I’m going to be honest and say I’m a bit rusty when it comes to face to face networking. It’s easy to distance yourself from the people behind the screen when it’s a message on social media or a comment on the blog and as much as you try to grow your connections, nothing will make as much of a lasting impression than that of a face to face meeting.
So in order to grow a business, it’s important to develop our physical connections and network with genuine people with passions and joy for what they do.
If you’re anything like me, meeting people face to face can be a daunting experience and doing so can spark anxiety, even in the best of us.
Today I met a lovely chap, one of the directors of a prestigious company. The meeting was brief but I wanted to make a lasting impression so I told him my name and threw him my best winning smile while I shook his hand (praying none of my lunch was stuck in my teeth). We had a short conversation about how we felt like a part of a large family and a connection was made, a future contact established.
As much as I am afraid to meet people face to face, I surprise myself at how okay I am at doing so. Every job interview I’ve attended has been offered and every network connection I’ve made has been made successfully, despite my worries.
It’s something I would encourage others to do: take a leap of faith and believe in yourself. Even when the opportunities are frightening and your mind begins to run away with itself, do it anyway. Bumble through that meeting, have a few regretful thoughts about how you said one thing but should have said another, then get on with your day. You’ll have achieved something which will undoubtedly improve your business as well as your personal status.
I look forward to my next networking meeting (although I’ll also be secretly bricking it) and hope that by sharing my experiences it provides reassurance that you can do it as well.
What have you done today that scares you?