Hate Networking? Here is the Fix. Bonus Video: How Reframing "networking" led me to meet my hot Mexican.
DreamBiz step 3 - it's all about them and you! Only this time the Them is your network of colleagues and peers.
Realize that your network of contacts is a LIFE asset, not just a business necessity. Develop a plan to build your Social Capital. What is that?
It's a bigger way of thinking about your network. You know, like a Boss.
You are the CEO of your life, let's show your network some respect!
This section is one of my favorites, not because I love networking, but because it is one of the areas of the DBTD that applies to your life and not just your business idea. It can have a big ripple effect for you beyond this course. You will meet new interesting people, build confidence in the process, and get better as you go along.
Why is a rich network of contacts important? Well, it is about who you know, and that landscape has changed drastically with the advent of online social networks. We need to incorporate that reality into our thinking.
On an in-person level, I think we can all point to examples of people who make progress based on who they know, while others who may be smarter or more talented struggle with working with others on building a team.
However, when I was growing up, no one ever talked to me about networking. My parents never mentioned it as a life skill, and I didn’t spend any time around salesy or outgoing relatives.
I didn’t even know the word networking until I was in college, in business school. I put on my blue interview suit, showed up at recruiting events and couldn’t wait to leave. But I still didn’t understand how it was important. I didn’t visit (ie network with!) my profs during office hours - what was the point? I understood the homework.
When I first started working, I dutifully made myself go to business happy hours, at that time I was broke and living in Los Angeles, so the free food and drinks was a great incentive.
This pattern of resistance continued throughout my career - I would show up at events, make myself stay until I had talked to 2 people, and then leave ASAP.
It took me a long time to realize that I was not the problem. If any of this is ringing a bell for you, I’m here to tell you that YOU are not the problem, either. Here is the problem:
This section is about reframing your network for yourself.
Note: This is another potential Dream Biz Test Drive moment of truth. If the people in your current business oriented network are not people you want to spend much time with, that is something to notice.
It doesn’t mean you give up on all those people. It does mean you can begin to expand your network beyond a narrow frame of business vs personal.
Now lets think about the traditional networking construct - I said in the first video the problem with it is that its based on a self-centered motivation. Maybe Individualistic is a better word.
It is about exchanging services, fees, information, access and business cards. Its a trade off between two people that essentially remain separate. There is an underlying element of keeping score.
Now I want to invite you to turn this narrow old school construct upside down and shake it out a little bit. If you haven’t heard of the concept of social capital, I think you will like this.
Social capital has a couple of different definitions based on the context. For our purposes, we are thinking about it at the individual level - it’s impact on your personal network. Your Social Capital is the good will you earn by sharing your passion, knowledge, talent and access to resources with others.
Another way of thinking about it is to think of it is as a joining rather than an exchange.
So no, you don't have to go to random networking happy hours, unless that is where your people are hanging out.
You do have to reach out to people, though! And when you reach out to people around your passions, your whole life will get more interesting, as the short story in the video below details!
Learn more See our free Intro Guide to the DreamBiz Test Drive for more.
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