Your network is your net worth.
When people think about networking, they imagine themselves walking around a big event, trying their best to be extroverted.
They think about shaking hands and exchanging business cards, with the hope that sometime in the not-so-distant future an unbelievable opportunity will fall right into their lap.
That’s not real networking–and that’s why I tend to have such an issue with attending “networking events.”
The best networking I have ever done has been the result of genuine curiosity, and usually in environments most people would never use for networking.
For example: I am very physically active and spend a lot of time at the gym down the street from where I live.
Because I spend so much time there, and between the same hours almost every day, I see the same faces over and over again.
Instead of always keeping my headphones on, I make an effort to get to know people–I mean we see each other there every day, walk past each other on the way to different machines, etc.
Might as well know each other’s names, right?
I can’t tell you how many opportunities have come as the result of the friends I’ve made in the gym.
Because the truth is, people don’t like “being networked.”
Nobody likes the idea of shaking hands with someone and there being this underlying expectation of, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”
It just feels contrived.
Friends do business with friends.
Instead, I make an effort to become everyone’s friend.
I want to know where you grew up, what you like doing as a hobby, what your family is like, what your favorite food is.
I want to know what your dreams are, what you hope to build or share with people here on earth–and then I want to see if there’s anything I can do to help you.
If something comes back to me as a result of it, great.
If not, doesn’t matter.
Want to know the best networking hacks?
That’s the first one.