Business networking sounds so cold and impersonal. People in a Networkingbunch of suits in a hotel conference room talking at each other with banal elevator pitches. This does happen in real life, sadly. There is another way and it is worthwhile to evaluate how your approach reflects both who you are and the values and purpose of your small business or startup. So, what makes networking beautiful? In a nutshell, letting go of your desired outcome. But I need to grow my business, you say. Of course you do. Most of us go to find clients or someone who can further our small business or venture in some way. However, our desire for a successful business can shortchange our opportunities. Recently, I  had a conversation with someone who organized a networking event that was very well attended and he asked rhetorically why he was even there since he was getting “nothing” for his efforts. Frankly, I was surprised to hear his question. His subsequent response explained everything. I noted that there was a large group of people in the room and the possibility of developing relationships which could benefit his business and he said that was not what he wanted. He wanted something akin to instant gratification. What is he missing? His focus on outcomes clouded his vision and possibly prevented him from seeing some connections that would build his dream business. Desire has its positive aspects but it can get in the way by creating over-focus or even obsession that blocks us from connecting with other people. What could happen if we come  with our goals in mind and then disengage from looking only for lucrative results. Allow yourself to stop acting hellbent on finding customers, investors, or whatever. Get to know a few people in the room and see what unfolds. You will get your desired outcome. When we relate with someone, there is a mutual joining which leads to better referrals, better alliances, and possibilities we dream of. How is networking beautiful to you?
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