As I’ve often said, networking is a team sport! It takes at least two people to form a connection and my advice to you is don’t go it alone.
How might you drive connections? Of course, you can do so informally by simply reaching out and asking, “how about coffee or lunch?” Then, there are several formal methods for engaging with others. Try on some of these for size:
- Collaborate. Have a project idea in mind? Looking to do something in your community? Find others with similar visions, work together to bring your ideas to fruition.
- Offer to help. I’ve said it before – I’ll say it again. When you are generous with your time, information and resources, the long term benefit you receive back will amount to many times greater the amount you put forth. Without expectation of payback or remuneration, be generous. You’ll be amazed at the positive blowback you amass.
- Create a personal advisory board. Who is your personal dream team? When you make an important (or even a less important) decision, who do you turn to for advice and affirmation? Gather them together… they don’t all need to be in the same room, but you should talk with them all. And, remember that you are not obligated to take their advice… they will love you even if you go against their recommendations. Lean on them for championship and support.
- Identify and engage a mentor. Whether you work with an advisory board or not, you might choose to find a mentor – someone whose interests and experience you can learn from; someone who will give you the unvarnished truth; someone who will help to propel you and your efforts to success. And/or… BE a mentor to someone else!
- Hire a coach. Sometimes, it pays to hire it out. A professional coach might just be what you need. Someone who is gifted at listening, providing guidance and working with you while you work it through.
So, don’t go it alone. Surround yourself with others. Get it together!