Does networking sound complicated to you? A few years ago it sounded like something I wanted to avoid. Networking conjured up images of nobles at the court of Louis XIV who were desperately seeking attention, or of people trying to forge complicated alliances. As I’ve come to realize: those nobles were right. If nobody knew them, how could they improve their position in society?
Fast forward to a few centuries later and we’re in 2018. Networking is still important. As I’ve learned through trial and error: if people don’t know who you are and what you do it can be complicated to get a business up and running, or to find a new job. You may be a brilliant mind, but most of the time opportunities won’t come knocking at your door without any investment or effort from yourself.
So, how do you start networking with like-minded people? I found the online platform Meetup to be very useful for finding networking events in nearby cities. A great number of events are free and some ask for a contribution. Personally, when going to an event that is hosted by professionals who give great advice I don’t mind paying a contribution.
Last week I went to a great event, hosted by the Fearless Female Founders in Brussels. As the title suggests this group aims to encourage women as entrepreneurs by giving practical advice and exchanging experiences. The two ladies who presented this event: Anna and Kristina are inspiring because they share their personal stories about education and work, not shying away from failure and how to learn from it and improve yourself.
Fun fact: I told a fellow Belgian blogger about the event and she showed up. We met in person a few months ago after I sent her an e-mail. Two Swedish influencers mentioned her in their podcast and after a bit of hesitation I thought: why not contact this person?
See, networking doesn’t have to be complicated or scary. Sometimes you just have to do it!
*you can find the Fearless Female Founders on FB via this link