Talking to people is crucial if you own a business – because you could have the best product in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’re not going to be making much happen. And networking at its core is sharing yourself with others.
But so many people fear networking events. They feel dread about “performing” in front of others, trying to look credible or important – or worse, pretending to be interested in boring conversations. But this isn’t a productive way to walk in the room, so if you’re feeling like that, you may as well stay home.
It’s far more valuable to give up what you think you know – and let go of poor, past experiences in these environments.
If you’re willing to discover something NEW, here’s how to approach them fully, and make the most of the moment each time:
One: Start with your attitude – if your mindset is that it’s going to be a drag, a waste of time, or boring to meet new people, people will sense that, and they won’t exactly be drawn to talk to you. Instead, try being excited, or consider that you may help someone there – and that will help you exude openness and attract the right connections. You’re responsible for how you frame the event before you even go.
Two: Start with the basics – making friends as an adult is much like making friends as a child. When you’re a little kid, another child saying: “Hi! My name is… “ makes you wide-eyed and excited at the prospect of a new friend. We have to reconnect with this spirit of connection and offer ourselves *fully* from the moment we greet others.
And Three: Instead of asking yourself “what can I gain?” like most people do – always ask yourself: “Who can I help?” You see, other people can sense if you’re being a self-interested, transactional person – but if you’re coming from a space of generosity, it will completely alter the quality of your conversations. Then you’ll be more likely to attract other generous, authentic connections that will empower you and your business.
It’s time to think beyond “networking” – it’s time to authentically share yourself and really connect with other people. When you do that, you’ll actually be proud of the relationships you build.