️Think about that for a second and then read this.
If you think about your network as your childhood friends, the people you grew up around, your extended family, the other parents from you children’s school and activities, your college friends, your neighbors, those you share the same hobbies as, the classmates from your year abroad, your previous and current colleagues and so on. Do you still define networking in the same way as you just did?
I used to see networking and mingling as the same thing. It seemed like every event played out the same way. I shared brief conversations with lots of people, and finished up the conversation with an exchange of business cards. After, I would return to the office with a stack of names and adresses to a bunch of people I didn’t know, much as a smaller version of the yellow pages. No wonder I didn’t enjoy that way of networking.
In every other aspect of life, I always try to challenge myself by changing things up. That’s what makes the journey fun! I started wondering, why hadn’t I applied that to networking yet?
I didn’t come up with a satisfying answer. As always when that happens, I decided it was time to try something new.
So, I decided to do it my way. In a way that I would enjoy.
At every public event I went to, I would just try to find one person to have an interesting conversation with.
This turned out to be a great decision for me. Since then, I have met so many interesting people and learned a lot about them and their lives. Now, I leave every event without business cards, but with the start of a friendship.
This is why I always try to do things my way, and encourage other to do it their way. Trust you gut. Learn new things. Have fun.
ps. Filip (in the photo) and I met on an event and has since then moderated the event “the worlds most dangerous meeting” together twice. ✌️