I went down to Andalucia last week for work purposes and met a lot of people some of whom I already knew and others who I only virtually knew. I then asked a question in my group of Writers and Bloggers About Spain about meeting up, “How Many People In The Group Have You Met Up With?” Now considering that there are 137 people in the group I thought my total of 41 was reasonable. My case is slightly different as some of the group are limited by geography, being based on a rock somewhere in the Atlantic known as the Canary Islands means you are a bit out of the way, and also a few are based on the Balearic Islands too. There are even some people in far flung corners of Spain and even some who are not currently in Spain. So there are excuses.
However there is one thing that is important and I sort of realised it when I got the answers. I was surprised at how many people hadn’t met anyone else in the group or had only met one or two of the others. This blog is called Entrepreneur Solo for a reason, my business is generally done alone. However as in posts such as “You Are Not Alone” being a solo entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you should do all of your projects as an individual.
Last week on the #SpanishRoadTrip I settled deals with six businesses, had 13 meetings, one of which may lead to the largest contract I have ever done, as well as going to a tweetup where I met others who could potentially be JV partners on projects. All of this came through taking things offline and actually going to meet people.
None of it would have happened without the magic of online networking and, surprisingly, that is actually meeting up and talking to people face to face, in other words taking it offline. Now I know it is possible to do business with someone without ever having met up with them, I have done it, however the meetup gives the stimulus to move forward with projects that may otherwise stay on the back burner for too long a time.
So what’s the point here? Check out your networks and take a look at how many people you have actually met up with in those networks and how many of those people you actually are aware o what they do in their daily lives and businesses. I think you will find that the more people you have met up with and talked with then the more dynamic your online business will be, including some great collaborations. For those of you who are in the stage of having met people online but not yet “devirtualised” then take the step. It could lead to something really good for you and all of those people you meet. Remember although you are alone you don’t need to do things alone. Leverage is the key and people who know, like and trust you are much more likely to remember you and recommend you.
And for those of you reading in the WABAS Facebook group remember that our weekend meetup on the weekend of the 23rd to the 25th of November is a good chance to up your numbers of face to face contacts and start getting out there. For more information contact me on Twitter @grahunt