How Networking is Like

January 23, 2011

I am not a fan of exercise. I never have been. For the last seven months I have worked out five days a week on average. About two months ago I started working with a personal trainer. This week he was pushing me to embrace “the burn.” I hate the burn. The burn hurts. The burn makes me want to quit. I just don’t like the burn.

My trainer, Ben, is really good at helping me relate exercise to other things in life. This week he made me think about how the burn is similar to the fear of networking.

Are you the type of person that wants to go out and meet people, but you are afraid to? Does the thought of walking into a networking event alone make you break out in hives? Is networking your “burn?”
I was able to complete my workout and overcome the burn this week because of Ben. He pushed me and encouraged me. Did I like it? NO? Did I feel great when I finished? YES.

So how does this relate to networking (online or in real-life)? The answer is that you have to push yourself. You know that the potential outcome is meeting new prospects, referral sources or friends. The truth is that at most networking events, people want to meet YOU (unless you are selling insurance). People want to be approached because they are probably as uneasy and you are and would welcome the friendly introduction. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet people that you can help and that can help you.

If you feel that you can’t do this alone, get yourself a Ben. Find someone that embraces networking and ask them for help. Ask them to help you break the ice at in-person events. If you are serious about building your business and need additional help and need someone to hold you accountable, consider getting yourself a business coach to push you along.

So while I really don’t enjoy going to the gym, I know the benefits outweigh the negatives. I know I have Ben to push me to my best. Do the same for networking. Get yourself a Ben. Feel the Burn!