Networking is not a “nice to have,” but a crucial skill for women entrepreneurs who want to take their business past the one-million-dollar mark.

Networking is an area where we women often come up short. Many of us consider ourselves social, in both the traditional and the online meaning of the word, but we aren’t always very strategic about how we spend our time and with whom. We might even think putting “strategic” in the same sentence as “social” sounds sort of sleazy.

And I get that. It’s easy to feel sort of icky and insincere when you’re only trying to meet someone because you think they can do something for you. Yet the simple fact is that we need advocates and ambassadors to grow our businesses. And we need to line them up before we actually need them.

When I was scaling Little Pim, I spent more time with business people who were ahead of where I was so I could learn from them and get support when I felt stuck. I joined The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), which gave me incredible access to entrepreneurs who were willing to do just that, and followed my practice of intentional networking to find others who would do the same. The people I met through EO and intentional networking helped me grow in areas where I needed support, like staff management, long-term company planning, and fundraising.

By surrounding myself with positive people, I was also able to maintain the healthy mindset I needed to drive my business in the right direction. Once I recognized how important this was for me to scale my business, I also realized that all women entrepreneurs need that same kind of access. It’s one of the biggest reasons I created the Million Dollar Women Summit.

Who is in your corner?

When you need help negotiating with a vendor, finding new investors, understanding a term sheet, or finding talent to fill a position in your company, that is not the time to go out and find people who believe in you. They need to already be in your corner.

Maybe you’re working with highly competent people, but what is the state of your entourage outside of work? I always think about that Jim Rohn quote that says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

Take a moment and think about it. Who do you spend the most time with? Are they the people you want to be the average of?

My plan for the attendees of the Million Dollar Women Summit is that they come away from the event with a higher average. I know they will meet and connect with other successful, driven women who will be key in the development of their businesses.

Check out this short video from our Million Dollar Women Summit kickoff party where women talk about the importance of having a community!

Taking time away from the office can seem almost redundant, especially when your business is in its first few years. How can you do your job if you’re not physically there, leading, managing, and producing work?

As a CEO, part of your job is to venture out and make key connections. You are the face of your business. You’re the one that drives it forward. You’re also the one who makes sure the right people are along for the ride, just in case you hit a major pothole and need their help to fix the broken tire rim so you can keep rolling forward.

How to choose where to network

Not all conferences and networking events are created equal. While creating the Million Dollar Women Summit, I attended over a dozen events and observed what worked and what didn’t. I noticed that a significant amount of these events just had a lot of butts-in-seats. Meaning attendees sat there, being talked at for hours and hours without much time to discuss, mingle, and work one-on-one through their pressing business problems.

That’s why I crafted this summit with our attendees’ experience in mind, specifically thinking about what value you can walk away with and put into effect right away. I ran an extensive survey with my readers, asking them what they would get the most out of at a conference exclusively for women entrepreneurs.

If you ever wished you could call up a successful female founder who has “been there, done that,” you’ll be able to do just that during our 1:1 coaching sessions with our coaches, all women who are running multi-million dollar businesses they built from scratch. You’ll get in front of women you would likely never get the chance to sit down with otherwise and talk about what YOU need support with.

The interactive workshops at the summit – branding, fundraising, and scaling a services business – are tailored to what women entrepreneurs need right now. We drew from the surveys our attendees filled out to create these deep dives into pressing issues because, on top of making key connections, I want you to go back to work after the summit and know exactly what to do to address your business roadblocks.

The shortcut that was never available to me

In the beginning of starting my company, I had to learn everything the hard way. While those failures, successes, and lessons are invaluable, they take time to learn, and often a long time.

That’s another major reason why I poured so much time and energy into the summit. I wanted to select the most important business lessons I learned and pack them into a day and a half conference so you could walk away with a solid plan for propelling your business to the million-dollar mark and beyond.

I have always thought that learning from others who are ahead of me is the best way to “go big” faster and work smarter – not harder. The Million Dollar Women Summit panelists and keynote speakers, Kathryn Minshew, CEO of The Muse, and Alpanah Singh, an established restaurateur and grand master sommelier, were chosen because they have built thriving, multi-million dollar businesses and are willing to tell us what they wish they had known when they did it!

Remember: you won’t meet them inside your office

I wish I could send the Julia Pimsleur from my early Little Pim days to the summit! Instead, I have the hugely gratifying opportunity to support other women entrepreneurs like you.

So, are you going to take the leap and join us? Being an entrepreneur is hard enough, you don’t have to go it alone! Learn more about the Million Dollar Women Summit here and apply now, spots are limited!

Stay brave,