How I Built My Network of Thousands

People often ask me how I built my network of thousands, and my answer is always the same...

A lot of networking!

I gotta be honest, I worked hard to build the network I have today. 

Back in 2012 I started going to one or two events per week. I scheduled coffees, lunches and happy hours with anyone I felt a connection. And, I would look for ways to be of service to people and follow up with action items from our conversations. 

To be fair, I had a job where networking for the company was part of my job description, but I did the majority of this networking on my own time. 

After years of doing this, my networking started to pay off -- I was seen as a connector and an influencer, so people in my network would introduce me to more people. I was a good person to know, because I had lots of connections and therefore loads of resources and ideas at my fingertips. 

Then my networking started to get out of control. 

I spent so much time running around having coffees, lunches and happy hours that I never got any work done! I began to feel resentful and frustrated with the people who were just there to get something from me...never thanking me or reciprocating. 

So I backed way off and started saying, "No" to connection requests. 

I looked at the priorities in my business and outlined the types of people I wanted to meet in person that aligned with those priorities. I funneled any requests for brain-picking and advice into my system for enrolling new coaching clients. And I started saying, "No" to a lot of people.

When I started saying, "No" it was really, really hard. I had a fear of missing out on opportunities and I also didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

So instead of a flat-out "No," I would say something to this effect: "I appreciate your interest in my work and I wish I could meet you in person, but right now I'm busy working on projects that need my attention. If you have any specific requests I can handle over email, I'd be happy to have that discussion, otherwise I hope you'll subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch and maybe our paths will cross in the future.

Now when I meet up with someone, 95 percent of the time I don't feel resentful or drained because I have deliberately chosen to meet with that person. I have it all under control😉