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Do you remember your first time?

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My first time networking as a business owner rather than an employee was an eye opener. 

I was a month into my life as an executive coach, and was very naive and green. All I knew was that “networking” was going to magically help me find referrals, leads and ultimately new clients for my business. But, rather crucially, I didn’t know how!

I clearly remember being there about 40 mins early, and catching up on some phone calls in the car, before very nervously making my way in – and not wanting to be the first one there.

When I scanned the attendance list at the Chamber of Commerce event, my heart sank – nearly a third of the list were coaches of some sort of description. Not likely to be any clients here for me…

There were so many “regular” networkers there, who seemed to be totally at ease circulating around the room. I honestly knew no one, but had psyched myself up to “press the flesh” so to speak. I wondered whether I would ever know enough people that I would be one of those few who seemed to confidently glide around the room.

Well, it wasn’t a wasted evening. 

In networking terms, it was a failure – there is no one from that evening that I am now in close contact with. I also spent a large part of the evening talking to two other coaches. 

But that evening was also the start of a passion for business networking, in particular using both online and offline networking in tandem.

What do you remember about your first time networking?

Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks.

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