Last week during Global Entrepreneurial Week there was a rare occurrence for Team MM, both Andrea and I were rather excited to attend a session. Networking for Introverts, we both identify with being introverts (Drew more blatantly than Andrea) and are both interested in making more connections within the KC Startup space. It seemed like this would be an hour well spent in the midst of a busy week.
We arrive, settle in, and are opened with a chart displaying the speakers actionable network over time. For most of the past decade it hovers between 2-6 people; then in the past couple of years it rockets up to around one thousand actionable connections.This shift occurred once the speaker implemented his Networking for Introverts methodology. For me that seems a bit overwhelming, I would have been cool with 15, but sure I’m listening, tell us your ways.
What we would be insight into strategies that an introvert can use to purposefully grow their network was a step by step guide to one man’s methodology to grow his number of actionable connections to as many as he could. In this context an “actionable connection” is someone he can call to provide a favor, business or personal. As the conversation turned to his process for keeping his network warm our minds turned cold on the process and to our decision to dedicate an hour at this event.
Without going into specifics, the process for keeping a network warm involved scripting a couple of canned email messages and following up with the 1,000 connections on a quarterly basis, while being alerted to major occurrences in their respective lines of work. It was determined that quarterly was the best time frame for follow ups, as a month is annoying, and you can’t expect someone to do something for you based on only a yearly follow up. If there was any doubt about what was happening here, the nail was driven home when asked if it was exhausting to stay engaged with this many people. The response: “I don’t give a shit about them.” Most of the room reacts with mild laughter, Team MM has more than a mild cringe.
Whatever this event was, it wasn’t a seminar on networking for introverts.
We’ve become aware that our view towards connections is more based in yogic philosophy than business. If given the choice, we’ll take a small, trusted network over 1000 warmed bodies any day of the week. Connection to the community and the people within it is a cornerstone of what Mind + Matter is all about. We know that this connection empowers us to deliver meaningful work to the people doing great things in their communities.
Now, if you’d like to meet us for coffee we promise you won’t be receiving a canned email from us every third month.