Feeling Stretched Thin? Check Your Biz Boundaries.

How to Have a Networking Meeting in Nature

So you don’t like awkward conversations with people you don’t know under fluorescent lighting, eh?

Yeah, me neither.

I suppose there’s a certain kind of person who can groove with that, but I’d much prefer a more natural setting.

Because networking IS important.

Your business has an ecosystem that you need to cultivate… imagine a web where each intersection represents a relationship… the more connections you have, the more resources you collect and offer, and the more resilient the web you weave.

But it doesn’t have to look like you think it does.

Each intersection is simply one relationship. You can grow a network relationship by relationship in a deeper more meaningful way than heading to a networking event and trying to schmooze with 50 people in 90 minutes.

So here’s how you can weave your web and cultivate a more resilient business ecosystem.

  • Make a list of 5 people you know or would like to know better. The ideal people for this list are those with whom you can develop a relationship that truly serves both people (it’s called mutualistic symbiosis in ecology). In other words, you can support them, and they can support you. Perhaps they serve a similar target audience as you, or do something similar to you but for a different audience. Or maybe it’s someone who has expertise in a certain area.
  • Commit to a certain amount of 1 on 1 networking meetings during a specific period of time. Once a week? Once a month? Your choice. Sometimes doing a blitz can create some great energy and new possibilities in your business, especially if you’re just starting off.
  • Make dates with these people in nature. OK, fine it doesn’t HAVE to be in nature, it can be on Skype or the phone, but I highly recommend human connection in nature. It will be richer, more useful, and more memorable for each of you. Plus you get exercise and (duh) nature time. You can use these prompts during your networking walks:
      • Tell me more about your business… what’s it all about? How’d you get started in it?
        What are you excited about in your business right now? What is challenging you in your business right now?
      • Do you have any ideas you want to bounce off of me for feedback?
      • How can I support you in your business? (and be ready to share how they could support you in yours)

For much more information about how to network effectively (and actually enjoy it too), you can check out these three blog posts.

And, if you’re in the Bay Area, you can come network in nature with an amazing group of local entrepreneurs. You’re guaranteed to walk away feeling de-stressed, inspired and connected (seriously, I’ll give you your money back if you don’t).

We meet monthly except in winter, and you can learn all about Networking in Nature here.

Now go find someone to take a walk in the woods with!