At a recent start-up/founder breakfast, the topic of networking came up. A few of the founders asked “Why should I network, if my main target is investors?”
For over three decades, I have helped people become more confident and successful at work. Success depends largely on our ability to grow and change without feeling vulnerable or resistant in the process.
I have already shared the first 8 start-up keys to confidence, which can be found here:
The 9th key answers the question about the importance of networking, especially for startups.
For one, networking helps you build your social skills, which is critical to your success. You may not be ready to tackle the big investor fish, so practice on smaller fish first. Networking gives you the perfect opportunity to try out your pitch and to hone it.
Next—networking helps you market your ideas, understand your audience and competition better, and build relationships that could be very helpful in the future.
Networking can also bring wonderful—and surprising—opportunities. I know of a consultant who was asked to speak at a small event as a favor to his wife. Unbeknown to him, the wife of a CEO was part of the audience and, impressed by the consultant, introduced him to her husband. A $300,000 contract was the result!
Finally—and most importantly—we all need support. Being a founder can be a lonely occupation. Networking is a wonderful way to find and build the support you need: People who can advise you, motivate you, focus you, and ease your journey.
When was the last time you networked?
Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan