Lately I have been finding 'networking' so easy that all the bad connotations I had associated with this exercise are disappearing.
And what I think about now when I think about networking is nothing like what I used to think about. I actually only consider it networking in retrospect, like, 'Oh yeah, showing up at that event and having awesome conversations with those people, I was like, networking with them'. Ha.
I used to hate networking, and I think this was because of two things. The first was that there was an unwritten purpose to my networking, which was to sell something through conversation. The second was that I actually did not want to talk with the people I was suppose to be networking with. I was not interested in the type of work they did, and I felt like a fraud because I was showing up at events that were not aligned with who I am.
It has taken me about a year, but I have started to tap into events that are full of my kind of people. Reflective, entrepreneurial, trying to create meaningful change through business, trying to get the product/maker fit right before they get the product/market fit right.
I enjoy hanging out with these people so much. I feel supported and accepted, and I am constantly fascinated by the things they are doing. It never crosses my mind to sell something to them. I am there to inspire and be inspired with the hope that we, and those we go on to interact with and influence, will all benefit.
This is the new networking, for me and my tribe at least anyway.