Networking works… If you work it.
It’s a skill that most people never really learn and are sort of just thrown into the world to figure it out.
… and because they don’t know what they don’t know, they go to a networking event, don’t get results and write off networking all together.
If that’s you, hold up.
At it’s very core, networking is connecting with people and being a resource for them which ends up leading to income.
That little mindset shift from “I’m networking for a sale” will change your whole strategy.
So let’s break down the six most common mistakes people make when they’re networking:
1. You’re Terrified Of People
Meeting new people is uncomfortable.
I get it.
Seriously, I do.
It feels like you have to force yourself to open up to a complete stranger when you have no clue what their intentions are.
You’re making yourself vulnerable with the risk of being taken advantage of… and that’s terrifying.
If you’re like most people, that’s the deep-seeded mindset about networking.
Your thoughts influence your feelings, your feelings influence your action and your actions influence your results.
That means if you’re already opposed to meeting new people, you’ll have negative feelings towards building relationships, which means that you won’t do it and as a result, your network will be smaller and you won’t have the powerful connections you need to reach your goals.
… You get the point.
How To Fix It
Start by changing your mindset about meeting new people.
Yes, you’re going to have to let your guard down to have genuine conversations… There’s no way around it.
For the sake of the length of this post, I’m not going to get crazy into detail here because I wrote an entire post about how to do that:
2. You Have a ‘Small Circle’ Mindset
Our culture encourages us to restrict our feelings, act like we don’t care, keep our friends close and forget about everyone else.
The people closest to us are what we call strong ties — these are our friends, family and coworkers.
They likely do the same things that we do, have similar networks to us, talk the way that we do and think the same way that we do.
That’s what it’s all about, right?
No New Friends = No New Money
By keeping your “small circle”, you’re adopting the mindset of the poor.
While I was doing research for this, I came across an article that says…
“Economic uncertainty also leads to the search for contingencies and poorer people invest far more in building multiple strong ties who will directly help them if they are in difficulty. However this may serve to anchor their status further and reduce the chance of upward social mobility. Upper class people are more relaxed about weak ties and so tend to have more. However, they have to resort to expensive clubs and other filtering mechanisms to find ‘people like them’ with whom they can build stronger ties. The modern approach to business networking is based on the principle of weak ties: having a wide range of acquaintances can be far more helpful than having just a few good friends.”
In other words, if you want to make more money, you need to have more connections.
How To Fix It
They say that you’ll be the same person five years from now that you are today except for the books that you read and the people you meet — your acquaintances (also known as weak ties) encourage you to meet new people who you wouldn’t have met otherwise and they share stories and perspectives that push you to think bigger and they create opportunities for you to think differently.
With this new perspective, you’ll start to see yourself become more dynamic and innovative.
Now you’re probably like ok, ok… I get it! I need to build relationships with more than just my friends… But where do I start?
Want to know the secret?
Grab the Empire Builder Pass to get the full length version of this post and you’ll learn:
- The diamond rule for treating others that gets people jumping at the opportunity to help you
- How to fix your ‘commission breath’
- Why your messaging needs to be all about them, not you
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