Lynn Feingold of Songs of the Colonial Days Discovers ‘Network’ in ‘Homework’
What brought me to the Network?
Attending a professional networking event was “homework” for my new role as a member of the Networking Committee of my day-job company’s newly-formed Women’s Integrated Network.I put on my corporate nametag and I walked into the SSWBN breakfast that first time: a roomful of smiling, hugging people who were making a racket! The energy and the joy was palpable – the room vibrated with it. Then Katie appeared from the crowd and introduced me to someone who in turn introduced me to about six people.
The meeting went quickly, the positive energy flowed – and I was hooked. I joined SSWBN the next month to get help with my second career, Songs of the Colonial Days.
I went to my first meeting with my business cards and handed out a few cards. It didn’t take long for a SSWBN member to examine my card and ask: “Where’s your website?” I sheepishly said that I didn’t have one and had never really felt the need to have one. Their response was something like – “Well, if you’re going to take it seriously, as a business you have to have a web presence.”
I had never thought of my singing as a business before that moment. I vowed to challenge myself. I would take it seriously. By the next breakfast, I had new cards with a new website address for a website I had built myself. I don’t remember my first hug because there have been so many.
That was three years ago and so much has happened. I continue to attend as many SSWBN events as I can. I attended three Professional Development Days, which are real game-changers. I have heard so many good ideas – for developing my business, not being afraid to ask for what I am worth, leveraging my internet presence, budgeting sensibly, giving back selflessly.
I learned that to really get to know people I would have to get involved – so I joined the 20th Anniversary Gala Committee and enjoyed my time with that team, and enjoyed the final outcome. I volunteered with SSWBN last year for D.O.V.E., Inc., the Friends of Mel Cancer Conference and the Spirit of Mel Cruise.
It didn’t stop there – the influence of everything I was learning through SSWBN leaked through to every other aspect of my life. I began to reach out to other singers and joined them for song sessions. I joined the Board of Directors of the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston and volunteered to host traditional song swaps around the Greater Boston area.
I got professional photographs taken and upgraded my website to include a video and audio clip. I volunteered my time to sing at a vigil for victims of domestic violence for D.O.V.E., Inc. In January I collaborated with three new friends to perform onstage at the Boston Celtic Music Festival for the first time. In March I celebrated a quarter-century of performing at Blanchard’s Colonial Tavern in Avon. In April I performed at the New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA) Festival in Mansfield, MA for the first time.
Now I get performance opportunities that I never could have dreamed of three years ago. Reaching further still, I joined the Randolph Historical Commission and the Randolph Historical Society to help them learn to connect with their audience and supporters through social media. At my workplace, I accepted a move up to the Leadership Committee of the Women’s Integrated Network, served on the Grant Subcommittee of our company’s charitable foundation, and now have secured a role in the local chapter of our company’s charitable foundation. All of this happened within the past three years since I joined SSWBN.
I have been inspired by a network of courageous women and men who have shown me that doing what you love is key, and in giving yourself over to helping others you really help yourself, deep down inside, and windows open of their own accord.
The view from here is beautiful. I’m stepping up. How about you?