We all walk into networking events with our own thoughts and attitudes about it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how networking has changed for me in the last two to three years.
How it’s evolved since I noticed that something wasn’t working and started all the reading, programs and research that led to where I am today.
And through this reflection, I realized I had a bit of problem vs opportunity thinking happening.
What I mean by this is three years ago I viewed networking as a problem.
Yes, I viewed networking as a problem.
Networking was a chore to be completed.
It was something that I did to check the “I went to a networking event this week” to-do off my list.
It wasn’t even a place I could really say I was completely present, because I was so busy focusing on how uncomfortable I was and hoping no one was going to try to “sell” me their services.
How well do you think that attitude worked for me?
Well, if you view successful networking as how many new clients did I generate from networking, then the answer is NOT successful at all!
Seriously, at one point early on I had problems even giving away my services (yep, you read that right).
At some point this shifted and instead of networking being a problem, I started viewing it as an opportunity.
It became an opportunity to make initial connections with potential clients and referral partners.
It became an opportunity to meet new entrepreneurial friends.
And how well do you think this attitude worked?
Again, if you view successful networking as how many new clients I generated from networking, then the answer is it WORKED!
So, how did this attitude shift look?
When networking was no longer a “Yep, I did that this week” task, I started staying a bit after the events to talk with people.
I started talking with and learning about more people, instead of scanning the room looking for someone that fit my ideal client description.
Phone calls and emails after events to people that were interested in what I did or to people that I wanted to learn more about became easier – it was an extension of the opportunity instead of another to-do.
This shift didn’t happen over night.
I didn’t even notice it until I started reviewing what’s changed.
My question for you this week: what shifts have you experienced in the last 2-3 years? Share below.
One thought on “I viewed networking as a problem”
Started being very intimidated, and feeling like I had to have an agenda… or that I was being interviewed by others at those events for something that I just wasn’t quite on the same wavelength about.
Then during a “break” in employment, started going to a career group and that got me more comfortable with my own “pitch” for things that are more official. At the same time though, I started doing more just for fun. For those, I’ve actually made even better connections by just going in with no agenda, but having things that I’m passionate about, to talk about. Since that coincides with a podcast that I started with a friend (that I’m very passionate about), it’s made making those connections a lot easier, but also a lot less forced.
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