Be honest, many of us network because someone, some guide, some book, somewhere said this is the thing to do. Having given it little more thought it’s no surprise that we become frustrated, burned-out or disenchanted with the prospect of yet another event, site or group.
For some the underlying problem is that we are lost in the networking shuffle. Chances are you are lost in the networking shuffle if:
you drag yourself to networking events
you arrive at a networking event, latch on to the nearest person you know and… never let go
you network often, but you never see a return on your investment
you network for some reason other than your own belief that you should do so
Sound familiar? I suspect many of you can relate to one or more of these things. The fact is, networking is a very powerful tool, to some extent a necessary tool, to grow and sustain a business. I actually believe that networking is for everyone, however it is not a one size fits all proposition. What works for one may not work for another. The key is to take charge of your networking destiny and to make networking work for you.
In the next several posts I will explore the question: How can I make networking work for me? To do this I will be exploring 5 key factors:
clarify your intention
choose the venue/genre
hone the message
create and execute the plan
Networking really does make a difference; this is not something you learn in a book and it is not done at the behest of someone else. It is a conscious, well-planned decision at we as business owners must make. And yes indeed, we can have it our way and we can make it work for us.