Have you ever heard yourself making excuses for why you aren’t out there connecting with others in a networking capacity? Maybe your business is lagging or your career search is going nowhere. Be honest – are you making excuses? I’m talking about things like “I’m just too busy,” or “It’ll just be a waste of time,” or “Nobody wants to meet with me anyway,” or “I don’t know who to meet with,” or “We’ll have nothing to talk about.” I hear these comments all the time and, truthfully, recall saying them to myself a time or two. The truth is, these lies are easy to believe, especially when coming from ourselves.
No more excuses!
You know it is important to engage in professional networking. You know you have value to add to others’ lives. You know these types of interactions will benefit you and your career now and into the future. So, let’s get to work!
Creative thought leader, Roger von Oech, urges us to get rid of excuses. He asks, “What three factors will make it difficult to reach your objective?” and “How can you get rid of these excuses?”
- Write down your networking goal. By way of example, my original goal was to connect with at least three people per day.
- Make a list. Actually, I keep three types of networking lists: a) a list of people already in my relationship base – people I already know – who I want to reconnect with; b) a list of people who I don’t know, but would like to; and c) a list of companies, firms or organizations that I would like to learn more about.
- Reach out. The most difficult part of networking is often being willing to engage in that initial outreach. The good news for you: You now have at least one list of people who you want to get together with – sit down right now… send them a simple email or text message that says something like, “how about meeting for a cup of coffee on Thursday morning at 7:30am?”
No more excuses – you’ve got this!