We do like comfort, don’t we? Often, also, we like routine. I feel that on a very deep level, as I am one of the guiltiest of that comfort seeking. But what I can say is that when I stepped out of that comfort zone and started conversations with people, I did not know that well, or even at all, that’s when things got interesting.
This was not originally designed as a series but as I began writing, it quickly turned into that. I want these articles to be short reads that are then actionable and there is just too much to talk about for one article. Today we are going to talk about a few ideas of “why” to network outside your circle. Let’s get it!
Simon Sinek is right. We must “start with why”. This gives us the reason to stretch and get uncomfortable to grow not only our businesses but ourselves as well. Here are just a few to get you started:
Let’s start with business. Having more contacts is almost never a bad thing. While staying in touch with your current network is incredibly important, so is gaining new contacts to add to your network for potential new clients.
And when you begin to network outside your circle, you begin to have conversations you have never had before. And what do those lead to? It is hard to say. It can absolutely lead to a client in those people or from those people. You can also find your new BFF or your new boyfriend/girlfriend or a new golfing partner. It has happened to me before in all three cases. And they were all good things.
Secondly, to stick with the personal side, you may find a new friend that invites you to meet more new people. And when you do, that may lead to another friend or a new boyfriend or girlfriend or a new client. These contacts in your network have a value you cannot even understand until it is in front of you. There must be a little faith that meeting new people will lead to new experiences…because they will.
This is especially true of those people with way different professional backgrounds, upbringing, nationalities, etc. (Truth be told, if you put someone with an accent in front of me, they are going to get grilled. I love talking to people from other countries about their impression of this country, the impression of their country, etc. It is not a question of are we better than you or you better than us, it is simply to get a different perspective on how people see it. I love it!)
Finally, which is a little of my first and second point, is that a new circle, or members of a new circle, can give you a perspective that you have never had. That can only be a positive thing. Not saying they are trying to influence you, or you are trying to influence them. Just saying that conversations outside of your norm, though may make you uncomfortable at first, with some practice, patience, and acceptance you will undoubtedly begin to grow. That is good personally and professionally.
Take some time to think about your “whys” and how you could use a new circle of friends and colleagues to benefit both you and them.