An enriching network is one in which you can find empowerment for anything you want to become, do, have or create. People in enriching networks will keep getting richer while those who are not will keep struggling. Associations matter!
Thanks for coming today. Yesterday, we studied how networking can help one to become successful or more successful. I hope you enjoyed reading it as I enjoyed writing it. If you have not read it, I suggest you read it first before coming back to read this post. Simply click the link Networking: How it Can Make You More Successful. I know you want to know how to develop an enriching network now, but it’s better we do it right.
Today we are going to study how one can deliberately build a network that is both empowering and enriching. If you have read the last post I did on the subject and are eager to start working on your own enriching network, lets take the dive. The following avenues will help you to kick-start that journey.
This is still one of the best and oldest ways to network. There are even many networking events these days. And you should attend a couple of them every year. Before signing up to attend a networking event, do some form of research. Find out if the people attending the event will be instrumental in helping you build an enriching network. And don’t aim too high. There are networking events for various classes of people. Rise gradually by raising your standards gradually. When attending an event that is not necessarily a networking one, be prepared to also network there.
This one is not very easy for some people. There are people you will attempt to be friends with on the internet and it will work. There are also people who will not even reply your messages. But that does not mean you should not try. I have a very close friend today that I met on Facebook. I posted a photograph urging people to share their experience about some topic and she reached out to me. We have been friends since then. She is on the verge of helping me get a training deal in the company she works for. If you are going to attract people on any platform on the internet, you need to take your personal PR serious. Not everything should make it to your profile.
One very good way of being able to attract people and build an enriching network is by taking every opportunity you find in a restaurant or eatery. Many times, you walk into a restaurant and find after scanning for a few seconds, someone sitting down on a table by themselves. Being bold enough to approach and ask cheerfully if you can join the table might be a very good move. Imagine how many people you would have met by now if you meet someone new every time you go to eat out. A lot, I guess.
When riding in a bus, train or elevator, try to start a conversation with the person closest. Sometimes, just a smile in the person’s direction might set the pace for you. The trick here is to ensure that you are looking and smelling good. Nobody wants to be friends with a smelly fellow. Finding out where the person will be highlighting will help you to ascertain how much time you have to make a good first impression.
We waste a lot of time on queues. Imgaine getting on a queue and reading a book or creating an avenue for an enriching network. This is how I met my first university friend, Maxwell. We were a formidable force together throughout our year 1 in school. Even though (for some reasons) we grew apart as the years went by, Maxwell and I are still friends today and speak occasionally. Imagine using your luck (of knowing these things) in meeting at least one person on a queue per day. Or even two if you are not the last person on the queue! And you don’t have to be extroverted to pull this off.
*** IMPORTANT NOTE ***
- You do not have to be extroverted to meet people in events, online, restaurant on the Bus/Train/Lift and on queues.
- You have to be very observant to find a common ground.
- You need to learn how to start a conversation that can lead to exchange of contact.
- You can only learn by practicing.
- Some people will not take you serious. That’s perfectly normal. They see you as a stranger and that is who you are until they are comfortable around you. The worst anybody can do is avoid your friendship by saying no.
- Building an enriching network does not mean that your network should make you have lots of money overnight. So, be patient.
- Like anything beautiful, it takes hardwork to build an enriching network.
- Have a plan.
- Weed your contacts every now and then. You will meet the good, bad and ugly. Never cut someone off totally. While maintaining a safe distance, also keep the relationship alive by ocassional phone calls and SMS.
- Be careful while networking with members of the opposite sex. Maintain boundaries and don’t send the wrong signals.
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