Networking. It is inconvenient. I mean, who has time, right? We’re all busy people… things to do, places to see, errands to run, work, work, work, work. And, it’s not time you ever get back. What’s the point?
Turns out, I’ve been thinking a lot about convenience lately. We rarely get to organize our lives entirely per our preferences. And, as the saying goes, “we make plans and (the universe) laughs!”
At least for me, it’s often the whims of others that seem to overtake whatever plans I organize.
And, then there are the tragedies… they never come at a convenient time. Never.
And, of course, the celebrations. As happy as they may make us, sometimes they come at inconvenient times. For example, we don’t get to pick when babies are born, or when holidays occur, or when weddings are scheduled. Getting ourselves to these events and activities can take some serious coordination. It’s hard work… parties to plan, meals to prepare, guests to host. Who has time, right?
Oh, by the way… needing to sell tickets to the fundraising gala you are planning can be inconvenient. So can losing your job. Oh, let’s not forget about needing to make our sales quota this month. The list goes on. However…
What if you have been building your relationship base over time? What if when someone else recognizes your name and number on caller ID, they rush to answer the phone because they are delighted to hear from you? What if when you ask for help, there is no question because the person to whom you reach out would do anything for you? What if in times of crisis, you don’t even have to ask because your community comes to your aid without being sought? That only happens through networking. That is the only way. Those are the times that it is awfully convenient to have others in your corner.
So, I implore you… be inconvenienced! In fact, don’t think of networking or networking events through the filter of convenience at all. Instead, build space into your regular schedule for connecting with others. Recognize that by putting in the time and effort now, you are building social capital for the future that will pay dividends far beyond your investment. Understand that your happiness, your success, your life all depend on forging productive, meaningful, authentic connections with others. Those relationships will prove to be the currency of convenience when and where you need it most. Isn’t that convenient?