There’s a common adage going around “it’s not what you know, it’s about who you know.” We are social animals. We desire to be known. Surrounding yourself with mentors and a strong community is a way to constantly grow into the best version of yourself. It never hurts to expand your circle and the way to do that is by networking. We network all the time. Some more intentional than others. I’m here to tell you to become more intentional in our pursuit to expand our circle.
The key part of expanding your network isn’t what can you do for me, it’s what can I do for you. Many make the mistake of solely having the intention of meeting new people so they can use them for their personal gain. Relationships built upon this will only crumble. But it’s only when you help someone achieve their goal, they’d be willing to help you out with your goal. You invest your time and energy to help them out and you get an amazing return of investment out of them. It’s all about intentionality! I don’t expect anything in return helping them out, but if I desperately need their help, I’ll be direct and ask. Take them out for a cup of coffee and get to know the person!
Meeting New People:
Go do things you enjoy doing. If you enjoy going doing yoga, meet other people who do yoga at places that host yoga. I’ve met other entrepreneurs through church events and I’ve connected with them and am trying to learn from them. I meet other people through my friends. I have them connect me with them and I’ll informally interview them about what they do. Sometimes, if the situation applies, I can offer the people I meet is a simple follow. If they have an Instagram or blog business, I’ll follow. Giving to others is what makes the world go round.
In our daily lives, we’re prone to simply ignoring people around us. Imagine being in line at the grocery store and ignoring the person in front and behind you. I’m a Christian, and as Christians, we’re made to love our neighbors. People who are literally right next to us are our neighbors. It’s hard. I get trapped in my own world and zone everything out. But, I can make an impact on someone just by breaking through that barrier of awkwardness.
IT’S NOT ABOUT THE FIRST THING YOU SAY, IT’S ABOUT WHAT FOLLOWS
Anything can be used as a conversation starter. “I like your tattoo.” “Is this your first time here?” This is a perfect gateway to a conversation where two people get to know each other. “You from around here?” This is when both sides become so engaged you become friends.
The same thing can be online. I’m trying to grow my Instagram account by commenting on other people’s posts. I do so while being genuine. Instead of saying “Nice!” I’ll say “I really love the lighting of this photo!” And I’ll only say just that. I won’t try to advertise anything of mine. It’s all about building a relationship with them.
Using Your Network to Network:
You can have your friends to connect you with other friends with similar interests. I’ve done this countless times and it’d lead me to greater opportunities. There are some friends right now connecting me with their friends who are hiring in their companies.
That’s what’s beautiful about networking. It’s one way we can achieve our goals. We will be both be put in a win-win situation. I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone this week and meet someone new.