It’s summer! In the northern hemisphere, it’s warm out. To move your business forward, get out there and do some warm-weather networking!It’s very, very easy as a busy entrepreneur to become completely consumed by your day-to-day business issues. Not only will that take up all your waking hours, but you’ll lie awake at night worrying about business matters, and that’s if you’re lucky enough not to dream about them also.
So, you need a break. And it’s summer. You have a great excuse, right now, to do some very strategic and mind-expanding summer networking! Just get our your Rolodex, your Palm Pilot or your Outlook address book. Browse through it and pick ten people (yes! no fewer!) to contact right now, with plans to get together this summer for breakfast, lunch or coffee – or drinks after work, if you prefer. Call them up, and say, “It’s been ages since we saw one another! Let’s get together!”
One-on-one, face-to-face networking feels like an indulgence, like something you don’t have time for. Girlfriend, you don’t have time NOT to do it. Meeting people whose business problems are different from your own, whose perspective is different from yours, and who can be a sounding board for your plans and dreams – it’s essential. Do it. Ten networking dates this summer translates to one per week (if you count summer weeks the way I do, as the number of weeks that school is out). Get out there! If you want to change it up a little, invite two friends who don’t know one another for a three-way networking get-together. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll see:
1) You’ll get a wonderful, outsider’s view on your business obstacles
2) You’ll get moral support for whatever challenges you’re facing
3) You’ll expand your brain (and shift your focus from your own minutia) helping your friend with his or her issues
4) You’ll hear of other people, friends of your friend, who’d be good for you to meet, and
5) You’ll create some open space in your mind to think about your business differently.
Summer networking is as essential to your success – not to mention mental health – as your end-of-year tax filing or your new year’s business plan. Get out there and do it – and leave a Comment below to let us know your results. If you don’t find that your one-on-one networking this summer gives you a tremendous boost, I’ll buy you lunch (but you have to come to Boulder, Colorado to collect). I’m doubting that will happen, though!