Teachers in Business

Networking YOUR Way: how to talk to more people (and make more money) this year

January 12, 2021 Sara Torpey Season 1 Episode 9
Teachers in Business
Networking YOUR Way: how to talk to more people (and make more money) this year
Chapters
Teachers in Business
Networking YOUR Way: how to talk to more people (and make more money) this year
Jan 12, 2021 Season 1 Episode 9
Sara Torpey

Networking is something lots of people AVOID, but really, it’s just business-speak for talking to people. And talking to people is one of the fastest and most effective ways to make more money in your business. 

So how do you network effectively in a way that actually works for YOU? 

This week we’re talking about  simple, easy to implement strategies to network like YOURSELF. Watch out - you might even start to enjoy it!



Show Notes Transcript

Networking is something lots of people AVOID, but really, it’s just business-speak for talking to people. And talking to people is one of the fastest and most effective ways to make more money in your business. 

So how do you network effectively in a way that actually works for YOU? 

This week we’re talking about  simple, easy to implement strategies to network like YOURSELF. Watch out - you might even start to enjoy it!



 

Welcome to the podcast for this week. So this week we're talking networking. Networking is something that lots and lots of people avoid like the plague. But really, networking is just business speak for talking to people. And talking to people is one of the fastest and most effective ways to make more money in your business right now. So the question becomes how do you network effectively and in a way that actually works for you as a human being, because it will go better, be more effective and be more likely to work if you get to show up as yourself. So this week, that's what we're going to talk about simple and easy to implement strategies to network as you like, you might actually even enjoy it. So this week, I'm going to start with a little story about my networking journey. When I started my first business, like 2016, I forced myself to network, I went to events, I went to conferences, I shook hands, I tried to explain to people what it was, I did, and my company did. And mostly those people didn't get it. And it was exhausting. I was tired when I was done every time. And sometimes people wanted to connect one on one afterwards. But it was mostly to sell me financial planning. And all of the things it just wasn't a good experience. So what happened was I decided networking was impossible, and painful. And that it was something that couldn't work for me. All the things. In all of this, like experimenting with different groups and doing that kind of thing. I did find one little group of women locally that I loved. Like I actually met with them earlier this week. They're kind and smart. And they're all business owners, and they do all kinds of different things. And when we got together, we learned, like they were always learning meetings, we share what we were working on, and some of our struggles, and we helped each other. It was like my favorite experience, it was the only one I kept going to time and time again. And so a little while ago, 2019 when I started my coaching business, I decided that networking had to like happen again. And I was like, Oh, so I sat around for a while and avoided it, like all good networkers do. And then I decided to think about the group I liked, and find more of them like that. For me, what that looked like was focusing on women's groups just because like no offense to the guys, it was just more comfortable. And I wanted groups that included other business owners. I wanted groups that were not every week at x time or every month that x time necessarily. I don't really live the life day to day where I can do anything every week at x time, reliably like that there are going to be times where like other stuff is happening, kids and jobs and clients and whatever. So I needed it to flex. And I wanted it to be learning oriented. Because, like I like to learn stuff. And I feel like the shared experience of learning together is really worthwhile. So from there after I thought about that, I did three things like looking back on it, there were three things that made all the difference for me networking this time. The first is that I started to treat it like an experiment. I just decided to go on in and join some stuff and try it out. Most of the groups were local. Sometimes I went once and was like, yep, nope, these are not my people. But I didn't think like me, and I failed. That was terrible. Instead, I decided to think you know what, this just isn't my crew. This isn't how I want to learn. Like I went to one evening networking event. Cash about a year ago. And it was like a sales pitch for selling timeshares. It was bizarre, but oddly, like I met someone there who's a client now. So you never know. I also found a few groups that I thought like the first time I wasn't like, Oh, this is the best thing ever. But I was like okay, you know, that was maybe like maybe there okay. And I decided to commit to for more meetings. Because things like networking. Don't feel so awful once you get to know the people. And I thought maybe if I gave myself long enough to know people a little bit it would help. The second thing I decided was that I was just going with the purpose of meeting people. nothing more nothing. Like I was going to meet new humans, that's not from the area I live in. Now locally. I didn't grow up here, like, I don't know, kids from high school here. I just needed more people. And I didn't want anything from them, I just didn't need anything I just wanted to connect. Like, I'm curious about what they do, I think it's fun to learn stuff, I wanted to have a bigger circle. And that was a really useful way to approach it. And the third is I just let it be practice. Going to more events was my chance to not quite say what I do right? To be like an awkward weirdo in public and not die from it to be perfectly present, but totally unclear in front of group of strangers, or say something weird and to do, like, say something dumb, and live and learn. And so I was going to treat it as practice, and go to the events and just accept that, like, I was going to learn from them, and I was going to get better and better. And as a result of that, I got more comfortable. I found people I really liked. I started then to get to practice the art and the science of the one on one coffee chat, which is part and parcel of networking, where you meet someone there and then you talk after, you know, you schedule a time to talk with that individual one on one, after the fact I figured the secret out to that too. And then I'll tell you like to be quite honest. Over half the money I made in my coaching business last year was a direct result of networking, and learning to network more effectively. And it can work for you to like this is where the infomercial starts. So why does this matter for you? Like this is a great story. But like why do you care? The long and short of it is this. In order to grow a business, you need human beings, you need other people, and you need to actually connect with them posting on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Instagram on whatever. Making a Facebook friend that isn't actually a friend that you don't have a conversation with. It's not enough. Those are all really kind of passive things. They're nice and safe. They're super comfortable. But they're passive. And to grow a business, you need an active approach to connecting. You need to have actual human conversations with people that grow you as a business owner and grow what you're good at as a human connecting humans. You can't just consume act of creation. Active connection is what helps to create a business that thrives period. So for me, networking in any form, is that process of actively connecting. So how do you do this? Well, here are the strategies you need. First, think about the people you want to work with the customers, the clients, where are they? Where can you actually connect with them? What kinds of groups or then What kinds of things do they enjoy? And what kinds of groups do you enjoy? Because if you don't enjoy the people in the group, you won't go back like there was a group I joined for a minute at one point I went to one, maybe two meetings. Every time we went I the two times I went we did some sort of craft and I am not crafty. And like I don't want to sit in a basement with people and like cut and paste things. I'm 42 that's I don't know, it just doesn't suit me. So I you know, that wasn't my kind of fun. So I found something that was second experiment. Try some of the groups that you think like well, maybe that one, if you hate it and you're like, Nope, not my people. It's okay. You don't have to go back. They don't know you. You don't know them. Nobody died. If you find even one human though, that you connect with well, try again. Or commit to four like I did, and get comfortable like sit in your seat and enjoy the people. Yep, it might cost money you might have to join that organization. And that's okay. But like, in the end, if half of your business like mine comes from meeting people like that, then it's worth the money. The third thing is to expect nothing. I know that sounds crazy, but just show up. My favorite thought one of my favorite thoughts and I've shared it on here before is I'm not perfect, but I can be perfectly present. I can just show up as a flawed human, imperfect me. And that's plenty. They'll like me for me, I don't need them to pay me money, right? In that moment, I don't need them all to become clients, I would be out of my mind busy Anyways, I'm just there to connect, like, like, actually connect. And if that's the case, that's going to work in your favor, because so many people show up to networking with an agenda. And if you show up, and your only agenda is to be a human being, there's something magical in that. And fourth, treat it like it's practice, you are practicing talking about what you do to different groups of people. Period. you're practicing feeling like a weirdo and not dying from it. You're practicing, showing up and staying present and listening. And like tuning in your active listening and conversation skills. And honestly, after 2020, we could use a little of that. Finally, the last step is to be open to whatever happens next. Somebody reaches out to you or let's say somebody reaches out to you and says, Hey, do you want to connect one on one for a half hour? Say, sure. Or if there was somebody in the meeting, you were like, she was amazing. Reach out to her and connect one on one and say, Hey, would you mind just having another conversation? I loved what you said at the meeting? Will every conversation you accept to be amazing? Maybe not. But I'll be honest, I have been floored I've met amazing people. And I have had pretty regularly somebody go like, hey, talk to me about what it would look like to work with you. You're fun. Like I would love to work with you as a coach. What does that take? And I'm like always showing up to networking with no expectation. I bring the same expectation or lack of it, I should say, to my one on one connects. I show up, present experimental and no expectations. And just ask helpful questions and like have a conversation. And it it goes really well. For the most part, I make good connections. Sometimes I find clients, sometimes they find me sometimes I make friends. Like sometimes I get a phone. I'm like, oh boy, she was a lot of work. But that's fine. The key is being open to it all. You have to be open. For me like this past week, I had a meeting, connect with a woman who happened to be a former teacher who I know and another group who was going to have me on live for a series in her facebook group. Great for me great for her. But it never would have been an option if I hadn't been open to connect just kind of randomly. She and I got along great. We'll work together at some point, I think. But I had to be willing to say yes. So in all of this, the biggest obstacle to this working the way you want it to and in being useful for you is your energy. It's you. If you don't show up fully present, people will know if you show up and you sort of hide and like hide your real self. People will feel that just show up and be you like be odd. I'm odd and I am kind of good with that. Like I'm an ex current even not even really x math teacher, I grew up at a cemetery. Like my dad ran a cemetery growing up. I have family in the cemetery business, I'm strange in my own ways. Like I'm willing to own my odd, I'm just willing show up willing. And if it takes drinking a little bit of the kool aid of whatever that group is and jumping in. Sometimes, like there's a group I'm in, they have dance parties on zoom, and everybody gets up and dances. And that is not my kind of Kool Aid. But I do it because you know, sometimes it's even kind of secretly fun. You won't die, I promise. allowing yourself to get out of your own way for a minute. And embracing the experiment is great for your business. It's also great for really growing as a human being and for helping you to refine how to show up fully as you because really, that's the version of persona of the person you want to present to the world, right? That's the version that you want running your business. That's the closest you get to being able to be 100% yourself and the more of that you bring the better. So this is my version of networking. If you are looking to meet some amazing new york kind of people Try networking your way, find a group you love. If you're looking for a group, please feel free to reach out for me, I have some suggestions. I also have a group on Facebook called teachers in business, we do little mini networking events, periodically, there will be one at the end of January. So if you want to come in and join the Facebook group, and practice being a human and talking to people, we're happy to have you. And if you know that the thing in your business is talking to more people, and you just can't figure out how to do this as you for the unique human that you are like this has been a struggle and you just don't know what to do next and how to do this experiment. please reach out, I know I can help you. I teach all of my clients, all of my coaching clients, how to talk to their people, how to actually talk to them, effectively, how to create more money in their businesses, because they're talking to their people effectively because they're connecting. And I can do the same for you. All you do to start is you schedule a one on one conversation, you can send me a message on Facebook, you can send it on LinkedIn, you can send an email to Sara; sara@torpeycoaching.com or you can go to the same website and book online. So here is to a 2021 filled with connections with networking and making lots of money in your business as a result. Have a great week.