Episode #172 Networking + Collaboration = Possibilities

Transcript
an Interview with Jillene Emerich
Leadership Coach
Leader of The Coaching Posse
September 5, 2023

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You are listening to My Freedom Grove podcast with Gretchen Hernandez, episode 172.

Welcome to My Freedom Grove Podcast, your calm space for practical help to get your dream business up and running while being authentically you and taking care of your mental health. I'm your host, Gretchen Hernandez. I'm so glad you're here!

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Hi My Strong Friends. 

 

Today's episode is so much fun. As you know, I've been doing a little bit of networking lately. And I've got a really big networking event coming up very, very soon. 

 

I have invited a new and close friend of mine, Jillene Emerich to have a discussion about networking, connection, collaboration, and how this can create some amazing possibilities. But it all starts with networking. 

 

So in this episode, we're going to talk about some different networking tips. And Jillene is going to share a really amazing story with you about a business that she used to run and the power of collaboration with her competitors. You're not going to want to miss this. And we are going to talk to you all about the Coaching Posse Networking Extravaganza. 

 

So tune in, let's have some fun. 

 

Hi, Jillene, it is so great to have you here today. 

 

Can you please introduce yourself to the audience?

 

MEET JILLENE EMERICH

 

Jillene Emerich  

Oh, hey, Gretchen. Thank you. 

 

Absolutely. My name is Jillene Emerich. I work with people who are traditionally running businesses who are encountering chaos and bullshit, and I help them to get into leadership and creation.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Fantastic. Fantastic. And you also have something that you created called the Coaching Posse. Can you tell us what that's about?

 

Jillene Emerich  

It's the most amazing place on the planet. The Coaching Posse came out of a rebel moment that I had, where I was training to be a life coach. I was told you can't do that. And I basically said, screw that I'm gonna do it. And I went, I went over and created a Facebook group where I could do what I wanted to do what I felt I needed in order for me to develop as the coach I wanted to be. 

 

Jillene Emerich  

So I created that space. And then about a year-ish after it was created. The coaching group shut down their Slack channel and within like, pretty much overnight, but within a few days, we had grown from a little, you know, 150-200 people to up over like 2000 people overnight. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Wow. 

 

Jillene Emerich 

So 1500-2000 Don't quote me, anybody. I have no clue. But it became just this beautiful community of coaches for them to call home. And I just love them.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

It's fantastic. And I'm in that group. I absolutely love it. And there's actually over 3000 people in that group now. And yeah, all of the connections, there have just been, it feels like a family. It's pretty magical. So you've created a wonderful space.

 

Jillene Emerich  

Thank you. Thank you. The way that I view it is that we all got to go through our coaching program. We all had that experience. And now that we've had that experience, we get to have the Coaching Posse, like it gets to be there to have your back. It gets to be there for questions, for a daily inspiration, for whatever it is you need. You can create it within the Posse because the communities that are supported.

 

THE COACHING POSSE NETWORKING EXTRAVAGANZA

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

So great. So you and I have been working on something pretty spectacular recently. This is called the Coaching Posse Networking Extravaganza. 

 

Jillene Emerich

Yeah. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

So can you talk about what this event is? 

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yeah,we threw together all of our best ideas of what an amazing, fabulous networking meeting would look like. And that's what we're bringing. So, networking extravaganza, and it's interactive. And it's fun. And it's you and me, which means it's going to be amazing. And yeah, Friday, September 8, from one to five in Dallas. Right?

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

What is your vision for a networking extravaganza?

 

Jillene Emerich  

It's big, you know? Like, like, how many people are there but I mean, it's big in the experience that we get to create for people. It's big in the connections that are made. And the environment that we create for them to have those connections in? It gets to be an exceptional experience for them. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

So what is the purpose of this event? And what kind of desired outcomes are we hoping from this?

 

Jillene Emerich  

One, I want them to walk away. Knowing that they can go to a networking event, knowing that they can go and that they will have experienced networking in a different way and be able to take that wherever they go next. I want them to have fun. I want them to get to know some of their peoples. I want them to‚Äď‚ÄďI ordered food, food is always amazing.¬†

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Oh, yeah. 

 

Jillene Emerich

It gets to have the food, we get to have community. And we get to, we're creating possibility.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Oh, I love creating possibility. Absolutely love that. 

 

TALKING TO PEOPLE FACE-TO-FACE?! WHAT!

 

Gretchen Hernandez

And so this is going to be an in person event. And so we could do virtual networking at any time. But there's something special about doing an in person event. And so can you tell us why?

 

Jillene Emerich  

I think doing in person events creates a deeper connection, it creates a deeper understanding of the person, I think that it provides. There's something impersonal, when you're online with someone, there's a delay and a hesitation in communication that you don't have when you're in person. There's a noticing of body language, there's a notice of you know, people tend to say things a little bit differently when they're in person versus when they're on screen. 

 

Jillene Emerich

So it's just a different dynamic, it's a different way of connecting, it just brings a new element to or a different element to it. That, you know, I mean, how much in person have we done over the last three years, I don't even know that people a lot in person anymore in many ways. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And I do hear from a lot of people, that being in person right now. Like there's an uncomfortableness, because we're out of practice doing it. Very true. So I'm looking forward to doing in-person. It's, it's, it's what we've done traditionally. And there is definitely a different connection that's created when we do that. And I I personally don't want to lose that talent, I would, I'm looking forward to doing an in-person.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

So I've always been an extrovert. And so getting out and talking to people. I love it. It's my jam. But when the pandemic hit, I started to feel social anxiety. And in fact, I had a double whammy, because I had just moved out to a whole new location. I didn't know anybody here. And then the pandemic happened. And so I found myself gripped in fear trying to go to a community place. And I had never experienced that before. Like, I had to actually coach myself just to get from my car to the front door, all of the anxiety was coming up. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

And so when we're doing in person networking, we have people that are coming that are already introverts, and that might be out of their comfort zone to come and talk with a bunch of people. But also all of us are experiencing this extra added layer from having gone through the pandemic and getting more and more away from the in person connection. So how did we create this event to help to overcome any of that social anxiety?

 

Jillene Emerich  

I think the way that we created it by having the gains by having the prizes by having the pre networking by having the sessions by having it be fast paced, and at other times more relaxed, I think that we're appealing to to everybody, introvert extrovert, you know, whoever it is, there's there's going to be a place where they're comfortable. And there's going to be a place where they have growth.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

So good. 



GROWTH COMES FROM DOING THE HARD THINGS

 

Gretchen Hernandez

You said growth, let's talk about growth a little bit. So it can mean a couple of different things. So tell me what you were thinking about when you said growth.

 

Jillene Emerich  

What I mean is that every time that we put ourselves into a place that is a bit fearful, we come out the other side stronger. So having the growth where you may be sitting at home right now thinking, Oh, that's so intimidating. You know, what do you mean speed networking, what do you mean, you know that you're going to have time to talk with people and there's going to be games like there's people right now that are listening that are thinking that that is highly intimidating? 

 

Jillene Emerich

Well, then what I have to say is go because it's intimidating. You get yourself in there. See what it's all about. Have the experience because when you come out the other side of growth, you did the thing dammit, like, like you, yeah, you got in there and you did the thing that was intimidating you. And you may come out the other side and go, Oh my God, I don't want to do that, again, that was really scary. 

 

Jillene Emerich

But that just means you've got to do it again. Until the point that you decide this really isn't anything that I want to do. And it's not anything about fear. It's just not anything I want to do. But as long as it's a fear factor, then go do it.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

One of the other things that I like and how I think it will help ease any kind of fear about going to it or discomfort is that this particular networking event, it's all coaches, so everybody is in there already interested in helping their fellow human. And so a lot of us are really into inclusion and belonging. And so we're going to see people and if we see anyone that is looking uncomfortable, we've got a whole bunch of coaches in there to help that person to feel comfortable and to feel included. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

And to be able to have any of those conversations that can help to shake off some of the nerves. So it's a little bit different than if you're going to a networking event where it's people from any and every kind of industry. 

 

Jillene Emerich  

Like this is a warm, nurturing, fun environment. Warm, nurturing and fun. And if I see him standing over in a corner, I'm gonna go boot him in the assets and bring them in lovingly.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

And sometimes, that's exactly what people need. And I'm sure it's not done, like, in a mean way, or anything like you are, you were a Fender trained person, so I know that you're gonna be like, yeah, no, come on, it's gonna be fun. And they're going to, they're going to love that it's going to help them. And then once they get used to having those kinds of conversations with all of us what becomes possible for them out in the world.

 

Jillene Emerich  

So once they get out in the world, after experiencing this, I truly believe that approaching strangers approaching people that maybe you were hesitant with that are currently surrounding you, having conversations with them, or opening up things with them, being willing to speak up. I think it all comes easier, the more times that you put yourself in there. It makes it easier and easier every time. 

 

Jillene Ermerich

Yeah, and I don't think you have to go to 10 networking meetings to understand how to have a conversation with a stranger. Like, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that doing it here and there reminds you of how to connect and be human with other people. And I don't think that the skill ends or changes in any capacity, once you go online. It is not an odd thing for me just to shoot over an emoji with hearts and leave it at that. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And what I mean by that is, is simply always thinking of you. Like, like, here's a little moment for me to you. I may send over Hey, you're on my mind thinking of you hope your day is great. You know, I might just, little messages, when people flicker through my thoughts during the day, I may often I do not always but I may pick up my phone and just shoot over something very quick. 

 

Jillene Emerich

I can tell you that one. It's not weird. And two, the responses are usually Thank you, you made my day or oh my god, great to hear from you. How are you? Or thinking of you too? You know, I mean, just just real quick connections between two people that keep that relationship alive. And it can be as simple as that. It doesn't have to be a lengthy conversation. It doesn't have to be, oh my god, what am I going to say? You know, it's been three months since I've talked to them. What am I ever going to say? Say hello. You know? 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah, like that. Something simple. Say hello. 

 

Jillene Emerich  

Hey, thinking of you. Smiley emoji and you know, whatever your style is, it can be as simple as that. It doesn't take a lot to create connection or to keep connection. 

 

IT’S TIME TO DISCOVER NEW POSSIBILITIES

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Let's dive a little bit into the business perspective. What becomes possible for someone's business as a result of networking and forming relationships.

 

Jillene Emerich  

I love this question. I have a story. Can we do a story real quick? 

 

Gretchen Hernadez 

Absolutely. 

 

Jillene Emerich

So years and years ago, I married a restaurant manager and within a year turned him into a clown. He  came home and he said you know babe, I've quit my job. I want to be a clown. And he meant it. He had shoes, and the nose, bright red. wigg the whole thing. Okay, so he’s my ex husband, I now have a new hubby. 

 

Jillene Emerich

But when I was married to him, I ended up getting laid off from my job. And I looked around, and I said, I have a clown. And I have a bounce house and created a business from that. And the first thing that I remember doing is calling other businesses that were just a little bit bigger than me, that had three bounce houses, or four or five, you know, they were they were just a little bit bigger, calling other businesses similar and saying, Hey, I have a clown and a bounce house, who are you? Let's chat. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And the whole purpose was I had a clown and a bounce house. Can I help you? And you have five pieces I don't have. Can I send you some business? If something comes my way, can I send it to you? That was the beginning piece of two very, very beautiful relationships that I had with other business owners that became friends, because of those phone calls. 

 

Jillene Emerich

We ended up at events together at the same time and seeing their face, they're with me, you know. The client rented something from me and rented something from them. And we're in this, right?  And it's like, hey, you know, I mean, it just made it so much better having friendly people there. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And those relationships that grew and the connections that I made, as we grew, made it into a very big company like it, it became big from that bounce house and a clown and connections. So just that simple networking and being willing to reach out to people. I would, I truly believe we would not have grown as fast as we did in the way that we did without having those connections. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Okay, so I've got a couple questions. So first, when you reached out when you did those initial phone calls, you didn't know these people, right?

 

Jillene Emerich  

Not at all. No. And that was back in the days of Yellow Pages. I literally flipped open the yellow pages. And, and looked for people that did what I did, and called them.

 

TWO LITTLE LETTERS (N.O.), SO MUCH FEAR

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

And so did you have any fear before you called?

 

Jillene Emerich  

I don't remember the first days, whether or not I was fearful, that was, you know, 25 years ago or so. So I don't remember the first days, if I was fearful. That I do very clearly, remember times, when the next thing I needed to do was pick up the phone and call a university, or call the city to talk about their event or you know, call a large foreign pharmaceutical company, or, you know, just a large shipping company. 

 

Jillene Emerich

Like we got to the place where we were working with very large corporations, and they terrified me. You know, if there were just times where I would go to pick up the phone and breathe through it. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah. What were some of the thoughts that you're having that would create that feeling of being terrified?

 

Jillene Emerich  

That I would have to pitch myself, you know, just knowing that I'm picking up the phone, even if it was someone that had called left a message and said, Hey, we want to talk to you. Even if that was the case, there's still that moment, where, where I know that when you reach that level of business, like we were in competition endlessly, with, with, with certain companies. 

 

Jillene Emerich

So knowing that when I picked up that phone, that I was like, I was selling, not just myself, but I was selling the company, I was selling our reputation. I was selling the why we were different. I was selling just why do you pick us versus somebody else?

 

Jillene Emerich

And I think oftentimes that that does bring an element of fear. You you want the account, there were there were times where, you know, people would call and leave a message and it's like, Oh, my God, finally, you know, finally, you know, this client we've been we've been hoping they were call or we've been leaving messages for them forever. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And in that realization of you know, finally, here's our opportunity is also the fear of, but what if we don't get it, you know, after all years of wanting to work with them? What if we don't get it, you know, just, it's the insecurities that we that we all have as humans, it crosses over and it comes into our business in so many different ways. Yeah, so of course I had, of course I had fear. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah, you would. It's amazing. Seeing how the word no, it's just two letters and Oh, yeah. That could create so much fear in us, because we don't die from the letters N and O. But it certainly feels that way, like our bodies interpreting that we're going to die if we hear it.

 

Jillene Emerich  

If we experience disappointment. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Yeah. Yeah, that’s a big one. 

 

Jillene Emerich

It's the loss of the hope.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah. So what helped you to work through any of that fear and to just keep going, keep doing it?

 

Jillene Emerich

 back then or now? 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Oh, maybe both. We could explore both.

 

Jillene Emerich  

 I was taught at a very young age that whatever you're fearful of, you go through. I think I was probably a preteen, early preteen. And I remember my dad had said to me, you know, dang it Jillene, just go through the brick wall, you're a bull. Why are you making things so difficult? Go through the wall. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And there were many things that dad did that allowed me to confront fears, from a very, very young age. So if there was something I was fearful of, then there was an experience to help get over the fear. So I think that that came through, not that I don't make a lot of things harder than they need to be still. 

 

Jillene Emerich

But I think the recognition of fear being the opportunity, I think the recognition of fear is growth. You know, on the other side, you will have come through and there will be something else. There's always going to be something else. But you have to get through this one first. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah. Yeah. There's been times where I'd go do something hard and scary. And then I go do it. And then on the other side, I'd realized, Oh, that was easier than I thought it was, or that was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It's just as pleasant a surprise. 

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yes, I think the majority, I can't speak for everybody. But I think the majority of us do that, where we dread something believing it's going to be hard. And it ends up being so easy. The dread that we put ourselves through and the emotions that we have around that for days or months, or however long ended up being way worse than just doing the thing.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Oh, my gosh, yes,

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yes. And I'm giggling a little bit right now with you asking me that, because as we're talking, I'm sitting here in my Mr. T attire. It took me three weeks to decide I was going to get up today to do this, because I don't like having my photo taken. Yeah, we make things a lot worse than they need to be. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Yeah. 



COLLABORATING INSTEAD OF COMPETING

 

Jillene Emerich

And bringing it back to networking. I think that we make networking a lot worse than it needs to be. I think that we make connecting with humans out to be worse than it truly is. Right? And I think that it's a skill. And I think that once you're willing to open yourself up to it, it ends up being fun. It ends up being something that creates space in your life for you to go do a lot of other things that you may not be doing right now. Because there's going to be people there. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah. One of the thoughts that helps me when I go to events like this, and even when I was starting to come out of that social anxiety of the pandemic was, these are all my best friends. I just haven't met them yet. So I was just already thinking, they're all going to be my best friends. And then when I show up, and I start having that conversation, I'm already thinking, well, this is my best friend, even though I've never met them before. But it's just an, so the energy that I bring in that conversation sometimes is like, really, really comfortable and intimate, like right away. And I found that not too many people reject that they actually appreciate it.

 

Jillene Emerich  

I have a note on my computer right now that you gave me. I mean, the words. You gave me the words. We were talking about this extravaganza. And you mentioned saying a few words to the people that were there. Immediately. Like I went into the I have to talk you want what am I going to say? And your comment was they already love you. You'll be fine. 

 

Jillene Emerich 

And I think that that's a great reminder of a way to walk through life. Just believing that people already like you. They already love you. Like, it'll be perfectly fine. And even when it's not, it's perfect in the way that it is. There's learning that can be had, even when? 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Absolutely, absolutely. So there was something else that you had said, when you were telling me the story of how the bounce house in the clown has evolved into a very successful business. And what surprised me is that you were working with essentially your competitors. But I didn't ever really hear you talk about feeling competitive with them. Instead, it felt more collaborative. Can you tell me more about that? 

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yeah, we had the dynamic that we had here in the area that I'm in. Yes, we're all competition. We, I mean, we were all competition. If you had opened up the phone book, or if you went and did the Googles or, you know, whatever, we would show up as separate businesses, separate entities, which are traditionally viewed as competition.

 

Jillene Emerich 

I only had one group that operated at the same time that I did, that came into the area, we all operated as, not as one unit. But it was nothing for us to pick up the phone and say, Hey, I need an extra bounce house, can I borrow? You know, hey, I'm at an event. I've got a blower down. Where are you? Can you run one to meet, we worked together, oftentimes, not all of us. But it felt like all of us. 

 

Jillene Emerich

We worked together to make sure that the events happen, then the communities were having the events that they were having. And there was only one group that came to town, like three years after I started. And they were very competitive. I laugh. When I made the phone calls to them and said, hey, you know, I, you know, it looks like you guys just moved to the area I wanted to call to introduce myself. And literally their comment to me was we don't work with our competition. Thank you. 

 

Jillene Emerich

That was their choice. That's how they operated. And the rest of us all operated? Like, I mean, we were just there to get the job done. Yeah. How can I be of service? What do you need, you know, you can call me any time. If I could do it, I'm gonna do it. I had owners of competing companies picking up and delivering equipment for me, because I didn't have a driver that day, and getting their staff to run my equipment. Like we have, yeah, we worked in tandem. It was I mean, we were just there to do what needed to be done to get the job done. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

We've collaborated together on this event, and then brought in Jesse, and how we've had other business owners that are all offering to help contribute to lead different activities that were able to do bigger things because of the collaboration. So we met in person last year at mastermind. And I had offered to help you with the name tags.

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yeah, yeah. So you did reach out to you. Was I brillant in some capacity that I don't remember? Tell me.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah, you reached out to me. So it started off first, you did a post in the Posse saying, who are the coaches that help people get shit done? Because your services are needed. And so I was like, bam, here I am, like, here are the things that I help people to do and to get that shit done. 

 

Grecthen Hernandez

And then it was like two weeks after that, or something that you reached out. And you had a question about setting up like that pop up Facebook group and like some different sections. And I was like, Yeah, let's, let's take a look at it. And so then we got on our first call, and we started talking. And then I was like, we should do this more often.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

So then, we got together the next week. And that's when we started talking about the different networking things that you've done last year, like the Posse takeover. And then I was sharing about how I really wanted to do some kind of get together for people on a larger scale. Because I could do a table for people, but the reservations were for eight; is the maximum. Until you can say, oh, yeah, I want a table for this many people, 20 or more. But I needed to have that buy-in from people first before I made the reservation. And then we just started going from there and it and it was like Oh, I could do something really big

 

Jillene Emerich  

I remember looking at you at one point in saying that I tend to hype things to be very large. You just need to take everything that I say and cut it in half. Like I remember at one point because I was throwing out a whole bunch of huge possibilities like, Absolutely, they're possible. And, you know, let's now take a look at what we can complete within the next 30 days. You know, cuz that was really large.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Well, it's been maybe a month, maybe a month, and we went from a table of aid to all of a sudden, it's like, oh, we rented out a whole restaurant and nightclub for up to 200 people, and we're building an app. Like, what? What just happened? But this is amazing. And we have a lot of people that want to help. It's that collaborative spirit. Collaboration. Yeah. And that we can create big things.

 

Jillene Emerich  

I think that when you realize that collaboration is possible, that you recognize that people want to help people, people want to be involved in things people want to be asked, people want to, want to offer. And when you can get to the point where you can look at it as like anything is possible. What do we want to create together? What does the mashup of you and I equal for creation? 

 

Jillene Emerich

Because there's probably collaboration in every sense of the word with every single person that you meet in some way. The part that we tend to miss is making the request making the if not a request, a comment that speaks to is there something here? Like, let's explore this in some way, let's see what's there. 

 

Jillene Emerich

I think a lot of that sometimes comes from like, I get along with you, you get along with me, let's kind of see where this, not dating, But let's see where this might go, that we can help each other work together. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah. And recognizing that that potential is there for each and every person that you need, in some capacity, creates collaboration, that just made me reflect on something great that my son is doing, and I want to share, because I think it's very relevant to this, because it just got bigger last night, which is amazing. 

 

So, my son is an animator, a digital animator. He is amazing. And he also does the non-digital, he started off that way, like starting at age four, he's just been perfecting his craft. And so he is in college, to get his degree in animation. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

And there was a local group here that was offering scholarships to local artists. And so he got a scholarship, which also helped him to pay for college. And then as he's there, and he's meeting all of these other people in the animation program, they all have different skill sets that they bring. And it was great for me to have my eyes open to these different skill sets. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Like some people are really great with backgrounds. Some people are really good with characters. Some people are really good with this story and creating like that emotional flow, or the moral of the storyline. Some people are great at the music, like there's all of these different pieces. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

So he actually created a group or I don't know if he created or somehow became part of this group called pending animations. And it's nothing official, like it's not a paid job or anything. It's just a bunch of different animation students that all have different skill sets said, let's come together and create an animated short film. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

And so they did. They created one; they released it out on YouTube last spring. And then that same person that's associated with giving the scholarship reached out to me last night and said, Hey, did Jason create an animated film by any chance? Because we're having a film festival? And we're looking for local filmmakers? And I said, Actually, yes, he did. And so I shared the link to it. Their short film is now going to be shown in a movie theater during a film festival.

 

Jillene Emerich  

So fun. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Yeah, it's like, could one person have accomplished that all by themselves?

 

Jillene Emerich  

No, but within that story, though, Gretchen to the person that reached out to you because they were doing the film festival. Where did you meet that person?

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

In my driveway. He's like the unofficial greeter of our area, and he's created a Facebook group for our area. And he likes to keep everything posted. And he likes to meet everybody that's in the community. And so I was in my driveway, like doing some yard work or something one day, and so he was on a walk and he stopped and we just started having a conversation in my driveway. And that's when I started to learn more about the area I learned about the Facebook group. And so now it's like I got pulled into the community because of this one wonderful person.

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yeah, so some strange dude is walking down the road and says hello. And instead of you looking at him and saying, oh my god strange, dude. Yeah, stalker creep up simply said, let me say hello to this human and, and opened up the possibility for Jason to be able to have this movie shown at the theater, like all of them from a conversation where you were willing to say hello versus, you know, running into your house in fear?

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

That is a very, very good point. 

 

SHOWING UP WITH AUTHENTICITY AT NETWORKING EVENTS

 

Gretchen Hernandez

What would you have to say about how you show up at a networking event? 

 

Jillene Emerich  

I think the energy that you bring into the room is going to be a huge determining factor. There's a networking group that I was part of a while back, and there were certain people that walked in the room. And it's almost like, you can feel that they walked in the room, you can see the heads turn, they always had people that they were talking to, there was just there was an inviting energy about them. And there were certain people that they would walk in and go plop down in, you know, at one of the tables, and on their phone, and there's an uninviting energy about them. If you're going to be the person that goes in plops down at the table, and opens up your phone, you can do that at your own kitchen table.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

I love that you're calling it like it is.

 

Jillene Emerich  

I think, and not that you have to be fake. It's not like you're walking into the room, you know, like some kind of movie star or something. But I think when you walk in being willing and open to engage with other people, that that's what happens, if you are are walking into the room, and you're already certain that nobody wants to talk to you, or that, like this is going to be a waste of time, then that's exactly what it's going to be. 

 

Jillene Emerich

There was a story that someone told me a while back when they were talking about just people networking. And and the comment is, you know, if somebody that you have a lot of respect for called you and said, Hey, I'm on my way to your house. If you were laying on the couch not feeling well, would you find the energy? To get up? Would you find the energy to put yourself in a place where you can be a good host to this individual that you respect. 

 

Jillene Emerich

So we find energy, we find pieces of ourselves to bring in when we choose. So if you're going to choose to open the door to the networking meeting, then choose to show up in a way that is inviting and open to the possibility. If you can't find that energy, then why are you going?

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

That's a very good point. And I love that, how you describe that. I think it explains how it's still being you. It’s still being authentic, as opposed to being fake or putting on a persona, because I've seen those people walk in the room to where they come in with that fake persona. And for me, I can spot it a mile away, because I help people to become their authentic selves. So I'm able to tell when they're not being authentic. And it's a big turnoff for me. And so if they're approaching me like that, and trying to start a relationship in you know, whatever fashion and business relationship or friendship or whatever, and they're starting off fake,

 

Jillene Emerich  

I don't really want to spend my time there.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

I'd rather move on and go be with the people that are being themselves and yeah, sometimes it's like yeah, using that extra energy boost but at least they're still themselves.

 

Jillene Emerich  

I think that it's almost like some people turn themselves on, turn themselves on like a flashlight. You know, like boom, here I am, I’m light up the room. And the reality is that you're not a flashlight to light up the room. You are what people see through a kaleidoscope. You know, there's a light of the opportunity and you are multifaceted and brilliant colors and beams. And it's you're going to show up with all of them. 

 

Jillene Emerich

And sometimes one is going to be brighter than another, sometimes some aren't going to be lit up. You are multifaceted in so many different ways and that's the being that shows up. Anytime you show up. There is not a one that you that shows up like a flashlight 

 

Jillene Emerich

So who you want to be today is still part of you. You know, in the same way that that I am different with certain friends, it brings out different pieces of me being with them, it doesn't make one more me than another me, it means when I'm with this friend, I show up differently with them than I do this other one because of who that other person is. And the dynamic and the play between the two of us, doesn't make me any less or any more, it makes me a different facet.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

I love that, that resonates with me so much.

 

Jillene Emerich  

It's very true.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

And I'm real no matter where I'm at. It's just different topics. 



TIPS TO PREPARE‚Äď‚ÄďBEFORE, DURING, & AFTER

 

Gretchen Hernandez

What kind of recommendations would you have for people as they're preparing for networking events? 

 

Jillene Emerich  

I say if you have a way of figuring out who else is going to be in the room, go figure it out. Spend a moment with those people, before you actually meet them face to face and enter the room. I think that judgment impedes connection. And if you can look at the person and you know how sometimes you look at a photo, and you're like, oh, I don't want to be with that person, or oh, that person really fascinating. I think those are all judgments. 

 

Jillene Emerich

So spend a moment and figure out who challenges you that you absolutely need to meet. Who totally fascinates you. Who has a bio or a skill set, or you know, something in common with who you are that you can easily strike up conversation, who looks like the best friend that you had in high school that you will automatically be drawn to, because simply because how they look, go figure out who the person is, you know, figure out why you want to connect with certain people, and figure out what collaborative opportunities might be there, what interests might be there that are similar, and figure out what it is about that person that's attracted you to them.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

What kind of materials would you suggest people think about bringing? Or do they need materials at all?

 

Jillene Emerich  

I would say put on clothing and go. What materials for the networking event that you and I are doing for the extravaganza, we have the app coming out that they get to experience. It’s a tool that they get to bring with them. You know, they're going to have that to assist them during and after. That tool alone is huge. 

 

Jillene Emerich

But in general, if they're going to a networking event, bring a pen, bring some way for you to communicate with them who you are a business card, a QR code app, a picture of your face that says hello on the backside, you know, just something that you can leave with them in some capacity so that you have the way away of following up with them. They have a way of following up with you. 

 

Jillene Emerich

It's as simple as bringing a pen and writing on a business card or a slip of paper, you know, hey, we need to chat more, I've got something to share with you. You know, call me 75309. You know, whatever it is you write that lets them know that there's a further connection to be made? Or, depends, you can do that. And wear clothing.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Fantastic tip just in case people forget. Although you never know there could be some clothing optional networking events.

 

Jillene Emerich  

But those are not the ones that I have been to. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

Yeah. 

 

Jillene Emerich

So I don't know what the requirements to those would be. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Oh, and we don't want to think about where we would hold that pen. But anyway, moving on. Though, what would be some tips for having conversations at a networking event?

 

Jillene Emerich  

Don't be weird.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

What would be some things that would be weird?

 

Jillene Emerich  

I've seen people networking at meetings that it stays awkward as the dude that struts up to the girl at the bar and says hey, it's just like people get weird. They don't know how to open up a conversation and I think opening up a conversation can be as easy as saying, Hi. My name is Jillene. Who are you? Say, I've never met you before. Do you have a moment for us to meet? 

 

Jillene Emerich

I don't think that every conversation should start with my name is Jill. I'm a coach and I help people. I don't think that that's I think there's a person behind ‚Äėthe what you do‚Äô.

 

Gretchen Heranandez

Oh, absolutely.

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yeah. And I think too, I mean, I've seen it so many times people, you know, with their business cards, just you know, here's my business card. Here's your business card. It was nice meeting you. And off they go. Yeah, I think there's more to it than that. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Have you ever been to one where someone is dominating the conversation? And it seems to be going on forever and ever and ever? 

 

Jillene Emerich

Yes. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez

How do you navigate that?

 

Jillene Emerich  

As the person going on and on forever, or as the person that's experiencing that?

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

As the person that's receiving it.

 

Jillene Emerich  

 I think it's an easy thing, to just say, you know, let me stop you for one second, this has been amazing. And I need to go over there to talk to that person real quick. You know, thank you. Maybe we can catch up again later. If you want to catch up again, later say that? If you don't, then thank you for sharing with me. That you're an engineer that you know, whatever you heard, thank you for sharing with me. I would love to keep you in mind if anything comes of that. It's been a pleasure meeting you. I need to head over there. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

And then what, what if you are the person that as you're talking all of a sudden you get that little thought in your mind of Wait? How long have I been talking to this person? How can someone help to recognize when they're talking for way too long, and when they need to wrap it up? 

 

Jillene Emerich  

It's only a problem when it's a problem. Your recognition that you believe that you're talking too long is not a problem. That's just your recognition that you believe you've been talking too long? What effect are you having on the people you're talking to? Are they engaged? Are they having chats with you? Or have their eyes started to move off to the side looking for somewhere else to go? 

 

Jillene Emerich

It's only when it becomes a problem. And just because their eyes are darting off to the side looking for somewhere else to go doesn't mean there's a problem with you. It just means they're done with the conversation. Let it be,

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Do you have any tips for how to follow up after any event? 

 

Jillene Emerich  

Follow up soon. Day after is fine. Leaving the parking lot is fine. Two days later is fine. A month later is fine, if you're willing to say hey, it's been a month, I can't believe it's been this amount of time. I'm thinking of you just wanted to let you know I enjoyed our conversation. 

 

Jillene Emerich

It's still not weird. You know, but if you're hoping for a collaboration, or the two of you, we're talking about getting together again sooner than sooner is better than later. 

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Good, good. Have you ever had a situation where you can't remember all of the people that you met and who you should follow up with or ever had resistance where you have a list of people? And you're like, oh, yeah, I want to follow up with them about this, that the other thing, but there's something in you that's keeping you from doing it?

 

Jillene Emerich  

Yes. And I will give this tip. If you have a stack of business cards, if you have a stack of contacts in whatever capacity that looks like if you scan QR codes, and now you have people don't look at the stack. Look at it one by one and decide what you're going to do. Why am I fearful? How do I want to handle that? What choice am I going to make? Make a choice to do something other than stick it on the bottom of the stack and decide what I'm going to do later.

 

Jillene Emerich

I think we tend to look at business card stacks as a stack of contacts. And nobody to me is a stack of contacts. People are individual people. The relationship that I have with the contact that I made is a relationship between me and that individual contact. It is not a relationship between me and a stack of people I have to figure out what to do with

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

That is a very poignant statement.

 

Jillene Emerich  

So you came home with individual people choose what to do with each individual person.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

That is a very great perspective.

 

Jillene Emerich  

What relationship do you want to have? What do you want to create? And then take the action to make that happen with that person?

 

IT’S TIME TO GET OFF THE FENCE!

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

So if there were some people that were still on the fence about coming to the Coaching Posse Networking Extravaganza, what would you want them to know?

 

Jillene Emerich  

It's gonna be freaking amazing. Just go I would want them to know that. I've seen the guest list hearing good come Honey, you have Gretchen and I that have been planning it and doing it with you in mind, and you just get to go. So if you're on the fence, just go. They say in the coaching world, you're on the fence for a reason. Yeah. The reason is because a part of you wants to go. So just go.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Oh, that is so true. That is true. True. There's a reason you want to go allow yourself to love that. What is one final piece of advice that you'd have to any entrepreneur that was considering going to any networking event?

 

Jillene Emerich  

I know what I would say, I would tell them that not every networking event is the same. And to go, knowing what result you want, what you hope to have for it. And if this isn't your networking event, then find another but don't give up, because human connection, co-creation is, I think, one of the most powerful things that you can do for growing your business.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Very good. Thank you so much. Jillene, thank you for coming on today. And thank you for collaborating with me. 

 

Jillene Emerich  

You're very welcome. It's been fun. Gretchen. I had a lot of fun planning this and getting to know each other and collaborating on the project. So thank you.

 

Gretchen Hernandez  

Okay, my strong friends. So what are some of your favorite takeaways from this episode? How can you take all of this great information and apply it in your own life? How can you make this make your life and your business even better? What are some of those very specific tips that you're going to take in with you the next time that you go out to speak to another person face to face? 

 

I would welcome any of your comments. I love to hear from you guys. I want to find out what's going on in your world. So if you want to share, please do go ahead and email me at [email protected].¬†

 

You never know I may share what you share with me on one of the future podcast episodes. Until next week. Have a great time going out and talking with some humans.

 

Talk with you soon. Bye bye.

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Thank you for listening to My Freedom Grove Podcast. When you are ready to make your dream business a reality and take care of your mental health, I invite you to join the Unshakable Business Co-Lab. This is the mastermind membership you've been waiting for. There's no limits on your imagination, nor your timeline. We're with you every step of the way. To learn more, please visit www.myfreedomgrove.com/join. I'll see you there!

 

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