Jan Lopusek

@janlopusek

Into the Mind of a Networker

As an introvert I somehow managed to network in my own way, which is both very pleasant and also brings value to expand businesses. So how do I do it? read in the article

Networking is an interaction and activity of two minds. The quality of your mindset can really make a difference for your business. Expanding your LinkedIn network sounds like an option, but nothing really works as well as meeting people in person. Yet attending networking parties is often considered a pain and especially frustrating for introverts.

You’ve probably been through this many times. 
You’re either a startup founder, business developer or a sales manager. Whatever your job title, you’ve most likely come across the need for acquiring new contacts to expand your business.

I write my job off as a net-worker, but honestly, it’s more of a running joke about me working “on the the net.”

I hate networking.

But I really like meeting new people, when it’s natural and mutually interesting. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I hate to network with a purpose. I hate sales pitches, the clumsy shilling of your ICO, selling stuff, and any other form of artificial self-presentation.

Yet, as an introvert, I somehow managed to network in my own way, which is both very pleasant and also brings value to expand businesses. So how do I do it?

Quick answer: I meditate before the event.

low picture quality, but high quality experience

There are a few principles I am guided by before going to an event:

  • I want to be 100% authentic, to be myself
  • I want to be honest and calm
  • I don’t want to bring any prejudices upfront
  • I don’t want to expect anything
  • I want to have only great conversations
  • & I love to be surprised when something happens

Many of us today are in a constant pressure to expand or maintain the businesses that we do. It could be either pressure from the top, especially if you’re in a corporation or other hierarchic structure, to bring in new clients and fulfil the KPIs. Or it could be your inner pressure, maybe you’re being paid based off your results. Or maybe you just want to succeed in order to prove yourself, deriving from deep family, society or cultural pressures.

Whatever the case, it’s really important to get rid of these temptations. They’ll only block you from being authentic. And if you’re not authentic, it’s easy to wind up in the wrong circles, having the wrong conversations, and spending time with the wrong people.

You have one life to live, so live it well.

So how do I do it?:

I clear my mind.

When I meditate in preparation for an event, I want to get rid of all the expectations and images that my mind is drawing up front — like: who will be there, how I should dress, look, behave, how to drop my opening line, or to get myself into some circle. Just stop and let go. I try to focus on something entirely different — being present and just accepting one’s existence.

Tips to help guide and direct your awareness :

A) If you believe in God..

…trust that she has a plan for you. She must know about you, your reasons and your purposes while all being under her protection. Therefore, if you’re honest and true, you will never do wrong. Enter an event with confidence. It was either all planned like this, or if you don’t believe in determinism, you at least have the guidance of a purity there. The more authentic you are, the more guidance you’ll get, and the better the eventual business result.

B) If you don’t believe in anything

…you understand that the universe is huge and rare things happen all the time. Such is life. There is no purpose for this and our consciousness might have just evolved as a by-product of evolution. Therefore, we’re just amazing creatures wandering this terrain, and all we really have is the present and our presence. There’s nothing else. Nothing else is real. Everything else is just our brain creating illusions, false prophecies, or just making things up. Everything else but the pure moment is a form of inner hallucination, our expectations, our beliefs, thoughts of the future, past, or any random thought. There is no pressure from anything, except our biological existence. It’s time to relax. Let yourself be authentic and allow your natural charisma to find the right people you are attracted to.

Approaching the event

Once I’m ready and calm, without expectations, I manage to develop a good mood. It comes naturally. When you get rid of your worries, you then realize how fragile we all are, how everyone in this event is being hunted by similar imaginations and worries. Then you can start to feel empathy and compassion towards other people chasing their own tail. It’s a funny conception, when you think about it. So this brings me to feel sympathy for everyone there and I get rid of any expectations and prejudices. I just go and see how they’re doing, how they feel, and how they behave. I don’t judge. While offering a slight smile, I just observe.

I accept everything that happens. I stay calm and often quiet until I feel confident enough to approach someone. Our bodies are very smart. Emotions will give you a very strong signal if you feel like you want to talk to someone or not. Your intuition will pick a person that suits you well and will naturally bring you to him / her.

Since you’ll be your calm self, you can pick the intensity of the conversation. You’re not selling anything, you’re mainly listening, being honestly interested in the person. When you’re in listening mode, you have all the advantages. You can quit the conversation easily after a few sentences if your intuition was wrong about a person. Or, if you feel confident that this person really suits you, you can unroll your entire charisma to form a meaningful connection.

Only after I have the feeling that a conversation was mutually pleasant and people are relaxed, I may ask if there is anything I could do for him/her to support their business or be helpful in some way.

Stay calm and listen.

This approach really makes a difference.

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