So I had my inaugural call on such a timely week of new beginnings. I consider myself lucky for that. For those of you that don’t know, the phone call I host every Thursday is called BEE a Networker. It is all about tips and conversation about networking and how to make the most of it. I have been networking non-stop my family business for the last seven years, and continue to find this topic interesting. Our first call was about being memorable. But I had to defer portions to one of my favorite TV shows.
I am a huge fan of Ugly Betty, so when I watched the January 15th episode, I was ecstatic because the meat of the episode was about networking. To sum up, her co-workers were teaching her how to network and did so by telling her to follow three basic rules which basically consist of get in, exchange some valuable info and get out quickly. Now, networking in my opinion is all about forming relationships, so naturally I was groaning at what this was probably teaching America. However, Betty as sweet as she is, spent a lot of time talking with a caterer who was not considered “important”. Her co-workers chastised her for this, but, in the end, this caterer saved her bacon because she knew he could help her with a problem she later had. She knew this because she spent time with him and didn’t “get in and get out” the way she was taught.
I am a firm believer in genuine curiosity. When I network, I try really hard to ask thought provoking questions, learn more about others, and leave every event having made a quality new business contact, and maybe even a friend. You never know who knows who, who they can lead you to, and what can come of that new face from across the room. Those kids that invented the Kevin Bacon game were on to something. Six degrees is not very far. Good advice to take with you to every networking event in the future.