Is networking all a pile of bull?

Is networking all a pile of bull?

I used to cringe a little bit when I first started going to networking events many years ago.  I felt like a bit of a numpty.  Walking into a room to strut my stuff, walk the walk and talk the talk.  Was it all just a bit fake?  A bunch of people in a room all after something for themselves.  Was networking just a pile of bull?  Would I be stuck next to a sleazy dude in a cheap suit with all talk no action.  In that case it’s time for a sharp exit to the bar (ditching his business card in the bin on route). 

I have been to SO many networking events over the years.  I have hosted plenty too.  With me what you see if what you get.  I treat everyone the same, take it or leave it.  It’s just the way I am and I can’t change that.  I have been to some great events and hosted some too (my fashion show at The Bonham hotel will go down in history with all my old, wonderful clients).  I have also been to some events that were lacking atmosphere and a little bit dull.

Things are different these days as I am not networking on behalf of a company that someone else owns. I now chose to go networking for myself and  I do it for the following reasons:

  • To learn from inspirational, hard working and determined people
  • To tell people about my book and my blog
  • To collaborate with and help others
  • To promote mental wellness and help to make people feel normal

Last Thursday I was a little nervous getting ready to head to a networking event.  Should I drive or go and enjoy some cocktails to “break the ice”.  My husband replied

“You don’t need to drink, you are a natural at this type of thing”.

I am not sure if he was getting carried away as it had just been national compliment day.  I needed to hear it though because although some think I am a natural, there was no denying that I was stepping out of my comfort zone and fluffy slippers for that matter.  My new lucky Zadig and Voltaire  boots would hopefully sort me out.


These boots are made for networking

Off I trotted to see what type of event Orlaith from The Naked sales coach would put on.  Would it be fab or a bit dull? Luckily for me the event totally surpassed my already fairly high expectations (I really like her facebook page – business is beautiful)

Everyone was lovely.  The chat was great (phew).  In fact, on meeting Orlaith she instantly introduced me to an author who has published 4 books.  That girl is on the ball.  She is as her strapline suggests: authentically awesome.

I also spoke to so many amazing women who are clearly passionate about what they do.  I’ve got an exciting project with a couple of them in the diary #watchthisspace.

There was an open mic session (not the singing type I am used to taking part in).  I ain’t gonna lie, I was only half a cocktail in so felt a bit shaky.  Such a great way to find out about others in the room though.


Totally bricking it 

One thing I now understand about business is that it’s so important to collaborate and help people.  Business doesn’t have to be selfish.  Yes – we need to work hard to progress and smash our own goals but when we help others it’s always a really positive thing. If you are always out to get something, you are not truly networking with people.  I normally go by my gut feeling on that one if it’s all take, take.  Also – you really are only interesting if you are interested.  So don’t go to a networking event if you are not interested in hearing about others.

So to answer my question – is networking all a pile of bull?

It depends who you are speaking to.  I think networking is great.  It’s important to get out of the comfort zone and  go and talk to people.  Be it over coffee, cocktails, food or at a conference.  Perhaps you can go and network over a play date with the kids.  Get out and meet people.   There is only so much you can learn from behind your laptop.


Zoe from the fab MacFit and I enjoying a cocktail

Thanks Orlaith for a fab night.  The cocktails were bang on too #bonus.  I’ll be back.



Leave a comment

  1. February 3, 2017 / 1:03 am

    This is fab you might have persuaded me to try, I always worry I’ll not be as interesting or businesslike enough as everyone else!

    • February 3, 2017 / 8:16 am

      Awe no way you are amazing and need to share your talent. I still talk about the party all the time and shared the article again just the other day. Think you would enjoy the events x

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