During the summer, the days get longer, better weather is among us and because of that people are bit more friendly. How many ways can we utilize the time between dawn and dusk? The possibilities are endless and what better way to utilize the extra time than networking! As many events are held over the summer, it makes it fairly easy to meet new people. It doesn’t have to be a networking event for “networking” to take place, it can happen anywhere! You could be at a children’s birthday party and find that it’s a good opportunity to network because you just never know who’ll be there and it could turn out to be someone that you need to connect with.
Waking up each day you never know who you’re going to meet therefore anytime you leave the house it should be treated as a possible opportunity to network. For instance, I never leave the house without business cards. I picked this habit up in college while establishing myself as a young journalist. It’s the best habit that I’ve picked up and I always feel prepared for new “chance” encounters.
It’s understandable if you can’t be at every social event especially because ambitious people typically have at least one job whether it be work, school or both. Outside of work (or school), take the opportunity to bring your ambitions to life. Go out and meet new people! It’s better to start developing these habits early on. Yeah, it’s summer and “so and so” is having a party at club “whatchamacallit” and you’re in your twenty’s so your attitude is YOLO (you only live once) but that business venture isn’t going to jump start itself and the longer you wait the least likely it is to happen.
“No new friends, stay down with my day 1’s,” says the rapper Drake in his new radio single. Although, I’m a huge Drake fan I call BS. I completely disagree with that notion and I’ll tell you why:
If you hang around with the same people that you grew up with and they only hang out with you, how will anything get accomplished?
Opportunities to Learn
No one can be in two places at once because it’s impossible. If everyone only associated with the same people all the time no one would learn anything. I’ve noticed a few things since graduating:
1) Most of us have no choice but to make new friends because you’ll grow out of some of your “day 1’s” or old friends.
2) If you’re a business-minded or ambitious individual your success is dependent upon you making new friendships/associates thus leading to future partnerships simply because the friends you already have most likely don’t know EVERYTHING and neither do YOU.
Ambitious individuals need to keep making new friends because “new people” bring “new knowledge.” You’ll learn when networking that some individuals have been to places or done things that you can only dream of doing and may hold the key to getting you there; they may know something you don’t and it may be that something that’s holding you back. I’m not saying ditch your old friends like the typical gold-digger does her broke boyfriend after meeting someone richer BUT think of every new person you meet as an opportunity to learn something new that’ll help you get to that next level of where you need to be to reach your dreams. Be a goal digger!
Here’s another scenario: You may find that you have nothing in common with your new friends but guarantee they know someone who does have something in common with you and vice versa. You never know who’s in someone’s network. IT’S ALL ABOUT TAKING CHANCES!
Also, think about this scenario: You may meet someone that has similar goals as yourself in life but may be lacking the resources (as you are yourself) but together you could be very successful and BOOM—there’s your business partner. Let’s be honest, everything can’t be done alone– even Mark Zuckerburg had help.
Other ways to network besides “in –person” is the internet.
I’ve met so many like minded individuals via Twitter and Instagram. Use hash tags when posting about your passions and ambitions. There are groups you can join (whether it be on Facebook or LinkedIn) where you can network with like-minded individuals. Using hash tags on Twitter makes it easier to find like-minded individuals and makes it easier for like-minded individuals to find you. I’ve even been getting introduced to different people that my friend’s follow solely based on what I’m trying to do in life and depending on what they’re trying to do in life. Therefore, it helps to connect with people because again you just never know whom they know.
Utilize the networks that you already have to meet more people and don’t forget to return the favor! If you meet someone that could benefit from meeting another one of your friends (and vice versa) don’t hesitate to introduce them.
The Overall Message
Get out there and embrace the idea of making new associates/friends because it means new opportunities and what better time to do it than now?
Stay Ambitious! Stay Motivated!