I’ve been thinking more about the mindset we need to bring to networking. So many of us focus on the “working” part of it. We have to go to the event. We have to make the calls. We have to go have coffee. What drudgery.

I like Keith Ferrazzi’s approach that he talks about in his book “Never Eat Alone“. For him, networking, building and maintaining his connections and relationships, is an integral part of his life — one that he takes great joy in. You can hear it in the stories he tells about being able to help someone reach their dreams, or getting to talk with one of his personal heroes, or even just making someone’s day by remembering to wish them a happy birthday. This is an aspect of his life that he treasures.

What if we approached networking like that?

You wouldn’t “have to” attend that networking event. You would look forward to it. After all it’s a party where you get to meet new friends and reconnect with old ones. You wouldn’t “have to” make calls. They would be opportunities either to be inspired or to help. You wouldn’t “have to” go for coffee. You would be cherishing a few stolen moments to break bread with a friend — one who respects your opinion and is looking forward to deepening their relationship with you.

Take a few minutes today to truly appreciate the many benefits you’ve reached through networking. Approach each connection with a sense of joy and curiosity. Look forward with anticipation to each new networking opportunity, not as an onerous task, but rather as a gift to be opened.

With a mindset like that, you will always be looking for ways to improve every interaction both for yourself and for the person with whom you are trying to forge a relationship.

Which would be a wonderful way to do business.

Photo credit: Tigr