Jacqueline Collins, Business Coach and Advisor,
Principle and Founder for Partnering for Performance
My current membership in the SSWBN is actually Part II for me. I was a member of the Network way back, the first year of its organization. At that time I was in Financial Services in Boston, and owned a retail store in Merchants Row in Hanover.
During that period, I worked actively on a couple of the committees and even facilitated an offsite meeting of the Board of Directors. I wanted to build a network on the South Shore and believed this to be the way to do it. So many of the relationships that I still have originated when I was a member back then.
Because of the demands of my role in Boston, I decided to sell my (retail) business after six years. In 1999, I launched Partnering for Performance, with most of my business centered in the Boston area. In 2003 I established myself on the South Shore and joined the Chamber of Commerce, knowing that at some point I would rejoin the SSWBN. And, the rest is history!
I have made the most out of my memberships in the Network. Many of the people I had met along the way continued as members of the Network, so rejoining has kept me in touch with them as well as building relationships with many other great business owners. Mainly I attend the breakfast meetings because that’s what works for my schedule. I have found them to be a way to hear and learn about businesses and topics that I may not have heard about anywhere else. I don’t think you can ever stop learning.
My business — and therefore I – have benefitted both directly and indirectly from the Network, through learning experiences as well as through referrals.
I would advise other Network members and non-members to look at networking as a way to build productive and long lasting relationships. Building good relationships builds trust and credibility. Stay away from the “sell” and stick with the “How can I help you?”