Navigating Networking Events – Schedule Downtime

I’m smiling as I leave a one to one meeting with a new colleague. You know that feeling when you meet someone with whom you really click? We were introduced by a mutual acquaintance. Given the large number of mutual connections we’ve now discovered we have, it’s incredible we’d not met before.

Of course we shared what we each do and who our ideal clients are. Our conversation rambled from analysis of different networking organizations to book recommendations to best podcasting tools. Now that we’ve spent an hour and a half talking and bonding, we’ll be on the lookout for relevant speaking opportunities to alert each other to. Oh, and good tea blends, since we discovered a common interest there. I’ve also made a note about a few people to whom I’m going to introduce her.

Sharon comes across as a very outgoing and friendly person. She hugged hello when I first arrived at the coffee shop. At some point in our time together, she admitted that while she comes across as an extrovert, she’s really an introvert at heart. She said she’s good at meeting people at events, but she has to stop and take a few breaths to prepare herself before walking into the room. Then once she leaves, she can’t wait to get home and be alone.

It never ceases to amaze me who identifies as a quiet girl.

You’re Not Alone in Your Fear of Networking

I put this out there for those of you reading because I want you to know you’re not alone. You’re not the only one who feels apprehensive about going into networking events. Many of those women you see, who appear so comfortable and chatty, feel just like you do. The difference is they’ve learned how to manage their fear and channel their energy into a few good conversations.

Then you can go home, kick off your shoes and crack open a good book while the cat curls up in your lap. Part of learning how to successfully navigate networking events is learning to manage your energy. You may find you can handle three events a week. Or your limit might be just one.

Last week my schedule included two early morning breakfast events, an evening speaking engagement, an all-day summit and a Toastmaster meeting. Plus client calls, a few one-to-one meetings and a Facebook live interview. At the end of the week, I was toast.

It was a good reminder that I need to be more cognizant of over-scheduling myself. As much as I do love meeting and talking to new people now, it can still wear me out.

Some weeks are going to be like that. You need to take advantage of opportunities when they come up. You also need to give yourself downtime to recover. Schedule a massage for Friday afternoon, make sure to get your workouts done, or let yourself sleep in over the weekend.

Both networking activities and quiet alone time are critical to the success of your business. As with most things in life, it comes down to balance.

Need a little assistance in choosing which networking events or conferences to attend this season? Or how to navigate networking events? The Quick Start Program could be for you. To schedule a 15-minute “Let’s Chat” call, click here.

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