Remember when you were 5 years old? What did you like to do most in the summers? If you were anything like me, it was all about the swimming pool! You could hardly get me out of it. My fingers looked like wrinkly raisins and I was completely water logged by the end of the day. But as I began to grow up, the shallow end of the pool began to get boring. I saw all of the bigger kids jumping off of the diving bored, splashing and having fun in the deep end, but I just couldn’t work up enough courage to make the leap. I finally did make that leap, when my friend Joe gave me a swift shove off of the diving board. Obviously, since I am writing this post, I am still here and I lived through the experience. All it took was a little nudge from my friend for me to experience the wonders of swimming in both ends of the swimming pool. With that one experience, I was never bored again and continued to enjoy many summers in the city pool.

For many of us business networking is very similar to the swimming pools of our youth. We find a specific group that we are comfortable with and spend all of our time in that one area. Maybe it is the type of networking group, or the people involved, but you enjoy it so much that you dedicate all of you time to the one group, not even considering what you may be missing. However, most business professionals will eventually get bored with the group. They see all of the same people everywhere they go, the referrals seem to have dried up and it just isn’t as inspiring as it used to be. Just like many 5 year olds, if you find yourself in this position, it is likely because you are only swimming in the shallow end of the pool! Go to to get your networking swim fins for the deep end!

Photo by Airman 1st Class Valentina Lopez