How to connect and build your network as an entrepreneur – My daily practice

How to connect and build your network as an entrepreneur – My daily practice

It is founder Friday again and I promised to share my way of building meaningful connections, strengthen relationships, and expand my network

So these are my recommendation for entrepreneurs’ relationship building.

When it comes to networking and connections, we jump straight into a number game: How many people did you talk to? How many connections do you increase on LinkedIn? How many followers do you get on Instagram or any other social media? 

I was there too, until I was fed up with this marketing tactic. As an introvert, I can engage with people deeply in one conversation, but not endless superficial random chitchats. It feels ingenuine and mechanical to me, and I hate to treat people as numbers. However, as an entrepreneur, I do need to put myself out there and reach out to others to build relationship. So how do you find the sweet spot to do that? 

“My answer is my “rule of three” Three is just like a magic number to me – it stretches me enough to leave my comfort zone, but not dragging me into a panic zone right away.

Yes, only THREE people I contact per day, and I do that everyday. From my early days in sales and business development, I have seen the power of relationship building, and now I am leveraging it without compromising my integrity and peace of mind.

Here are the three types of people I contact:

  1. Someone I shared a beautiful moment with in the last 30 days

    If I look back on the last month, I can think of some activities I have done and if someone else shares a positive experience/impression in those occasions, I reconnect with them. It honors our time together, deepens our understanding of each other, and leads to future learning.

    I am really not into “let’s catch up” that kind of message. I’d rather someone approaching me with my interest at heart, so I keep that in mind and implement that to others. Connection is about things you share in common so focus on that, at least respect that.

  2. Someone interests me in the last three to six months

    It can be a fellow professional,an  ex-teammate, a buddy for your hobby, etc. There are reasons I appreciate this person and I address that. If there is evidence that shows that I can add value to their matters, I bring that up, otherwise no. I was trained to be a scientist/clinical professional and approaching people randomly without any substance is simply not my thing.

  3. Someone I know from more than a year go

    I am minimalistic in fashion. Anything in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn in the last two years, I either donate or give to a friend. That is why I review my contact every year and try to dial in if I found someone I haven’t spoken to in the last twelve months and I still want to stay in touch with them.

    We all have limited time and priorities change during different times, and it is possible I lost touch alongside. However, there are valuable relationships that are just like an Evergreen – but you do need to water and nourish them, so they don’t die.

So that is it. I gave up on the idea “the more the merrier” in this case. Only three types and everyday I am choosing one person from each type. When my network starts to realize that they are not “one of many” in my daily operation, they also see my commitment to our relationship and value it even more. It is a Win-Win. If you want to stay in a business for long-term, you should be mindful of your reputation and how you build it. 

Business Entrepreneurship

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