They say that the first thing you should do when you set a goal is to tell somebody! “We’ll if I tell them, they might hold me accountable!”
Networking is one of those things that is always at the bottom of the list. It often comes at inopportune times when we have things we’d rather be doing. Often, activities are in the evening when we’d rather be home with our families. Nothing worth while can be achieved without some sacrifice, however, there are things we can do to keep us focused.
1. Define your targets – start small. Assign values to various activities like proactively contacting an acquaintance or renewing a friendship. Start with three categories like emailing, meeting and networking and build from there. Create several categories for yourself that you can “score.”
2. Set a goal – write it down. Now that you have a point system and some totals, figure out a good target for a week. Don’t shoot for the moon. You are trying to develop a habit. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit.
3. Tell somebody – anybody. Find someone who will encourage you and give you a swift kick when needed. When we know we will be held to an account, the effort is always greater.
This simple method will enable you begin and succeed at Networking for Life. Every week is a restart. If you fall down, start over next week. You are not in a sprint, this is a marathon. The great thing about creating target activities is that if work is particularly tough one week, you can send out emails and check LinkedIn while watching the Late Show! Start, develop a habit and then perfect your skill. What you receive will be far greater than what you give.