and in life.
Networking doesn't have to suck. Find a group that you truly care about, and it is likely that they will return the favor. We hope you've enjoyed reading about our favorite groups over the past few weeks. There are plenty of others deserving of praise, but the Charleston Metro Chamber, Sea Islands Chamber, LLF and Hatch Tribe are certainly moving and shaking the local networking scene. Have a favorite of your own worth sharing? We would love to hear about it! Email us with the details. Until then, happy networking!