How often do you go to networking meetings or happy hours? Often?  I created the 30 day rule so that I could stop having my time wasted by great ACTORS.  Here is something for you to consider. 

The Rule:

If you meet someone and exchange business cards, within 30 days you should know clearly what this person is planning.  Let’s be honest, how many times have you met someone at a Happy Hour and called them to follow up only to find that they either:

a) Just want to date you

b) Never return your call

c) When they return your call they don’t have a business, idea, or anything that is socially appealing that would make you want to connect with them.  Instead, they would like to sit with you and suck up your time

d) They want to meet with you so they can suck up your brain energy on their business idea

e) You feel like you have surrounded yourself with people that take more than they give

Here is what you really want or expect:

1) You follow up with the person and set a solid meeting time to talk about something specific

2) When you meet that person, you share information.  You give each other equal time to discuss your ideas

3) You agree on next steps/dates,  and you follow up on those steps

4) Within 30 days you find a purpose for this new acquaintance and it aligns with what both of you need to accomplish

You have probably consumed lots of cocktails and had many great conversations with interesting people.  The most precious thing we have in life is TIME.  It can’t be replaced, so don’t WASTE it with the wrong people.  Here is the question you need to ask yourself:  What am I getting out of networking?  Make a list of the last 30 people you met and ask yourself a few questions: 

1) Within 30 days, did I get something from that individual that was either mutually or exclusively beneficial?

2) Am I the one who is slowing down progress with this person?  Did we agree to do something?  Did I live up to my end of the bargain?

3) Why is this person someone I want to stay in contact with long term?  How can I support this new friendship?

4) Is this person a trophy collector? What’s a trophy collector?  A person who meets with lots of people, but the meetings really don’t do much for anyone.  Everyone knows that person, but spending time with them really doesn’t do anything for you. 

5) Is this person simply a connector?  Someone I may not be able to work with, but they’re willing to connect me with people that align with what I do.  Make sure you let them know you see high value in their ablility to connect the right people.

6) Am I spending a lot of money networking, but not making a lot of progress in meeting people that align with my vision?

7) Where do I meet people that look, think, and act with like-minds?  Specifically, how do I find people I can see myself working with socially or professionally?

8 is up to you.  I’m hosting a networking workshop called, “7 key steps to increasing your client list”.  It’s not just about business it’s also about building a network of people around you that fit into your life.  For more information, see the link below and SIGN UP!

“To catch great fish, you have to fish in great waters”