I am not very good at getting up at the crack of dawn. I am more of a night owl. One of the things that makes it all worthwhile, apart from the extra business, is being amongst positive, uplifting people. It sets up your day and you leave feeling on a high and ready for business. Who in their right mind would spend time and money going to meet people who make them feel down?
Networking is a people business and for it to work you need to be the kind of person others enjoy being around. If you want to become influential with highly connected people then they need to feel comfortable in your company. If they do not then they are unlikely to do business with you or want to refer you to people they know – no matter how talented you are.
If you find it hard being positive and uplifting, I know how you feel. Please don’t tell anyone but there was a time, many years ago when I felt the same. I always looked on the negative side of life. Every silver lining had a cloud and I would regularly criticise and complain about things. The sort of person I would now give a very wide berth. I knew this was a problem but I did not know what to do about it.
What I found from reading personal development books is that negativity is a habit and so is being positive and optimistic. It all depends on what you pay attention to. I used to pay attention to the worst in people. Now I pay attention to the best in people. I used to think about what could go wrong. I now think about what could go right.
I am not suggesting that you put on a false positivity or become all happy-clappy and Pollyanna. What I am saying is that in the world of networking a negative outlook will hold you back and you may want to invest in some personal development. Books like ‘How to win friends and influence people’ by Dale Carnegie is a good place to start.
Being uplifting is about making people you are with feel better about themselves. You just need to take the focus off yourself and put it onto them. Smile and find something you can sincerely complement and take an interest in. Give them your undivided attention and they will thank you for it.
When people feel good by being around you they will want to spend more time with you and they will be happy to introduce you to people they know. That’s not only good for business but it’s also great fun!