We walked in all weathers and all seasons. We walked with people engaged in all sorts of businesses and explored many routes through the Olympic Park. Above all, we connected with each other. We networked in an uplifting, different way and took time out to reflect on our work and how we work. This has been a year of Self-Boss Networking Walks.
Here is an overview of this year of walks, a thank you to all those who have participated and an invitation to join us for the final walk on 26th September.
Each walk explored a different business development theme connected to the season. When the park was heavy with colourful flowers, bees and butterflies in the summer, we used this as a metaphor for thinking about our clients and how we attract them. When the park was cold and sparse in January with clear and open views, we used this as a time to set and discuss our vision for the business. The walks used questions. landmarks and routes to create the themes and support our conversations.
“I left the walk invigorated and with more focus. I will definitely join the next walk and I’ve already recommended it to my friends”
The participants were able to think differently and positively about their work. There were a number of ‘aha’ moments as well as a sense of energy for our businesses. The walk acted as a light coaching experience.
“A fun, inspiring and focused way to spend a couple of hours walking and talking”
The walks have also promoted walking as a way of holding a meeting, thinking and ultimately of working. This is a subject close to my heart. As self-bosses we work on our own. Without us there is no business. So taking care of ourselves and our wellbeing is an essential business goal. Being active and in green spaces are key to our physical and mental health. It can seem hard to justify taking time out to walk or exercise. Walking while networking combines both goals. The participants gained a natural high from the walk. Seeing the immediately positive effect of the walk on many participants was really important and motivating to me. This impact is central to my work as a coach.
“I highly recommend that you invest the time to go on this walk in February. Anise evokes thought in what you are doing everyday and it’s a great way to communicate whilst walking. Great business contacts made as a bonus.”
Some walks had a small, intimate crowd and others had a larger group. We connected photographers, coaches, party planners, web designers, accountants, holiday planners, branding consultants, financial consultants, masseurs, fitness trainers, artists, and more. We were joined by people with long established businesses alongside those just starting out, friends and strangers.
Too often being a self-boss involves working alone and feeling a sense of isolation. Networking events can often be formal and uncomfortable. Netwalking enabled us to connect and feel comfortable. Participants shared experiences, learned from each other and made new relationships.
“I love that you are networking without networking (if that makes sense!!!) and by talking to people who are outside of your company, you get a totally different view. The questions also focus on what to talk about so you aren’t just promoting your business but talking about your business.”
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many different people and sharing a special, moving experience with each of them. It was also an adventure to adapt each walk to the group that arrived and respond to the weather on the day!
“The walk was inspiring, relaxing and helpful all at the same time! I met some lovely people and enjoyed sharing experiences.”
I confess that I started out feeling not too enamoured with the Olympic Park. Through this experience I have fallen in love with the park. The creation of these 12 walks
involved hours and hours of wandering, route plotting and investigating. I’ve been glad of my raincoat and sturdy legs on this quest and enjoyed every minute of it. I’ve discovered that the park is bursting with art works, buildings, plants, history and ecological wonders. There are waterways, wildlife and delightful hidden spaces. The Great British Garden and the wetlands are a couple of my favourite spots. Sharing my discoveries in the park through the walks has been a real joy.
“Every route is meticulously planned out so the locations and conversations fit perfectly together meaning you learn so much more about the people you are walking with.”
It’s now September. The leaves are beginning to change colour, fruit has ripened and summer is over. The leaves will soon fall. Now is the time to think about what we will let go of in our business. What will we hold on to and focus on to? And what do we no longer need or is holding us back? For me this will also involve letting go of the Self-Boss Networking Walk. The last walk in this series will for me be a celebration of a year of walks.
“Added a new dimension to networking events and was fun and invigorating! Anise is fab and really adds a personal touch to the event with her coaching advice.”
The walk can then develop into a new type of group coaching, reflective or networking walk. Do let me know. What kind of group walk would you benefit from?
Meanwhile, do join us for the last Self-Boss Networking walk on 26th September. Use the Eventbrite link to sign up. Come ready to walk with comfy shoes, no heavy bags, weatherproof clothing and of course, your business cards. I look forward to walking and talking with you.
If you work for you, sign up here to join the last Self-Boss Networking Walk in the Olympic Park on 26th September.
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