Monday, October 02, 2006

Interview with Eric ‘The Great’ Gilbert-Williams

What is Your Professional Networking Association all about?

Your Professional Networking Association is about elevating one's business skills, strengthening relationships within communities and having fun at the same time.

Who is your target audience?

Our target audience is the entrepreneur, business professional and/or business owner of small to mid-sized companies from Mississauga and GTA.

Small and mid-sized companies are defined by our standards using the following criteria:

Small business: 1-10 employees or grossing annual revenue under $1million.

Mid-sized business: 10-50 employees or grossing annual revenue between $1million and $20million.

Companies with a mix of these criteria are considered small to mid-sized as well.

What do you find most challenging about your business?

Saying "No".

Prioritizing tasks efficiently and effectively is an ongoing challenge. With the multitude of "great idea's" and paths for this small business to take, digging through the clutter and determining "which activities produce the most results" is a task with potential for massive success and intimate danger.

Many low priority tasks and untested opportunities must be skipped altogether in order to free up time for the higher priorities and less risky paths.

What new skills did you discover or develop after you launched the PNA?

Great question. Launching YourPNA has been the most intellectually rewarding experience of my life to date. The most efficient answer to this question is: Practical Experience.

The task at hand since day one is: "To create something out of nothing". With no financing budget or experience as President of a company, I am left to fend for myself in this busy business world.

The skills I've developed after launching PNA are 360. I've experienced improvement within every area of business ownership. To single out one skill would give discredit to another. I have experienced massive growth as an individual and business owner as a result of launching YourPNA.

What surprised you the most about running networking events?

What surprised me the most is something I've recently come to realize. Most networking events companies do not generate bottom line net profits!

There are over twice as many networking events running in GTA than there are days in a year, and most of these events run with break-even financial results (at best).

Now don't get me wrong, my company DOES generate profits. What I mean is, if my company was ONLY a business networking company, I would most likely have to "shut the doors" by the end of the quarter.

Due to our professional keynote presenters, mini-tradeshows and live entertainment, my company has created a new market to compete in; A Business Event company as opposed to a Networking Event Company.

It is possible you will see a name change to YourPNA to represent this difference. Having the word "Networking" in our business name labels us as a Networking company, which we are not, even though networking happens naturally at all our events.

This company is a business event company. We produce events which mix the best elements of the best events out there, all in one room on a regular basis.

How do you manage your times of down feelings?

Downed feelings are managed through a process of remembering who I am.

Who I am is not represented by down feelings, therefore when I am myself, only positive, constructive feelings are present.

I've found myself caught in the "roller coaster" ride of the small business world many times and experienced as many highs as lows.

When the lows turn up, out comes my journal. I have found journaling to be an exercise allowing me to feel only positive feelings. Out comes my journal and I write answers to the following questions (questions vary from time to time):

What am I feeling here and why?
Where did these feelings come from and do I wish for them to remain present?
What would I LIKE to feel here?

A visualization/meditation follows the journaling. Once I feel clear about what I would LIKE to feel, I visualize a moment when the feeling is present in full force. This visualization allows new feelings to replace any negative ones which may be present instantly. Works like magic.

This process I have just described is my version of concepts like The Law of Attraction and even sectors of Quantum Physics.

What is the secret sauce of Your Professional Networking Association?

The "secret sauce" of Your Professional Networking Association is the people involved in its creation. A positive group of people founded her concepts and a positive group of people are following them through.

George Torok, host
Business In Motion

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