There is an African Proverb that says if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.
This is one of the benefits of having a strong network of people.
These people are those who contribute to your success and growth in your career, business and personal life.
A good network can provide job leads, business referrals, possibilities for advancement and opportunities for personal improvement.
True is the saying “𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥” and this is why we leverage on others to achieve success in life and career.
For many individuals, success came on the heels of strong networking opportunities they have created and nurtured over time.
But what really is 𝐍𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠?
Networking is not merely the exchange of information with others — and it is certainly not about begging for favors.
Networking is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet, whether in an elevator, a coffee shop, a supermarket or at a work conference.
It is about contributing to their success just as you stand to benefit from their knowledge.
But there is no doubt that a huge number of individuals are making cringe-worthy networking mistakes that in turn negativity impacts them.
Some mistakes include:
1. Not following up.
Rather than letting that great conversation with your new connect go to waste, ask to stay in touch. You can send a LinkedIn invitation with a personalized message.
2. Asking too much of your network.
It can be frustrating to open your inbox and see messages like, “Hi, i want a job at your company!’, “Can you give me a letter of recommendation” (even though you have not spoken with the person in 3 years!)
3. You only reach out to people when you need something.
You never say “Hello” until you need something.
While making amends in our networking mistakes, it is imperative to pay attention to the circle of friends who surround us. These people will either mar or make us. Your 𝐍𝐄𝐓𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐊 is your 𝐍𝐄𝐓 𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇, so the saying goes.
As King Solomon rightly puts it: 𝙃𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙬𝙖𝙡𝙠𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙨𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙨𝙚, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙛 𝙛𝙤𝙤𝙡𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚 𝙙𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙤𝙮𝙚𝙙.
Take an inventory of those close to you.
Do you feel uplifted or torn down each time you are in their midst?
Do they push and encourage you to be better?
Do they seek out growth opportunities for you?
Are they your “hype men”?
But then remember the 𝗟𝗮𝘄 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝘁𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻: Like attracts like. 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒎𝒆𝒂𝒏𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒂𝒕𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒄𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒘𝒉𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒑𝒖𝒕 𝒐𝒖𝒕.
So ask yourself: Are you someone’s hype man/woman? Do you encourage those in your circle? Do you seek out growth opportunities for them?
Don’t just be a receiver, be a giver. For it is more blessed to give than to receive.
No matter the level you think you are right now, you can rise higher just by leveraging on your network.
Be intentional about growing your network.