Networking is dead.
Recently, someone had described me as an “excellent networker”. I laughed and shook my head. I never went to business school, was always terrible at selling things, and when I’m not feeling introverted, I feel like I talk with no filter. Definitely not your ideal hustling networker.
When I started my own company, I got a lot of advice from a lot of different people. And just like first time mums know to pick through all the talk to find the gems of wisdom, I am learning to do the same. For instance, I was told to join various business groups and attend events that would be “great for networking”. While these events weren’t terrible ideas and I’m sure I’ll take them up again one day, as a yoga teacher, I’ve learned to trust my “gut feeling” and my gut was saying that it felt inauthentic.
So what felt authentic?
- Striking up conversations over social media and going on coffee dates with people from Instagram.
- Choosing to support local whenever I can.
- Moreover, instead of choosing to do something myself, reaching out and collaborating with another local small business to do it better together.
- Inviting people I find inspiring to attend pop up classes so that they could get to know one another and I could get to know them better.
These kinds of things seem like no-brainers to me and business aside, I would act the same in my personal life. Who doesn’t love the feeling of bringing cool friends together? And remember this quote? –
“if you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb
We live in a world where stories trump advertisements and relationships are more important than contacts in your address book. We know this to be true in our hearts- we can feel how good connection feels- yet we breeze through our days disconnected and disengaged- living in busy bodies. When someone takes the time to show up, whether it’s for a business event or a personal event, it means a lot.
This summer, I consciously made it a priority of mine to nourish my personal relationships.- to make time for new ones, and to make time to enrich old ones. As someone who is self employed and makes my own hours (and a type A overachiever to boot), I often find myself picking work over fun. Do I grab dinner with a friend who is fresh out of a relationship or do I organize my social media posts for next week? Do I hang out on a Friday night after a workout with friends or do I head home to plug away at my to-do list? We all know the answer to that. The to-do list will never end. Your relationships with loved ones are just as important as the work you do and it’s about time we afford our relationships and our loved ones with that same respect.
At the Social Yoga book club class last week, everyone was asked to list three things they loved about themselves. One gal said that she loved how good she was at maintaining relationships. A murmur went around the room and everyone agreed that:
1. It’s such an underrated trait
2. It’s so incredibly important.
3. We don’t do enough of it.
And after this summer of focusing on maintaining my relationships, I can safely say from first hand experience that it’s all recipricol. Instead of feeling burnt out and exhausted after a busy summer, I am left feeling full, elated, and perfectly content. It’s true what they say- the energy you give to others, is the energy you get back.
Go out and give some.
Anita is ever curious & a junkie for learning. She’s never really heeded her mother’s warning about talking to strangers. She loves reading just as much as she loves doing adrenaline-pumping activities outdoors. If she could have it her way, she would have a board (snow or surf) underneath her feet everyday. Film photography moves her. Travel moves her. Music moves her. Conversations and people with stories move her. Actually, she just loves moving. She is solar powered and she has an affinity for quotes like it’s nobody’s business.
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Social City Networking INC. – For all things SOCIAL in your CITY.
Written by: Anita Cheung, @thesocialyoga
Editor: Sara Rose McKenna, @smckennaSC
#SOCIALintheCITY Created By: Sara Rose McKenna, @smckennaSC
Social City Networking INC.: SOCIAL in the CITY 2015