Powerfully Choosing to Network

Powerfully choosing to connect and network can translate as powerfully choosing to be vulnerable, transparent, and put myself out there.  That can be scary, but it can also be exciting.  

From a young age, I was taught to look people in the eye, smile, shake a hand, and say hi.  This gave me boldness and confidence very early on.  It wasn’t always reciprocated, but this never deterred my parents as they taught us to let it go, let it roll off our backs, and do it all over again.  

During the initial lockdown period with COVID, we were plunged into an age of digital connection and networking.  This was hard at first, but we eventually got really good at Zoom and Facetime.  How grateful I was that we lived in a time when we had these technological tools at our disposal.  I often think about how different things would have been if the pandemic had happened twenty years earlier.

Given that my entrepreneurial journey started in 2021, I was still heavily reliant on a digital business network and community.  I identified that LinkedIn was the best platform for my business, and I set intentions to show up.  Here are some lessons I learned during that digital period: 

  1. I needed to show up authentically
  2. I needed to show up consistently
  3. I needed to show up intentionally

These three lessons allowed me to build my network and identify business partners, new clients, colleagues, and new opportunities, all without traveling or meeting anyone in person.  Many of these connections that were forged during this time have become deep relationships, and some of them have even been added to my GSD Factor Insiders Board as trusted advisors.

Fast forward to today, where connecting in person is becoming more common and frequent.  At first I found this to be scary, draining, but also rewarding.  I found myself still utilizing the lessons that I learned previously, now adding the final lessons of connecting in person, maintaining eye contact, and shaking hands.  

In-person meetings take intention and effort, and, oftentimes, require a nudge or sometimes even a shove.  I have found when I’m consistent and frequent that my in-person muscle memory kicks in it becomes easier and even fun.  The energy of a group meeting, the engagement with an audience, the meaningful conversations that take place in the ladies’ restroom or at the bar are breathing life back into that part of me that so desperately wanted to connect with people in person, but couldn’t.  

In full transparency, my stamina for these in-person meetings is low, and with each encounter, I’m rebuilding that stamina and muscle, this time with intention and joy.  I’m being intentional with those that I see in person.  I’m being thoughtful about how many in-person encounters I have.  I’m having fun.  When I get in my car, I ask the universe to bring that one person across my path that I was supposed to meet at that event.  This has been extremely rewarding because I walk away from each live networking encounter feeling fulfilled and knowing why I was supposed to be there.  

When we manifest intentional connection and powerfully choose to network, there is a great force of energy and determination that takes place.