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Cultivating Connections that Grow Your Business: How Alex Walker Grew Babes, Booze, and Business

In today’s fast-paced, digitized world, the power of cultivating connections in a community can sometimes be overlooked. But not for our latest podcast guest, Alex Walker, founder of ‘Babes, Booze, and Business (BBB). Alex has harnessed this power to create something truly extraordinary—a thriving network of over 3000 women entrepreneurs.

Our recent episode provides a window into Alex’s inspiring journey, illustrating how she leveraged the strength of community to transform her personal struggles into a platform that empowers thousands of women.

Right from the get-go, Alex’s raw honesty grips you. She opens up about her struggles with postpartum depression and body image, exposing her vulnerabilities in a way that instantly connects with listeners. Her story is a testament to resilience, reminding us all that it’s okay not to be perfect and that self-fulfillment is a journey, not a destination.

But the heart of this episode lies in Alex’s exploration of community and networking. She takes us through her experience of starting BBB. The narrative unfolds gradually, revealing how Alex navigated through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, made a life-altering decision to move to Florida, and expanded BBB to multiple locations across the state.

Alex’s insights on the importance of networking for women in business are particularly enlightening. She shares tips on overcoming shyness at networking events, making the most of these opportunities, and building supportive communities that bolster personal and professional growth.

Throughout the episode, Alex emphasizes the importance of nurturing relationships—both new and old. She encourages reaching out to family and friends, maintaining connections, and lifting each other up in networking. Her words underline the fact that real relationships often hold more value than social media connections.

However, we’ve just scratched the surface here! There’s so much more to Alex’s story, her strategies for business expansion, and the exciting future plans for BBB. Not to mention, there’s a networking success story that illustrates how business growth can be propelled through such communities.

To fully appreciate the depth and breadth of Alex’s experiences and insights, you’ll have to tune into the episode. So, grab your headphones, settle in, and prepare to be inspired by the transformative power of community and the indomitable spirit of a woman who turned her struggles into an empowering movement.

This episode is not just for entrepreneurs or women looking to start their business—it’s for anyone interested in understanding the power of community and networking, and how these can create ripples of change. So, are you ready to dive in? Listen to the episode [insert link here] and join us on this remarkable journey of community-building and entrepreneurial success.

Chapters

4:11. Alex’s struggle with postpartum depression and body image

7:28. Overcoming the need to be perfect and finding self-fulfillment

9:14 Starting Babes, Booze and Business

17:03. Importance of Networking for Women in Business

18:29. Overcoming Shyness and Being Yourself at Networking Events

22:38. Balancing Meeting New People and Nurturing Relationships

28:15. Networking Success Story: Business Growth through BBB

30:37. Overcoming the Fear of Networking

33:40. Real Relationships vs. Social Media

Follow Alex at: 

Babes, Booze, and Business Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/281063383929418
Monarch Parties & Events: https://www.facebook.com/BareElementsEvents
Website: https://www.monarchpartiesandevents.com

Are you interested in being a guest? Contact us today!

Transcript

[00:00:12.400] – Deanna Hinsz

Hey there, beautiful listeners. I am super excited to bring you another episode of From Nine to Five to Self Employed. Today I’m hanging out with a very special guest, the one and only Alex Walker. Alex is the powerhouse behind babes, booze, and business. I’m a thriving community of over 3,000 fierce women entrepreneurs. She’s a networking ninja who’s built an empire by connecting other women, proving that teamwork truly makes the dream work. We’re about to dive into all things networking and community. The secret sauce to building your business. So grab your favorite drink, get comfy, and let’s get this party started with the incredible Alex Walker. Stay tuned because you’re in for a treat.

[00:00:59.880] – Deanna Hinsz

Hey, everybody. We are here with Alex Walker, and I am so excited. She is the founder of BABES, Booze, & Business here in Florida. Although it’s not only in Florida, but we’re going to talk about that. And this group has grown so big. It is so amazing to see what you’ve done in a short amount of time. But before we get into that, Alex, thank you so much for being here.

[00:01:27.980] – Alex Walker

Thank you for having me.

[00:01:29.040] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, you’re welcome. I had to have you on this show because you are everywhere and doing so many cool things and bringing women together through this community that you created. But first, I want to hear about you. Who is Alex Walker?

[00:01:48.000] – Alex Walker

Well, I’m just a go get her girl. I always like to be on the go and moving about. Being an entrepreneur is like second nature, but mostly I’m just a family. I’m just a mom, just a cheerleader.

[00:02:05.820] – Deanna Hinsz

You are a cheerleader for everybody. And it’s not just a mom, too.

[00:02:10.790] – Alex Walker

No, not just a mom. It is a big deal. It is a big job. But we as women have a tendency of saying it’s just, it’s just, but it’s not. You’re right.

[00:02:20.680] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, it’s a very big deal. And you are a huge cheerleader for everybody. Yes. How did… And I’m going to say B, B, B, because when I say babes, boobs, and business real fast, it comes out as babes, boobs, and business.

[00:02:36.490] – Alex Walker

Yes. That’s what we’re well known for, babes, boobs, and business.

[00:02:40.810] – Deanna Hinsz

Right. So how did B, B, B get started? How did you envision? What happened?

[00:02:47.420] – Alex Walker

It’s been a long journey. I’m not going to lie. Everyone sees just that we’ve been in business for two years and we’ve grown so rapidly. But this idea came from deep in a long time ago. My son is about to turn six. He’s my youngest. And shortly after he was born, I really lost myself in postpartum depression. It was something that I’ve never suffered from depression. I mean, I’ve been a plus size girl my whole life, but I’ve always been happy go lucky. It never really affected me. And then I had reached my goal weight before I got pregnant with my son, so I was slaying it. I was killing all my goals, crushing life. Then I got pregnant and I thought that I was going to be this one of finally that cute mom with the cutie belly and all the cutie photos. And as my beautiful baby kept growing, I just looked more and more like I did before, where I was just heavy instead of just this beautiful little baby round belly. And so that took a toll on me mentally because I was at my goal weight for almost four years of this success and having this lifestyle of eating clean and working out every day and prioritizing myself and my health.

[00:04:11.670] – Alex Walker

And that took a really long time of flexing my willpower to be able to achieve that because I grew up a fat kid my whole life. And so going back to that, I got swallowed up. I was gone. I tried to commit myself because I just felt unheard and unvalued and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. That is terrible.

[00:04:34.250] – Deanna Hinsz

It is terrible. So many women.

[00:04:36.840] – Alex Walker

Battle with all.

[00:04:38.590] – Deanna Hinsz

Those different pieces, postpartum depression, weight, and it’s so frustrating to hear how here you have this beautiful child growing inside of you, something that only women can do, something that is just a miracle and a beautiful thing. And here we are looking in the mirror judging ourselves.

[00:05:00.250] – Alex Walker

Belittling and beating ourselves up for not being right back to where we wanted to be. And my husband didn’t really understand it. He’s been slander his whole life. And he would say all the stupid, right things like, You’re beautiful, and everything’s going to be fine. And internally, I’m like a five year old girl going, It’s not right.

[00:05:22.530] – Deanna Hinsz

I.

[00:05:23.980] – Alex Walker

Ended up self medicating with food because that was my go to. And it was quick endorphin that I needed to keep the circle of self hate going.

[00:05:35.360] – Alex Walker

And so when I finally had, it was like a mental breakdown on my husband’s birthday. It was right after our wedding, literally a week after our wedding. His family was there and this was the first time that I had ever met any of his family. And his sisters are like these twin beautiful goddesses. And I’m just sitting here like, feeling.

[00:06:03.010] – Deanna Hinsz

Terrible.

[00:06:03.850] – Alex Walker

About myself. And we got into an argument because, again, he just wasn’t hearing what I was needing. I needed help with my eating, and I needed some structure and support in that. So I full on lost it. And he did not know how to handle me. I was lost and locked myself in a closet, and I was crying and hiding behind stuff because I didn’t want anybody to see this episode and judge me for literally my lowest, darkest moment of my whole life. And unfortunately, meeting your brother’s wife for the first time and did not give them very good trust in who I was as a person. Probably not. They probably still judge me for it and have these preconceived notions of who I am still based off of this one moment. But I took that and made that my foundation of my bottom point. And I realized in this phase of being a mom for a second time and now having a brand new husband while he’s been there, that husband role in that idea of what my role would look like in that and me taking care of everyone. And it was very overwhelming at first because I want to be that person that everyone needs and everyone wants to be around.

[00:07:28.830] – Alex Walker

But I was so overwhelmed by it that it put me down. So realizing that I don’t have to be what makes everyone happy, that I don’t have to be the thing that makes a perfect meal every day. Let me eat some free food and a goldfish and we’ll still be fine. People are still alive. That thing was really… I had to adjust my mindset of what life looked like. It doesn’t have to be picture perfect for it to still be good.

[00:07:59.160] – Deanna Hinsz

And so I realized… That’s good right there. So true. So true.

[00:08:02.750] – Alex Walker

And so I realized I needed something for me, too. They cannot be the thing that makes me happy because they’re not always happy, and that’s not going to constantly fulfill me. So I picked up a camera and I took pictures of my babies because I was in love with them. They were beautiful. And I always wanted that cheesy picture perfect looking family. We all did. We all did. But we could have pictures that make it look like that. I just started from there and my family was like, Oh, you’re so good. You could do this professionally. I thought, Why not? People do it all the time. I went to a couple like, what I saw as networking meetups and groups and I fell into a group that was really cool. They were a women’s based networking group and it was led by an insurance company. They did have an agenda at the end, but I just loved to how it was a free space for women to come and introduce themselves and practice that elevator pitch, so to say. And so I got hooked up with them immediately. And I was like, Hey, let me be your photographer for these events.

[00:09:14.950] – Alex Walker

I could really help you by giving you some ideas for events because I think that what you’re doing is amazing. T hey took me under their wing and they showed me a little bit and helped me create some events. Now, I’m not going to say it wasn’t easy, but it was easy because it wasn’t. I was a 20 something young girl telling them how I can revitalize their entire thing if they just listen to me. And so it came with a lot of like butting heads and just finding my space. And then I realized this isn’t the only opportunity out there. And my husband’s job moved. So we moved and we had to start fresh again. I was like, If they could do it, I could do it. That cheerleader attitude. I started again and we had seven members our first month and I was really excited. Hey, I’m doing this on my own and we already got seven people interested. Then boom, COVID hit.

[00:10:19.010] – Deanna Hinsz

Oh, no.

[00:10:20.280] – Alex Walker

I was like, Well, there goes that. We can’t really get together and network. I just really focused on my family in that time. Everyone didn’t really think it would last as long as it did. And so by the end, I was dying again inside because I’m just a social butterfly. I can’t.

[00:10:42.010] – Deanna Hinsz

Have.

[00:10:42.370] – Alex Walker

That. Yes, you are. I was just like, I need a change. I need something different. I can’t do this anymore. Our favorite place in the whole world was Florida. We would come here on project secret vacations when the kids were grandmas and not tell anybody that we’re here and have just a blast. So why not make that just where we live? And so I looked into it. My husband had a really good job then selling mattresses. He was a mattress manager. And I said, there are literally mattress stores everywhere. You can get a mattress job anywhere. So he put that little bug in his ear and he applied. He got a job within a week. Oh, wow. We came down after a week of making that decision and found a place, drove back from Florida back to Wichita, Kansas, and packed up all of our stuff. And we were here within 18 days of making the decision while we got COVID. We got COVID while we were down here. Oh, no. We were like, Nothing’s.

[00:11:49.660] – Deanna Hinsz

Stopping.

[00:11:50.410] – Alex Walker

Us. I don’t care. So we literally packed all of our things in one day because we procrastinated and had COVID through the whole week that we had to pack. And then last second, I was like, This is happening.

[00:12:03.740] – Deanna Hinsz

We’re doing it. Oh, my goodness.

[00:12:05.530] – Alex Walker

Packed up and came down. And I was like, This is an opportunity. Florida is opening back up.

[00:12:10.390] – Deanna Hinsz

And.

[00:12:11.260] – Alex Walker

I’m just going to try and see how it goes. We had 22 ladies who showed up that very first day, and I knew that this area needed something like that then. And so I just kept showing up consistently month after month and really growing the platform, the group on social media. And I would advertise a lot to try and drive more traction. And I really think that the fact that it’s free really brought in a lot of ladies. And then it just caught fire after that.

[00:12:44.310] – Deanna Hinsz

It really has, because you started with 22 people at that first meeting, and now you have over 3,000 members.

[00:12:52.540] – Alex Walker

We have 3,300 as.

[00:12:54.190] – Deanna Hinsz

Of today. Wow. And not only that, because you were doing everything in DeLand, Florida. So one location. How many different areas now are you meeting in Florida?

[00:13:03.980] – Alex Walker

So we were at four. We opened it up after… The first six months, we opened up to our second location. And then two months after that, I was like, Let’s go wild. Let’s do two more. Why not? And my husband was really against it.

[00:13:21.930] – Deanna Hinsz

I’m not going to lie. Really?

[00:13:23.130] – Alex Walker

Was he? Yeah.

[00:13:23.940] – Deanna Hinsz

It was tough. It’s taking.

[00:13:25.410] – Alex Walker

Time away. When it was just my group, everything came out of my own pocket. So I was paying for everything, paying for the gas, paying for the time. He didn’t like that most nights instead of watching TV with him, I was on my phone creating things. And it just took up-time. But I was normally not doing those things because I was a stay at home mom. And so before my jobs were, making sure the house was clean, making sure the food was cooked, making sure the kids were in bed. And he just had to worry about being at work and then coming home. And now it’s like, hey, also, can you do this, this? And you have to watch the kids and feed them. And I forgot to cook because I was busy, so I also cook them dinner. And so while he’s super good at all of those things, we fell into our roles when we were in that routine. And so to pull him out of that was like, Wait, what? And now it’s not so bad. We still have the four, but we have combined a little bit. So we have our East Volusia branch, our West Volusia branch, our Seminole branch.

[00:14:34.140] – Alex Walker

And then this month, we actually just opened our Orlando branch, which will be July 12, which I’m really excited about. And then we’ve also gotten lots of asks and recommendations to grow it even further out of state and throughout the state. And so my ten year goal is to have it throughout Florida and to have a couple branches of places that ladies really want to see it grow in. Because building community doesn’t just have to be where you live. So I really like that concept, and why not?

[00:15:11.930] – Deanna Hinsz

Absolutely. And let’s talk about building community, right? Because you’re bringing women together, and men are invited also, but the majority are women.

[00:15:20.770] – Alex Walker

Yes and no. We do have a couple of events where men are invited, but for the most part, it is an all women’s group. For me personally, when I was struggling through postpartum depression and really trying to start putting myself back out there, it was very nervew racking to think about putting myself in front of a group of mixed men and women business professionals who I don’t really know what I’m doing. I don’t really have a solid business plan. And for me to present myself as a professional in an industry that I’m just starting was scary to do that in front of that mixed group. But I felt solace in doing it to a group of women. I’ve grown up in nothing but women. All of my aunts, all of my family is women besides the men that they marry who are usually out hunting or doing their own man thing. So it’s always been just us big group of women. And so I felt safe. I feel like other women feel safe in that, too. And it’s easier for women to go out on a Wednesday night after dinner and be like, Hey, I’m going to hang out with the ladies and get less flak from possibly jealous husbands or kids who are like, What are you doing?

[00:16:45.360] – Alex Walker

I’m just going to network with other business ladies. It just felt safe.

[00:16:51.470] – Deanna Hinsz

Obviously, you’re a fan of networking. Yes. Why is networking so important for women in business? Well, just women since such a forte.

[00:17:03.200] – Alex Walker

So there are so many reasons why networking is so amazing. When I first started networking, I was giving away free photo shoots just to build my portfolio. And it wasn’t until I was surrounded by a group of women who were like, find your value. You’re doing a service, you should be paid for it. And really challenged me to know my own worth because they know their worth. And then on top of that, it exponentially grew my business. So before I was giving away free shoots, now I know someone who will pay me for a shoot. And then she likes that, she tells her friend, and so on and so forth. So the chain of leads grows exponentially. And not even just that, but we as people need.

[00:17:53.300] – Deanna Hinsz

Other people. Amen. We cannot do this alone.

[00:17:57.930] – Deanna Hinsz

We really can.

[00:17:58.800] – Alex Walker

When they say it takes a try, but it really does. And it doesn’t mean just for raising children, it’s just mentally you need other people to bounce ideas off of. You need other people to be able to challenge you in ways that you’ve never been challenged before. To show up and to be accountable in ways that maybe your husband’s like, Oh, you don’t have to go there. And in your heart you’re thinking, Yeah, I don’t want to. But if I have a group of women waiting for me, I’m showing up.

[00:18:29.890] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, it’s so important to show up. And showing up is the first step. Just even showing your face. But let’s talk about when you… After you show up to this networking event, any networking event, what should you be doing? I mean, showing up is the first thing, but sometimes people are shy and they’re afraid to talk. And here you’re walking into this room.

[00:18:58.220] – Alex Walker

Where you may.

[00:18:59.040] – Deanna Hinsz

Not know anyone. Exactly. You may not know a soul, and everybody has already known each other. So you feel like an outsider, right? Yeah, you do. But if you’re going to show up, what should you be doing to make showing up worth it?

[00:19:14.680] – Alex Walker

Right. So I love this statement from a past friend who said you could Google anything, right? But you can’t really Google how to make a friend, right? Right. Okay, you can know the steps of what to do, but it isn’t until you’re in that moment to know how people are going to read you or value who you are right off the bat because a lot of things come into play. How your appearance is because right there that can either build trust or that can create a distrust. How your energy is in a room. So if you’re more timid, sometimes people are going to back away a little bit because she feels I don’t want to put too much pressure on them. For me personally, I honestly feel like the whole world’s a stage. So I’m always like, Hello, magical humans. So I just be myself, honestly.

[00:20:19.100] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah. You say that and I’m laughing. I’m sitting here cracking up because you are everything’s a stage, right? And I’m the one that I am like for the underdog. So when I see somebody feeling uncomfortable, I will be their BFF for the night. I am just drawn to them. I’m like, No, come, we’re safe.

[00:20:37.510] – Alex Walker

We’re good. And that’s how I am, too, because I know that sometimes my energy can be a lot. I’ve literally been told my whole life that you’re too much. But I’ve found that being too much is actually a positive because if I’m too much for me and my family, then that’s more that I have to give to other people. And so to be able to be that person to facilitate a space that enriches women’s lives and encourages them to be out there and to challenge them to leave that self conscious mold that they’ve created for themselves and to just put themselves out there. And maybe you turn a little red and you get a little embarrassed, but you know what? Everyone clap for you. You were able to promote your business and why you’re doing what you’re doing. And that makes you feel good.

[00:21:30.920] – Deanna Hinsz

It does. It really does. And I’ve heard so many people say at different networking events, right? How scary it was to say something at first. But then when you ask them a year later, they’re like, I’ve gained so much confidence because everybody’s here to support and lift you up. Nobody’s here to point their finger and laugh behind your back. We’re all showing up for the same reason.

[00:21:54.250] – Alex Walker

And honestly, those people who are there pointing fingers, they’re not They’re not there to build community. They’re not there to grow themselves. And most of the time in networking events like this, they aren’t there because they aren’t going to be there.

[00:22:12.330] – Deanna Hinsz

So I have a question for you because I love networking. I see the value in building relationships. And I’m a firm believer on give more than you take. And a lot of times people may show up or even in a Facebook group or any type of digital online group as well. And they promote more than they actually give value. So what is your thought on that?

[00:22:40.760] – Alex Walker

So unfortunately, especially after COVID, I feel like COVID really closed us off a lot and made us all a little bit more selfish than we were beforehand.

[00:22:51.000] – Deanna Hinsz

I think you’re right. I think.

[00:22:53.410] – Alex Walker

You’re right. So we do get a lot of that. But what is exciting is to see an amazing group of women who show up so consistently for other women that the ones that do show up just for themselves, it’s almost like they weed themselves out. Because I have created this space that it’s women supporting women. That’s our literal motto. We chanted it all over the place. So if you show up just for yourself, you may start out that way, but you never end that way because it’s just so infectious. And the more you help other people, the more they’re willing to help you. So it’s really exciting to.

[00:23:38.030] – Deanna Hinsz

See that. I agree. And I love that you’re saying all that because I’ve seen it in your group. I’ve witnessed it. And I do think showing up in person makes a huge difference.

[00:23:50.980] – Alex Walker

It’s very different than just being solely online.

[00:23:54.380] – Deanna Hinsz

Because I’ve seen some women online and they seem great. And I’m curious about their product or their service. But then when you meet them in person, it’s like this whole.

[00:24:04.090] – Alex Walker

Other different.

[00:24:05.020] – Deanna Hinsz

Person level of getting to know them emerges. So how do you… This is a bit of it, right? Because I’m very big on nurturing relationships, and I know that you are very big on relationships. How do you balance meeting new people and bringing them in and still nurturing the people that you’ve met already but maybe don’t have a strong relationship with them yet? Do you have a system?

[00:24:33.450] – Alex Walker

So A, no. There’s literally no system. I love it. In my brain, I’m not ADD, but I have a lot of ADD tenancies. So I’ll be working on a Bbb thing or monarch events thing. And all of a sudden I’ll be like, Oh, my gosh, Diana, I’m just going to say, Hey, thank you. I love that. It’s random. Yeah. And I really trained myself to do that a long time ago when I was little because my grandma, who was my main girl, she never really lived close to me. So I did that with her, and I did that with my great aunt Sue. And now that we’re all so spread out, I have family in Utah, Colorado, New Orleans, Kentucky, New Jersey, all over the place. So if you want to stay connected, you will. Right?

[00:25:27.330] – Deanna Hinsz

That’s.

[00:25:27.730] – Alex Walker

Good. And so I always really wanted to make it a point like, hey, my family, I want you to know I want to be in your life. And so I would always reach out to them. Now, not everybody’s like that. Even in my own family, I can reach out 500 times and I’ll get a K on certain people. And that doesn’t mean that it has anything to do with you. It has a lot to do with them and what their priorities are, and that’s okay. But it really showed me that that works, and it really puts you in people’s minds. And we all are very busy. We all, especially as women, we all wear so many hats that every once in a while, out of the random blue getting a text, being like, I’m thinking of you from a friend is like, Girl, yes.

[00:26:20.920] – Deanna Hinsz

I love it. I do. When somebody surprises me with a text that I haven’t seen in a long time, yeah, it does. It means so much much. And I’m really bad. I need to be more like you because I am really bad at reaching out to people. I think about it and I’ll be like, Oh, yeah, I remember this. And sometimes Facebook memories pop up. I’m like, Oh, God, I haven’t seen them in forever. That was such a good time. And I don’t do anything.

[00:26:48.520] – Alex Walker

But I should. Lots of people do that. Lots of people do. My own mother, I’ll text her, it’ll be almost a month, and I’ll be like, Mom, I love you. I’m thinking of you. And she’s like, I think of you all the time. And I’m like, Yeah, but I reached out. And so it’s not like spiffle or anything like that, but it’s like that action to follow that thought is really what creates that space in other people’s brains because you took time out of your day to think about me and not to just think of me for a second, but to actually put action behind it. And it takes literally nothing. You’re right. It takes nothing. I do it all the time. I think I messaged two days ago. I messaged a girl that I was best friends with in middle school. Did you really? Yeah. And we had a whole messenger conversation. She’s getting a divorce and ending up moving back. And I told her a good resource because she wants to go back to nursing school and just out of the blue. I haven’t talked to.

[00:27:51.400] – Deanna Hinsz

Her in years. But the friends that you had in that age.

[00:27:54.670] – Alex Walker

Group, it.

[00:27:55.800] – Deanna Hinsz

Doesn’t matter. They are forever friends.

[00:27:58.250] – Alex Walker

And I believe that. But there are also things where I’m like, we grew so much that while her and I may never be close friends again, it’s always nice to be like, hey, I still valued that place that you played in my role, in my journey.

[00:28:15.510] – Deanna Hinsz

Absolutely. That’s really sweet. And you’re right.

[00:28:18.430] – Alex Walker

That’s wow. I know. It’s a lot. It is.

[00:28:21.940] – Deanna Hinsz

I like that, though. Because it’s like, I value you, even though we’re not really close now, but I value that relationship that we had back then when we were two totally different kids.

[00:28:33.100] – Deanna Hinsz

Yeah, absolutely. So through B B B, I’m sure you have so many different stories, right? But can you think of somebody or a situation, even in yourself where networking and coming together has really inspired or helped someone’s business?

[00:28:53.680] – Alex Walker

Yeah, absolutely. So obviously, like you said, there are lots and lots of stories. One of my personal favorite stories is a wonderful gal. She was one of my OG members in Orange… No, in Orman Beach. My first Orman Beach BVB was her first networking event ever. Wow. She had just started her business. She had never been to a networking event. She knew not a soul of the people that attended. And she had reached out to the girl sitting next to her who seemed more confident in that space. And she was like, I don’t know what to say. I’m really scared. I don’t know what to say. And the girl who she met was like, Just be yourself. Just tell us what your business is and what your name is, and that’s fine. Just start with that. And from there, she attends regularly. She has attended and spoke at many of the other branches as well. Wow. She has gotten her business into… She’s a concierge, so she now has a new position as an ambassador at a chamber in Daytona. She also has met some really awesome women who have put her business in their Airbnb.

[00:30:18.110] – Alex Walker

She has exponentially tripled her business just in the year of her networking. And I don’t think that that would have happened had she not taken that first step and come to a BV to really even learn, well, what do I even do to network? So I love hearing stories.

[00:30:37.810] – Deanna Hinsz

Like that. That is amazing because that’s a big, scary first step.

[00:30:42.120] – Alex Walker

Good for her.

[00:30:43.520] – Deanna Hinsz

Good for her.

[00:30:44.760] – Alex Walker

I love getting to hear those stories. Not going to lie, there are times where I’m like, Why isn’t it working my business as well? We all have those ebbs and flows. We do. I don’t realize that things are going to come when the re supposed to. And the more you work hard and the more you dedicated and keep that positive mindset, the more you’re going to succeed from it. And when you stop judging your journey based on everyone else’s, that’s when your journey will really start.

[00:31:16.340] – Deanna Hinsz

And I am going to disagree with.

[00:31:20.180] – Alex Walker

You for a second.

[00:31:22.160] – Deanna Hinsz

Because I know when you say, Why hasn’t it done that for my business? And I know you’re talking about Monarch, and your events or your photography. But when you show up for Bbb, you are wearing Bbb. And you have grown this so big. And yeah, maybe we didn’t see all this stuff pre, right? Pre COVID. But after COVID, I mean, it has. It has grown who you are. I didn’t know who you were prior to BVB, right? And I’m sure I’m not.

[00:31:59.320] – Alex Walker

The only one. And I have people who admire me for knowing as many people as I know. And it wouldn’t have been without this group. While I’m social, regardless of this group or not, I wouldn’t know most of the people that I know now without it.

[00:32:18.820] – Deanna Hinsz

And it’s so important. I think you said it last night, human Rolodex or something.

[00:32:24.200] – Alex Walker

Yeah, human Rolodex.

[00:32:25.320] – Deanna Hinsz

You really are.

[00:32:26.930] – Alex Walker

Vendors and local businesses and women in business, especially women in business. But I mean, even that, that just knowing a few women will grow your network because the women that I… Let’s say the women on my board, they all have businesses, they all have almost all of them have either a nonprofit or something else that they’re working on. And they also have husbands who have businesses. Their husbands have friends. Look at how it trickles down.

[00:32:55.340] – Deanna Hinsz

You’re right. It’s so important.

[00:32:57.500] – Alex Walker

It is so important.

[00:32:58.710] – Deanna Hinsz

I got a.

[00:32:59.560] – Alex Walker

Call from a girl who I have never met. She does a rescue mission in Ormond, and her dog is not doing well, and she wanted a photo shoot. Well, she had called one of the girls who is another human Rolodex in Ormond, and she was like, Try this photographer. Well, that photographer didn’t contact her. Okay, well, Lauren, do you know another photographer? Well, try this photographer. Oh, that one didn’t. Well, here’s my other photographer. She called me, and now I did her photos. And if I do her photos and she really enjoys them, she’s going to have me do her rescues photos and so on and so forth, all because I knew one person who referred me.

[00:33:40.420] – Deanna Hinsz

Right. I mean, that’s the power of networking. And you need to show up. And people will ask me all the time because I’m in the digital marketing space. They put all this time and energy in social media. And don’t get me wrong, there’s value in social media. But when I meet with somebody and they’re talking to me about their business and they’re talking to me about their social media and all the stuff they’re doing. They’re like, What should I be doing? I’m like, You really have to show up for people. It’s referrals. It’s networking. It’s those connections that happen offline. Now, social media is great. Your website is important. Your email is important. But it’s these real relationships that really matter.

[00:34:21.440] – Alex Walker

Absolutely, because then it builds trust in your brand. Those friends then make a review on your social media, which then adds to your Google listings and so on and so forth, all because you helped or did something for someone in real time. Right.

[00:34:39.420] – Deanna Hinsz

So Alex.

[00:34:40.320] – Alex Walker

What is.

[00:34:41.400] – Deanna Hinsz

Coming up with BVB? What’s next other than taking over Florida?

[00:34:47.990] – Alex Walker

So many things. We have obviously that big grand goal, the 10 year goal. We do a gala every year and we give a grant away to a lucky business owner and or women who’s about to start a business because we think it’s important to create that blip in statistics and allow women to have that space. But we do networking events every month. We also have fundraising events. I know we’re having music bingo on August 12.

[00:35:21.840] – Deanna Hinsz

We have.

[00:35:23.920] – Alex Walker

All kinds. We have a senior summit October seventh on my birthday. We’re celebrating seniors. That’s awesome. And we’re also going to do our babes booze and bad decisions in November. And then we’re also taking a cruise. The BVB is taking…

[00:35:41.000] – Deanna Hinsz

Hitting the waters. I’m telling you, you have rallied these women and not only rally them, and we’re mainly talking about networking, but you’ve also become a nonprofit and giving back to help women grow their business.

[00:35:56.470] – Alex Walker

So we give back not only to the women of our group, but we also also give back our grant. And that’s not limited to just our group. We also give back to our community because we support other local nonprofits. I know right now I’m helping to find a way to build Senator’s Retreat Foundation, which adopts elderly, so that way they have a place to stay in their retired years. I’m also helping One Ohana, which is a nonprofit that helps foster kids who leave without a stitch of anything. I’m also helping the Oopsy Project, which helps provide feminine hygiene products for young girls. We’ve helped Bikers Against Trafficking, provide feminine hygiene products to women who are escaping the sex trade and trafficking. Right now, our…

[00:36:51.370] – Deanna Hinsz

You’ve done so much.

[00:36:52.740] – Alex Walker

Doing stuff for schools. We’ve raised stuff for our no kill shelters. We just love helping.

[00:36:59.460] – Deanna Hinsz

So if somebody listening who’s not in Florida or not local to us right now, but they want to help out and donate to any of these causes, how can they do that?

[00:37:12.850] – Alex Walker

So we have my event business is where our landing page for BVB is. So if you go to monarchpartiesand events. Com, you can find anything about Bapes, Boots, and Business on there as well. Where we like to hang out mostly, though, is Facebook. That’s where our hugest platform is. And that’s just Bates Boots & Business on Facebook. You can find us. We would love to put your hard earned funds into a good situation to help just our community and our women in business.

[00:37:46.170] – Deanna Hinsz

Awesome. Alex, thank you so much for talking with me today and all the chaos leading up.

[00:37:52.520] – Alex Walker

To today. It’s my fault.

[00:37:54.290] – Deanna Hinsz

No, it’s fun. Like I said, it’s always an adventure with you. So I absolutely love it. But thank you. Thanks for joining me. We’ll see everybody next week.