Every business owner, or anyone wanting to improve himself and the quality of his life, knows that hard work and patience are an important part of the equation, but there’s one thing worth your attention equally – networking.
According to Wiki, that’s “a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.”
Just like in life you can’t live well without working on your social skills, forming meaningful relationships with other human beings, and communicating on a daily basis with new people, so is networking a truly effective way to succeed as an entrepreneur.
It’s fun too. In the beginning, you should build some basic communication skills, beat social anxiety and just get yourself out there and be in public, approaching people.
Once you feel comfortable doing that though, it won’t feel awkward or unpleasant anymore, but you’ll be learning things from other people, will be presenting yourself and what you do, forming connections that might pay off in the future, becoming a bigger asset for your industry by getting to know more of the right people, and so on.
Networking is a valuable tool of your entrepreneurial toolkit, and without it, you can’t grow your business, build a good reputation or evolve as a person, and business owner.
Here are the exact ways in which it can boost your career:
The Benefits of Networking
Expanding your horizons.
Meeting with like-minded people at events, joining mastermind groups and finding communities of people with similar goals will teach you a lot more than you can imagine.
What’s more, you’ll get to talk to individuals from other industries, and that information will be practical too. Don’t just stick to what and who you already know, constantly seek knowledge from all types of people and think of creative ways to implement it to your business.
You know that waiting in life will hardly ever lead to something productive or big. That’s why entrepreneurs are doers. They take risks, leave their comfort zone, try new things, fail, begin new projects, make and lose money, and build discipline.
But they invest a lot in networking too.
At any business event you attend, you have the chance to be introduced to a future employee, partner, investor, client, or else.
But you have to be the one going to such events, being confident in yourself, and actually approaching people and asking questions, handing in your business card, and thinking of ways to help them somehow.
Environment is crucial for success. That’s why not optimizing it might be a mistake. If you’re surrounded by people with no goals, who have bad habits and find excuses not to take action, you’re much more likely to give up on your objectives too and stop seeing progress soon.
In addition, there might be people around you that will try to talk you out of your goals, be it unconsciously or with a good intention.
But imagine spending time with business gurus, founders of profitable companies and highly productive and smart individuals. Then, you can be sure you’ll stay on the right track.
By being supported by those who are doing the same with their life and business, being guided by those who are already on the top and by being motivated by their words of encouragement, you can conquer any field.
The people you spend time with daily affect your judgment and actions. But with such positive influence, you can only get ahead on a consistent basis.
Your networking will begin with one event. There you might not talk or do much, but all big things start small.
What’s important is to do it again, and again. Soon, you’ll notice how others behave when meeting someone important, what topics are trending, how people react to what you have to share, and more.
All these facts will help you set some specific goals on how to improve your networking skills. But even if you just keep attending events in your field, you’ll be noticed.
Don’t be afraid to greet old acquaintances, to ask questions, discuss business ideas, get feedback (that’s priceless) or try to land clients.
You might be new to networking now, but give it a try a few times in order to see all the benefits it will bring to your life and business.