Networking has several levels- for starters there is the initiation, the follow-up, and the check in. Most of the focus is on the first level, initiation. We have networking event after event centered on meeting new people. This is not the real work. After you had a witty conversation and the new connection has ASKed (yes they need to ask you) for your card most people feel great. They have networked, Right?!?... WRONG! Relying on the person with your info to call you may not be the best approach. There should be a mutual exchange of information. This is for two reasons, 1- some people have terrible memories and may quickly forget why they asked for your card. 2-you want to be able to proactively follow-up.
Here are the basics of each level of networking:
Level 2- Follow-up
I am a firm believer in the triple bottom line. What does that mean in basic terms? I believe that a business should consider PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFITS in everything they do. My philosophy is that we have a corporate responsibility to the people in the community that we serve, the planet that houses us and to make a little change in the end.
For a good read on the triple bottom line check out : The Triple Bottom Line: How Today's Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success - and How You Can Too By: Andrew Savitz, Karl Weber
I love to hear stories of entrepreneurs who are socially responsible BUT I dread hearing "I want to start a non-profit". SORRY- not sorry
Non-profits should not be entered into lightly. Currently, there are more than 1.5 million non-profits in the US. That means there is likely an organization that is already active in the area that you are interested in making an impact in. Before you jump head first into a non-profit consider these things.
from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
“You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic.” –Stephen C. Hogan
As entrepreneurship continues to grow in prominence and popularity many find themselves wanting to own something for themselves. While, I commend people for wanting to branch out they also seem to want all of the monetary rewards with none of the risk. The side-hustle soon becomes the preferred way to work for yourself. I am not against people deciding that they need to make ends meet until they can gain some market traction or stability however, I am against the perception that the side hustle is easier. THIS IS WRONG.
If you have a side hustle that means you are working three times harder. Not only do you have a day job but you have a second FULL TIME JOB! If you disagree then you have what is known as a hobby that you sometimes charge money for.
If you are a part of the side hustlers association here are a few tips to move you along:
It is 100% okay if you never want to leave you main job just be sure to effectively communicate with your customers and set expectations. There is a difference between being a full-time entrepreneur and a side hustler, I know from experience. So take my advice and know that with a side hustle you will be twice as stressed and you will work 3 times as hard.
I have two confessions-- 1- if anyone refers to themselves as a guru I assume that they are ABSOLUTELY NOT an expert in anything. 2-I think there should a limit to how many business books any entrepreneur can read.
I have noticed that many are on a search for the perfect piece of advice that will make them a billionaire. However, lots of new entrepreneurs end up buying hundreds of books and helping to make someone else a billionaire. Most of the books targeting new entrepreneurs contain only high level information and that can likely be summarized in a few pages.
If reading is where you find your enthusiasm and encouragement here are some things to keep in mind:
In the end you will not find your entrepreneurial story in a book... you will have to write it for yourself.
So stop reading and start doing!
Dr. Shante Williams is a serial entrepreneur who started slow and in the shallow end of the business pool. She has worked in Biotech, Big Pharma, Green Energy, and Academia