Here is the networking fairytale:
You show up to a networking event, business cards in hand. As you make your way around the room, its like magic. You just connect with so many like minded professionals who totally need you! They want to talk with you and help you and buy from you -they get your passion. You leave with new friends and new business.
Here is the reality of networking:
You show up to a networking event, business cards in hand. Everyone is making their way around the room passing out business cards in this sort of desperate rushed, “please do business with me” sort of way. You are basically doing the same thing. As you try and share what you love with your fellow networkers (even though it really is as good as you say) it just comes across wrong. You leave with loads of new business cards of people you don’t even really like that much.
Here is the trick to networking:
Its okay to test the waters of a couple of different groups to find your fit, BUT once you find a group you like, its time to commit. Dig in, and drop your anchor. Make these 1-3 groups your community and take the time to invest in their lives and businesses. Let them get to know you and like you and trust you. This is what networking is meant to be.
So go forth and network! Make your place in this world and build a help others along the way!