In the mood for a little exercise that could help your happiness, success trajectory, and energy levels soar?
One of the key factors in becoming a more Intentional Networker is this: discarding the notion that more is better.
- More social and networking events are not better.
- Collecting (or giving out) more business cards is not better.
- Adding more contacts to your database, followers to your social media, or friends to your address book is not better.
Repeat after me: More. Is. Not. Better.
Here’s what’s better: Switching your networking and socialization mindset to quality. And by this I mean finding and focusing on the people – the friends, the colleagues, the contacts, and the customers – who are right for you. They are the people who make a positive impact on your life, career or business.
Huge disclaimer: This isn’t about becoming a snob or casting people aside (although if you have energy- or time-sucking drama-generators in your life, letting them go might not be a bad idea). Being more intentional in your networking is about realizing that you have limited time and energy and want to spend these precious resources wisely and with some kind of positive outcome for you. (Yes, you deserve a positive outcome.)
So what are the basic steps in doing this? Here they are for you, very briefly, so you can get started. For the more detailed version with more guidelines, examples, and ideas, you’ll want to check out Chapter 4 in my book. (Don’t have a copy? Get one here.)
- Apply the brilliance of the Pareto Principle (the 80:20 Rule) Twenty percent of your friends, contacts and customers are the ones who bring you the most value. It might be income, referrals, support, enjoyment, loyalty, fun, or other form of positivity. Sadly, the other 80% are taking up valuable space. They are like that fancy mustard in your fridge or that sweater in your closet that’s warm, but itches and therefore doesn’t get worn all that much.
- Identify your “Twenty Percenters.” Don’t get into the trap of measuring only how much revenue they’ve generated for you. What other value do they have? Who are your best, most loyal pals? Your referral sources? Your mentors and advisors? There are many forms of value by which to measure your people.
- Analyze the traits these people exude or why you like and value them. Are they fun? Kind? Smart? Connected? Authentic? Generous? Supportive? Loyal? Cooperative? Well-read?
- Note and document these traits and patterns. Yes, that means make a list.
- Analyze the connection. How, where, or through whom did you met each person? What events, associations, situations, or introductions put you in their path? (This can be very interesting!)
- Note and document these patterns, too. Again, make a list.
- Review theses lists of people, traits, and quality-connection-bringers frequently. They are your new benchmarks.
Now, in the oft chance you wish to let more people into your immediate orbit (and you will; it’s inevitable), these steps will help you know: A) who and what to look for and B) where, how, and through whom to look.
Take the time to do these steps, and you will naturally become more specific and intentional; less random and quantity-driven. Doing this exercise increases the likelihood that the people you meet and are drawn to will be similar to your amazing, high-value, perfect-for-you Twenty Percenters. Hooray for you!
Have a comment to share on this or other posts from my blog? Want to receive them regularly in your inbox — and snag some helpful, valuable intentional networking bonuses, too? Sign up here.
And, one more thing, if you found this post valuable, please share it with a friend or colleague. But not just anyone! Someone who truly wants to become a more Intentional Networker. Thank you!