One of the biggest issues a lot of us struggle with is nervousness around meeting people who have high rank, high authority or some sort of “celebrity” status. This could be the VP of a software company or the CEO of a haircare line.
Status is status, rank is rank and as a military brat, I totally get and understand why people can get weak at the knees when meeting people with such power.
Here’s the deal though: they’re just people.
Every single person you meet is just that- a person. Sure, we’re all special, but first, we are people.
I was taught to treat everyone with the utmost respect because you can’t usually tell a Colonel from a Master Sergeant when they’re in civilian clothing walking to their mailbox in the morning.
My first tip when going to events where there are most likely going to be people who can seriously help boost you in your business or career is to know YOURSELF.
Know what you are good at and what you bring to the table and be confident in that.
If you are confident and smooth with what you are doing, selling, buying or trying, people will see that and trust you faster than if you seem nervous or uptight or worried about there being something in your teeth when you’re talking.
Let go of the drama and the negative talk and start getting to understand all that you bring to the table and stand firm in your truth around that.
No one is better than you and no one is less than you. At our cores we are all equal. Yes, some people have super high IQ’s and some people test well and have photographic memories but no one is perfect. NO. ONE. IS. PERFECT.
We are always so quick to put people on a pedestal but it gets really weird really fast when we realize that they’ve screwed up bigtime in their lifetime and that they are just as tainted and crazy as we all are.
So try not to get sucked into the daze that comes with being star struck. Keep it cool, my friends. Keep it cool.
The next thing I want you to try your best to do is act cool and treat everyone the same.
I treat everyone the same and speak to everyone with the same sort of energy and smile. From the mailman to the janitor to the VP to the CISO. It doesn’t matter.
Half the time I don’t know who’s who and it works in my benefit because it keeps the nerves at bay if I feel like I’m going to say the wrong thing (especially after a glass of wine).
Drinking might be something you do AFTER these types of events, by the way- just to be on the safe side. 🙂
Regardless of who the person is or what they have to bring to the table, you have to remember to be respectful and have boundaries.
You’ve seen guys let pretty ladies get away with the worst things and women let men they really want get away with really dumb things as well.
Don’t be that person.
Set boundaries, act like you have a life (because you do) and don’t make others a HUGE priority when they treat you poorly.
Obviously, you want to be flexible with someone who is making time out of their super busy schedule to entertain a meeting or a pitch from you, just make sure that you aren’t losing anything by doing so (i.e your dignity, other opportunities, etc.).
Be proud of yourself for even getting to this point. You are out with the big dogs! You have worked hard and you deserve to be here.
Remind yourself that you are unique, even in a sea of realtors or chefs or hair stylists or consultants.
Surround yourself with supportive people either at the event, before the event or afterwards. Let yourself be supported by those who love and care about you and the rest of the things you desire will come to you.
You’ve seen greedy people do business deals. You’ve also seen those business deals go south.
You do not want bullshit deals, bad offers or selfish partners. You want the best of the best and that’s what you most definitely deserve so do not settle for anything less.
When attending events where the stakes are high, a lot of the advice that I give can apply: Let the drama of the day go, Boost yourself mentally before going in, Watch your body language, Have a firm (not wet or cold) handshake, and Be Yourself.
These are things I preach about almost every week, but they are the foundational building blocks that help make you a superstar at ANY social or networking event you attend. You want to shine bright and leave a mark on these people, right?
Well show up and show up big. You’ve got this.