I had a conversation with a business owner the other day and she paused mid sentence to tell me how glad she was to sit down with me and chat. It wasn’t a business meeting per se, it was a catching up chat over coffee.
But she couldn’t help but tell me how much it meant to just spend time together.
She spoke of the importance of networking and how we can forget about getting to know other people when we get caught up with life or business. She said she hoped that more people would connect with each other this way because the best work comes out of genuine conversation.
We agreed that the world would be a much brighter place if everyone took a moment to sit down and talk, especially business acquaintances. We spend so much time talking to each other about other things, why not talk about things we enjoy outside of work.
Or what it is about our work that drives us, motivates us to keep growing or what gets us down.
Even if that conversation is about anything but your business, the other person is getting to know you as a person. That means they’re getting to know your business too.
Networking isn’t always about making that quick sale or contact. It’s about bringing personalities into the work social sphere. We can be LinkedIn connected with 1000 people and not really know the majority of them. We might know what they do or what their careers entail, but we don’t know what makes them tick.
As a small business owner I cherish the opportunity to network. Getting to know people, really getting to know them is one of my favorite parts of what I do. I’m a people person, I enjoy people.
In an age when so much of our connecting with others rarely leaves the digital realm, it’s really a treat to just sit down for a chat over coffee to talk with someone about something you both enjoy. After my chat the other day I feel so empowered to keep making strides with my circle of colleagues.
I encourage all of you, whether resolutions are your thing or not, to at least make an effort to expand your networking capabilities in 2019. There is so much to gain from building relationships with people because business isn’t just a deal to deal industry. It’s about knowing who you are, what you do and why your work matters.
But most importantly it’s about knowing those you serve. And that’s the most treasured thing.