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Networking
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When you get down to it, networking is cold, sterile... and it seems self-serving: one person trying to form a web of contacts whose sole purpose is to do something for him.

That's not how I want to do business.

Lately, I've been rethinking what "networking" means. When I meet people at a so-called "networking" event, what is my end-game?

And you know what? My ultimate goal is not to find out what they can do for me... It's not to add them to my address book until I need something from them...
It's to connect with them!

When I meet people, I want to really understand why they do what they do. I want to find out if their purpose and mission is synergistic with my purpose and mission for Working Moms Only. And, if it is, how we can work together or for one another to best serve our prospective communities. I think of it as "What can we do for each other?" instead of "What can you do for me?"

When I take this approach, deals follow. And when a deal is made between two people (notice I did not say two businesses) who have connected - as opposed to "networked" - money usually follows.

Making a connection does require a bit more "work" than simply shoving your business card at a potential client. But the extra money you can make and the new opportunities you can open up to your community are well worth the effort.
Yet, all too often, people are scared to put themselves out there. Unfortunately, insecurity and discomfort can be perceived as arrogance or even disinterest.

Sometimes, fear and uncertainty come across as a "What's in it for me?" attitude. That can offend the very people you're trying to connect with. And before you know it, a potential million-dollar deal flies out the window.



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About the Author

Thomas Duffy, venture capital international
Ten Stockyard
New York, NY 10018
203-775-9999

Contact Author: request info

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