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Loving Monday: Networking as Refreshment

loving_mondayI just returned from a networking/learning event in Vegas. Blogworld Expo. A mix of bloggers, podcasters, new media start-ups, advertisers, internet techies, and those who would make their fortune off of us.

Networking as a marketing strategy is, of course, a must. But for the busy and the more introverted of us, it can be a chore.

But what about networking as refreshment?

NetworkingHere’s what I mean… or rather, here’s what I experienced.

When I travel to an industry event two dynamics take place. One, I get away from my day to day context. And two, I am in the company of those who more easily recognize and appreciate my abilities.

Getting away from my day to day context enables me to take a step back and get some perspective. Unlike a vacation, though, the different perspectives I encounter at an industry event are within my professional context without being my own context. It’s refreshing and invigorating for me to be challenged by the successes and failures of others. I learn. I reflect. I discover new resources, connections and methods.

Being in the company of those with similar skill sets boosts my confidence. I don’t get the blank stares. I don’t have to explain what I do. I don’t have to defend my involvement, in this case, with new media. The conversation is energizing and catalytic. Our relational starting point is one of mutual respect, understanding, and support.

How and when the business benefits of networking manifest themselves will probably always be somewhat of a mystery to me. But the only way to meet the people with whom there may be a valuable business connection, is to meet a lot of people with whom we will never do business.

Meeting those people can be a chore. Better though is when meeting those people can be a source of refreshment.

I come to work today refreshed.



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