What Networking is NOT
I think far too many entrepreneurs are networking the wrong way.
If you go to any number of meetups in the NYC startup scene, you're bound to see 80% (or more) of people engaging in the same way. Surface-level conversations that last about 2-5 minutes before swapping cards and going on to the next one.
This usually results in a big pile of business cards at the end of the night that almost never lead to real relationships.
So, what do I think the better approach is?
Which is why, in a big event or crowd, I'm rarely concerned with this 'speed-style' networking we mostly see - and more focused on engaging deeply with 1 - 3 people at a time. Don't worry that you'll meet less people in the room this way; If you're persistent about growing your network and hitting events often, you're bound to meet everyone worth knowing in the space sooner or later.
Meaningful, long-lasting relationships take time to build. And when you have them, you'll know exactly why I say that "Investing in people brings the greatest ROI." click to tweet!
Your next cofounder, employee, client, or friend can be in that crowd... And just imagine how much deeper your connection will be w/ this style of networking. :)
'Til next time!
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