Dropping out of school was one of the scariest decisions I ever had to make. Deciding to journey along a path that wasn’t charted felt strange and awfully scary. I became so petrified at times that I literally considered going back to school and abandoning my dreams of becoming a new entrepreneur.
Perhaps as a workplace newbie, or as what I call an “newpreneur,” you’ve had these same feelings?
So how did a 21-year-old dropout pave his way?
Now, being 23 years old, I have been asked that question a lot. I’ve answered the question in many ways, but the root has and always will be the same. My answer is, “My network helped and continues to help chart my course.”
As John C. Maxwell said, “Your network is your net worth.”
Considering this statement to be true, we now understand the importance of building a strong network, but how do we accomplish this? Better yet, how we do we accomplish this when we are just getting our feet wet as one of today’s new entrepreneurs? There is no quick solution or overnight answer for this. There are, however, many ways to accomplish it over time.
Commit to trying out some of the networking tips below and enjoy your journey.
Fall In Love With People
While at these conferences or networking events, make people your number one priority. Content is abundant so worry less about missing out on the content at these events and focus your attention to making others feel better and more comfortable. If someone feels happier after meeting you, they will remember you. This will, of course, be a positive remembrance. Fall in love with making others happier.
Recognize that although you may not have a successful business yet or know your path, you can still deliver value. Just being present during a conversation and listening is of value. Change your mindset from trying to figure out what you can get out of the conference, to trying to figure out how many people you can help at the event. By focusing on helping others without expecting anything in return, your network will grow dramatically.
Write Thank You Letters
Write authentic letters to the speakers and any attendees you wish. This small gesture will have amazing results. If you learned something from one of the speakers, thank them for it with a genuine handwritten letter. If you enjoyed a conversation with one of the other attendees, then let them know you would like to stay in touch with a handwritten letter. When you want people to remember you, this is how you do it.
Write down what you learn about others at the event. It’s amazing how many people you can help when you know a little bit about them. Whether it’s at the event or after the event, make sure to go back through the notes and connect people that can be of service to each other. Make this a habit. The more people you can connect for business deals or even just for common interests, the faster your network will grow.
One of the best networking tips, ever? Follow-up!
This is not only for after events, but for your whole network. At the very least, everyone in your network should hear from you personally once a month. This sounds like a lot of work. It really isn’t. There are so many ways to follow up. One of the easiest ways is to share an article that may be of interest to that person.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
At first, the whole idea of networking might seem pretty daunting, especially if you’re an introvert. Choose to constantly stretch your comfort zone. The more you do, the easier it becomes. The more you can get out of your comfort zone, the faster your network will grow.
Reach out to new entrepreneurs and ask if you can interview them. Let them know that you are an aspiring entrepreneur and you would love to learn more about them. Most successful new entrepreneurs love to talk about their journey and would love to help you along your way.
When you take the risk of entrepreneurship, your network becomes your lifeboat, your supply ship, and your star to steer by. If you dream of sailing the seas as one of
If you dream of sailing the seas as one of today’s workplace newbies and new entrepreneurs, look to these networking tips. Then take the plunge!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at StartUps.co!