Someone once told me 'You really are a networker'. People who know me, know that I do not like networking. I can hear you laugh, because how can someone organizing events not like networking? It's true, it sounds weird, but is really true. I happen to be more interested in the person wearing the mask with the service rendering company logo. It's the personal connection that will make me remember, approach or refer this person.
I love to connecting people, like with the OpenCoffee. That is what The Social Connector is all about. I meet people and automatically I run through the folders in my brain to see if there is any one I could introduce him or her to, but networking myself ...?
The picture people had of me as a networker was not wrong according to my partner and he gave me tickets to a seminar by Charles Ruffolo THE NetworKing in the amazing Conservatory Hotel in Amsterdam. Very clear, very entertaining and pure he shares his vision on networking. For example, you already have a network from the moment you were born, your birth announcement was your first business card. Charles Ruffolo advises us to exlude no-one to your network, because it is not about who you know, it's all about who knows YOU!
Charles invited me to join his network The NetworKing. Initially I hesitated, but I can tell you I really enjoyed it. Because of him I have met new people out of my comfort zone, new people I am about to create beautiful things with.
Once upon a time, not so long ago :-) I asked my younger brother who visited me to come along to the supermarket. He did not want to go. 'It only takes 5 minutes to get to the supermarket, but with you it takes at least half an hour because of all those people that come to you.' I can't help it, people are so fascinating to me and I am always sincerely interested in them.
'Networking is a way of life', says Charles. Indeed, sometimes it takes a person to tell it to you out loud. Networking is a way of life I have been living my whole life. So there it is, I said it, nevertheless The Social Connector sounds so much better ... .
This article has been originally been written for and place in Dutch on Oost-Online in June 2012