Achieving Success Comes Down to One Thing: Connecting With People
Everyone finds success differently, whether it’s by pulling bootstraps a little tighter or knowing the right people at the right time. In my case, I found success only after doing something I typically dread: networking. But after starting a new business I didn’t really have a choice. If I wanted to get somewhere, connecting with people was the key.
Over time, dread turned to desire, and I not only started to benefit from networking, but I started to enjoy it. Attending lunches and speaking at networking events. And now, three years later, I’ve found a full-time career I love, one I started from scratch. But this didn’t happen overnight. It took pro-activity and a willingness to connect. It meant getting out of my comfort zone, confronting my fear and putting myself out there.
Often, we get stuck in analysis paralysis, believing we are “there aren’t enough opportunities for that” instead of simply getting started where we are. Put that thinking aside and make connections today for success tomorrow:
Fact: No one likes to network, and I mean no one. Most often, it’s because it feels purely transactional and even superficial. Even if you’re the bubbliest person in the room, networking can still be difficult to navigate. But to find success, I strongly encourage embracing the willingness to connect. Try to suspend your ideas about a person and his or her motivations. Be willing to talk and make new connections without those preconceptions hanging in the air.
When I started, I forced myself out of my comfort zone, electing to meet 100 people in 100 days.
Perhaps selfishly, our motivation to network may come solely from the desire to be successful. But remember: Others out there are going after it, too, so help them find connections. Be the person who introduces Evelyn to Jaime because you know an unbelievable partnership can flourish. It benefits you, too—they’ll remember you for it, and a relationship with them will bloom as well.