I used to view networking negatively. Money-grabbing sleaze-balls wearing fancy suits, was the description that came to mind. People who were just milking their connections in the capital to get ahead of the rest. All pretenses and no substance. Who would want anything to do with that?
I’ve come to learn that deep and genuine relationships that stretch across work, life and leisure are incredibly valuable. It’s great to connect a work colleague into a friendship group. Or a friend who becomes interested in your business. Or an acquaintance who shares my passion for meditation and becomes a lasting friend. It’s particularly valuable when the connections break through the work/life barrier, creating numerous common interests and layers of accountability.
Networking is the way to increase these connections. And incredible value can be generated along the way.
Lets assume Joe and Jane are great people and both have an interest in bitcoin. If I introduce them in a sincere way, they might have a great conversation. Perhaps they’ll become business partners. Maybe they’ll get married. Who knows! But there’s exponential potential value that can be unearthed merely by introducing them and allowing their good nature and common connection to thrive.
I’m hardly an avid networker but I’m frequently trying to think of ways to link people, ideas and theories, exploring the value through these connections. I’m incredibly grateful that there are others who follow a similar path. The number of genuinely interested and helpful people that I’ve met in Los Angeles over the past 7 weeks is incredible!
In January someone from Australia reached out in response to a post on Linked In. We’d never even met but I’d connected with him on linked in because we sat on a global committee together. Phil introduced me to a couple of his connections in LA and I’ve had brilliant meetings with super engaging people as a result.
It’s still very early days in terms of generating deep long-term relationships with like-minded people on the other side of the world. It’s these connections that I miss the most about home. But the outlook is positive, networking is helping and I’m confident that genuine relationships are emerging.