Steer issue 26 Nov/Dec - Page 4

From the Beach!
Recently I have been travelling and attended a
conference in South Africa – Cape Town to be exact.
This was a huge step in my personal development
as well as a great opportunity to network with
international delegates from around the world. I had
expected to be attending the conference with a couple
of colleagues from the UK but unfortunately, they had
to cancel at the last minute, so I walked into a room
full of people, knowing only one person who I had met
briefly in Canterbury a few weeks earlier.
On the first day my flight was late, so I arrived in time
for lunch. The dining room was pretty full but I found
a space on a table and sat down. I started to chat to
the lady sitting opposite and discovered that we had
a lot in common. She was one of the exhibitors at the
conference and we soon fell into conversation about
our respective businesses which continued over the
next few days.
During one of our conversations, I happened to
mention something which I’d been thinking about for
a long time but didn’t really know how to tackle it. My
new friend had the answer and suggested a course
which I could do in South Africa but via distance
learning. In fact, she had been thinking about doing
the same course and we decided that we could both
sign up for it and follow each other’s progress at the
same time.
As you can probably imagine, this is an unexpected
outcome from a trip to South Africa where I knew noone, didn’t know what to expect and certainly didn’t
plan to sign up to a distance learning course in order to
improve my business back in the UK!
I also spent some time with the lady I had met briefly
in Canterbury a few weeks earlier. Again, we hit it off
and discovered that we think alike and have similar
ideas on various issues relating to our respective
businesses. We also plan to keep in touch and will
probably end up working together at some point as
part of a project which is currently been put together in
another part of the world.
I also met someone else who belongs to another
association and she has invited me to join her on
a trip to Asia. Again it will be another networking
opportunity as well as travelling to new places.
Networking is just a conversation and finding those
like-minded people who can help and support you
along your journey. Sometimes they come from
surprising sources, but it really doesn’t matter in
this day and age with the internet and the ease of
So, if someone offers you an opportunity, just think of
it as a way of meeting new people and widening your
network rather than a strictly business opportunity.
You just never know who you
are going to meet and where
it might take you and your
Sally Marshall
0777 171 4221


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