Wow, what a week already! I’m headed out the door in just a few minutes to go to a networking dinner in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area, and realizing how truly grateful I am to have the opportunity to meet with other people and learn about their businesses. It keeps me current, and gives me so much encouragement – I can’t begin to express it! But I’ll try.
Yes, I know you’re busy. It’s all you can do to carve out a few minutes to read or listen to this post. And social media … well, you do it whenever you can, but it’s tricky. We do have REAL work to do! Believe me when I tell you, I SO understand you! I feel exactly the same way.
Here’s why I make the effort, and why I think you should, too:
People ARE working. That’s good to hear, right? You won’t get that on the news media. It gives me something positive I can share when I talk to others who are struggling to get the work they need to keep their head above water.
People still have struggles, and in a networking environment, I’m likely to hear what they’re struggling with. Successful people don’t have an easier life, they just learn how to manage what they have to do so they can spend more time really enjoying it. Most (not all) people who go to networking functions are more likely to break free of strongholds, and I want to know who they are, what are their hangups, and hopefully be a part of their success. Often, business alliances are forged after they learn of each other’s companies and what a business owner truly stands for. It may not happen at the meeting, but networking gives you opportunities to set a time for more one-on-one communication in the near future.
I get to learn about what really works! This is the bomb, y’all! I know you may have a hard time digesting this, but … not everything you hear online is true. (SUR-prise!) Some very simple strategies get loosed in the right networking meetings, and often that one tidbit of refinement to my ideas makes my phone ring – A LOT.
So how can you make networking part of YOUR routine?
Pick one group you would like to interact with. My suggestions?
- Local chambers of commerce
- GKIC groups (Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle)
- BizLink Global (industry exclusive)
- If you’re in the DFW area, I offer an alternative to workweek meetings, meeting instead on Saturday evenings from 5-7:30 PM.
Networking groups usually meet on a certain day at a certain time. Put one on your schedule – and GO.
If you find the right group, go each and every time. Tell others they can expect you to be there, and invite them to go with you. Take pictures! Share them on Instagram because you can connect your Instagram account with Facebook and Twitter, making it uber-easy to get others excited about what you’re doing, and re-ignited about their company.
Oh, and I DO have a bonus reason. Connecting in person makes using social media so much easier, pleasant, and successful. Leaving these functions without knowing how to connect with each other online wastes a great opportunity.
Don’t wait to get plugged in. We’re all growing in business, or fizzling out. Our choice. I choose to be around those who inspire and motivate me because I choose to grow. How about you? Do you network? Share your favorite networking groups below! (Please also post any concerns or comments you may have.)
You can connect with me on Google+ here, and get invited to our online networking hangouts as well.