Napoleon Hill – “Men take on the nature and the habits and the power of thought of those with whom they associate in the spirit of sympathy and harmony” – Think & Grow Rich
Networking has become the dark corner for so many women in business. It’s time to shine some light, find your tribe and strut your STUFF!
4 easy questions to ask yourself to help you get out there and find your people
- Do I stay or do I go? – to network or not to network….
So, you don’t like networking?
Do you stay at home and satisfy yourself that social networking behind your computer screen is just as good?
The truth is, it isn’t! When you stay at home / in the office, you restrict your growth and prevent yourself from building relationships that will really help your business. NOT getting out there and communicating person-to-person serves you only by feeding your mind with negative beliefs about yourself (I am not good enough, I can’t network, no-one wants to listen to me) – guess what, it is all in your head! When you do get out there, persist and take some good advice on how to make the most of your experience (read on!)
- What and who inspires me?
What DO you like doing? Perhaps you love having the best coffee in town, or exploring a place you’ve not visited before – look for a meet that might fulfil this for you, and experiment!
What beliefs do you have that spur you ON?
That belief in community or collaboration or even fun that you have? Dust off those beliefs, re-engage with them and make those your joyful focus while meeting new people!
WHO are your mentors, go-to people for inspiration, famous people you admire?
Find out where they are speaking or holding events, and GO there!
And when they are not around, place yourself in their shoes (buy a pair just like them if you have to!) and breathe in the powerful knowledge that if they can inspire you, you too can inspire others – it is within us all.
What makes you laugh?
Take your sense of humour with you!
- Where am I AT right now?
Are you an entrepreneur in a big learning phase?
Whether you are just starting or up-levelling, step up, invest in a quality networking meeting and absorb the higher frequency of the people who are at YOUR next level
Are you working for someone else?
You can still make it fun, don’t be afraid to look at personal development aims as well as aims of the business you are working in – guess what, if you are more light-hearted and having more fun, you’re so much more likely to achieve the business goals you’ve been set anyway.
Have you never been to a networking meeting before?
Enjoy it! You will never have your first time again! Take some of these tips here with you, stay present and get collecting those business cards (read further on for more info on this)
- What is my ‘mind-set smile’?
Get yourself your own personal mind-trick!! If you find yourself getting too caught up in the outcomes you want to achieve, stuck in your own head, STEP OUT of it. Either move (best place to go is outside for some fresh air), or refer to your mind-set smile…
This could be a picture of your child laughing, your dog playing, something more personal that I cannot write here ;o)
Something, anything, to remind yourself that YOUR LIFE DOES NOT DEPEND ON THE CONVERSATION YOU ARE HAVING RIGHT NOW!
4 essential tips to making the most of your networking experience
(even when you have to force yourself just to get there!)
Of course! Yet, I have had so many ‘conversations’ with people who just talk. I remember a time when that was me too! I let my passion for what I did block out any meaningful interaction. Listen. Really listen. Deeply listen. Be present to what that person is saying, not to your thoughts about what they are saying OR your thoughts on what you are about to say! This last piece is especially distracting, so learn to avoid it.
If you have a deep and meaningful conversation with just one person, how much more creative and fulfilling is that than if you had stayed away?
Remember this, for someone to be interested in what you are offering them, whether today, next week or next year, you have to first be interested in them.
- Ask questions
This might sound obvious, but I have been to so many networking events where I am talked at or if yes I am listened to, there are no questions forthcoming. How does this feel when it happens to you? For me, it gives me the unsettled feeling that I’m actually not being listened to after all! Throw in some unusual ones too – you can be really creative with this (depending on your brand, business etc), but these can make you stand out and put your most interesting side forward.
Questions like – if you weren’t doing x what would you be doing? What did you want to do as a child? When was your best, most fun networking experience? Who really inspires you? Do you enjoy networking? (!)
Another good idea is to throw in some of your own market research questions too. If you are about to launch a new product or service, people will always appreciate that you value their opinion AND it is a great way to open a dialogue that can lead to other things, like promoting you, JVs, even that person becoming a client of course.
- Collect business-cards
If this is your one and only outcome, you’ve picked a good one! Find out all about them, take a business card and offer to send them your monthly newsletter.
Taking the focus away from your own business card really helps you take the focus off yourself… “Why is that a good thing?” have you ever had that self-conscious feeling when networking? The one that turns into self-judgement and self-criticism? So, make it NOT about you. And THEN you’ll be in the flow…….
- Make it about them not you
OK, so listening and asking questions can just about achieve this. But, if you get into your heart, set the intention to feel connected to the person you are talking with, you and they will really feel the difference…… AND if it feels completely misaligned, politely move on to the next person – your time is very valuable, be present to how you can make best use of it.
Detach from YOUR outcome and learn about theirs – it’s so much easier and so much more fun!
If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!
Post here or email me on Victoria@victoriagroom.com