The idea of telling you how I network while I hate networking came after getting back from the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago last weekend. So before I start with my anti-networking post, I wanted to say a few things about the awesome time I had in Chicago:
Phil from PT Money is the king of organization. He’s the man behind the FINCON11 and I can just say that it was PERFECT! If I ever have to plan my 2nd wedding, I’m calling this guy!
J Money from Budgets Are Sexy has a very cool Mohawk! On top of that, he won so many Plutus Awards that it felt like watching Justin Bieber at the Much Music Awards (don’t worry, J is much cooler 😉 ).
SVB from The Digerati Life is the sweetest blogger in the world. She’s super kind and helpful.
Mike from Money Smarts Blog is not my Anglophone alter ego from Toronto! Regardless if he’s a financial blogger, has 2 kids, a wife and the same initials as I do, he actually has hair. So my baldness makes me unique ;-D
Pat from Smart Passive Income was never part of the ones to be picked first for basketball in college. But trust me, he has a hell of a shot!
Baker from Man Vs Debt is even more inspirational in person. I guess you must be very inspirational to get people to applaud at 8am after Saturday night’s party ;-).
Tom from Canadian Finance is always laughing. A lot of fun hanging out with him!
Martin (MD) from Studenomics is a true machine! He drove to Chicago from Toronto and was up all night both days… though he mentioned that he wouldn’t be drinking on Monday morning 😉
Dividend Ninja doesn’t have nun chucks but he is sharp as a blade.
Mike Piper from The Oblivious Investor is very generous to share all about his methods to write and publish books on Amazon. Thx for the tips!
All right, I originally had a much bigger list of bloggers I wanted to talk about but it’s getting too long already ;-), let’s go on with why I hate networking and how I still do connect with people.
That’s kind of funny to say for a financial planner since I need to do a lot of what people call “networking” to be successful but I just hate it. Really, really, REALLY hate networking. I just don’t get how people jump from one person to another spending barely 15 minutes talking and ending-up the conversion just for the sake of “meeting” someone else. It looks more like pollination to me! To me, it sounds like the same script that you roll over and over again:
– Hey, how is it going
– Where do you come from
– How come you got into blogging
– yadi yada…
– okay, now it’s time for me to switch to someone else now that “I know you”.
I just can’t do that. When I want to talk to someone it’s not for small talk but rather to really know this person. Know him outside of his blogging strategies per se ;-). Fortunately, I must say that most people at the conference were truly interested in connecting with people instead of doing basic networking.
I think this is the most important message: connect with people don’t try to become friends in 15 minutes. I personally prefer meet less people but actually get to know them rather than doing pollination ;-). That said, it is much harder to do than you think.
The first thing is that you need to know who will be there. You might have connected with some people already and a conference like this is the perfect way to solidify your relationship. Emails and skype calls are cool but there is nothing like a good face-to-face conversation.
So the first thing I did was to check out the list of attendees. Phil had this great idea of making that list to show who was coming. Then, I looked at people I really wanted to see… hum… that was a bad idea since I wanted to meet 80% of them… the other 20% were people I didn’t know 😉 lol!
After that, I made a list of people that I know a little bit more (based on email and skype calls). These were my “priorities”. While I didn’t have enough time to meet everybody that I wanted to, the time I spent with these people was genuinely cool!
Note that everybody is pretty busy during a cocktail. It’s important to know who you want to talk to before entering the room. If not, you won’t know with whom you can really connect and you might end-up going from one person to another until you find people with more common interests.
I don’t know where that Idea comes from but it was a great formula at the FINCON11. We were all sitting on a chair face to face and we had 1 minute to connect with people. This is great as you don’t get to spend too much time and you can see if you want to meet that person later on during the evening and talk more. I really enjoyed this formula and got to meet about 20 people in less than half an hour ;-D
Oh yeah… I almost forgot! During conferences, there are always people that everybody wants to have a chat with. Therefore, you can either be lucky enough to speak with them for 10 minutes amongst the crowd or you just don’t get the opportunity to talk to them. But I had a trick that I used this time to see if it would work and guess what, I got to spend some great quality time with them.
Want to know what it is? I’m explaining my story along with all my notes from the conference in my newsletter on Friday. On Friday, I’ll be providing a 2,500 word document with everything I’ve learned from the conference to my newsletter subscribers and since it’s free, be sure to subscribe:
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