I was recently at the National BNI Conference in Pittsburgh. I love these conferences because they give me energy and feed my soul. Being around other likeminded people is stimulating and I love being able to take in and learn from all of the other Directors. I’ve always felt a little like a wall flower, just observing and absorbing everything, everyone said. But something happened this time that made me feel… well, like I was a small, blossoming flower in the middle of the garden.
I had gone to Florida early for some other business training and so I missed the Author Mentoring Telebridge that I normally would have listened in on. When I got to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, I asked one of my colleagues what I had missed on the call. They then told me, “Oh it was good, we went over the articles, there were a few questions… etc. OH and Hazel talked about your blog!” My heart skipped a beat. Hazel is the one who co-anchors the call with Dr. Misner. I knew she had commented on my blog but assumed she did that for everyone in the program. “Yeah, she said we should all go check out your blog because you do a good job with it.” At first I thought he was teasing me. But when I realize he wasn’t, I couldn’t believe it!!
I approached Hazel later on and introduced myself. As a Once Timid Networker and if you have read any other entries of this blog, you can imagine the challenge that was going on inside of me. A mixture of, what if she doesn’t know who I am? What if she’s too busy to talk to me? What if I stumble all over myself? What if my friend really was teasing and she doesn’t know what I’m talking about?? Who do I think I am…This was HAZEL WALKER!! The Queen of Networking!!
But also, there was a small measure of pride at the thought that I was doing a good job and my message was being heard.
Well, I’m here to tell you, she couldn’t have been more kind. Her smile was warm, her hug was just the right amount of tightness and every time she saw me she went out of her way to say hello. Plus, she remembered my name AND how to say it!! She talked to me. We even had breakfast together and discussed directions I could take this blog that I have grown to enjoy writing so much. I was star struck!
When I left the conference, I had acquired a new mentor. Thank you sweet Hazel for all your kind words, laughs and hugs…This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Tara Schmakel- The Workroom at Tara’s