I was reading an interesting article by Kathryn Minshew this morning. She’s the founder and CEO of The Muse and it sounds like she talks to a lot of start-ups. She says that she’s asked all the time for advice and her best advice is to network. Building on that, her best networking advice is “Always say yes to invitations, even if it’s not clear what you’ll get out of the meeting.”. This sounds like sound advice to me.
I’m guilty of turning down many meetings, especially if I don’t know what I’ll get out of it or if I don’t at least know what they’re about. After reading Kathryn’s post I decided to travel the 45 minutes to Los Angeles today to attend a Mobile Camp. I was planning on vising with 1 friend and seeing what kind of networking I could do. I couldn’t decide if I should make the effort today but I did, now we’ll have to see what comes out of it.
“You could call it making your own luck” odds are if you don’t get out there and network you won’t meet the people that can help you along on your small business journey. If you’re an accountant and get the chance to speak at or attend an accountants conference I highly suggest you go. You may be looking for partners, referrals or to be acquired but if you don’t attend you won’t be able to meet the people there and make those connections.
I met Ari the Phone.com CEO because I was invited to attend a very prestigious wine dinner. I couldn’t decide if I should go or not because I had to pay but I’m sure glad I did. I made the commitment (and so did Ari) to attend and it worked out well for both of us it would seem.
Unless you take networking to the extreme I promise no one will engrave on your tombstone “Good guy but networked to much”. Go for it, go be social.