15th June 2012 · 0 Comments
Guest post by JJ Koch of Nommunity
In a start up, there is never enough time in the day to complete all the tasks your company needs to complete. That is the reason you bring a team into the fold to share burden, but also to share all the riches you could have kept to yourself. To that end, you must “network.” Personally, I hate the word “networking” because that’s what computers do – humans make new friends. Friends help each other. “Networking” is making work friends. If you are terrible at making new friends, you should work on this.
Being socially awkward is not a death sentence for entrepreneurs; you just need put yourself in front of other human beings and have a conversation with them. Conversation may be unnatural for some people so here is a simple equation: introduce yourself, repeat the name of the person you just met, and ask a question about them. For example, “Glad to meet you Jason, what do you do?” And once they respond, ask two more follow up questions. In most cases you now have at least 3 or 4 things to talk about. In most cases, conversation will start flowing more naturally from that point onward.
Now that you can talk to anyone, get out into the world and do just that. You’ve got to get up from your desk sometimes, because only 30% of the work for start up takes place behind a desk. I’ve been in London the past week exposing myself to “forced serendipity,” a concept the great Gabriella Draney and Jon Bradford (of Springboard London) both evangelize. You cannot get that lucky meeting with the guy or girl that adds a critical piece to your business unless talk all the people who very well might be that person. Working hard on your product is the first step in making your own luck, the second is to getting out there and finding some forced serendipity.
Go to happy hours, startup events, and social functions of all types and when given the chance to leave the country, take that chance. You’ll change yourself, your perspective, and maybe even your luck.
Want to know more about Tech Wildcatters International Accelerator Exchange, sponsored by American Airlines? Read this.