This may come as a surprise to some, but not to those that really know me.
I am shy.
OK, shy might be too simplistic a word. But I am introverted by nature — More of a wall flower observer assessing how or if I should respond to folks or more honestly, taking mental notes to write about them later.
So when the pandemic hit and we were all forced inside, I was fine with it, because new folks are not my jam. I have my solid crew – my husband, family and lifelong friends – and as long as I was able to call and face-time with them, I was cool.
Then, Jeff Rivera entered my world.
Now, I don’t think I’m alone when I say this, but I have never liked networking. But when Jeff — We still don’t know how we even connected on Facebook — sent me an email out of the blue inviting me to a Zoom mentorship class, I thought, “Why not?” I love to learn, especially about this crazy ass business, and all I had to do was submit a couple of questions that I may or may not get to ask, so I could glean some pearls of wisdom with an industry player?
It was a no-brainer, Fam. And a lot fun! Something about faces in tiny boxes on a my laptop screen made it more comfortable for me. And without me even trying, my genuine personality that my friends and family get to see came shining through. And I instead of what I’ve been told folks would think was too much as a creator, I kicked that “pick a lane” nonsense to the curb and shared the full picture of myself as a storyteller.
#8 JEFF RIVERA: After that — as the months of the pandemic dragged on — I looked forward to Jeff’s invites. From Zoom Mentorship Master Classes and Networking Mixers, I lost count of how many events I attended. That number is dwarfed, though, by the wonderful connections I made with fellow attendees and the new found confidence I gained on general meetings to become as my manager says, “good in the room.”
Yes, Fam, this pandemic has been traumatizing. I’ve lost loved ones, like so many of us have. But for me, one of the brightest spots in 2021 was collaborating with Jeff (hope to share more on that in 2022) and connecting with the faces in tiny boxes he brought together on my laptop screen. Thank you, Jeff, for becoming my friend and blessing me this year.