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TIN #014 - How To Find Time To Network
You have more time than you think, if you think differently
Good Morning 👋 - Greg here.
Happy Saturday morning to everyone who re-connected this week.
Today, I want to share a way to find more time to network.
Let me know in the comments if you have questions about networking you’d like me to answer.
Today’s issue takes about 3 minutes to read.
Why You Don’t Network
I talk to people everyday about networking.
One statement I hear a lot is, "I don't have time to network."
I understand. We all have a lot going on in our lives. If you add networking to your list of to-do's, it can feel overwhelming.
But it's important to network, right?
How do you make it happen if you don't have time.
When someone says to me, “I don't network because I don't have time,” I ask them to rephrase it.
I tell them to say, “I don't network because it's not a priority.”
If networking is not a priority, then it’s not important.
Usually, they say, “Yes, networking is important and is a priority for me, but I don't know how to fit it into my day.”
People say this because they think networking means spending hours at events or sending cold emails to people they want to meet.
If this is your challenge, you can overcome the barrier of "not enough time" by changing your mindset about time.
Don’t think of time as days and hours. Think of time as minutes.
Do you know how many minutes are in each day?
Everyone gets 1,440 minutes each day.
If someone tells me they don’t know how to fit networking into their day, I share this number with him or her.
Then, I use it to explain the amount of time it takes each day to grow a vibrant professional network.
I tell them all they have to do is spend 1% of their day growing their professional network.
1% of 1,440 minutes is about 15 minutes.
Investing 1% of your day to create opportunities seems like a reasonable investment, right?
Spending 1% of your day to shorten a job search from months to weeks seems like a decent way to spend 15 minutes.
When I explain it in these terms, the objections about time seem to fade away.
What actions could you take with 1% of your day to help grow your network?
What can you get done today in 15 minutes?
Think of one person you know who you have lost touch with over the years
Write down that person's name
Search for his or her email address or LinkedIn profile
Send a quick note that says, “I thought of you today and realized we haven't spoken in a while. How have you been?”
Get on LinkedIn or Twitter or Medium or Quora or Reddit
Read an article or post that looks interesting to you
Leave an interesting comment. Not, "Nice post," or "Agree," but let the author know what you liked about it and pose a thoughtful, respectful question
If the author responds, you can continue the dialogue
Search online for an organization that aligns with your interests
Find out when their next in-person or online meeting will be
Find the name of the organizer
Send them an email or message expressing your interest and asking for more information
Put the date of the meeting in your calendar
You could do each of these things in less than 15 minutes.
You don't need anyone's permission to start connecting and growing your network.
Imagine you did one of the suggestions above one time.
It wouldn't generate a life-changing opportunity.
It's possible, but not likely.
But imagine you did one of these things every day for a week.
If you re-connected with one person every day for a week, that would be seven re-connections that might lead to seven conversations.
Have you had seven networking conversations in the past year?
What if you did this every weekday for a month?
That would be about 20 re-connections that could spawn 20 conversations.
It sounds like a lot of conversations and a lot of time, but remember you’re only spending 1% of your day to send a re-connection note to one person.
But you’re doing it every day.
Being consistent with your small actions over time adds up.
If you keep doing it every day and stay consistent, before you know it, you are going to have more networking conversations going on than you can handle.
That's ok too. You can always dial back your re-connection and focus on the conversations.
We believe networking conversations have to be lunch or a coffee meeting, but conversations don't have to take hours. They can if you want them to, but they can be 15 minutes, as well.
Could you spend 15 minutes talking to a person you've lost touch with on the phone to start to re-establish your professional relationship?
If you stay consistent with these small efforts they compound over time and start to grow into incredible relationships and opportunities.
Reframing how you think about time and networking is a powerful was to kickstart your networking efforts.
Have a great week and we’ll see you next Saturday.