The Networking Challenge Is Back + Update from Anna!
It’s been awhile since I gave you an honest update on my life, my career, and business.  Why? It’s been a crazy year full of ups, downs and changing directions. But, I finally feel back on track 8 months into the year!  Sometimes life and my business gets so busy that I forget about the one thing that started this whole thing in the beginning almost four years ago….writing my heart out on this little blog.
It’s also time to practice what I preach.  If you have been reading for awhile, you know that in 2011 I started a networking challenge where I met with four people I didn’t know and four people I did know every month. It kicked my butt (as an introvert!) and pushed me forward to my goals and dreams and helped me figure out my career direction. Now, I teach my clients how to do their own networking challenges in order to get into careers they love.

The Networking Challenge is Back!

But I have to admit, I have been terrible about keeping my own networking challenge up. There are so many reasons why. I am too busy. I don’t want to talk about my personal life and challenges. I don’t have a clear direction where I am going. I don’t know where to start.
We each have our networking barriers blocking us from getting out of our comfort zones and I have had a lot of those barriers this year. But, I am again in the same spot as I was in 2011 where I know that networking is the ONLY way that I am ever going to reach my dreams and goals. I am an introvert and networking is not natural for me, so I have to really force myself to go to a networking event. But, I will tell you that I am ALWAYS so glad that I am there once I get there.
So with that, the networking challenge is back!  It’s already August 15th but I am still planning my networking challenge for this month. I am meeting with 4 people I already know and 4 people I don’t already know this month (networking events count!)  I have my list all set to go and I challenge you to create your list of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people you want to meet with by the end of this month NOW.

Here’s who I am meeting with:

Four People I Don’t Know: 
  1. Connected Women of Influence Networking Event
  2. A woman who has successfully started her own networking events in San Diego
  3. A female entrepreneur I admire
  4. Co-Founder of MBA Women International in San Diego
Four People I Do Know: 
  1. Friend from church
  2. Friend from my MBA program
  3. Previous co-worker
  4. Previous client
Remember, that this does not only have to be done in person. It can be done over the phone and your family/friends count for people you do already know. So often we forget those people who are so close to us.  Networking is not just about making NEW connections, you have to keep up with the old ones too!

So what is the driving the change and new push to network?

1) After going in a billion different directions the first 7 months of this year, I am finally clear. Why? I invested in myself and got a coach. I have only had two sessions with my coach but it is so great of finally talk with someone who has grown their own business and can help me strategize the next step. (So no more getting expert business advice from my husband, sorry babe!) I have heard it before that all coaches should have a coach.
I knew it was true but I am picky about who I work with because I take action on things really quickly. And I felt like I already knew a lot myself just by reading and studying. But, there is something different about working with a coach. You finally have someone on your side. Instead of ideas just going around and around in your head, you can finally say them out loud and get reassurance and peace. And that is exactly what has happened. I finally have peace and clarity about the next step and where we are going on this fun little journey of Classy Career Girl. And I can honestly say that I am a much better coach myself because I invested in my own coach.
2) I am all over the place online. Because I am an introvert, I have been hiding behind the ease of teleseminars, blogging, and online twitter chats. It’s time to step out of my comfort zone and create some in person connections. So, if you are in San Diego, I would love to meet you. Please reach out to me! Not only that, but I am planning a live event. It’s still pretty fuzzy as far as what it will look like, but we are going LIVE before the end of this year!
3) I have been in a funk due to a personal situation leading to times where I don’t really want to speak to anyone. If you are super curious and can’t stand not knowing about my personal life, I wrote all about it on Christmas Day here.  Having a networking challenge will help me get out of this funk and reconnect with relationships I have not kept up very well this year.
4) I am growing up, and so is this blog. I am now over 10 years older than those of you just graduating and reading my blog still in college. I want this blog, my products, and services to be for everyone and some of it always will be. But, it’s time for me to start focusing my content on professional women more my age.
You may now see posts not just for recent grads and young professionals, but also for mid-level to executive women. Why? Because we are growing up! And Classy Career Girl is slowly becoming Classy Career Woman! I hope that whatever level of your career that you are in now, you will always find something valuable here on this site. Hey, there are almost four years of blog articles for you to still read!  I have now made tabs on the side of the page to help you whatever level you are and to make my content and offerings very specific and focused for you.
5) My book is coming out this fall and I so badly just want to do an easy online launch. But really, that would mean that hundreds of women won’t find out about my book from me in person.  I have worked on this book for a year and it has been written, re-written and re-written five more times.  It’s so good and now when I read it sometimes I can’t believe I actually put all those words together. So I need to kick up the networking not for book sales, but instead, so that my book can help professional women around the world learn to lead better and work with men better.  I seriously think every professional woman on this planet should read my book.
So an online launch in my PJ’s with my door closed is just not going to cut it. I need to get out there for launch parties, speaking, and events. I am super excited but so scared at the same time!:)

Let’s Do This Networking Challenge Together!

OK, so that is WAY MORE reasons to get out there and network than reasons NOT to, right? Yep.  So time to go send out my networking request emails!  And I hope that you will do the same! Thanks for reading my update and for your support. I couldn’t do this without your positive encouragement, tweets, and comments!

Hi, I'm Anna!

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