Recently, I’ve re-launched my coaching business and as a part of generating leads for clients is putting myself out there. The easiest way to do this is through networking. While online networking is a growth area, I am more comfortable doing my networking in-person.
Most in-person networking events are hosted as bars and some even include complimentary beer & wine. The intent behind this great – it creates a relaxing environment where professionals can connect. It’s great for most people, but for those of us who are sober it can present a particular set of concerns. Attending a networking can make almost anyone feel uncomfortable, but for me that discomfort is amplified by typically being the only sober person there.
However, I’ve found that doing these things help me:
- Be clear with myself about my intentions for attending the event
- Set goals for the number of people I’m going to talk to (this helps me keep focus on what I’m there to do)
- Drive myself
- Have a set time at which I’m going to leave – and stick to it
- Tell my network that I’m going and have a time to check in
- Plan an exit strategy – know how I’m going to gracefully bow out if needed
These things aren’t guaranteed to work, but I’ve found they help me stay focused on my sobriety while also focusing on growing my business.