I still distinctly remember my first networking event after I graduated from college.
I can recall the location and its purpose but above all, I can remember how positively terrified I was to have to be out and about as a bona fide grown up. I had literally just started paying my own utility bills and couldn’t believe that more was already being asked of me. 🙂
And (spoiler alert), the meeting went well. I came back the next month and less than a year later, I enjoyed a bit of liquid courage from the evening’s martini bar and won the write in vote for their PR position (true story). I joined some boards. I made friends. I joined other groups and other boards. I changed jobs a few times and then formed my own company in early 2009.
OFD has taken me many places- both near and far- over the last three plus years but the one thing that never changes- I always come back home. Part of it is simply because I like everyone in town so darn much (cue virtual group hug).
And that’s the lesson that comes out of today’s musings- staying local. No matter how bright and shiny other parts of the state/country/world may seem, there is something to be said for always keeping one foot planted where you started. They’re your roots. They’re your support system. And I can promise you that if you hit a low in your business, they’re going to the first ones to raise you up.
I couldn’t help but think about this a bit yesterday at one of the local bridal shows (see above shot for proof). I’ve officially deemed myself the donut patrol for the next couple of weekends as make my rounds at the local Richmond bridal shows. I always leave a bit more energized (which may be due to the sugar in part!_ and a heck of a lot more grateful for the community from which I come.
And I hope, in this new year, others will as well.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.