Network To Grow Your Net Worth
We talk a lot about being social. It’s everywhere online, in the news and in magazines and newspapers. Facebook is the 3rd largest website behind Google and Youtube. So when we think social lately, we think about social media. However, that is only one aspect of being social. At some point, you have to talk to your clients or meet with your clients and in order to find clients you have to network!
Networking is a responsibility and it requires the ability to be proactive. Networking involves engagement, much like we try to engage people online, you have to focus on engaging those individuals around you. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s how to listen and observe to find a commonality. What matters most to those who are listening?
Most people, at every level, don’t like networking. Networking involves being immersed in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people. But when you are focused on listening and observing conversations, you can find new people that can provide some great perspectives to help you grow personally and professionally.
Perspective has a large impact on how we approach our lives – As Charles Swindoll once said “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it…we are in charge of our attitudes” Networking is both an art and a science. A blend of how you approach the process, how you represent yourself and your attitude and willingness to be open to the unknown. Not unlike learning, the more you are willing to approach networking with optimism, the more you will learn and gain from the process.
Here are 8 tips how how networking can help you with your net worth:
It’s up to you to add networking to your goals. In order to achieve your goals, you need to add networking events to your calendar and show up! Each is an opportunity only you can take advantage of. Holding yourself accountable will help you to sustain the momentum and also help your confidence because you will have achieved your goals.
- Learning Opportunities
Anytime you are in a new situation, you have the opportunity to learn. When networking, you are surrounded by people who have different perspectives, experience and information that you can learn from. Look around you and consider what works for you and what doesn’t. Learn how to improve by observing those around you.
- Stay off your phone
There is nothing worse than trying to speak with someone and they keep looking at their phone. Remember, body language communicates a lot. If you are standing in a corner, sitting at a table and only looking at your phone; you’ve ruled out the very first tip – accountability. Put the phone away, look up and look people in their eyes.
- Talk to someone you don’t know
This isn’t the high school lunchroom. Networking is about meeting new people. It’s hard to listen and engage in a conversation when two of the people are deep in their conversation. If you are one of the two and there are more people in the circle, engage them in the conversation. If you are the ‘third wheel’ try and find common ground, otherwise, look around and see if there is another opportunity with another individual. Networking can’t be forced. If you try to force it, it rarely goes anywhere.
- Ask open-ended questions
When in a new conversation, try and ask open ended questions. This is a great way to learn about someone and find common ground. Open ended questions provide insight and potentially new topics for conversation. Make sure to listen, however, respect the other person’s time and acknowledge that you are listening. It is only through your listening that you will be able to learn if there is common ground.
- Don’t Serve The Cheese
Networking is a great way to meet new people and connections, but emotional intelligence goes a long way. Be aware of your presence. Watch for facial expressions or body language when you are the one answering the open-ended questions. Be careful that you are not focused solely on self-promotion.
- Keep In Touch
When you get a new connection, congratulations! Remember, relationships take time, make sure to foster those connections. Send a follow-up email with a link to something you both discussed. If another networking event is coming up, reach out and see if they will be attending. Connect socially – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google + or other social platform you prefer.
- Build Connections
As you further develop your relationships, remember to share. If you know two people who don’t know each other, facilitate a new connection. Keep your network in mind and build your own community – making introductions where you can. Provide a value ad to your network and you will be sure to reap more rewards.
We know networking can be a challenge and most people struggle to manage. It’s one of those ‘to do’s’ that is easy to push off. Set your goals, make plans and stick to them. With time, you net-work and net-worth will grow. Happy Connecting.