What is networking? How do you do it and why is it important?

I recently experienced a moment of affirmation and I think it's extremely relevant to share. It hit me a couple nights ago when I was backstage at a fashion show where I was modeling for 2 of the 12 senior designers presenting their collections at the Catwalk for a Cause charity event, hosted by the Art Institute of Atlanta. 

I need to emphasize the importance of NETWORKING! Young professionals forget the importance of building a network and we often times fail to take ourselves out of our comfort zone and engage in a little self-promotion by sharing our aspirations. In Atlanta, it can be difficult to surround yourself with people who share your passion, ambition and who actually want to see you succeed. So networking as much as possible can help alleviate the stress of having to do everything by yourself. 

Networking and establishing connections is essential to the start of any entrepreneur and without a mentor or a team to support you, it's difficult to progress at the rate we all would like to. I've also noticed that my interactions are more meaningful when I intentionally network with people in my industry, especially when it comes to blogging and developing a brand. 

As a result of being more open about my journey, people are constantly looking for opportunities to collaborate. In our generation collaboration is crucial, because it we don't we're killing the potential for growth within our industry. The exchange of knowledge leads to bigger and better ideas which makes our industry diverse. Networking has pushed me to collaborate with other business and create my own opportunities. for growth and exposure.

I'm extremely grateful that I was able to participate in a show with so many gifted individuals and all for a good cause. Having that opportunity to collaborate with two young, Black designers put fire in my heart to develop my own brand and continue to bring awareness to the talented minorities through blogging.

That's all for now! I hope I inspired you to do yourself a favor and step outside of your comfort zone. NETWORK!