As a natural introvert, I am scared of networking.
Don't judge. It's more common than you think. Networking doesn't come naturally to me, but even beyond that, I miss more than half of the networking opportunities that come into my life because I am not looking for them. I sit idly by and the opportunity passes and never even hits my networking radar. Maybe I don't even have a networking radar. I need to work on cultivating that.
I have found a few things that take the edge off my anxiety around networking. I am much more comfortable making networking about the other person, than I am about myself, so that is what I do.
Having a purpose in going to networking events, for me look like, "I want to come away with 3 people whose business I can help promote." Instead of trying to get people to promote my business. That change in paradigm is the saving grace of my networking endeavors. It takes the spotlight off of me and puts it on others.
I have an aversion to the slick and schmaltzy networking that is nothing more than self-promotion. This causes me to handle networking situations very differently than many business owners.
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