Someone recently asked me, “How can I become a stronger networker and turn relationships into business?” I thought about the question for a while before answering. What have I gained from the multitude of events and professional mixers I have attended through the years? It was not always easy for me to network, how did it become so natural?
The answer? Networking is work and a skill that takes practice. And it’s not unlike working out.
I had weak abs before I decided to focus on them. Now I can do 200 sit ups. It was hard at first, but I kept at it. Networking is no different. You have to keep working that muscle. Keep walking into that room full of people you don’t know, tamp down that anxiety. Start small. Make milestones. “I will meet five new people today.” Then 7, then 10.