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The Power of Connecting


By Helena Wardle, Founder, Money Means


Tim Ferris recently shared this quote in a blog, and it really resonates:

“I believe that it’s easier to do a hard startup than an easy startup. People want to be part of something exciting and feel that their work matters. If you are making progress on an important problem, you will have a constant tailwind of people wanting to help you. Let yourself grow more ambitious, and don’t be afraid to work on what you really want to work on.”

Most of us dread the word networking; we get flashes of standing on our own looking out of

place or listening to strangers wondering when we will get a chance to speak. This is a very

dated and closed-minded view of the power of connections. It is not about swapping

business cards and “selling yourself”. The most important part of networking is making

connections, and most of the magic happens in the follow-up and the opportunities that you

create after the event. Connecting with others is collaborative and creative. In essence, it is a

dynamic blend of relationship-building, effective communication, trust, collaboration, and

shared vision. It's an ongoing process that, when done right, can lead to partnerships,

opportunities, and growth for all parties involved.


We need to reframe this as a positive part of our progression, not a nice to do.



How?


We need to lower our expectations when we attend networking events.

Don’t focus on what you can get out of it; primarily focus on what you can give to build relationships, and this is far simpler. It reduces pressure and creates a more relaxed atmosphere that focuses you on others. It is about sharing ideas, talking through important issues, finding out different perspectives, hearing support and, most importantly, seeking critical friends. Those brilliant people who will give you their honest opinion because it’s safe for them to say it. Not to be confused with the obnoxious types who are just sounding off.


Be open-minded and curious.

Being challenged on ideas and thoughts is possibly one of the most underrated benefits of connecting with others. When you are building something you love and believe in or working towards a vision in a business, finding people who will share honestly what they see and think is critical to success. It is your responsibility to manage what you do with what you hear but you will benefit enormously from learning from the experience shared by the people you connect with. An open-minded attitude also leads to reciprocity, meaning more doors are opened as a result.


Create opportunities to follow up.

Connecting with others advances us all. Studies have shown that people with stronger networks achieve higher salaries and more promotions. 85% of job positions are filled with personal or professional connections, and 70% of all jobs are not published publicly, underscoring the advantages of actively engaging with others who might be privy to suitable opportunities. Connect on LinkedIn, carry on conversations and nurture the relationships.


Collaborate.

Networking can usher support from others, whether that be mentorship by superiors or assistance extended by junior colleagues. Importantly, networking provides you with the opportunity to aid others, too, which in turn lets you demonstrate your professional competencies and raise your profile as an innovator and thought leader, leading to more connections and professional growth.


It's good for us; we are social creatures.

Outside of the professional sphere, networking has benefits to both mental and physical health by providing social interactions that bring extra value to each day. The long-term, meaningful relationships borne out of networking should not be overlooked when considering the benefits that it affords.


What is the best way to approach it?

Treat it as part of the job and commit to spending some time each week to connect with

others, whether it is attending an event, arranging a one-to-one follow-up or helping someone else.



/ / / Start by joining us at our event!


“The Power of Connections: How to Fundraise from your Network”

with Helena Wardle, Felicia Meyerowitz-Singh, Gillian Hepburn and Alexandra Daly, where they will be discussing networking, how to raise investment from your network, a great new information hub specifically aimed at giving you the A-Z of fundraising and the launch of three funds by the Council of Investing in Female Entrepreneurs. This event will provide the perfect opportunity to use your networking skills and join in an engaging discussion.


This is not just about fundraising, it is also about;

- raising your credibility and expertise

- raising your profile as an innovator and thought leader, which in turn leads to

more connections for fundraising and growth!



➡️ ➡️ Read more about the event here


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/ / / Event details 

            The Power of Connections: How to Fundraise from your Network
            Wednesday 13th September, 6pm UK
Schroders 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU.

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