Networking is one of the most important things we can do as entrepreneurs – the quality of the people we know will, to a large extent, determine how successful we are. In fact, I’ve always said that we are the sum of the six people who are closest to us – and for that reason, we need to make sure we surround ourselves with people who work hard and share our values. But networking effectively can be a confusing and overwhelming task. Just look at all the shelves of books devoted to the topic! That’s why I invited Michael Roderick on to Hardcore MBA this week.
Michael is an expert in networking and connecting people, and runs two events for that very purpose – ConnectorCon and Relationship Adventure Day. In this week’s podcast, he and I discuss:
- How to think about your connections with people as if you were filling a bucket with water, and how to make sure you don’t under- or over-fill it.
- How to effectively ask someone to have a networking lunch with you, and what to do if they say no.
- And the best way to become a connector – someone who makes useful introductions within their network and reaps the benefits.
“I don’t like to say that there is a formula to being a great connector,” says Michael, “because if you tell people it’s a formula then they just try to copy it word-for-word, and then they look inauthentic. So instead I call it a framework. And the framework is very simple: think about how you can engage with the person in front of you. And that can be as simple as listening seriously to them. People, especially important people, spend their whole lives being asked to do things, so just giving them a chance to discuss their work and their passions without asking for anything in return can be a good way to give value.”
This week’s podcast is packed from end to end with practical tips to help you out in a host of networking situations, so I really encourage you to listen to it all the way through. To find out more about Michael, and to get involved in the networking events he runs in New York City, check out ConnectorCon’s website, take a look at Small Pond Enterprises, or reach out to Michael on Twitter. Until next time, keep connecting!