So, is networking fun??? You bet! Please don’t tell me that after 27 posts you still roll your eyes and cringe at the thought of networking.
My friend and mentor, Denise Upah Mills, at LeaderFuel, describes networking as, simply, “friends helping friends.” Who wouldn’t like that, right?
Just this morning, for example, I connected with a friend and former colleague who I haven’t caught up with in a few years. We met for Coffee (well, you know, I had my standard large McDonald’s Coke). It was super! Not only did I get the skinny on him, his wife and his adorable kids, but I learned about two entrepreneurial ventures that he is part of – one as an owner, one as an employee. His enthusiasm was downright contagious and helped me start the day on a great note. We even had important information to exchange – information that will be useful to one another in our respective professional roles. A networking meeting that was fun and productive – go figure!
Then, for Lunch, I met a fellow from the the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. He and I had exchanged a few emails and attended similar events, but we had never visited one-on-one. I learned so much! I found out that, for the membership dues that my firm already pays to belong to The Chamber, I have access to a whole host of resources. Awesome! And, then, a magical thing happened: Just when I was going to ask him for ideas on getting more involved with The Chamber, he invited me to sit on the organization’s Economic Advisory Committee – a group of people who meet a few times a year to share information and who suggest speakers and related events for Chamber members. How cool is that? Plus, he paid for my Lunch. I call that a networking success!
So, for me, in just one day… within a few hours, really, I participated in two terrific friends-helping-friends events and feel personally and professionally enriched as a result. Are you having fun, yet?
Tomorrow, I will help you to keep track of your networking interactions. Now, go on… go have some fun!