When you’re just starting out (and even when you aren’t) you’ll probably hear a lot of generic business advice. One bromide is the suggestion that you should “network with people.”
Here’s the thing: networking can mean a lot of things, many of which aren’t all that productive or may simply not be your strength.
Personally, I don’t like to “network” in the traditional sense of going out to business events, mixers, and – if I’m being entirely forthright – coffees or lunches with strangers.
I’m an introvert. It’s nerve-wracking and exhausting for me. But I do like to connect and to find ways to be helpful and supportive to those I encounter.
I’ve had to find ways that work for me as well as are effective for my business goals and activities.
Fortunately, along the way I’ve also discovered strengths and capacity that I didn’t realize I had in me. This has come from experimenting and pushing myself outside my comfort zone.
My point is threefold:
- Learn from others and consider their input (if it’s informed), but don’t assume following convention is a requisite
- Ultimately do what fits into your personal strengths and your business needs
- Don’t overlook things that seem potentially attractive – but currently lie outside your comfort zone – because things change 🙂