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The Journey Blog

Networking: One & Self-Employment 🧰

Networking is to business as ‘practice is to perfect’. It’s terribly cliche but I think there is an enormous amount of truth in the old saying, ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’

In light of the times and given all of the recent changes in the ways people network, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It’s a pretty big topic so I’ve decided to split this post into two parts – one about physical networking (or traditional networking) and one about virtual networking (new-age networking).

So, here we go:

I reckon that virtual networking is the best thing since sliced bread. Which, I guess, makes it pretty good. However, I’ve realised that I haven’t bought sliced bread in over 6 weeks and the bread that I bake doesn’t come out of the oven pre-sliced (and I’m not sure that I’d want it to!)

There’s a lesson hidden somewhere in the weird carbohydrate-based statement I just made… it’s that sometimes the new version is great and other times, the tried-and-true is more appropriate. I don’t think one is better than the other – they’re both good.

For now, let’s focus on new-age networking.

Yep, we’re jumping into Zoom-town or Hangout-ville or whatever your preferred online platform is. I’ve fully embraced the idea of virtual networking. I’ve doubled down on my LinkedIn usage and I’ve been actively seeking out new people to network with.

(No idea what all the Zoom and Hangout chat is about? Check this out.)

Here are a few of my key takeaways:

  • If you’re prepared to jump on a video call with a stranger, there’ll be no shortage of people to chat with.

I’ve put up a couple of posts on LinkedIn advertising the fact that I’m keen to chat. People who approach you are likely to be the kind of people you want to speak to – yes, you may get the occasional multi-level marketer, just be honest and say you’re not interested.

You’ve just got to be prepared to say yes.

  • Everyone you speak to knows something you don’t.

The amount of information I’ve learned from random strangers on the internet is, quite simply, awesome. I’ve learned about apps, awesome mailing lists & news-sites, browser plug-ins, podcasts amongst a bunch of other things.

  • Your small-talk skills will level up big time!

This goes without saying. You’ve got to learn how to do small talk if you’re going to make conversation with people from across the world. It only gets easier – I’ve heard the trick is to get the other person talking about themselves. It’s particularly easy at the moment given the common unity we’re all experiencing due to COVID-19.

Next week

I’m going to be writing about physical networking – I’m definitely missing it at the moment after lockdown in NZ. It’s going to be interesting utilising a mixture of physical and virtual networking moving forward.

Oddspot.

My latest obsession is listening to white noise while I work. I’ve found it helps centre/calm me, reduces distraction, and results in better productivity.

Have a listen to the white noise playlist on Spotify and let me know what you think.

#Pupdate

Billie’s been back to the vet this week for her very-last round of puppy booster vaccines. She’s doing well and we’re doing well. We’re really, really happy.

I’m thinking I’ll reduce the frequency of the pupdates now that we seem to have moved through a lot of the early puppy stuff – rest assured, she’s a well-loved and happy dog. I’ll still be signing off with a photo of her each week!

S.

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