By Scott Cardinal
There is no doubt that throughout your life you have heard the phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know.” The simple fact of the matter is, no matter how talents or gifted you are, and how many fantastic ideas you have, how much hard work, and energy, and ambition, and drive you have bubbling inside of you, it does not and will not matter if no one knows you exist. The times have not changed. It has always been like this. You need to get your name out there. You need to meet people. You need to network.
A lot of people consider networking to be a “dirty” business because they feel it seems insincere, or manipulative, or that people come across as self-centered, but you should not approach networking with that mindset, and if you have well-developed social skills you should be able to spot those who have the same motives that you do. Networking is about building genuine, mutually beneficial relationships.
The best excuse in the world for people not to network is their claim that they are shy or introverted. The easiest way to overcome this is to network with people who share the same common interests as you do. After all, what brings you out of your shell, and to life, and fills you with adrenaline more than talking about something you are interested in? So start off going to networking events where you are certain there will be others that share your interests. This should not be difficult to do. Of course another piece of advice to give that is easier said than done is, “get over it. Be bold. You have ambition. You want to succeed. You need to overcome obstacles in your path. If being shy and introverted are two obstacles, than tackle them right away.
Networking is an ongoing process. It is not something you can do once or twice and then never do ever again. It will take you a lot of time and effort to build a network of people you can call, count on, depend on, and reach out to if you want or need something. At the same time, you want to be able to let as many people as possible know about you so they can do the same. After all, networking is a reciprocal game. It takes two to tango. Put on your dancing shoes.
Be interested in other people. If you want other people to be interested in what you are doing then it would certainly help if express interest in what they are doing. To warm up your engines you should begin by contacting distant relatives and old friends and let them know what you are up to. They may be interested in what you are doing, and may know others who are interested, too.
Always remember that networking is an investment in you, your business or organization, and in other people. Think about how much time you can and will save in the future if you know the right people to call when you need advice or need to hire someone, as opposed to tracking down the information you need cold.
Whenever you network, find out what your new friends and acquaintances do for a living and for fun, and, if possible, find out the same about their spouses or significant others.
Invite people out. Don’t just limit your networking to events, conferences, trade shows, etc. if you really hit it off with someone then meet them socially, perhaps for coffee. Establish a bond. Connect. Be a friend. Everyone could use another friend. Be a good listener. Be as generous as you can with your time and any constructive advice you can offer.
One of the best things about Face Book is it allows people to stay connected all the time, and not lose touch. You can see when their birthday is and touch base then. You can send them private messages concerning a topic they may be interested in.
As you meet people, focus on spending your valuable time with those who are the best fit for you. There is no doubt that you have a lot of ideas and a lot of potential and a lot to offer. Network as often as you can, but choose quality events and quality people because your time is valuable, and so is theirs.
Remember to make networking fun. Meeting other people and finding out what they do for a living and fun can be incredibly interesting. And if they can help you or you can help them in the future, well that makes networking an extra benefit for all.
The Earth Savers Institute is the Official Training Affiliate of Green Earth Corporate Kindness Organization (GECKO), which is a 501(C) 3 (tax-exempt) non-profit corporation dedicated to helping businesses & non-profits become better stewards of the environment. GECKO is perhaps the only Non-Profit organization in the United States with the sole mandate of helping companies & non-profits improve their environmental practices. Their collective MISSION is to help companies & non-profits improve their environmental practices and address the remarkable need for affordable environmental education & change assistance. For more information, visit Earth Savers Institute.com or GreenBusinessUniversity.com.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Scott_Cardinal