This morning, on a cold, grey Surrey day, I had a walking date.
It is barely 2oC in this part of Surrey this week, with a windchill making it feel like -4oC.
I suspect I am sounding terribly British at this point, with all my discussion of the weather!
I was chilled to the bone, despite the layers – even the thermal vest bought for a visit to Helsinki one January – a city so cold that the harbour water was frozen.
But it was so uplifting to be out in the fresh air, even with the snow flurries brushing my face, the only part of me exposed to the elements.
I had arranged with Martine, one of my fellow Surrey WIBN members, that we would have a 1-2-1 follow up to our networking meeting.
Instead of sitting in the warmth of a cafe, we would walk and talk, taking the opportunity to give Martine’s two dogs a run around in the countryside.
We met at Newlands Corner, a beauty spot 173m above sea level in the North Downs.
The cognitive benefits of exercise have long been known. Exercise is also credited with positive mood enhancements. And it is understood that positive mood enhances creativity.
We also have enhanced creativity when we dare to take a break from our ‘day jobs’. Even when workload is heavy and time is short, it is understood that taking a break and allowing the ideas to flow, particularly while taking exercise, enhances creativity when returning to work.
And so it was today. Martine and I got a full hour’s exercise, walking and talking. It would be quicker to say what we didn’t discuss than what we did, but it ranged from our domestic lives to our networking groups, to our own work.
It was a bit like a speed date for micro-business owners!
We already knew each other to some extent, but we know each other a great deal more now.
We talked around ideas we each have for growing our business and how we might work together. The creative thoughts were coming thick and fast. Ideas were aired and explored and we each learned from the other.
We even came up with a trial run for a new package I am developing, that Martine would like to try out. She will be my test market and give me pre-customer feedback.
There are so many ways of networking, but this has been one of my most enjoyable and useful 1-2-1 meetings so far!
Even the dogs seemed to have fun.