If you’re anything like me-shy, heart-centered, intuitive, and introverted, then you know how much pressure you can feel to “put yourself out there”. That phrase can send a person like me down a whirlwind spiral of conflicting emotions. In business, you’re constantly being told networking and collaborating is half of the work you should put in to be successful. So how does one overcome the fear of networking? Here are a few tips we can all use to help this process not feel so stuffy, particularly for those of us who struggle with making connections.
You are not alone
It’s always a good thing to know we are not in this by ourselves. Everyone has the common goal of connecting with other entrepreneurs to bring awareness or share information about an organization. The world of entrepreneurship is all about building relationships to some extent, and it is true that it will be nearly impossible to avoid doing it at some point.
We must gain confidence and have faith within ourselves to know we have something amazing to contribute or share.
Build your own tribe. Creating your own community allows you to connect with other people on your own terms. This is your space to be completely authentic with your audience and/or potential clients/customers.
Take little risks. Join some small clubs to help you breakthrough your shyness. Challenge yourself to speak first or spark a conversation.
Show up authentically in your brand. People are always watching, even when you think they are not. There will be times when other brands may feel that your business aligns with theirs and want to work with you. If the energy is right, go for it.
If your type of business doesn’t require as much face-to-face interaction, take advantage of freelance work with other platforms as an extra service you can provide. This would be a good way to not only stay relevant within your skill, but also act as a way for you to grow your connections and audience from other platforms.
Set a personal goal every month to challenge yourself to network at an event or reach out to someone you would like to worth with.
Don’t Be Sorry
Never apologize for asking for help. Often times, we feel guilty because we look at asking for help as an imposing gesture. We question if we’re worth the time-don’t. Don’t apologize for wanting to learn more. There may come a time when you will be able to offer your help to that same individual or someone else.
What’s the worst that can happen by reaching out or signing up to be a vendor for an event? We all need each other to make an impact.