Joe Mills, Washington DC
Do not be the one “networking”
This day and age everyone tosses out the term networking. I cringe every time sometime mentions they are going to a networking event. After reading a book call “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi my opinion on formalized networking has changed. True business connections are made by either performing great work, knowing a mutual friend, or donating time and effort to someone. Think about it.
I can name a few people I feel that I “owe” because they have done favors for me, helped me solve a problem or spent their time giving great advice to me. This business connection is much more valuable than holding someone’s business card from an awkward event you met them at. Instead of constantly looking for events to “network” at, I challenge you to never eat alone. If you have 15 minutes before a meeting, invite someone to grab a cup of coffee with you. The next time you visit a city for a client meeting, ensure to call up a past colleague and invite them to lunch. If you don’t have anyone in town to share lunch or coffee with, spend that time calling up a true connection that you haven’t spoke with in months. These connections are the ones that will provide the most benefits, and you can rely on them when it is most needed.