...says Keith Ferrazzi.
Now that makes me feel a little better, because networking is something I'm going to do. Something I have to do if I'm ever going to generate more business. Networking with Actual People, that is, not by e-mail or LinkedIn.
I have only one experience of 'networking' and it wasn't something I'd ever like to repeat. (The term networking is in quotation marks advisedly because for me it was more a case of unravelling than knitting together.)
It was for film makers, in Tunbridge Wells, if you must know, the Hollywood of...nowhere.
In a room full of film wannabes (rather like myself...but not very much) I set out to engage people in conversation, just to get to know them on some personal level, to form collaborative, creative relationships - that was my plan.
Not theirs, plainly.
As soon as they calculated that I wasn't A Useful Contact who would further their ambitious plans for world domination, starting with Tunbridge Wells, I became Ms. Invisible. Their eyes glazed over, they'd not be interested in a word I was saying about me, me having listened patiently to an endless spiel about them, and they were constantly looking over my shoulder, round the room, for Someone Better.
I wandered lonely in a crowd. (By the way, I'm not socially inept or anything. I can string words
together and hold intelligent conversations on most subjects.)
I left that event feeling not so much networked as excluded, isolated and mangled.
That must have been about ten years ago. I vowed NEVER AGAIN.
So next week, I'm off to the Uckfield Chamber of Commerce AGM and dinner!
Let's form Strategic Alliance Partnerships, shall we? (See, I have all the jargon)
Let's NOT be driven by What's In It For Me?