My little business is beginning to show signs of growth. I’m starting to get people whom I don’t know contacting me about a product or service I offer. This, of course, has got me really excited because these contacts haven’t just fallen in my lap, like some kind of dumb luck. No. These contacts are evidence that the time I’ve spent cultivating relationships with other people is starting to produce results. Like a gardener, the seeds of opportunity I planted months or even years ago, are sprouting. My response to this, beyond my aforementioned excitement, is basically my goodness, I need to plant more seeds. Meaning, I need to continue my networking efforts but truthfully, I need to be much more intentional about it.
I’ve written previously about one of my more recent networking experiences. And the struggle the whole act of connecting with others presents especially for an introvert like myself. But let’s face it, networking is essential to success. Especially for small business owners who need to leverage the good will and support of others to grow. I’m committed to becoming a more effective networker because I recognize it’s importance. Too often, I see people networking badly. No good will come of that. And being an introvert is not an excuse for avoidance or poor performance. So, as a card carrying member of the team, I thought I’d give you some of my own insights on how an introvert like me can do networking.
Since this is a big topic, I’m going to break it down into more distinct chunks spread out over a few posts. Believe me, I’m not dragging this out just because I can. I’ve done a lot of thinking on this and learned that what feels right or works for me requires a much more nuanced, creative approach than how networking is commonly thought of, or talked about. Imagine if what a lot of introverted folks dread could be instead enlightening, or enjoyable even? You know that sounds cool. But unfortunately, for many, it just isn’t. I’m guilty of approaching networking badly, and frankly, so are you. Listen, I’ve been on the receiving end of more than enough bad experiences to know that’s true.
So, starting with my next post, I’m gonna get into it. I’ll begin with the networking scenario that probably creates the most fear and loathing – the Public Event.
See you soon.