You Can't Be Shy And Thrive In This Industry

Jim Luff
Posted on April 17, 2019
If you have to mingle with these people and don't know anyone, what will you say? (LCT file photo)

If you have to mingle with these people and don't know anyone, what will you say? (LCT file photo)

In the last few weeks, I've talked with two young students who reminded me of how important networking is to the success of a business. I took away as much information from them as I provided to them during our conversations.

Get Over It, Grandson

The first conversation was with my grandson. He was starting a brand new school and knew not a single soul. He shared with me his fears and intimidation and told me I didn’t understand what it was like to just show up without having any friends there. It inspired me to share with him my experiences in growing a business and how the scenario he was about to experience has happened to me over and over again.

Whether you are walking into a local Chamber of Commerce networking mixer or attending the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, there is always a very first time of arriving somewhere where you don’t know anyone. Breaking out of your shell at these types of events is vitally important to the growth of your business. Being able to walk up to a total stranger and start a conversation is vital to your success.

Whether your opening line is to introduce yourself, talk about the weather, or the quality of the convention food, you must do it. If you don’t, there is no point in even being at a networking event. It will prove futile and be a complete waste of your time. Networking and sharing information about your business is required to thrive.

Learning To Mingle

The next conversation happened in a classroom where I was a guest speaker. The class was a high school entrepreneur class. I was speaking about marketing and the importance of networking within your community. This includes participation in Chamber of Commerce events, charity events, service clubs such as Rotary International, and similar organizations.

A student asked me, “How do you know who to talk to at these events?” Without hesitation, my advice was, “Talk to anyone who will listen.” I further explained to the class networking was the art of sharing your business while also learning about someone else’s business and then deciding how the two of you could work together in the future and what possibilities might exist.

It’s not feasible to think every person you meet in life will become a client or you will become a client of theirs. Without networking and talking with people, you won’t be able to grow your business. You need to grab that spotlight, focus it on yourself, place an imaginary microphone in front of your face, and begin singing your song.

Your song is one you know well. You know the lyrics by heart. There is no one who can share information about your business better than you. You know the history, prices, culture, mission, and goals. So start singing your song.

Related Topics: building your clientele, expanding your business, Jim Luff, marketing/sales, networking, operations, Sales & Marketing

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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