Friday, 6 July 2007

Should Networking Carry a Health Warning?

Ever since I first started in business, nearly 10 years ago, I’ve always networked to spread the word about what I do. It’s great fun and I’ve met lots of very nice business owners (some of whom have even become clients!)

Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting and getting to know people but unfortunately I think I’m coming down with ‘Networking Fatigue’ – a relatively new and little-understood syndrome whose primary symptom is a sinking feeling when you check the diary and find you’re booked to go to yet another networking meeting (it seemed like a good idea at the time).

Other symptoms of ‘Networking Fatigue Syndrome’ include: Repetitive 60-seconditus (a compulsion to repeat your 60 second introduction every time you meet someone new); An inability to find any pressing businesses issues that need to be resolved by group therapy (leading to feelings of total inadequacy because your business is running smoothly); and a sore throat as the result of having to shout during speed networking (this is accompanied by a ringing in the ears because everyone’s shouting so much).

When I heard this week about 3 new networking groups starting up in my area, I almost had to resort to lying down in a darkened room until my heart stopped pounding.

Fortunately, there is some relief in sight and possible cures to the ‘Networking Fatigue Syndrome’ are imminent as the result of painstaking research by some dedicated individuals. Although these cures have yet to be proved in clinical trials, a sneak preview of the papers revealed the following suggested remedies:

- Avoid copycat groups – you don’t want to forget where you are, it’s embarrassing.
- Balance your meetings – too many full English breakfasts slow down your productivity and increase your waistline.
- Pin your 60 second introduction to your jacket – that way you don’t need to keep repeating yourself.

And, in order to minimise your symptoms (should you believe you may have contracted this syndrome), ensure that you heed the following important health warning:

DO NOT, under any circumstances, stop going to Networking events or the ‘Networking Fatigue Syndrome’ may mutate into the far more virulent ‘Networking Withdrawal Paralysis’ – which will have a devastating effect on your business.

Keep watching this blog for the latest business breakthroughs!

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