As small business owners, we are constantly reminded about the importance of networking: that the connections we make today just may become the business partners, clients, or customers of tomorrow. But that doesn’t make networking any easier or any more enjoyable. Much like eating your vegetables, knowing what you should do is quite different from actually wanting to do it.
3 Top Networking Excuses to Let Go Of
Enter BJ Dowlen, founder and president of Bodyworks Enterprises, LLC., and our role model when it comes to relentless networking. Here we use her experience to break down your top excuses for not networking.
Excuse 1: I Don’t Have Time to Network
Networking is important to the growth of any small business. You would never say “I don’t have time for marketing” or “I don’t have time to respond to customer inquiries” – you make time for those things because you know how vital they are to the success of your business. BJ was a victim of Superstorm Sandy and had to completely rebuild her life and her business, yet she still always found time for networking.
Excuse 2: I Don’t Know Where to Network
The main thing here is that there is not a specific time and place for networking – it can happen anywhere you go, so take advantage of the everyday opportunities in front of you. BJ also uses the internet to find people she wants to connect with and opportune times to do so.
Excuse 3: I’m Afraid of Putting Myself Out There
There is no way around it – you will hear the word ‘no’ more than you hear ‘yes.’ However, BJ says you have to have it inside you that you don’t care who says no to you today and keep working for the yeses. You can also create better networking relationships with BJ’s tips, including creating an exchange and remaining genuine.
BJ shared her networking stories with us at the 2016 Smart Hustle Conference. You can get a glimpse of her presentation below and learn more by reading Relentless Networking: How BJ Dowlen Turns Networking into Opportunities.