Focusing the Out-Of-Control Networker

Completely under control

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell
Over the weekend, on a visit to Grandma Debby’s house, we went on a sledding adventure. We donned our winter gear and headed to the local hill — a real beaut with several rises and a couple of jumps. We had our two sleds in tow. One was a streamlined, molded number with footrests, runners, and even hand breaks. The other was a simple round pad with handholds along the side.
Depending on which sled you chose, you had a completely different ride. The first was fast. You would rocket down the hill going airborne over the jumps. It was easy to control and usually at the end we would hop off whooping with delight. The other sled was pretty much completely out of control. You never knew if you were going to make it to the bottom of the hill without spinning around three times and tumbling head over heels.
So what does this have to do with networking?
Most people network like the second sled. They have no real focus or direction. They often find themselves pointed in the wrong direction and occasionally crash spectacularly. Unlike sledding, though, where that kind of ride can be a lot of fun, in networking it can be a waste of precious time and money.
Any success they might achieve is pure serendipity.
The few master networkers out there are more like the first sled. They know where they are going and what they plan to achieve. They have the tools they need to accomplish those goals and they tend to do so fairly quickly.
Oh, and the goals they do achieve often leave them whooping with delight.
If you are feeling like your networking is spinning in all directions but the one you want, take a moment and ask yourself a few questions:
  • What are you trying to achieve with your networking?
  • Who can help you achieve it?
  • Where can you go to meet those people (or those who can connect you)?
Half of successful networking is simply focusing your activities to align with your ultimate goals. Do that and you’ll be rocketing down the hillside in no time — and having a lot more fun to boot.
Photo by Pixabay user hmschl
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About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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