I decided to share a lesson that I learned the hard way. What not to do when networking. When I first began pursuing my passion on my own, after hitting several roadblocks, I realized there are certain goals that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t accomplish by myself. One of the reasons that I put off pursuing certain goals is because I would use the excuse that I didn’t have the right connections. After pushing myself to start networking, I thought it couldn’t be that hard to make the right connections? Right?

I attended networking seminars where I heard the advice to join philanthropic, or special interest organizations with members that have the connections I needed. So I tested this advice and I didn’t quite get the results I was looking for. I have a goal to write a book and to get published by a reputable publisher. I’ve never published a book and I wanted to get some help from an accomplished author. I joined a book club that was led by an author in the area that had written a successful novel. After making an effort for about six months to get to know her during the book club meetings, I asked her to help me with the publishing process. She politely told me that she didn’t have time to advice me and that was the last book club meeting I attended.

I learned some valuable information about networking from this experience. When looking to join an organization, there are several factors you should consider which I will elaborate on further in a future post. But here are two things to consider, are you genuinely passionate about the cause and also does the group have the connections you need. Your main intention should be to participate in the group because the purpose resonates with you, not to meet a specific person. When you align yourself with a cause that’s meaningful to you, the relationships will happen naturally. Follow your intention not a person; the intention brings the right people into your life not vice versa.

Relationships flourish when they are built over time, core connections (people you relate with on a deeper level about a specific passion) don’t usually happen overnight. You typically won’t get the support you need when you try to force the connection like I did with the author. I didn’t join that book club because I enjoyed reading novels; actually I prefer reading books about personal development instead of novels. So when I didn’t get the assistance I needed, there was no motivation for me to keep attending the book club. My intention was wrong, it was about a person and not the purpose of the group. When you put yourself in the best environments for your talents to grow and develop, you have aligned yourself to get discovered by the people that you have built a natural connection with over time.

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