First rule of entrepreneur night: talk about entrepreneur night.
The evening was buzzing with passion-fuelled excitement from meeting like-minded entrepreneur’s and start up owners. Hosted in the highly modern and contemporary Work Nicer co-working space domain, Local Laundry co-owners kicked off the evening. This was my first attendance to the much-anticipated night of meeting fellow entrepreneurs. With two previous meetings under their belts, Local Laundry has grown the attendance of this group from the initial 10 broski’s that got together to swap entrepreneurial war stories to 35 people (broski’s and womenski’s). It wasn’t an exclusive, cool kids only sort of deal, but it did give off the vibes of an underground club subject to secrecy and debauchery. The evening mirrored something similar to everyone’s favourite Brad Pitt movie, Fight Club, minus the fighting of course. The evening gave way for the potential of friendships, bonding and only slight anarchy if one too many Goat Locker brewski’s were drunk. It almost seemed you were in the presence of something great, an alliance, as if no matter the struggle, from this point on you would never be alone.
As a business professional and a student, such as myself, we are taught to network, as the classic saying always goes, ‘it’s all about who you know.” My thoughts have always been how do I get to know people and how do I know about these networking nights/events? From my previous experience, meeting people has been through pure coincidence. I met people who were friends of friends and had decided to throw ol’ Kathleen here a bone. As connections and relationships grew more opportunities for going to network driven events arose. My former time during networking events consisted of awkwardly sipping my 10 dollar glass of Pinot Grigio wine, standing in the corner making awkward small talk, faced with communication executives and presidents of this that and the other thing galore. A less desired situation for a 25-year-old Public Relations student looking to get her big break; yea not happening pal. Cut to last Thursday night at Work Nicer. We were sipping Goat Locker beer meeting other young, driven, passionate people who also thrived on anarchy and love for what they were doing. People like the team at Spot, a local Uber-like app for dog walking, or Secret Barrel, a local craft white rum distillery, or even Smoke Barrel, two young fellas who make meat smokers out of old wine casks from the Okanagan. And one of my favourites, Creative Nobility, although I am 100 per cent biased as I work there as communications manager. Rebecca, Creative Nobility owner, along side myself and another intern Dani, specialize in branding, marketing and graphic designing for individuals and their companies/brands. Thus Local Laundry’s networking event catered to a somewhat different scene from my previous experience as mentioned above.
Networking can be difficult. Meeting people and building sustainable connections to help fulfill your business needs while keeping costs down, again, can be difficult. As I stood in awe of 34 other entrepreneurs and business savvy professionals I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed. I was overwhelmed by the fact that so many people have ideas, thoughts and dreams that are still being pursued in a floundering economy. The dollar is down, oil is down, jobs are down, moral is definitely down, but standing before me were a group of individuals who were only looking up and refused to look down. It is truly a beautiful thing that the entrepreneurial spirit will never be rendered as extinct, no matter what sort of metaphorical garbage can the economy is in. It can be said, at this point in time especially, entrepreneurs are stimulating Alberta’s economy, as well as other sources of energy and resources to provide revenue and income to its citizens.
Dario, owner of Octopus and Son, put it so perfectly, “as a business owner, entrepreneur, you have to continuously give, give, give and just when you think you can’t give any more you give again, and that’s when you get.” The entrepreneur night graciously put on by the co-owners of Local Laundry was one of those moments of giving. Giving in its purest and finest forms to help out and collaborate with the person standing next to you. Give to your fellow small business owners and feed the spirit of your city’s daringly courageous entrepreneurs.
Chat with you next Monday YYC – payce!
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