On Networking + Meeting New People
‘You just have to go [to events]!’ says Jeremy Wortsman of The Jacky Winter Group and Creative Mornings Melbourne.
‘Running your own business is full of things you don’t like or want to do. I still have to clean the toilets sometimes and run software updates on laptops, not because I love doing those things, but because it’s vital to keeping the business going. Networking and meeting people is the same – avoid it at your own peril.
My biggest piece of advice, however, is that you don’t need to attend other events to network. You can always just start your own, and it doesn’t need to be a large thing. Even a small irregular meet-up of 2-3 like-minded people can have huge impacts. There’s so much support for niche events at the moment and sometimes the more focussed you can make something, the more relevant it can be for you and others.
If you do attend/host an event to network:
1. Don’t think about what this person can do for you, but what you can offer them. Going into any interaction with a spirit of generosity, no matter what the circumstances.
2. Educate yourself broadly! If you are networking properly you will probably be meeting lots of people outside your industry. It helps knowing who people are and what they do before you meet them.
3. When going solo to an event don’t be afraid of silence or awkward moments. Challenge yourself to put your phone away and just sit with the unbearable awkwardness of being alone and see what happens.’