OIY, is it me or is the word networking seriously messed up in definition now? So many have screwed it up over the last few decades and especially into the social media years.
Networking is creating a foundation of connections that can boost your business, motivate you, and support you with all of your efforts. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, you never want to operate alone. The world is too big and too amazing to do it alone!
Having great entrepreneurs around to motivate and inspire you, as well as share knowledge that can catapult you to the top of your niche – is always a good idea.
You don’t want all of your networking efforts to be in just one area (such as list building) – because that can narrow the positive benefits for yourself and the people you’re connecting with.
You want to networking with people who excel in many different ways so that you can learn from all of them and bring your business to a higher level. How you connect to these people should also vary. I love connecting in my niche and out of my niche for a variety of conversations.
You can connect with face-to-face encounters in your personal and professional life or live via zoom as is the norm now. lol You can make connections on social media sites, through email contact or in groups.
You can connect with a network both far and near by text or by phone calls, too. The sea of networking is a vast, endless supply of connections just waiting to be tapped into by someone like you that wants to learn and grow with the help of others.
Why You Need to Network
While being a solo entrepreneur is wonderful, it can also put a lot of pressure on you because you don’t have a support system or team to help you succeed like there is in an office setting.
Networking can keep you moving forward with your goals. Though the term “self-made woman” sounds great, in reality, no one person succeeded without a single bit of help through his or her lifetime.
Somewhere along the line, there was at least one person who reached out and helped someone else get where she wanted to be with a dream or a goal. By connecting with other people, there can be a source of help waiting for you that will provide you with encouragement.
When you move forward, obstacles sometimes happen. Maybe not often – and maybe not huge, but it does happen. When you have a network of people – it can help you find a path through or around anything trying to deter your success. You don’t have to stay stuck in it.
It might be that your sales copy isn’t converting – or your product sales are low. Networking brings people into your life who can confidently speak up and help you pinpoint the issues and resolve them. They can help you tweak the wording and try new things.
It helps because when you’re striving for something in your professional life, having a bond with people who have walked in your shoes strengthens you.
When you’re building a network, make sure that some of the people you connect with are heading in the same direction. You want to do this because those people will be able to understand and they’ll be able to “get you” – unlike those who aren’t going after a similar goal.
But make sure you have variety – because sometimes someone who is on a different path can offer a unique point of view for your vision – injecting fresh ideas into an otherwise stagnant path.
By having a solid network, you’ll get the feeling that you’re not in it alone. On the days that it can be difficult to keep on going, others are there to help you shoulder the burden or get your mindset to a better place.
That can create momentum when you feel like you’re beginning to lag in motivation or enthusiasm. You need a network because you’ll find people that you can bounce new ideas off of.
You’ll also have others who can help you come up with new ideas. Or they may be able to suggest going in a different direction when the path you’re on is filled with more obstacles than you anticipated.
In almost any endeavour in life, our emotions are closely tangled with whatever it is that we’re doing. When you have a team of people you network with, you’ll often find a great network of emotional support. They view the work without emotion and can help you separate it a bit.
You’ll be able to see that whatever happens – good or bad – in your life, doesn’t have to change who you are. You’ll be able to look at how others handle success and how they deal with setbacks.
With a good network, you can create partnerships or joint ventures that can lead to even greater opportunities. You can double the amount of output you’re capable of when you have a network.
You’ll also gain the benefit of others who may have more experience and wisdom with the project that you’re dealing with. Maybe they know a shortcut or can help you avoid a disastrous result by offering a bit of advice.
Next: The Give and Take of Networking