Real networking isn’t about finding who can help you, it’s about seeking out the people you can serve.
Sometimes success is simply a numbers game. We might have to endure a few frogs to get to Prince Charming. We may have to overcome some heart-wrenching failures to experience the level of achievement we deeply desire. The more we try, the more we fail and the greater the possibility of succeeding.
As a businesswoman, I struggled with this reality. I feared rejection, failure and criticism. Having somewhat of a reserved nature, I often dreaded the necessary networking that is critical to building my business. I viewed it as pretentious—often feeling it required me to perform for the approval and recognition of others.
However, my perspective on networking has shifted over time as I’ve learned from individuals like dynamic publicity strategist Selena Soo that real networking isn’t about finding who can help you, it’s about seeking out the people you can serve. We must always be willing to reframe perspectives that limit us.
According to the six degrees of separation theory, we are only six connections (or fewer) from everyone else. This means that we are ideally no more than six “friend of a friend” links away from our ideal mate, that catalytic business deal or the opportunity that will transform our lives.
But connections don’t just come to us—we have to put ourselves in a position to discover them. Whether looking for a new job, a new mechanic or trying to find the right relationship, here are some crucial networking principles that I’ve learned will attract the right connections to you:
1. Life is a big networking event: Every moment carries the opportunity to develop a relationship with the potential to shift our lives to the next level. In every conversation and introduction to someone new, we must be willing to share what we need, as well as how we wish to serve others. People can’t help us if they don’t know what we need.
2. Be interested in people: Everyone has a story to share. Each has significance, impact and the ability to inspire others. Networking can be energizing, when we allow genuine curiosity about people and life to play a front and center role.
3. Be clear on who you serve: If you’ve ever visited a local beauty supply store, you know that there are literally thousands of shampoos on the market. However, selections change depending on the clientele.
As painful as it may be to accept that everyone doesn’t want what we have to offer—it’s the truth. Rejection is not a reflection of our inherent value. It is merely a one-to-one exchange on our relevance to a particular individual. Know who you can help and go serve them.
4. Be clear on what you solve: Whether looking for a business partner or a potential date, we have to be clear on our strengths. They don’t change based on the needs of others—we are who we are. Clarity regarding our worth enables us to cut off relationships that seek to compromise our value. When we are confident in our contribution, we can walk away with our power intact.
Do Your Work: Identify three people in your circle who you will purpose to connect with this week regarding a personal or professional matter. Reach out to those people being clear about your goals and how you’re also willing to serve them.
Define Your Wealth: “I have access to every thing I need to reach my goals and live my dreams.”
Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.