I have a sneaking suspicion that endless networking (a daily diet of endless breakfasts, lunches, seminars, Ecademy, Twitter and LinkedIn) may not be the path to riches.
Yes, it will keep you busy but is it the smartest way to get the results you want? You end up managing loads of relatively shallow relationships. These will be mostly based on furious exchanges of business cards and listening to a diet of elevator pitches from people pretending to be interested in you.
So, here’s the challenge.
Turn off your message alerts. Do not go near your networking tools and devices for 14 days. It is a bit like a holiday (it is when you do not maintain and feed your perversely obsessive addiction to emails).
Next, select five notable business friends or peers who you 100% trust and respect.
Set up a meeting between the six of you. You sit down and spend 30 minutes working on each business looking at how the group can promote, help and connect the person in the hot seat. Repeat the exercise seven days later.
My suspicion is that a short, intense session of working on each other’s businesses might get you just as far, if not further, than having to deal with all the hype and smoke and mirrors that so often surrounds the networking fests.
I am not having a pop at all networking. Just because something is called ‘networking’ does not automatically mean that it is a good and a worthwhile thing to do.
Sometimes the activity is unfocused (wide and shallow) and gains little traction. Sometimes you need the concentration (narrow and deep) and support you get from a small and tightly-knit group.