Saturday, December 1, 2007


Stressed out because you can't find time to network?

Don't worry. Let the networking time come to you.

Now that we're past the seasonal rush that seems to make our schedules so crazy from late November to New Year's Day, we should have plenty of time to act on our resolutions to "develop more meaningful relationships" in the new year, right? In our dreams. We're still as busy as ever.

So how can we build more relationships, when we already have so many things competing for our time? We're constantly on the go just to keep up with work, family, friends, and perhaps children. Not to mention all the things that just keep coming up such as taking the car to the mechanic, going to the dentist, or spending an afternoon at the social meeting.

If you're stressed-out because you can't fit in any time for "networking," my advice to you is ….. Don't. That's right. Don't even try to squeeze in extra time. Instead, focus on meeting people more often during the things you already have to do. This way, you can relax and let that "networking time" come to you.

Before each of your daily activities, just ask yourself, "Could this be an opportunity to meet someone new?" That's what my friend did when he used to work out at the Harvard Business School gym. And he got more clients for his coaching practice there than from anywhere else.

Also, don't forget those interruptions I mentioned earlier , such as taking the car to the mechanic, going to the dentist, or spending an afternoon at the social meeting. No matter how miserable those experiences have been for you in the past, they can be great places to make new connections. In the waiting rooms, people are sitting right next to you! You have a built-in conversation starter because you have something obvious in common with everyone there. Okay, so what if you end up talking to a couple of soccer moms or others who might not be on your target contact list? Nothing lost. They might know people who are on your list. Worst case, you struck up a nice conversation that made sitting there a bit less painful, and you practiced your all-important audacity skills that you can use next time at a business conference.

The greatest thing about this little networking plan is that it requires no (extra) time at all. It does, however, require a little bit of guts. And the more guts you have, the more you'll meet success.

Try it and it will pay off!

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