As a co-host for the Happy Neighborhood Project and in the midst of a pandemic, I’ve been doing a lot more one ones this year, and occasionally I’ve escaped from what could be called “networking confusion and fatigue”
I recently had a very productive conversation with Aaron Gonzales about teaming up to start some Reciprocity Rings. We both agreed that we are challenged to keep up with the hundreds of contacts and connections we have developed in the last three months.
Many people experience the same problem in their networking efforts. They want to reach individuals that can be helpful to them and their businesses; they’d like to get to know leaders in their professions and communities. However they do not often have access to where those people congregate. Commonly, they do not know where to start looking in the first place. So they end up going to networking events where they speak with a lot of other business people just like themselves—in other words, they’re in the wrong room for their goals.
I love networking with colleagues and peers—but in order to reach the movers and shakers in your industry or community, you must understand how ecosystems work. An ecosystem is a web of professional and personal connections, linked by common interests, and sharing knowledge and access unavailable to outsiders. Every town, city, and state has its own ecosystem, as does every profession and industry. The key players in each ecosystem know each other, meet with each other, and do deals with each other. The places where those key players meet are the “rooms” you want to get yourself into.
What are your ecosystems?
Who are the key players in your ecosystems?
What rooms do you want to gain access to?
How must you add value and give to others to gain access?
Stop networking and build relationships instead.
Need help? Contact me for a one on one.