Most people always complain that their network doesn’t yield any results.
Networking is not about attending trade shows and exchanging 100 business cards.
True networking is about adding value and selflessly helping without having any expectations in return.
I want to talk about my personal experience here to help you understand how you can unlock the true potential of your network and reap its benefits.
A few years ago, I was in New York and was passing through Times Square. I randomly asked a person to click a picture of me. He gladly obliged and we just got talking. He was a Fashion Designer from London and since we both were tourists, we decided to spend the day together and do some sightseeing. But as the day ended, instead of just saying goodbye, I decided to keep in touch with him and we immediately added each other on Twitter and stayed connected.
Almost a year later, he contacted me and told me that one of his friends who was running a startup needed some help. I gladly accepted the offer and connected with his friend who needed some guidance on building products for her startup. Things were going smooth until suddenly one day the funding for her startup didn’t come through and the project got shelved.
Nevertheless, I stayed in touch with both these people and life moved on. After a few months, the lady whose startup project I was handling reached out to me and connected me to her B-school classmate in Singapore. He wanted some tech help for a Singapore-based government project. We started working on it and once again things didn’t materialise and we lost the project.
But life has its own ways of surprising you.
Exactly after a year, the same Singapore based client connected me to his friend in Canada who was a VP at a mid-sized company. They needed help on some niche technology and before I could even realize it, we had bagged the project and it was worth a million dollar.