On December 10th Blogging Blk Girl attended Blend: Mix & Meet Networking hosted at a Fishtown hidden gem and event space, the MAAS Building. The event was planned, curated and moderated by the hostess with the mostest, Jasmine Anderson better known by her brand @SincerelyJsmn. This self-proclaimed “dot-connector” who enjoys bringing people together to help business make sense was provided event sponsorship from two black owned brands: Mocha Box Coffee based out of Prince George County, Maryland and SipChyTea, a Philadelphia based journalist and radio personality.
This event brought together over two dozen creatives in fields ranging from non-profits, content creation, television production, wardrobe consultations and more. Blogging Blk Girl was particularly proud of the efforts to reach out to the entrepreneurial women of color in Philadelphia, which made up more than half of guests attending.
Advertised as a networking event paired with discussions on branding, goal setting and defining your vision – the result was all of that and more. The program began with a melodic pianist playing as attendees settled in, enjoyed refreshments, and began to network. Then the three featured panel speakers (Leonard Chester, Aize Asowata, and Kerrivah Heard) helped to shed light on their personal experiences and advice on marketing, crafting your vision, connecting with your audience, financial literacy, and industry best practices.
Throughout the event there was so much knowledge, testimony, and pure creative genius being shared. I’ve consolidated the event into the TOP 5 LESSONS & ADVICE exchanged:
“Be open-minded with your vision.” –Leonard Chester
By having a vision we’re creating a strategic outline of our overall end goal(s). However, too much structure in a business plan may end up hindering progress more than helping us achieve aspirations. Many times we may be so focused on a specific method of reaching our end goal(s) that we’re not able to see other opportunities that can tie into our vision. We have to be open and flexible to the different ways in which our vision can be accomplished. This idea was echoed by the event-wrap up activity which was a new take on vision board creation. Guests were given letters at random, and tasked with creating goals and aspirations for the remainder of 2018. This activity encouraged participants to think outside of the box in hopes of crafting their vision while staying flexible in how they plan and execute the goals they’ve set.
Self Care 101
Jasmine reminded guests about the importance for self-care and taking time out for ourselves. In the start-up entrepreneurial realm many times creatives find themselves juggling the responsibilities fit for an entire team in addition to 9-5 work schedules, managing social lives, academics, and more. She went on to say “With all the time you’re willing to give to another brand or company, you owe it to yourself to at least give yourself half of that time.” She suggests prioritizing what needs to be accomplished based off of time management and with the incorporation of a physical planner.
“Check your ego at the door.” –Aize Asowata
Having worked with a range of clients in the music realm to established film agencies, Aize recounts past experiences having knocked her ego down and how necessary it was for her to realize her full potential. She went on to speak on how no matter how good we think we may be at a particular task, there is someone who’s better. This mindset should be used as motivation to keep us hungry in honing our skill set while also keeping us humble and open to learning in all spaces we occupy.
“Model your brand off of your brand goals.” –Kerrivah Heard
Kerri explains that she models herself off of the brands that she hopes to emulate in order to show her readers that she genuinely cares about their thoughts and concerns. From Amazon, Nordstrom and Paris Hilton, Kerri acknowledges the need to use the skeleton models that major brands follow. She does this by proactively responding and connecting with readers, brands, and all those who reach out to her brand. Communicating and updating contacts on small things like if an email was received or when you’ll be able to get back to them can go a long way in showcasing consideration and professionalism.
“We have a tendency to network up but it really is about networking across. Who’s next to you? Who’s struggling? Who’s in the trenches with you? Who’s just as hungry as you are? Those are the people that you need to build with.” -Issa Rae
Networking lateral is just as important if not more important as networking upward vertical. By learning and growing with individuals that are in similar stages and overcoming similar obstacles we not only get to witness a different perspective on how to tackle an issue but also have an opportunity to strengthen the relationship and bond between our peers that may end up being a confidant, partner, or grounding presence.
Thank you to all of those who came out, learned some new tips and tricks for their upcoming ventures, and networked with like-minded creatives who are determined to create the world that they want to see.
Interested in more events by Jasmine Anderson? Connect with @SincerelyJsmn on Instagram!
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