Janet LaBerge

Janet LaBerge

What a great month March was for the SSWBN!  We launched a new lunch venue at the Hingham Beer Works with a sold-out crowd.  As your President, I found it difficult to turn away some people at the door:  we usually can accommodate walk-ins.  My hope is that more people will begin to register early for events.  It makes the planning process much easier for our staff and the restaurant’s staff.

I love the vibe at the Hingham Beer Works and had eaten there prior to securing it as a luncheon venue.  I highly recommend that you visit them to check out the rest of their menu and their beer made on site.  The fried pickles are a treat!  I’m looking forward to the lunch in May there as it will hopefully be warm enough to sit on the outside patio afterwards.  I’m going to plan my 1:1 meetings for after the lunch so I can sit on the patio and watch the ships in the harbor.  It’s what living here on the ocean is all about.

This month we are back to Granite Grill, which also has a room limit, so register early.  If you haven’t had the chance to eat there at times other than the luncheon, ask John for a menu.  Their thin crust pizza is excellent.  Had I known that networking involved so much eating out, I would have started my business long ago!

The breakfast with featured speaker Stephen Melanson was also very well attended.  I was happy to hear that he believes in creating curiosity in your target audience.  My big black van that says, “Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap” on it generates lots of curiosity … and maybe a little fear … but I think that’s a good combination.  Stephen also said that we spend too much time explaining what we do, rather than focusing on how we are different from our competition.  I couldn’t be more different from most people I know, so it was reassuring to hear it from “an expert.”

It also made me start thinking not only of my business, but of my second responsibility, this Network.  We are different.  While our tag line says, coaching, contacts, and collaboration, those things really are what most, if not all, networking groups are trying to do for their members.  I’m happy that we added community to that tagline for this year, because it does give a hint as to how we are different.  We are not simply in it for ourselves and our businesses, but to take part in bettering our community as a whole.

We are also different I think, because we have more fun than any other network I have been involved in.  Keeping a sense of humor about you when you’re running a business in this economy is very important.  We are also a group of kind, caring people.  When I am out there promoting the SSWBN to new people, I don’t talk about how we will get you business — because that’s what all networking groups do.  I talk about how much fun I have at every event and how kind and loving our members are.  That’s what makes us different and better than our competition.  That is and always has been my verbal branding of SSWBN.  Thank you, Stephen Melanson, for re-affirming the importance of this message.

Happy to lead with fun and humility,

Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap

Pay It Forward Tip for April:  As you start digging in your gardens, if you need to separate out plants that have gotten too big, offer to exchange some with a neighbor.  You will be getting plants that are already happy in this New England soil and having a chance to connect with someone you may not yet know that well.