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Networking - Learning - Mentorship

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(Net)working It: Confessions of a Super-Connector

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Networking is one of those business methods that is hard to define. What is successful networking? Does it have to end with a business proposition or can it be simply getting the word out?

Networking has always been interesting for me, I loved speaking to people and discussing business ideas. I never thought of myself as actively networking, just sharing ideas that would complement our businesses.

Then life changed, in-steps baby. With joy and love I made the decision to stay home and raise my son for his early years. I worked maybe 10 hours a week with my familiar business relationships. When I decided to jump back into the world of business, well let me tell you – it was and still is not easy for me.

When networking, people speak about their partnerships, deals done, how to get more clients, and my latest achievement is that, “I can change the diaper of a squirmy two year old in under 30 seconds!”

Then in a glorious light-bulb moment, I decided to take a part-time job in the evenings so I could regain my voice and my confidence. Voila! The more individuals you speak to the better you become at conversing with new people. Everything comes back to the basics, practice, practice, practice.

I looked back on my experience and found that I had learned quite a bit about the business world simply by removing myself entirely. In the eyes of the young, I was taught how to build on the fundamentals of life and relish in moments of simplicity. Enjoying watching a bee busy on a flower, listen to the birds chirping in the trees - being mindful of every moment. My young son taught me to listen actively again. Our multitasking minds are constantly working overtime and sometimes we forget to stop and really listen to the person with whom we are speaking to. Don’t look around to see who you should speak to next, don’t immediately assess whether this person will benefit your business immediately. Instead enjoy the moment and listen intently. I guarantee you that you will be surprised at how your body relaxes and the delight you will feel in just how easy it is to network and increase your new network of colleagues.

I’m looking forward to listening to Jen Schaeffers speak about networking at the next Women of Whistler event and would love to add some new tricks and tips to my new networking repertoire. You never know what you will learn if you actively listen.

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