Well it’s been almost three and half years since I started this thing they call networking. It’s a bit complicated and certainly took some getting used to but I have actually learned to enjoy it. I thought I might share a few things I have learned along the way:
- Go into a networking meeting with the intention of trying to figure out how you can help grow the business of the person you are meeting instead of trying to grow your own business.
- Be deliberate about trying to connect anyone you meet with someone else you have met in case they can be a benefit to each other.
- Never give out your business card until asked or until the other person gives you theirs.
- Look for opportunities to use the services that the businesses in your networking group provide.
- Give it time. It’s all about building relationships.
I have found my most productive and enjoyable networking has come from getting involved in a group and really digging in to get involved. The more you are around people the better you get to know them, the more you want to see them succeed, and they you. I don’t view networking as an opportunity to promote my own business. Networking is an opportunity to meet some very cool people, who do very different things from me, who could use my help to succeed by creating ongoing connections. If you take this approach I have found you will be a lot less intimidated and a lot less frustrated by networking, and who knows, you just might start enjoying it!