Networking for Real People

Last night I attended an event put on by the Portland Business Alliance, Y&C just became members of this, seemingly, fantastic organization.  Their main goal is to connect businesses and create commerce opportunities for local companies.  This event was called "Maximize your Membership" and is intended to be an orientation for how to use them as a service to your organization.  I believe the hit their mark on this meeting and it's a great opportunity to orient someone like me, who is new to networking, to the whole idea. I am NOT a natural born networker or sales person.  I just am not.  In fact, sales people, normally irritate me beyond belief, like to the point of  "don't talk to me".  So, a meeting like the one I attended last night, although I know it's important to our organization, is not something I really look forward to doing.  I'm intimidated and nervous.  I want to get the information and then leave.  I'm really stretching myself to go further and  try to be more outgoing.

This event was a perfect test for me.  Milo went and I basically followed him around and talked with the people he talked to.  This was good for me, it really made me feel comfortable talking to new people.

This morning I was thinking about the experience and I realized that this is a HUGE lesson for me in business as well as in personal evangelism.  If I focus on other people in my life, if I am more interested in THEM than I am in myself, what I have going on or what I'm selling, then it makes the conversation interesting.  I don't have to worry about answering questions about me or what I do, I don't have to have the answers, I can worry about asking them about them...  Who wants to talk about anything but themselves anyway, right?

I hope to push myself further with this from now on.... I'm hoping to join a committee or two in the organization.  I should probably wait until school is done to do that though... #enoughonmyplate