MSEJ November 2017 - Page 21

The best conversations happen in the hall

If you’ve ever been to a conference, you have likely experienced a setup that includes a speaker or panel sharing information with you. It is rarely a two-way street, minus any Q&A opportunity at the end. For me, the meaningful conversations happened in the hallway. Work doesn’t stop because you are an event, so oftentimes people were congregating outside the rooms to catch up on emails and voicemails. These are the times to strike up a conversation with an unfamiliar face.

Find your masterminds

Remember the old saying, if you’re the smartest person in the room, find a new room? Ryan Guina, who serves in the Air National Guard, owns The Military Wallet - a personal finance and benefits website for military members, Veterans and their families,-wants fellow entrepreneurs to find their own group of masterminds to work with. The small business owner presented a breakout session on how to generate revenue through a website, podcast, and other related activities. He told attendees that in order to grow and prosper, lean on people with different perspectives and other niches.

“When forming a mastermind group, try to find likeminded people who are in a similar stage as you. You should look to form a mastermind group with peers, not individuals who are several steps above or below your situation,” Guina said. “For example, you wouldn’t want to have a mastermind group with an entry-level employee, a mid-level manager, and a CEO. Each of these members is facing different challenges. The differences in their positions would make for a better mentorship situation than mastermind group. Limiting the mastermind group members to peers engenders a better group dynamic and makes it easier for each member to relate to each other and offer tips to get through challenges.”

These groups can be virtual or in-person, and can usually be found on local meetup sites, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

The Military Influencer Conference revealed that the antiquated ways of networking are evolving. Rather than just ending up in someone’s business card collection, you want to leave a new connection with something so powerful that they feel compelled to follow-up. And, it may just be time to toss out scripted elevator pitches, and instead show up armed with questions to get someone talking.

The 2018 venue will take place in Orlando, FL September 22-25. Information can be found at


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