At the start of your business journey, anything goes. You’re prolifically meeting people, following up and building your network. You’re going for coffees, having your brain picked and attending multiple networking events each week. It’s unsustainable but essential. In the beginning, it’s necessary to be everywhere.
Many entrepreneurs, however, reach a point where this doesn’t make sense. Where the opportunity cost of saying yes is higher than the benefit of the event itself. Here, a different strategy is required. Whilst there’s a place for serendipitous encounters and keeping an open mind, a personal policy can set the right foundation. Here’s how to make any networking you do intentional.
If we become a combination of the five people we spend the most time with, it makes sense that those slots are filled with A-players, not those that reflect who we used to be and keep us playing small. Join groups that are the level above where you are in your business journey to maximize your opportunities for growth.
Notice high and low energy
High energy conversations are about ideas, fun, and personal growth. Travel, business and productive sharing. Encouraging someone, lending a hand, reassuring them and mirroring their powers. Low energy people bring low energy topics: gossip, complaining, drama, politics, hearsay and current affairs. If you can be completely yourself and feel better after saying bye, you may have found your high energy companions.
Just say no
Time is your only finite resource. Whilst in the early stages of business you may have swapped your time for money, now you’re swapping your money for time. Assistants, team members and outsourced services are how you pay to get time back. Say no to everything except those insanely valuable opportunities. If they’re not coming your way, go get them instead.
Keep a personal CRM
You have calendar events for your appointments, so why not for your people? You might meet someone in a mastermind, hit it off amazingly, but then life gets in the way and unless either party is intentional, the energy won’t sustain. You might live in different countries, on different time zones. Out of sight can be out of mind, without regular reminders to check in. Keep a record because you care.
From an interview with high level health coach Dr Emil Hodzovic. The rest is on my Forbes column here.