Not everyone loves to network! Not everyone feels confident about networking. But networking is a wonderful way to build business, build your career, and build personal relationships that will deliver such value to you.
And it all starts with having the right mindset.
What does this mean?
First, a networking mindset is purposeful. if you have a networking mindset you’ll look at your everyone you know (and some you’d like to know) and see everyone as providing a potential opportunity for you.
I remember when I founded The Humphrey Group over 30 years ago, I would drive through the financial district on my way to our small corporate offices, and I would look at each executive on the sidewalk and say to myself, “There’s a client, there’s a client….ah, there is another one. “ If you see everyone as providing a potential opportunity for you, you will enter every networking situation with joy and a sense of promise; rather than dread.
Second, a networking mindset is positive. Don’t see approaching others as an imposition on them. See it as a favor to them. Here’s the thing: People want to help you. But you have to give them a chance to do so. You need to put yourself out there so they can have the opportunity to help you in some way. That’s what networking is – putting yourself out there, so they can help you or give you something.
Third, the networking mindset is confident. There is only ONE YOU in the world. And you are bringing that special self to anyone you meet. That’s a huge gift. In business I have always felt that I was offering The Humphrey Group clients something very special, something they couldn’t get from anyone else. When you approach someone in person or on zoom who can help you get that next job, bring that sense of self to the meeting. Know that you are about to offer them something special. Don’t go in with a feeling of want or need; go in with a feeling of how special you and your offering are. If you do, you will shine.
Fourth, the networking mindset is focused. So focus on those who can help you build your business or advance your career. Is this selfish? It may seem to be. But to be successrful in life, or in your career, you need to put your interests on the front burner. You need to work a room (virtual or real) and come out with something for yourself. This is not necessarily the way we think; many of us are always thinking of others, of our partners, husbands, children, colleagues, boss….but in networking you have to be focused on what you want out of the event.
Each of you has lots of contacts and many friends. Not everyone loves to network! Not everyone feels confident about networking. But networking is a wonderful way to build business, build your career, and build personal relationships that will deliver such value to you.
And it all starts with having the right mindset. Best wishes!