So, who is this Cathy Jennings person anyway?

And, what exactly is a “Chief Conversation Starter”?

I’m glad you asked!

In a nutshell . . .

I’m a “situational extrovert”

Meaning, I’m an introvert who LOVES people – they fascinate me!:)

I enjoy meeting new people, hearing their story, learning all about them and figuring out ways that I can be of help to them. Then, I go home and take a nap from all that interaction!

Yes, I tend to re-charge by being alone, but then I “get back out there” and meet some of the greatest people at my workshops, speaking presentations and networking events — and through connecting online. It’s all good.

I’m a full-fledged, card-carrying social media enthusiast!
In other words, I LOVE all things social media – blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all the other fantastic apps and tools that keep being created. I think social media is one of the most powerful tools for marketing and connecting and it’s definitely introvert-friendly. I was a skeptic at first and thought it was simply a fad or at best, a distraction. But then, once I experienced how fun it was to use and how effective it is for building relationships and growing my business, I was hooked. (and still am)

Here I am getting to meet some of my “social media heroes” — Facebook Expert, Mari Smith; Author and Blogger, Chris Brogan and Blogging Expert, Denise Wakeman.
 

I believe in serving others with your gifts and talents.

We all have them, but most of us aren’t fully aware of them or truly using them as much as we can. One of my gifts is the ability to help others tap into all those wonderful abilities, skills and personality traits that make them fantastic and then show them how to use those in their business and marketing. Probably the most exciting and rewarding thing about my business is watching my clients and workshop participants discover their true gifts and talents and then fully embrace being what I call “the REAL and TALENTED you” – it’s amazing and transformational!

 

I love Processes & Systems, Support& Accountability, Resources

These are a few of my favorite things (sing along with me!) – and, I must say that I do kind of rock at them! I’m able to help people organize their ideas and put together a plan that enables them to implement their ideas in a way that supports their business goals and their personality. Creating systems and implementation plans for just about anything – from networking and connecting, to designing information products around your expertise – it’s just plain fun for me!

I’m also a treasure chest of resources. Because I love to learn, I’m constantly reading, taking classes, attending conferences and meeting and connecting with people. I love to share these resources with others to help them get their message, services, products and programs out into the world.

That’s me and my biz in a nutshell!

Why No Pressure Networking?

Networking, connecting, relationship marketing . . . whatever you want to call it, I believe that

Relationships are the Key to Opportunity

I’ve experienced it in my own business – the power of relationships to bring me clients and referrals, find vendors and partners, discover resources and grow my business. I’ve been offered speaking engagements, book deals, marketing and visibility, travel, interviews and so many more opportunities by leveraging the connections that I’ve made.

I’ve also seen this to be true for my clients, workshop attendees and business colleagues. Hearing the stories and observing the process that people use to find and make the most of the opportunities – it all seems to start with relationship building.Tapping into our relationships brings these opportunities to us – we just need to know how.

So, I’ve created a community where I show people how to make connections, maintain and follow through on those connections and leverage those connections into opportunities. We focus on being authentic people having conversations – not aggressive, sales-pitch, card-collecting robots. After all, no one likes that type of “networking” anyway, so why do it?

Another key component of No Pressure Networking is that we are all individuals – with unique personalities, business goals, communication styles and gifts/talents – so why are we all trying to fit into this “One Size Fits All” style of networking?

We need to honor who we are and our personal styles by creating a system of connecting and communicating that best represents our expertise and our individual personality. No cookie-cutter methods, scripted conversations or other “forced” types of connecting. Let’s just stick with being
“The REAL and TALENTED you”.

You can join us for weekly updates via email where I share my top tips, tools and strategies for connecting. Don’t miss the good stuff — click here to sign up

I invite you to join in the conversations online via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn where we share resources, support and opportunities with one another.

Just click on the icon to connect with me online!

 
 

And, you can also enjoy tons of fantastic programs, workshops, and events — both live and virtually. We’re always cooking up something fun and informative that will get you into action and moving forward in your business. Click here to check out our latest programs, trainings and events

If you’re looking for a great place to learn, connect, collaborate and build your business, then welcome to No Pressure Networking! I’m so glad you’re here!

Personally . . .

Here’s a little glimpse into who I am on a personal level –

  1. I have “strawberry blonde” hair, but you can call it “red” if you want to.
  2. Was an entrepreneur at the age of 4 – when I sold rocks to our postman
  3. Ran a marathon in 2003 alongside Elvis – and yes, he wore his blue suede shoes
  4. Thinks my mother’s cheesecake is quite possibly the most perfect food on the planet – for breakfast, lunch, dinner, . . . oh, and dessert, too.
  5. Plans to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia – all 2,000+ miles of it – just not all at once.
  6. Thinks everyone should own a dog – to give and receive unconditional love and laughs every day.
  7. Proud owner of a 5 foot tall rooster named “Big Al”
  8. Has a husband that rocks!
  9. Favorite line of a movie comes from The Fantastic Mr. Fox – “If what I think is happening, IS happening, it better not be.”
  10. I love food! Yes, I’m thin, but not by tons of hard work or sweat equity of my own –mostly just a high metabolism. So, I enjoy all types of ethnic foods, junk foods, comfort foods, gourmet foods, home cooked and restaurant foods. (and occasionally, some healthy foods, too)

Professionally . . .

Chemistry and . . . Spanish?

I originally thought I wanted to be a chemist in Costa Rica or Spain, so my major at Grove City College started out as Chemistry and Spanish. Interesting combination, I know. However, I soon realized that Chemistry would kill me (and that my unique set of “mad skills” in the chemistry lab might kill my lab partners as well). So, I switched to Education and Spanish. The theory and learning part was great, but when faced with the prospect of standing in front of a classroom, I was terrified (and who wouldn’t be scared to death if they had to face 30 grumpy, hormonal teenagers every day?)

Career Roulette = Diverse Experience

After swearing off teaching (which is ironic given my current profession), I began my journey to find “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” At the same time, my husband and I were moving quite frequently due to his work, so I had the opportunity to be a bank teller, customer service representative, medical records secretary, and an assistant manager for an oral surgery practice along the way. Eventually, in California, I became a project manager for a software company using artificial intelligence applications. I was a client advocate and implementation expert and loved my work.

But, something was missing.

I didn’t feel that I was really “serving” people in the way I was meant to, so I sought out some career coaching to help me “figure it out.” Through that process, I actually decided to become a career coach myself and help people avoid the “career roulette” that I had struggled with.

Entrepreneurship and . . . Teaching?

I started my first business, Career Kaleidoscope, in 2004. I coached people through the career discovery and career change processes. It was fantastic! I enjoyed being an entrepreneur and being able to personally impact the lives of others through my coaching and teaching.

Teaching? Yes, after over 10 years of swearing I would NEVER teach, I began teaching classes about career development at a local community college and a state university. I loved it! I have a gift for teaching — I was just using it in the wrong environment. When I started teaching professional adults, it was a whole new world for me.

Eventually, I began teaching courses on business networking as well and was also being asked to speak at area organizations, chambers and networking groups about networking and relationship-building.

Woman-of-the-Year

My emphasis on relationships being the key to opportunity led me to leave career coaching and start a new business focused solely on teaching networking and relationship marketing strategies.

Through workshops, presentations, teleseminars and my programs and products, I now have the privilege of teaching and mentoring others about how to leverage the power of connections, collaboration and social media to attract ideal clients, quality referrals and great business opportunities.

I realize that the sum of my experiences – educational, work, travel and personal – have developed my gifts and provided me with a rather unique set of skills – not my “mad chemistry skills” from college (thankfully), but a great way of guiding and teaching others in a supportive, encouraging and powerful way.

I couldn’t ask for a better life!