Principle #1 Show Up to Networking Events
A few years into my first business I was approached by a friend who was involved in a local networking group. “You should join us” he said “it’s a great way to help grow your business.” I told him I would certainly “ do my best to make it to their next meeting” but the truth is, I never did. Why? Because at that time I simply did not understand just how powerful networking really was. I felt that I was already “too busy” but looking back, I wish I would have gone. If I had known then what I was missing out on I would have been at that event the first time I was invited.
You see the first and easiest thing you can do to start networking is to simply go to the event. You just have to show up. Now you are probably wondering why I would even waste time telling you this here but the truth is that even though it’s easy to do, a lot of people never take this first step. Why? Because like the older version of myself they don’t understand the value of networking.
In order for you to see the value in networking you need to understand that people like to work with those they know, like, and trust. If you put forth the effort to go, even if you are not entirely comfortable or a little shy, you will inevitably meet new people. If you are consistent the connections you make with others will develop over time and eventually you will find that you have built a strong network of people around you who you really know and enjoy working with with and who reciprocate that support for you as well.
You could spend years, like I did, missing out on great opportunities and friendships but I don’t recommend it. Get up, get dressed, and show up at the next event near you. You’ll be glad you did.