Whether you’ve been in the business world for a while, or are just starting out, chances are you’ve already come face to face with an entrepreneur’s favorite (or least favorite) word: networking. While connecting with people comes naturally for some, it can be difficult and even daunting for those who are trying to start or maintain their own business. Running a successful and sustainable business requires some variety of networking no matter how big or small. Networking is a wonderful way to grow your skills, add to your contact list, and brainstorm new ideas. But, if you’re unsure where to begin or how to do it, keep reading.
Come to Learn
There’s a common misconception that networking is a way to climb the social or corporate ladder. However, the end goal of networking isn’t necessarily to see how much you can get, but how much you can learn and connect with other people. Networking is just as much about what you can give as what you can receive. Interacting with a like-minded, yet diverse group of people will not only do wonders for your career and business, but also for you as an individual and entrepreneur.
Think Outside of Yourself
When you find a meaningful reason to network, it becomes more about your passion and less about self-interest. If you think about supporting others’ creative endeavors, rather than who you might meet to help kick start your new project, chances are you’ll feel better about networking. Networking events and groups can become your community and support system over time. If you’re networking successfully, you’ll be able to contribute to others’ work while also receiving the support you need for your own.
There are so many networking events designed for professionals. It’s important to be strategic about where you’re spending your time and energy. Many groups require a yearly fee to support events and meetings, so only commit to those groups that you will benefit from the most. When you’re looking for a networking community, it’s crucial to stay focused. Remember, your time is precious and successful networking takes a lot of energy.
It’s great to meet new people and learn about new opportunities. But, the truth is that not much happens if you don’t follow up. Make it a habit to take a business card or email address to ensure that your new connections don’t end with your first conversation. When it comes to successful networking, staying proactive is key.
Our greatest tip of all? Have fun with it! At Quadrivium Advisors, we get inspired by the people we meet through networking and we can help you love it to! Connect with us here