“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”
So the Melbourne Cup is just around the corner and as everyone gets caught up in the pizzazz of the celebrity marquees, the fashion forward and the carnival atmosphere, we are talking about the correlation between the Sport of Kings and networking.
How many of you know nothing about horse racing yet pop a bet on at this time of year? It’s fun. You don’t really care about the result. You just get caught up in the vibe and away you go. No expectations. No results. No outcomes. If you get lucky, great. If you don’t, oh well. It was a fun event.
Many people have the same take on networking. They head to a networking event for a bit of a laugh or for the social side of things without putting any thought into strategy and outcomes. If they meet someone worthwhile to their career or business, that’s a bonus. But if they don’t, oh well, the free food was tasty and the open bar was great.
Sounds Familiar! So, let’s look at it from a strategic point of view.
If you were to study the form guide before you placed a bet on the Melbourne Cup, chat to people in the know about the jockeys and their experience, get an understanding of how the weather has impacted the racetrack, your chances of winning are going to increase. Right?
And if you added a little diversification to your strategy by not putting all your money on the one horse, perhaps spreading your investment across a win, a place or even other races at the race meet, not only are you now increasing your chances of winning, you’re also increasing your chances of breaking even or minimising losses.
Think about networking in the same way.
Before you head to a networking event, have a look at the objective of the event, find out who is going, who is presenting, what opportunities are there to catch up with existing contacts or create new connections. Decide whether it’s worth you attending and if it is? Get your strategic head on.
Set yourself some goals. Who do you want to catch up with? Who are you keen to meet? What research or information do you need to have on hand to position yourself correctly?
And maybe instead of just joining the one networking group, you consider diversifying your networking strategy and taking part in a number of well-considered groups or meet-ups. Hedge your bets (see what we did there??? ) so to speak.
And most importantly, when you reap the rewards from your strategic approach, you invest the time and money wisely. You don’t go and blow it all on one bet on the final race of the day or focus all your energy onto one connection.
You get smart about it and re-invest your time and money based on a well-executed plan that will get you on the home straight and first past the post.
Not by a nose.
But by a length.
Learn more about how to re-invest your time and money with a well-executed networking plan at our 1 Day Workshop. See here for more information.