Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Stink at Networking

photo by erica marshall
I used to say this. Now I just do it. I network, I chat people up, I try to connect people and wonder how they might connect me to others. Mostly what I do that really works is help others when I can.

When I see that word, Networking, a picture of a restaurant filled with people in suits and ties comes to mind. The fake smiles, the drink in hand, the business cards at the ready. I nearly get hives just writing about it.

Yes, these scenarios still exist, but not in my life. I avoid them. I'm not sure it's the best thing but the kind of desperation in the air these days because of the economy makes me nervous. I saw a thing on TV recently that was "speed dating" for networking. I might handle that a bit more because of the rapid style and no-nonsense of it all. That's really the hardest part: following the implied social rules.

That's why the online social networking scene works a bit better for me. I feel like I can describe myself and what I do in a way that's true to my real personality. I believe this has a lot to do with what will work for you as a small business owner. If you feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable putting yourself out there online, that's ok! You work on that and stick to the face to face opportunities. There's something for everyone out there. If you don't do something well, kick back and get some new skills and try something else.

You might notice that I don't really spend a lot of time passing on info in this blog via links. I read a lot of other small biz advice out there and tend to just 'blend it in' with what I say. I do read of lot of other coach and mentor advice, I just tend to like my own brand the best!

There have been and continue to be a lot of folks who have helped me along the way. Every day I try to "pay it forward". Keep giving and at the same time value what you have to give and it'll all work out. I really believe that.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Like you, I find social networking easier than business-card drink-in-hand networking. But I pass on a ton of information via links--it supports others, spreads good information around, and lets me endorse good writing and ideas. Paying it forward is brilliant.


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