I’m always amazed with the great leads I come across when I take time to network with professionals
, even in the most informal and casual environments. Sometimes we end up working together, and other times I meet a kindred spirit and gain an great friend. Whatever the intention, when you’re baking a cake, you need good ingredients.
For best results, I tend to seek out diverse groups of people who have similar passions and multi-disciplinary skills and interests, especially when conceptualizing or testing a new idea or venture. Some of the best ideas and inspiration come from eclectic and creative people. The old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together” typically holds true. Aligning with people who treat others well, have good morals, and are generally conscious about doing the right thing, will only further your network of more great people. I like to make this a central piece of my networking.
Additional benefits of networking include gaining insight related what has worked and what hasn’t from industry professionals who have been bold enough to dip their pinky in the frosting and tell about it. Maybe a-recipe-gone-wrong can be adapted for better results, repeated with a different methodology, or abandoned altogether. Or, perhaps forming a partnership with someone who did it right the first time, but needs some help, can create something amazing. Networking may unlock that missing link in the chain.
Generally, being a little fish in a big pond is disadvantageous; you blend in well and the ocean current may take you in the direction everyone else is going, rather unconsciously. I think a more fruitful scenario may include doing some due diligence, taking your time, and finding a niche
; not a niche you’re unfamiliar with, but rather one you are incredibly familiar with and passionate about. The niche may result in the alternative scenario; big fish, little pond. There is always room for innovation. Asking the right questions while networking may elicit some interesting leads. I was at a conference about a year ago and the keynote speaker asked the crowd what the key thing every business person must have to be successful. Answer: a customer. While this is undeniably true, I also believe that commitment, passion, and some really good research will produce a great cake. Built well, people will come to consume it.
Frost that with your amazing network, and you may have a masterpiece!