Thursday, July 16, 2009

Work Da Room, Baby! A Long Account of a Too-Short Evening

Last night, at a "Cowboy Party" at Agave restaurant, I was reminded again about the importance and just plain fun of working a room and meeting new people.
As many of you know, I live in Texas, and a "Cowboy Party" does not necessarily mean everyone wore Stetson hats, boots and bandannas, but rather, members of the Dallas Cowboys were actually at the party, on hand to take pictures and sign autographs. As an aside, there was a Western Wearhouse here that actually went of out business not too soon after opening, as no one really wears any of that stuff here. Perhaps in country clubs, but not in the general public. (Just in case you come to Texas and want to look cool- don't wear that!)
Tony Casillas, a former Dallas Cowboy player was a defensive tackle who helped the Dallas Cowboys win consecutive championships in Super Bowl XXVII and XXVIII and is a managing partner/owner in this particular restaurant (Agave) and is also in the Chamber of Commerce with me- which is how we heard of the party.
After we got our table and were seated, and after enjoying the tremendously delicious buffet, margaritas and free tequila shots, I couldn't quite sit still because the real party was going on in and around the bar.
"Look at all those people I don't know!" I thought to myself. Wow. They look really fun. Wow, they look really interesting- and so they were.
There is a tremendous importance in business of meeting people and having people meet you. Here is why. First of all, it expands your universe and gets you out of your box. Secondly, there are people you need to meet that can help you and be an asset to you in building up your business, or in my case, businesses- and also there are people that you can help and build up their business.
I so enjoy coming home from any event, gala, party, mixer, or luncheon and taking all my cards from the people I've spoken to and arrange in order of importance or need. I arrange them, I guess, in how I can help them or how they can help me. Last night was no exception.
Many times I've written about how I enjoy being an entrepreneur merely because it's so much fun. I was just having fun the whole time, not being all "business-serious" in any way- if someone looked interesting to me- I'd just go over to them. (And everyone looked pretty interesting!)
First, there was Dan. Now Dan is quite a hustler. I've heard of him before through a mutual friend, but not have had the pleasure of getting to learn more about him. What I like about Dan the most; he's a real go-getter. Originally from Alaska, he's come a long way, both in his private and professional life these past ten years, from what I gathered. He and his amazingly effervescent, warm, intelligent and beautiful wife, Ariel, have come up with the most unique concept to help Realtors sell and close deals. It's going to be both a national and international success. I like his inventiveness and his ability to spot yet another opportunity and seize it. It's very, very good for me, being an entrepreneur, to be around people like that. You can check him out at:
Next, because one of my companies is throwing and staging a fashion show- I came across three people I invited to model in the show- and one young man, I took the time to encourage his modeling future and explain some of how it works and building his portfolio and getting an agent. He, I could tell, appreciated my input and was genuinely grateful for my advice and the fact that I noticed that he was just a naturally beautiful person who could go very far, should he like to capitalize on that.
Then, there was a cardiologist, Dr. Caldwell, who was just the most elegant, engaging and well spoken nice guy- also a friend of Dan's. (Everyone is a friend of Dan's, btw.) Dr. Caldwell apparently takes his own advice quite seriously as he is in excellent physical shape. No cholesterol in those veins, no-sir-ee, Bob. I asked him, "You know the wife on Cosby?"
"Well, I AM that wife!"
"Well, good for you!" he said. "That's important. That's good you're doing that." As my husband woefully does not eat properly a lot of the time. (Did someone say Mc Donalds?)
Amid the cookies, Pop Tarts, ice cream, Gummy Bears, and Fiddle Faddle making their sad journey down the conveyor belt, the grocery store clerk inquired, "Just how many children do you guys have?"
"Uh, none. It's just my husband- the eternal 10 year old."
We are making an appointment with Dr. Caldwell soon for Tony. I was glad to meet him because I've been worried. It was good for that health issue to be pushed to the forefront. I mean, you can't enjoy building your businesses if you're not here. Ya, know?
There was an ever-present group of women also at the party sporting jet black t-shirts with diamonds that strategically spelled out across their "girls"- "Save the Boobs". Cara was heading up the group and all were involved in breast cancer awareness and the breast cancer walk. One of my companies who does events in the area, wants to donate and sponsor them, so it was excellent for me to meet all of them and Cara in particular.
Let me tell you about Carolina.
"Well, you'd think I could keep up with a big black man, but I guess I can't," I laughed and she laughed with me- after I explained my mistake. I told her I realized her husband, was in fact, not my husband, only when I realized Tony didn't have a watch like that. Nonetheless, Carolina just started her own Mexican restaurant, and is someone I'd like to speak further to in the future. I applaud her vision and her "going for it" attitude. She's very well qualified to do own her own business now, after being so heavily involved in someone else's. Good for you, Carolina. Again, someone who is good for me to know. Check her out at:
Let me tell you about Manuel. Manuel's wife is well suited to one of my businesses I am hiring in at the moment. It sounds as if her skill is exactly what I'm looking for and we are arranging an interview for her in the coming week. I would not have had this opportunity to meet her, had I not gone to the party and had he not been there.
Then there's Brenda. Brenda was just a hoot. She's my type of woman. Full of energy and zest, a great dancer, and someone I'd like to know better. I told her she was classically beautiful, which she is. She told me she needed to hear it, that just now, she's gone through quite a lot in her personal life and is indeed courageously picking herself up and dusting herself off and riding the horse once more. Good for you, Brenda! (She's coming to our fashion show too.) Asked me if I knew anything about an alcoholic sociopath. I just smiled. We'll talk later. {{wink}}
Now, Tamara, who I didn't know, is Tony Casillas wife, and she's with a beauty magazine, which she was promoting throughout the evening and using some of her time for photo ops. She was so stylish and pulled together! She wore a striking royal blue fluttered hater top with a leopard print head scarf and tight white jeans and high heals. Totally striking and gorgeous. (I'd like to give her money and send her shopping, "Here, you figure out what I should wear, okay?") One of my companies goes hand in hand with what she does, so I gave her my card and she's going to pass the info along. Tamara was explaining to me how she didn't know exactly who to use and now she's glad to have me to call.
Then there's Ann, who was scared to dance salsa with me because she knows I'm an instructor- (more "was" than "am") but I know how to lead and can 'place' you on the floor so you're relaxed and you're having fun and I'm making you look good and like you know what you're doing. She's also coming to the fashion show and also will model. I remembered her and her girlfriend from last year- as they are personal friends of Lisa, who manages an upscale commercial property here in town- again, another Chamber friend of mine. Ann sweetly thanked me repeatedly for the dance. Awww.
Then there was Shannon, who is doing websites too, along with another business- and it was just delightful to talk to her and her husband, who's name is Rick and who is an excellent listener- which I told him I thought was so important and an under-rated skill. My own web guy could be stuck in one stage of development, so after speaking with Shannon, there's a good chance she can handle what I need done.
And it was fabulous Daniel was there. He's looking into hiring one of my businesses in his establishment. I took the time to speak to him about setting up a meeting next week. If I get it, this will be an important account. He didn't know I could dance like that- told him if he hires us, for just "five more additional bucks", I'd do a dance for him. He laughed and said, "Great, okay!" And then we had a conversation about which do you think is the best blue tooth? He says "Jawbone", just so you'll know.
Then there was Mr. Gonzalez and Mr. Montoya. Too funny. Mr. Gonzalez was not at all happy to hear I'm an Eagle's fan. Not happy at all. He got thrown in jail at one of the Cowboy games last year for assaulting the opposing team's fan for, I think, disrespecting him and being rude. He proudly showed me all the pictures he took of the new stadium, of the old stadium, and of personal pictures of him with various Cowboy players.
"Just who do you think that is, heh? Who's that right there? "
"Uh, well.. that would be.. I mean, that is....uh... uh... I don't know. Who is it?"
"Julius Jones! That's Julius Jones right there with me, right there! Don't you know Julius Jones?!"
Okay, kick me out of Texas.
"Why you wanna be an Eagles fan? Heh? Eagles are losers. Look at your husband right there. Your husband's a success. Your husband is a winner. He likes the Cowboys because they're winners. You should be like your husband."
I have to admit, he made a good case. Donavan, you know I love you.
Now, Mr. Montoya lives two doors down from, what's known in my neighborhood as, "The Halloween House." Everyone knows the Halloween House. My friend Cindy and I make the trek there each Fall because she likes to watch the little kids cry when all the "ghosts" and "ghouls" jump out of the shadows. Until the Halloween House I never suspected Cindy, who's very sweet and unassuming, is such a sadist.
Mr. Montoya wants to hire one of our companies for his private event and wants us to come over as soon as we can for chicken on the grill and excitedly and enthusiatically spoke about his brand new deck in the backyard. He was perfectly sincere about the invitation and we will certainly go see his deck and his grill and eat his chicken. He said we live so close, he could throw a rock and hit us- so my husband acted like he was mowing and had been hit by Mr. Montoya's rock, much to Mr. Montoya's delight- not knowing that my husband, in his past life, was a stand up comic.
In closing, how many connections would you say I made last night? Look at all those awesome people and all that awesome potential! I was doing no more than hanging out and having fun.
Entrepreneurs in da houz, go party BAY BAY's! :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment