Last week I went to Mickey’s Camp with about 140 women. I am a proud alum–my name badge sported a number “2” certifying that I was attending my second of two annual events.
Mickey’s Camp is sort of like a bucket list for grownups. We have world-class instructors for a bunch of activities ranging from–well, ranging from jewelry making and decorative painting to rifle shooting, tower climbing, and self defense. I shudder to report that this year’s highlight was pole dancing. [I abstained] So you may wonder what this has to do with sales or business development?
A little history. Mickey Maurer [prominent Indianapolis business leader] has been hosting Mickey’s Camp (for men) for eight years. And a lot of women leaders have leaned on him to open it to women because it’s not just fun it’s also networking etc. etc. Eventually Mickey capitulated and–great decision–opened a comparable camp for women. I mean I for one do NOT anticipate a camp in which some of my 20+ cabin mates, sharing 2 showers and 2 toilets, are men. Not to mention how many fuses they will blow with their electric shavers.
No, it doesn’t have to be co-ed. Mickey’s Camp is a great illustration of business growth strategies that are simply the outcomes of building new relationships. It’s exactly what business women have claimed for many years–being with “business people” in informal settings does in fact grow business! Here’s how:
Information. Even around a campfire, you learn a lot about who does what and what’s going on. It’s a barometer of upcoming opportunities.
Recognition. I did not personally interact with all 140 women. But we all have the list of names, and whenever we encounter one another in the future, we will recognize one another “by face” to match with a name.
Permission. By virtue of the shared experience, we grant one another the right to add us to email blast lists for keeping in touch.
Pulse. What are business women thinking? What are they doing? What’s on our minds and in our hearts? Camp conversations reveal core issues.
Friendship. I made a few new friends at camp–women who will become important in my life and I in theirs. Relaxed time and exposure to new people in a stimulating environment is a recipe for some people to connect with others at a truly sigificant level.
So that’s how I spent my summer vacation. What kind of “time out” experiences have also been helpful to your business growth?