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  • Writer's pictureMarc Ebinger

Tea, Talks, and Collaboration Goals: Entrepreneurs' Intentional Approach to Networking

“When you step into a space where everybody is like-minded, we’re not in competition, we’re in collaboration”, is a line from Jenevy Sims in an episode of Let's Talk Business, co-hosting Marc Ebinger. True enough, every podcast isn't just a broadcast; it's a platform to forge connections, share wisdom, and build a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. Guests Leah Flores, the owner of NobiliTea San Antonio, and Stephanie Stone-Robb, the owner of The Enterprising Agent, joined Marc and Jenevy as they unveiled upcoming events, including a mixer to celebrate the podcast's success. The conversation delves into the importance of networking, with Leah sharing her personal story of discovering and bringing a tea franchise to San Antonio, showcasing the untapped potential of the tea market in the US. As the hosts and guests exchange ideas for future networking events, the overall vibe is vibrant, collaborative, and focused on fostering connections within the local business community. Read on to capture the essence of business, the intentional approach to networking, and coaching!



The Intentional Approach to Networking


Purpose of Networking Event

The primary purpose of networking events is as a platform for collaboration rather than competition. Jenevy emphasizes the idea that when like-minded individuals gather, a collaborative atmosphere emerges. Stephanie, particularly in the real estate industry, allots time for mixers and networking events, recognizing their foundational role in her field. The collective sentiment is that these events serve as opportunities to forge connections that may not have been established otherwise, with a focus on adding value to businesses.


Networking Strategies and Preferences

Diverse strategies and preferences when it comes to networking are shared in the discussion. Stephanie highlights her approach of making new connections and seeking information that enhances her business. Interestingly, she avoids setting specific targets to remain open to unexpected and potentially valuable connections. Marc mentions the concept of using name tags with specified industries, a suggestion that Jenevy supports for its potential to facilitate intentional and efficient networking. This reveals a dynamic interplay between traditional and modern networking methods, emphasizing the importance of leaving lasting impressions.


Old vs. New Networking Approaches

Jenevy delves into the evolving landscape of networking, drawing a distinction between old and new approaches. The traditional method involves targeted connections with notes, while the contemporary approach encourages seizing opportunities without predefined targets. The emphasis is on creating memorable interactions; even if individuals are not immediate clients, the goal is for them to remember the business, its offerings, and the positive impressions made. This shift reflects a broader trend in networking towards a more open and inclusive mindset.


Leah's Entrepreneurial Journey and Networking Impact

Leah's entrepreneurial journey, particularly transitioning from education to the tea business, becomes a focal point. Networking emerges as Leah's biggest "Aha" moment in entrepreneurship. Despite lacking prior business experience, her positive encounters at networking events have significantly contributed to her business venture's success. Leah's business, centered around tea and widely appreciated, naturally creates networking opportunities and establishes valuable partnerships. Her experience highlights the transformative impact that effective networking can have on individuals entering unfamiliar business domains.



Brewing Connections: The Growth of NobiliTea in San Antonio


Leah's Journey and Business Choice

Leah Flores, the owner of NobiliTea in San Antonio, embarked on a unique entrepreneurial journey driven by her passion for high-quality tea. Discovering NobiliTea in another city, Leah was captivated by the exceptional quality of their tea and saw the potential to introduce a tea culture that could rival the coffee craze in the US market. Contemplating retirement, Leah decided to make a move from a smaller town to San Antonio, driven by both personal reasons and the promising prospects for a new business venture. Recognizing an opportunity to bring a unique tea concept to San Antonio, Leah's journey began with a blend of appreciation for tea and a strategic business vision.


Business Concept

NobiliTea San Antonio focuses on offering a distinctive experience centered around high-quality loose-leaf teas and craft drinks tailored to diverse preferences. Leah places a strong emphasis on personalization, allowing customers to create their own unique blends. Inspired by the comforting atmosphere of the iconic "Cheers," the business is designed to be a welcoming space where patrons can enjoy not only exceptional teas but also a sense of community and familiarity. This business concept reflects Leah's commitment to providing a memorable and personalized tea-drinking experience.


Scaling the Business

Leah's entrepreneurial journey saw NobiliTea San Antonio start with a modest following on social media, quickly evolving into a significant online presence. However, this growth was not without its challenges, particularly in establishing brand recognition in a competitive market. Leveraging the power of networking, Leah strategically collaborated with local businesses, hosted events, and targeted specific communities to expand the outreach of NobiliTea. Through these efforts, the business successfully navigated challenges, fostering a broader and more engaged customer base.


Business Growth and Impact

NobiliTea's focus on health-conscious drinks, incorporating reduced sugar content and organic ingredients, has garnered positive attention. Leah aims not only to provide exceptional tea but also to challenge perceptions about healthier beverage options. The business's growth trajectory aligns with Leah's vision to enhance brand recognition and success. Notably, the commitment extends beyond the tea cups, as Leah actively supports individuals new to the real estate industry, demonstrating a holistic approach to business growth and community impact.



A Unique Approach to Real Estate Coaching


Real Estate Coaching Objectives: Empowering Success Beyond Contracts

Stephanie Stone-Robb's coaching philosophy centers on empowering real estate agents beyond contractual knowledge. Her objectives include fostering marketing skills, building confidence, and addressing the high failure rate among new agents through essential guidance and mindset shifts. Stephanie prioritizes quality over quantity, aiming to mentor agents effectively to improve success rates within the industry.


Gardening Approach: Nurturing Success with Patience and Trust

Stephanie draws a compelling analogy between coaching and gardening, highlighting the importance of patience, trust in the process, and consistent effort. Similar to nurturing a garden, the coaching journey involves fostering growth, waiting for results, and maintaining a steadfast commitment to each agent's development.


Tailored 30-Day Plans: Personalized Paths to Real Estate Success

Stephanie's coaching methodology involves creating tailored 30-day plans for agents based on their individual goals and existing skills. By recognizing an agent's strengths, such as comfort zones in social media or phone calls, Stephanie ensures that these strengths are amplified in specific areas of marketing, contributing to a more effective and personalized path to success.


Empowering Individual Success: Beyond Guru Culture

Stephanie critiques the guru-like coaching culture that fosters dependency and encourages agents to be self-reliant. She advocates for individual empowerment, urging agents to become their own 'guru' and take responsibility for their success and decisions. Additionally, Stephanie provides tough love and mentorship, guiding agents through the realities of hard work and dedication required for success.


 


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