Before I reveal my tea party tale of life transformation…..Fifty lashes for me, I know, for breaking my own rule and not writing for a whole month- yikes! Many apologies for not writing on a regular basis and of course so much has happened over the past month. I will do my best to give you a peak and get you up-to-speed on some cool things that I’ve discovered…
Here’s how a tea party transformed my life- It was four years ago that I had been laid off for the second time. I was lost and a bit dazed as to where to turn and what to do. It wasn’t like I hadn’t seen the lay off coming, I was Director of Corporate Communications and had spent 2 years laying everyone off and it was only a matter of time before I was gone too. However, it still doesn’t make it any easier. It was then that my awesome, inspiring Executive Coach, Debbie Phillips (Founder of Women On Fire- this is her in the photo!) invited me to her first ever Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC. I was thrilled to be a part of this amazing event and a bit nervous and excited because I didn’t know what to expect.
Have you ever gone to an event and felt totally and completely relaxed and at home? Well this is the feeling I got at this first Tea party. It wasn’t like any other event I had gone to before. The women were all professional women, entrepreneurs with their own businesses, executives, writers, film producers, an amazing, and inspiring group. What was so fascinating was how I was able to connect to these women on such a wonderful level- one that went beyond careers and what I did for a living, it was more about who I was and what I wanted to become. Just the thing I had needed to help me figure out what my next move would be. [Photo of the women who attended the first ever Women on Fire Tea Party in NYC- Sept 2004]
Here’s a little bit more about these Women On Fire (WOF) Tea Parties in New York City. I just LOVE them! The tea parties are filled with 15 fabulous women with Debbie Phillips, Founder, who leads this inspiring event.
It’s held at the ultimate NYC Tea parlor- Lady Mendls. The moment I step foot into Lady Mendls a big sigh comes over me and I’m so relaxed and super excited about meeting all the wonderful women who are attending the Tea party along with me.
These Tea parties are not anything like you’ve ever attended before. (I’ll do my best to describe them, but you really need to attend one yourself to really “get” what it’s like.) The atmosphere is perfect- candles smell oh so good and the lighting is perfect, and the flowers are beautiful and the table is set so incredibly well. What really makes these tea parties though isn’t just the atmosphere, it’s the ladies who attend. Debbie has this amazing network of women that she knows and these parties have grown now and are filled with like minded women entrepreneurs, executives, vice presidents and moms a like. Theses Teas are an experience, not just an event. It’s not a “networking” event at all. It’s a place where you can really connect with other like-minded women. The connections I’ve made with all the women at all the many tea parties I’ve attended have been lasting. Many of these women become friends, colleagues and even clients. (A side note- according to Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections, “All things being equal, people want to do business with their friends.”)
This past Tea party on December 12 was probably one of my most favorite, because this party was dedicated to me! I was so thrilled to have Debbie dedicate the tea party to me, it meant so much. She always dedicates the tea to someone who is there and someone who isn’t in attendance. I made some more wonderful connections at this tea party as always and can’t wait till the next one!
I wasn’t quite able to put my finger on why I love these tea parties and why they’ve helped transform my life up until now. I’ve been reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Black Book of Connections. One of the things he really harps on is how to connect with people you meet, and he means really connect. As you read these next sentences- really take this in, and read it twice or three times if you have to. I promise, when you get this concept, it will totally improve the way you connect with people you meet and you will be reaping the benefits of your wonderful new relationships.
It’s not about you, it’s about them (the people you are meeting)- ask them a question, ask them their opinion, get to know them. And always ask yourself before you meet someone, “how can I make people better as a result of connecting with me?” Gitomer sums it up best here- “If you make yourself valuable, and memorable, others will want to make you part of their network.” At these tea parties it’s not about you, it’s about meeting other fascinating, inspiring and fun women and connecting and getting to know them. It’s not about giving business cards and pumping people with answers and information. These tea parties are really all about connecting with like-minded people and walking away with friends and colleagues who will be there however they can for years to come.
Don’t wait, use some of these techniques now as you attend holiday parties and celebrate with friends. And I would totally recommend getting Gitomer’s book too- great stocking stuffer!