More on Networking

A few days ago, I wrote a blog post on networking. For some reason, on my blog, people don’t leave comments, they find my email and write me instead.

OK, I’m really sorry that networking is hard. And it’s even harder if you are introverted, an artist, a writer, an inventor, a trainer. . .  Well, it’s hard for everyone who wrote. And each person who wrote told me why they couldn’t work hard, they deserve a short cut, and my blog post didn’t deliver one. No, my blog post told about what does work: lots of hard work and effort.

I’m sure there are a ton of people out there, internet marketers, SEO experts, blog specialists, who will tell you that there is a secret they will “share” with you. They’ll tell you it’s easy and doesn’t require work. You won’t be able to find the price until you give up your email address or click “register” or dig five levels down, and then the price will be called an “opportunity,” or “investment.” I hate it and I can’t recommend it.

And no, I don’t have a list of sources to share with you. Not because I’m selfish, but because my list for one idea is different than my list for another idea, and there is no one magic master list of networkers that plop your opportunity into your lap. Honest.

I’m sure there are “old boy networks” or the equivalent that have a wink and a nudge, secret handshake and you get in. I don’t belong to any. For me there is no secret–it’s hard work, and you do it to get what you want.

So here it is again, in bullets:

  • Listen more than talk
  • Don’t talk about topics that others can’t contribute to–your food allergies, the content of your latest email blast, or your conversation with the bank teller
  • Do lots of asking for help, waiting, thinking and re-thinking
  • Thank people who try to help, even if it doesn’t work out
  • Be clear about what you want, to yourself and to others. If you can’t explain it, you don’t have a clear idea yet.
  • Be kind, help others, give of yourself. It draws other people to you

And yes, envision success, spend some time daydreaming, and playing. Taking time off from work makes you better at working. Lorne Michaels, who orchestrated an amazing run of Saturday Night Live describes his secret as, “The longer you are there, the longer you are there.”

-Quinn McDonald is a trainer, life- and creativity coach. In addition to teaching people how to write a variety of documents, she also teaches raw-art-journaling.