Fear & Networking in a New Job & City.
That’s what happened today.
Here’s a story of how I went out of my comfort zone and made contact with strangers in my first half-ass attempt to genuinely meet new people and network.
First, some backstory. I quit my “job” a couple days ago and when I say “job” I mean that type of work you do for someone else on their time, rules and schedule. Even though I was a 1099 sub-contractor with freedom to make up mos tof my schedule, it still sucked. Mostly because I was doing a work that I truly wasn’t passionate about. I was doing it because it’s the most flexible free-est, ist… est, ist??? job I can do that I’m good at where I can make a ton of money fast! Plus, it was commission sales so I determine how much I want to make, which is nice.
Anyway, I’m now pursing this thing where I work for myself. Still sales. I’m now doing video production, content creation and eventually I want to do social media management and consulting. I guess I’m already doing that stuff for my self with little success but I’m progressing. Soon, I’ll start knocking doors again, business doors and doing work with them.
Before I do that, I need to build a portfolio. Today was the first attempt at going out and creating content for said portfolio. I checked Surfline.com yesterday and again this morning; and boom! The surf was up! I also looked out my window this morning and saw some good three to four foot waves pounding set after set.
Special K, clothes, gear and I’m gone! I was on the beach from at least 10 a.m to 1 p.m filming and taking a few pictures. I like film and creating movies more than photography. I like the movement, the action and building a story around whatever its is that I’m filming and then sharing that. It’s so neat to create and build!
A couple hours of shooting some footage goes by and one surfer starts walking towards me… so… I lift up my skirt grab my balls and said something like, “Hey it’s really fun watching you guys surf out there, you’re really good.” And I meant that too. I know it sounds a little fanboy but it really is a million times better riding then what I can do. His name ended up being John from Boynton Beach, FL. It’s on the Atlantic Coast of FL and he’s moving up here for a couple weeks, working at Jersey Devil, the local surf shop. We talked a bit about where we’re from, surfing, the local area and then he ran off with a friend for a smoke.
In the mean time, I went to film this one local kid he suggested. This kid was sponsored by someone and was throwing backside threes so ya I needed to film that. And I did. Never talked to the kid though. Then another surfer dude, that I shot a bit of, comes out of the water, walking towards me. I didn’t recognize him at first until he said it but I opened up with the same line I used on John; stroke the ego a bit, compliment the surfing, a couple jabs and then with the right hook asking if it’s cool that I film them. I ask because I know some people don’t like to be filmed or they don’t want their surf spot to be blown up. That skate, snowboard and surf community is like that. I know because I was in it growing up in California and hated when people found out about our “secret spots.”
Anyway, he asked what I do and I told him I recently quit my job to pursue blah blah blah. When I said I was doing videos on Instagram, he mentioned he runs an Instagram account: Atlantic City Night Life. I’m familiar with it because… of all the Insta accounts in A.C he has the most followers at 27.3k and they regramed one of my photos a few weeks back. I don’t think he new who I was even after I told him my Insta name. Apparently Greg runs a few other social media accounts in the area including two strip clubs.
This is where things get interesting because now he’s asking what I charge for photos. The strip club owners were looking for someone to do shoots with the girls and Greg normally just takes pics on his phone. I said, “… I was actually going to go to businesses in the area and ask to do video work for them and say, hey I’ll do it for free, and if you want to pay me, you can pay me whatever you feel it’s worth to you.” And that’s what I told Greg. Although my high school teen side was saying, “f#ck ya I’ll shoot some pics of naked girls and get paid!” Haha, but it then self awareness practice crept up.
We swapped numbers, I sent him some footage of him surfing, he said he’ll credit me in the footage and keep it touch with photo gigs. I hope so because money is nice and strip club shots is a nice start. I know some of you probably think that stuff is sleazy but 1. I don’t care and 2. You would be interested too!
However, I’m learning not to expect anything from anyone anymore. Just give with no expectations. Getting your hopes all high and up and then things don’t work out, you feel like sh$t. If it happens it happens, cool. If not, whatever.
And that’s my story of networking in my new job today. I guess A.C isn’t a new city for me; I’ve been here over a year but still, talking to new people, even when I was selling solar and home automation, is scary too. That fear, regardless of how long or good at it I get, still gives me the jitters. I still have fear for rejection and failure talking to new people. Even the best salesmen at the company I was with still get nervous at the doorstep! I can’t have any fear; bust out of your comfort zone and have no fear, all systems are a go!