How I hacked my networking anxiety with these 3 simple cocktails.
Networking is like speed dating, but where nobody has any fucking standards. Literally. No fucking standards.
Most networkers don’t get anxious about networking like I do.
They feel a primal arousal from their hope of being introduced to somebody else. They lust after a chain of introductions, resulting in somebody to make sweet, sensual business with.
They are freaks with an addiction to tenuous links. They sashay around, exhibiting concerted eye-contact and executing textbook learned mirroring body language. Name-memorization techniques that’d make Dale Carnegie turned-on in his grave.
To me, attending networking events is like being a teenager again. All the cool guys want to be your friend but only so they can fuck your sister.
It’s only human to want to numb what feeling you have in situations like this. I do it with one of these three simple cocktails.
For breakfast events, I recommend The WD-40.
The WD-40 is loose leaf tea, ginger slices and the cheapest, throat burning vodka you can steal.
I call it the WD-40 because it’s a great loosener; but if you drink it every day, you’ll only live until 40.
It’s just the fog you need to get through a faux European style breakfast of small pastries and grapefruit juice at 7am. It helps to blot out the truth that a real European breakfast is served at 11am and only has 3 ingredients: cigarettes, whimsy and air-cured sex fluids. It never includes productivity before noon.
Daytime networking events: Yerba mate-mate.
I don’t know how to pronounce it, Mah-tay?
It sounds foreign, but without the ‘lets-all-chant-about-a-wall’ connotations, more the ‘the National Geographic makes it look cute, gimme some of that ancient mysticism in a bottle please. But fucking pasteurize it first’ foreign.
You know, the good foreign.
Britain is exotic enough for me, so I pronounce it Yerba M-ate.
My cocktail, Yerba mate-mate is the hamburger helper for the life hack generation. Take a bottle of Yerba Mate, pour out a third and add some of your breakfast vodka, to taste. My taste is “to the brim”.
Yerba mate-mate will make you look like the kind of person whose vital organs aren’t foie-gras and give you an excuse for that ‘natural buzz’.
It’s my favourite way to endure an event you only attended to avoid work and get a free lunch.
For evening networking, it has to be Wine+
Evening meet-ups are for people who mistake TED Talks for Nobel Prizes.
As soon as you hear “start a movement” from someone who thinks they are Che Guevara but without the conviction to actually murder people, it’s time to get a Wine+.
Wine+ is pronounced Wine Plus. What you plus the wine with is your choice. If the base wine is white, I tend to plus gin. That’ll get you through the average #disrupting-inland-marine-insurance, after work type thing.
Conferences make me feel like I’m living in a simulation, but a really shit one. More like Sim-City 2 and less like The Matrix. For that I’ll double plus with NyQuil. The yummy, moorish, purple one.
Wine++ is the perfect balance of full-bodied, sweet, and mellow. Really, really mellow.
You won’t find yourself shouting “I DON’T WORK AT A FUCKING MUSEUM, GREGG” at someone named Dave, and kicking over a high-top of crudités in a rage over being asking what you curate.
You’ll be blissfully anxiety free. And anger free. And if you actually try any of this, maybe life-free.