Quick... what is the first thought that crosses your mind when you think of networking? Maybe the thought of meeting new people comes to mind or attending an event to build up your contacts. The truth is there is no formula to networking -- you just have to get out there and do it.
Recently, I was invited to speak on a panel at a national convention to discuss the ever elusive topic of networking. My audience was composed of law students and young attorneys from across the country who desired to obtain knowledge and "crack the code" of effective networking. The audience, much like I did, seemed to understand that whether good or bad, networking is necessary and essential to make it to the next level in life. As the saying goes, no one is an island, so we all need help at some point in our lives.
For me, the topic of networking proves to be so organic because decisions that I have made in my career, and my personal growth as an individual, are a direct product of my trust in God and my ability to be a bold networker. I enter every conversation and interaction believing that it only takes one "yes" to propel me forward. Of course, you must realize that no one can help you obtain your goals if you fail to share your goals with others.
Regardless of how the world may appear, there are more people that actually want to help you rather than hurt you. Interestingly enough, I have adopted the mindset that for every one person who may want to hinder me, there are two people who want to help me. Right now, I challenge you to look for an opportunity to share your goals with other individuals. More likely than not, you are one or two conversations away from heading down the path of success and reaching the next level. Simply dare to open yourself up just a little more and share your story.
We all know the saying, "closed mouths don't get fed" -- so learn to be vocal! However, also be willing to be a valuable resource for others. Take the sting out of networking and meeting new people by approaching each encounter as an opportunity to share your unique story that only you can tell. You will be surprised to see how many people will make it their duty to assist you in becoming the best you possible. I can attest to the fact that once you begin to see that there are people in your corner, you will quickly see that there truly is victory in numbers.
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