In the short while that I have been involved in the business world, I can take away two of the most important lessons that I have learned. Never stop hustling, and network. The latter can often be intertwined with the first lesson. The reason I always stress this so much, is that no matter who you are, you can always learn more. As I continue to progress in the entreprenurial community, I try to reach out to at least 5–10 people a day. Most the time it’s not even work related. You never know where a quick twitter DM might get you later on. I keep finding more and more benefits to networking, but for now, heres 5.
1. Confidence Boost
Starting out, my confidence in talking to people was shitty. Not a good thing for a marketer, right? I let countless opportunities slip by, because I was too scared to approach the already successful business owner, or cold call what I knew would be a future client. The more times you reach out and step outside your comfort zone, the better you get, and the more situated you’ll feel while doing it. This is crucial for any business owner who is looking to grow.
2. You Adopt Habits of People You Spend Time With
Growing up, we all heard the classic phrase from your mom, “You become like the people you hang out with!” I now thank my mom for that little tidbit of parental advice, because it is so, so true. Especially in the business world. If you have a goal for your self to become successful in your industry, you should be reaching out, and connecting with everyone you can that is already successful. Because more often than not, they have been in your shoes. They know what you’re going through, and most of the time, they love helping.
3. It’s The Best Way To Meet Friends
A common stereotype is that business networking is only for business. This is definitely not true. Especially at hackathons, networking events, and summer programs, most of the people who are there with you, are in some way, like you. It’s not the melting pot of high school anymore, where you’re always with the small group of people who you actually share interests with. By exposing yourself to more people in your areas of interest, you’re bound to create lasting friendships.
4. Give Back, Feel Good
Just as you are reaching out to someone for advice, someone may be in the shoes you were, asking you for advice. This is also one of the best parts about networking, the ability to help people. Maybe it’s just with a simple proof read, or feedback on an entire business plan. No matter what it is, be grateful they’re reaching out to you, and always respond if you can.
5. You Never Know Who You’ll Randomly Meet
By attending a conference, a camp, or even joining an online community, you’re exposing yourself to an entire group of new people, that you wouldn’t have gotten a chance to talk to before hand. It’s impossible to know who you’ll meet, maybe a business parter, new clients, or a lifelong friend. The point is, networking can bring opportunities, ones you thought you might never have.
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