Let’s talk about the big, scary thought of networking today. Does thinking about it give you goose bumps and make the hair rise on the back of your neck?
Last Friday, my friend forced me to attend two networking events back to back. (Lane Connect and Women In Business) Let me tell you, I did not want to go. Nothing is worse – well, maybe swimming in a pool of sharks – than facing the possibility of rejection and selling myself and services to a complete group of strangers! My hands were sweating. My body felt stiff in the chair. I sat there momentarily frozen with a stack of business cards in my white knuckled fist.
Then, everything changed.
The bright eyed and bushy tailed facilitator said, “Who here is nervous?” ALOT of people raised their hands and stifled giggles were in abundance. She proceeded to make us all stand up and forced us to learn the American Sign Language for “I AM BRAVE”, of which we had to perform in unison three times. Arrrrgh! But, by the time we finished, the tension had left the room. We were in this together, all wanting the same thing. Connection and possibilities.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend these events, and even the forced participation. I left both events with several invaluable contacts and was able to be a contact for other business owners and non-profits in town. I’m proud of myself for attending and thankful for having a good friend that believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself – she even came with me.
Here is a mission for you, should you decide to accept it:
- Go to Google
- Search “Your Town & State Networking Meetings”
- Select a networking group and identify the next date they are meeting (many are free)
- Put the date on your calendar
- Update your resume and make a bunch of copies OR order business cards
- Dress up on the day of the event and take your resumes and/or business cards with you to the networking meeting
EXTRA CREDIT: Watch this video for inspiration! (Click here)
EXTRA, EXTRA CREDIT: Practice online networking. You can “like” the Facebook icon below, twitter or even share this blog posting on your Facebook page for all your friends to benefit from it. 🙂