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Why Networking is Worth Your Time
By: Don McLean
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When was the last time you went to a networking event specifically to meet people? I thought so.

Networking brings about your single best chance of actually “making it,” no matter the industry. World-renowned author of the Four Hour Workweek Tim Ferris said in a recent podcast that it’s not about throwing out a pitch and seeing if it sticks or collecting as many business cards as possible. It’s about making a single human connection.

Don't rush, play the long game.
You’re not going to walk up to any single person and get that better job or land that piece of new business. It takes time, and it takes trust. So why rush? Take those thoughts out of your mind and just meet someone. The goal is to build a relationship.

Small talk is the big talk.
If the goal is to build a relationship, how do you start? With small talk. Small talk is actually the big talk according to Tim Ferris. Find those little things in common. If you collect vinyl records, ask around; if you study karate, see if anyone knows who you should speak to; you get the idea. You don’t have to talk about work at all, you just have to make a real human connection.

Everyone you interact with has the potential to get you in The New York Times.
It’s all about having proper manners. Listen to your mom’s words in the back of your mind and don’t be a jerk. It’s actually as simple as that. While some people may be annoying, find your out, but be sincere. The world is small and you’ll definitely run into them again. In fact, the person you dismiss may just be the spouse of someone you actually want to talk to.  

Tim’s podcast is definitely worth a listen. Put it on while you’re doing something mindless and get on the multi-taking train. I collect vinyl, drive a classic car, and have a very fun two-year-old — what do we have in common? Send me an email.

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About the Author
Don McLean, MBA is an account supervisor at Airfoil Group, an independent marketing and public relations firm serving tech companies and innovation-centric brands with offices in Detroit, New York and Silicon Valley. Follow Don on twitter at@mclean_don.  
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