When I hear the word networking nothing, absolutely nothing, good comes to mind.
Instead I flash back to horrible moments in my 20’s spent hiding in the bathroom at professional events because leaving said bathroom meant being thrown into a room of people I had nothing in common with, could not find anything in common with but who were somehow supposed to help me advance my career.
But I also couldn’t imagine not attending because I was a rule following, straight-A student and we were told we should network, so network I would! Never mind I had no idea who the people in the room were, how they could help me (or even what I wanted help with) or how to start a conversation with them much less build a collaborative relationship.
Add in a healthy dose of introvertness and it was all kinds of awful and awkward.
And then I went to business school and to my surprise, thrown in with all the interest rates, economics and spreadsheets were...
Here’s a brain teaser for you: In a world where all value seems to be measured by the size of your email list, social following and Facebook group engagement, and where everyone seems to be running around with their new best friend and collaboration partner all the time and everywhere that it makes your head spin, how many people do you actually need to be connected to in order to build and grow the business you want?
Whether it’s a service business where you work 1:1 with clients or a more leveraged course creation business?
As someone who lives on Lake Michigan in central Wisconsin (i.e. Not with all the rest of the cool kids on the beach or in the city), hates getting on airplanes and has still grown and sustained my business for 5 years on connection alone (as my 400 Instagram followers and email list of about the same size will vouch for) I’ll tell you 2 things: the answer will surprise you and it’s probably way less than you’re imagining...