I’m invited to a business event for a friend. I have known her for several years and she invited me to be there at her special event. She is in finance, so that’s the theme of the event. She is an extremely capable person and has a lot of insight into investing and managing funds.
The sticky part is that she has asked me to assist her with this event, by mingling with the crowd. When I go to a networking event, I usually bring my business cards and sales pitch. In this case, the focus should be on her and her goals for this event.
I believe she asked me to go, because I am a friend, but also I think she wants to learn from me. I wish she had hired me, which I suggested she do, but she said she wanted me for “moral support” only.
I’m getting better at networking, but it took a lot of time. I’m struggling between promoting my own business, Virtual Colleague, LLC and her business. I don’t know much about the financial world and I don’t follow the stock market, so I really can’t make small talk with her guests about financial affairs. On the other hand, I can talk about my business, Virtual Colleague, LLC and what I have to offer. I can discuss how I can help them to save money and get their projects completed. I want to be able to give out my business cards and hopefully get some clients, but our friendship seems to be putting a stress on this event.
She hasn’t address these concerns with me. Instead, she’s just planning and getting her presentation in order and practicing her speech. I can’t help, but feel torn between being there for her as “moral support” and passing up the chance to “promote my own business”.
I guess I will have to play it by ear and see what kind of crowd she attracts. If her event is a disaster, then maybe I can convince her to hire me for the next event. If it’s a success, then maybe I can quietly promote my own business and she won’t be offended. I hate this kind of dilemma. I’m mostly a black and white kind of person. I like to get all the issues and problems on the table and then take them one at a time and fix them.
She’s a very professional person and I know she’s totally focused on this event, so she might not realize the conflict I’m feeling. On the other hand, other guests may use this opportunity to do a little marketing of their own.
How would you handle this dilemma, if you were in my place?