Networking receives some mixed reviews in the sphere of entrepreneurship. Some claim that it “just happens” and is not necessary to entrepreneurship, and other people claim that you really have to put yourself out there and be relentless about making contacts and forming relationships. I believe in the ladder.
Those who are relentless about networking will form relationships that provide tremendous opportunities, new knowledge, new perspectives, self-confidence, and a boat load of emotions that come along with new relationships. Relationships are what life is truly about and they make everything worth it.
A Growing Perspective
I believe that life is all about perspective. How you look at situations, how they make you feel, and how you ultimately decide to interpret them. We are not always aware of how our perspective shapes the way we look at different situations, but in reality, our perspective plays a colossal role in our decisions.
For example, if you grew up watching people achieve their dreams, you are more likely to believe that you too can achieve your dreams. This will impact the actions you will take in order to achieve your dreams. While some people will give up and not even try to put in the work, your perspective tells you that if you put in the work, your dreams are achievable.
How does this relate to networking? Our perspective grows and reforms itself when we are able to tap into other peoples’ perspectives. When people share their beliefs and experiences, you absorb them and depending on your openness to new perspectives, you can reform your perspective in either a positive or negative way.
By cultivating new relationships, you can grow your reference base for different perspectives. As the perspectives’ of people in your network grow, your perspective can grow alongside them.
With a growing network of people comes a growing list of opportunities. Many wantrepreneurs feel that opportunities are hard to come by, while many revered entrepreneurs find that their plates’ are too full to take on all the opportunities that come their way.
The amount of opportunities that you can receive from a quality network is tremendous. Notice how I said quality, not quantity. A high quality network of 25 people will provide way more opportunities than a low quality network of 200 people. Always remember to cultivate deep relationships rather than a bunch of meaningless, skim-the-surface type relationships.
Building Your Self-Confidence
Self-confidence plays a substantial role in your success as an entrepreneur. Networking provides an amazing environment in which you can get comfortable having conversations with strangers and forming deep bonds that last a lifetime.
Most people are not naturally born conversationalists. Practice, practice, practice. Aim to strike up conversations with strangers everywhere you go. You never know who you will run into and what that relationship could yield both financially and emotionally.
Check out the Wantrepreneur360 Blog — Wantrepreneur360.com