I didn’t sleep last night. Frankly, that’s not so unusual, but my most recent insomnia was all about anticipation of today’s Kauffman FastTrac Global Women’s Summit, which my team and I have been planning for about a year and which we delivered to a capacity crowd in person and hundreds more who joined from around the world via live webcast. The event did not disappoint!!! It was, in my estimation, a raging success… The adrenaline coursing through my veins all night long was worth it! I couldn’t be more proud of my team, my company, myself.
We covered tons of topics… the speakers, truly, were all AMAZING. On the whole, it turns out that there was one over-arching theme to the experience that was not anything that I overtly planned. The theme: NETWORK… NETWORK… NETWORK.
Here are just a few of the quotations that I wrote down to share with you as networking lessons for your consideration:
- “Wake up every day knowing the one or two people who you must talk with. Put it on your list of action items for the day. Do not rest until you connect with them.” – Jean Case, CEO, The Case Foundation
- “Be FEARLESS! Instead of being in defense mode when you walk into a networking event, go on the offense. Get to know the people who you want to know.” – Jean Case, CEO, The Case Foundation
- “Find problems to solve… not opportunities.” – Jim McKelvey, Co-Founder, Square
- “It’s important to build a narrative for your business. Go in knowing what you must say about your endeavors to capture the interest of the other party.” – Eric Jackson, CEO and Co-Founder, CapLinked
- “Networks are absolutely required to achieve funding [for your business].” – Leigh Wasson, BNY Mellon
- “Make it [i.e., your networking interactions] professional from the start. Behave like the executive you know you can be.” – Sharon Vosmek, CEO, Astia
- “When interacting with [networking contacts], passion, honesty and authenticity are critical.” – Alexsis de Raadt St. James, Founder and Chairman, The Althea Foundation
- “One Coffee meeting is not enough to build a relationship. Make it a stepping stone to get the next meeting.” – Greg Gottesman, Managing Director, Madrona Venture Group
And… networking guru who brought down the house in the closing plenary of the day, Eric Morgenstern, shared ten tips for networking success… my favorite three (I’ll share more with you at another time):
- It’s not who you know… it’s who knows you. If an interaction with a networking contact is not meaningful enough for the contact to remember your interaction, it’s as if it never happened. Make it meaningful!
- Quality vs. Quantity. Back to making it meaningful… it is far better to create enduring contacts with three people than drive by, unremarkable contacts with thirty-three people.
- Handwritten Notes are Powerful Tools. If you have been paying attention, you will recall that I have shared this little insight with you before… I’ll say it again: A handwritten note will make you memorable. It pays homage to the fact that the making contact with the other party mattered to you. Take the two minutes and invest the $0.44 to send your words using a pen and some nice stationary!
OK… I’m off to try to get a little shut eye… not sure it will work… I’m downright ENERGIZED from all of the GREAT NETWORKING and awesome vibes of the day! I’m grateful to my team, the event planning committee, our sponsors, our speakers and our fabulous participants for an amazing day. Hand written notes are in the mail…
Tomorrow, I’ll share an observation: Everyone wants to network with you. See you then.