I’m a reformed anti-networker. That’s because I had a horrible experience at my first networking event when the woman I tried to talk to accused me of trying to sell her and left the room. I’ve since come to understand the real power of networking. It’s about giving, not taking. It’s about connecting, not selling. Here are a few other pointers from Punit Arora’s article for the Entrepreneur:
Sow your seeds strategically. Don’t spread yourself too thin or spend all your time with a few close buddies. The relationships that work best in the entrepreneurial context are ones that are close, but not too close, according to a recent study in the Journal of Business Venturing.
Encourage cross-pollination. Your network is actually composed of several networks from work to school to sports to your neighborhood. The more you can act as a bridge for your connections across various networks, the better your chances of enlisting their help.
Think variety, not quantity. You do not want your contacts to be so similar that all the information and resources you get are redundant or so different that you have nothing in common.
Networking can be fun especially if you start to see the same friendly faces over the years and use the opportunity to catch up. It is a bond of humans getting together for the same common purpose and sharing their precious time with each other.
I still have to push myself out of the house to do it at times when my practice is busy and I’ve got a full roster of clients but I see it everyday with my clients and competitors that to stop networking because I’m already busy with clients is the death knell on the future of my business. I refuse to do that to myself.
- Most Entrepreneurs Try To Network With Way Too Many People (businessinsider.com)
- Networking with creativity – No Problem! (careerprep4you.com)
- 7 Reason why entrepreneurs don’t follow up to grow their resources (get results) (21connections.wordpress.com)