Do you shy away from anything that has the word networking in the title because it stirs up feelings of panic and ick? Networking has gained a bad rap over the years due to a mass amount of business sleaze where you were either confronted with people putting the hard word on you to get a sale or you felt like a dunce if you came home with only one or two business cards. Meanwhile, nothing ever really came from these events except a growing disdain for attending any more.
Luckily for us, networking has evolved into something more warm and graceful and there are now plenty of events that are focused on building relationships and being social. My new definition for networking is aligning ourselves with people we admire and who inspire. It’s not just about who can send business our way, it’s about who can encourage us to reach higher heights and support us on this rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship.
With that in mind, there are some gorgeous personal and professional benefits to networking.
Collaboration comes in many forms and can be an amazing pathway to success. With more and more business owners teaming up on projects, there are plenty of opportunities for you to find like-minded peeps to work with. Think guest blog posts, giveaways, e-courses, e-books and e-mags, workshops, ambassador opportunities, events, interviews, podcasts and much more.
If you are open to learning from others and gaining inspiration from other people’s journeys, you may just find that the people you meet can help motivate you to take action within your own business and transform your current products and services. If you have been stuck on a problem for a while, just one conversation with someone you’ve never even met before can spark the idea that changes your whole business.
Although family and friends can be amazing cheerleaders for your success, there is nothing quite like have a support network of people who actually get what it is like to run their own business. To be able to talk openly about the highs, the lows, the fears and the overwhelm goes a long way to ensure that you know you are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
This is the definitely best benefit of networking. I have made so many wise, kind hearted and super funny friends through networking that I would never have met otherwise. I am forever grateful that I made an effort to slap on some makeup, put on some nice clothes and walk through that door even when I was unsure or nervous about going.
So go on, find an event that sings to you, put on your best lippy and put any thoughts about making sales aside. Focus on having fun and meeting some cool business owners that you can have some great conversations with. You never know where it could lead!
GUEST POST BY:
Jade McKenzie is an event professional for heart-centered entrepreneurs and business owners who get sweaty palms at the thought of running an event themselves. With over a decade of experience in event management, she has an unrelenting passion for giving her clients the ability to step into their spotlight and shine.
Find Jade at: www.eventhead.com.au