Is you network working? If not maybe you are not making it a priority when you are in the trenches.
Many people invest hours in meeting people but never cultivate relationships that lead to business referrals. Establishing real partners is what networking is all about. Hiring a PR firm can get your name in the paper, but you need more than just press coverage, you need people to develop positive feelings about you and your company. To succeed with a powerful business network you must show up and make people a priority.
A network does not happen by accident. It takes time and effort to create and cultivate personal connections to people. It is easy to rationalize away the importance of networking, especially when you are busy and have lots of other life responsibilities. You can't phone it in, you have to be there with people if you want them to know you.
Take this morning for example. I have a very busy day scheduled and will leave my house at 7:00 AM and not return to my family until almost 10:00 PM. That is a long day by any standards. My first meeting of the day is a networking leads group that I belong to with some very impressive business professionals. The meeting is at 8:00 AM, and then I am scheduled to go give a training presentation to a law firm, then back to work to finish a big project, and my day will conclude with a MAJOR networking event and dinner. There is no down time in my day, and skipping the morning meeting seemed like a reasonable idea.
However, it is by participation in this networking group that I forge my bond with the other members. Sure, they would understand my opting out of today's gathering because I am busy, but it would not benefit me or my company if I was not present. I need to be there or I am not doing my job properly
This is the type of thing you need to do when looking at your busy scheduled.... do not just remove the networking meetings because you can. Instead look at these types of gatherings as equally important to all other items on your calendar, because they are. The other people who participate are counting on you to be in the room.
At this meeting someone could make a referral or think to introduce me to someone important. To not attend could mean I miss an opportunity. I think people miss chances all the time because they are not present. They forget that all opportunities come from people, and thus do not make others a top priority.
So alas, I will eat some breakfast and attack my long, long day with gusto. I hope you do the same!!!
Have A Great Day.