I’m obsessed with networking. My obsession has been strengthened by the successes I have achieved in life. Everything I have achieved has been because of good ol'fashioned networking. A lot of people see the word ‘networking’ as another business term. A term that is overused and misunderstood. I see it as a term that can change the direction of your life for the better. Let me show you. What if we replaced networking with another word? Let’s try it…
I got an internship from attending an old teacher’s retirement party. I got a job from showing up to social events and connecting with people within my company. I got a staff position at USA Ultimate by playing and attending ultimate events in Indy. I got a board member position at NAHU because I volunteered to play at several golf outings.
Attending, show up to, connecting, playing, volunteered. These are all words that can be interchangeable with the word networking. It means being in the right place at the right time, having a good time, and branching out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be entering a room full of suit-wearing gents with name tags and lame ties. In fact, it should never be that.
Networking is only worth your while if you do it right. Here are some things you need to know about networking to help you succeed.
- Bring a business card. Wherever you go. Work, play, travel. Networking is being in the right place at the right time, and sometimes that place and time is unplanned.
- Murder people with kindness. Make a very good first impression so they want to contact you. Business people are constantly looking to expand their knowledge base. If you seem fun, enthusiastic, and creative, you will be a hot commodity..
- Don’t just tell people what you do. Tell people what you do, why you do it, and what you want to do in the future. Your innovative mind-set will inspire and motivate.
- Stay in touch. Relationship maintenance takes practice, but it is the KEY to good networking. Following up with someone who you had a spark with could be the difference between a $40,000 annual income, and a six-digit income.
Good luck and cheers to the best!