How To Jumpstart Your Professional Network Without Losing All Your Friends
You are the average of the five people you associate with most.
For good or for bad, for better or for worse, the people around you influence who you are today and who you will become more like. If you dream of being an entrepreneur, but you surround yourself with people who play video games all day, good luck.
Take a good hard look at those you consider your best friends. You wouldn’t marry someone without considering what you liked about him or her, so don’t waste hours of your time building relationships with people who have incompatible values.
Learning how to build your social network offline is critical to effectively managing your online relationships.
Hello, My Name is… (Create A Relationship Report Card)
Take out a notepad and a pen. Write down a list of 8–10 qualities that you would want your friends to have. Try to write these without considering what your current friends are like right now. Imagine the people you would be surrounded by if you had your dream job. Maybe these will be the things that you love about your best friends. You might realize that the things you want in your friends are missing. In that case, you’ve been selling yourself short.
Write a second separate list of your top three values. Health, wealth, family, spirituality. Write sentences and be as specific as possible.
Write a third list of the five people you consider your best friends. Now give them one point for each quality and value they have that is on one of the two other lists.
You don’t have to explicitly axe your old friends in order to make new ones but you do need to have an understanding of what you want. Chances are, not all five of your top friends will get 100% and this shows you where there are opportunities for making new friends that will help light your fire within.
How To Instantly Find A New Tribe
Travelling is by far the best great way to put some space between your old friends and new ones that you want to build.
Go as far as you can, for as long as you can, preferably alone and with as little as possible. Travelling will inject new colour and vitality in your life. You will have the head space to consider a number of things. link
Solo travellers tend to be much more outgoing. Travellers also tend to be much more honest and they will bring out a side of you that you never knew existed. They are not trying to judge you. Everyone on the road has a story LINK
The best part about travel is that you make a clean exit from your current social circle without hurting any feelings. Guaranteed, you friends will find some way to survive without and you get to meet new people without feeling guilty about ignoring them.
When you travel alone, you will naturally meet people as go, some of which might become lifelong friends. The purpose here though, is to have a completely new slate and start meeting new people. When you return home, you will probably still connect with your old friends, but you will be able to see your relationships at home clearer.
If Travel is not a possibly right now, keep reading.
Clean out your old clutter.
If you are a chronic facebook stalker, you need to quit. Delete old friends on facebook. Today. The moment you finish this article, go onto your profile and delete anyone who does not serve you well.
You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones you keep on your list because they’re hot, pretty or ugly, even though haven’t talked in years. If you feel relieved afterwards, then you know that you made the right decision.
Open the windows and let the fresh air rush in.
4 Ways To Get On The Guest List
Building relationships takes time but the first step is to start putting yourself out there.
Attend conferences on topics that you like or want to learn. There are conferences for just about everything: social media, wine,
Take group lessons for that thing you’ve always wanted to learn. The people that you see every week in class will slowly start to become your friends. You know that you have at least one thing in common.
Join local associations. Again, there is pretty much an association for everything. Some of these will have a small membership fee, but they give you access to the exact people you want to start knowing. People also tend to be very friendly and helpful to others in the same association. This also helps with #5.
Find a co-working space. These make perfect offices if you are a freelancer or self-employed, but even if you have a day job, you should still find out if there is a co-working space in your city. These places often have workshops on a wide variety of topics and often they are free for anyone to attend. Again, a great place to meet lively, passionate people with similar interests.
A Word Of Caution
Friends are people and I’m not advocating that you throw people away. You do need to be conscious of how the people you surround yourself with affect your life. You online networks will only flourish over time if you connect with people in person.
Do you have any strategies for how you jumpstarted you networked?