Wayne Gretzky is quoted as saying: “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”
This doesn’t apply only to hockey. It applies to our kids’ soccer team. Playing basketball in the park. Taking a chance on a book that sounds like it would contain a great story.
This maxim is appropriate for virtually every other aspect of our lives. You need to take shots. Make an effort. Otherwise there will be no reward.
The same can easily be said for professional networking and connecting with others. If we don’t step outside and extend our hand for a handshake, it will be very difficult to enjoy the reward.
Sometimes we may not feel up to the task. We may feel low on our energy. We might have other seemingly pressing matters weighing on our minds. But the maxim remains: If you don’t shoot, you don’t score.
I don’t want this to sound too ‘salesy’ by saying that you need to be a “go-getter” and that it is a must to attend every possible networking opportunity. I do want it to communicate an accountability.
An accountability to ourselves to be honest enough to recognize that good things come from meeting new people and making new friends. And that we do have enough control over our actions and decisions to make this effort at least occasionally.
It is easy to look at the 15 – 20 networking events around our community and decide that it would consume WAY too much time to attend each one and therefore not go. The problem is you’re not taking a shot. And you will miss.
Miss out on new friends. New information. New experiences (remember Finding Nemo?).
Going to one per month, however, is a different story.
Find one group to which you either associate closely or feel comfortable attending. Make the commitment to attending just that one. Because things happen. People are met. Things are learned. Our lives are enriched.
Can’t find that one group? Ask your network.