Networking never ends. Networking never dies. Unless, of course, you want to kill your opportunity to succeed as an entrepreneur or business owner.
To succeed in this world you should be relentless in forging relationships with other good people. I’m reminded of this often. Tell me if you’ve had a similar experience-
I heard about an event from a friend. It was not terribly relevant to search marketing (my general focus for the last 8 years). But it sounded cool. So I bought a ticket and booked a flight.
By the time the event came, I wondered “why the hell am I flying to LA for this? Leaving my wife, my comfy bed and my comfy office behind. In the middle of the week. I don’t even know what this event is about.”
I got out there and ate at this joint in Westwood by myself, biding time til the opening cocktail hour. I knew a few people that would be there that night, at least I thought I did. By the end of my meal I was not too pumped about walking over to this thing.
I actually stopped halfway and thought about hailing a cab back to the hotel. But for some reason, I went on.
You know what happened when I got there? A random guy walked over and put out his hand, and introduced himself. We hit it off. I introduced him to the people I knew there, and he did the same.
This particular evening, I can trace back about 12 great connections to. Really good ones. Lifelong friend, you know my wife, we make money together type stuff. All cause I walked over instead of blowing it off, and all because one guy stuck out his hand.
Networking is like that. The relationships that pay off come when you least expect them and from odd places. Because relationships are the backbone to business, it stands to reason that you should always always always continue to network.
Paris Hilton doesn’t turn down a party. You don’t turn down a networking event. Or a lunch. Or an extended hand. Ever!
My advice to any entrepreneur out there is to go to as many events as possible. Go to stuff in Omaha. Fly to Seattle for one night, have dinner, and come back. Start your own dinner group or meetup wherever you live and get the word out.
You may not see the benefits right off the bat, especially if you are counting your benefits in hard cash. But it will come around. Besides, it’s fun! Go meet people and learn about their business and their lives.
I’d rather network myself down to being broke than sit in a shuddered corner of the web and make $500k a year. I mean that wholeheartedly. Because business has its natural ups and downs, and it’s a lot easier to get back “up” again if you’ve got a network.
If nothing else, you’ll have 50 people ready to go to the bar with you and drown your sorrows. By the end of the night, you’ll have some new ideas and a lot of people willing to help you out.
Go find that in your little corner. Fo-real.
Image: Chesi – Fotos CC
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