Networking is Everything in Business
I have been on the move since our last issue of Black Women About Business. As many of y'all know I attended the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina a couple weeks ago which was lit! Now I'm in my home state, 'Pure Michigan' attending Detroit Start Up Week.
On the first day I met a woman with aspiration of starting a not for profit organization. In spite of being in the 'start up' phase of her new venture, she claimed she was only attending Start Up Week to gain insight into what she needed to do in order to successfully launch. When I introduced myself and gave her our 2019 Black Woman Conference Retreat Save the Date, she said she hadn't even thought about networking at the event. And went on to describe networking as something that felt self promoting.
The reality is networking is self promoting, but not in the way society has conditioned us to think about self promotion. If the only thing we care about is people helping us in business, then we are considered takers. If the only thing we care about is helping others in business, then we are givers. Neither one is the key to sustainable relationships. So you want to network with both in mind. People will feel your authenticity when you approach them with genuine curiosity about what they do in the process of introducing them to what you do.
People power in business is something that can't be replicated. You and your work (your pitch) may be the very thing that folks have been waiting for, but the only way they'll know it is if you put yourself out there for the greater good of the work you've been called to do in this world.
So I encourage you to get out there and network with intention and read on for some tips to help you slay the networking game. I promise, you will meet amazing people every step of the way, like the fabulous entrepreneurs I'm pictured with above.
Happy networking, Demarra