Plugging into a thriving, intelligent, talented, and diverse network is central to being a successful entrepreneur—that’s a no-brainer.
Guest Contributor: The LAB Miami
Plugging into a thriving, intelligent, talented, and diverse network is central to being a successful entrepreneur—that’s a no-brainer. The importance of networking permeates throughout the human experience. If you really think about it, there are numerous opportunities that have come into your life because of who you know and how you interact within your circle. A network’s value can be determined by context and the key influencers within it.
If you have a start-up, or even decided long ago that you will only work for yourself and the projects you truly feel passionate about, then you may dislike or feel alienated by the scene associated with the act of “networking.” Having to develop a specific skill set in order to, essentially, WORK, in a social setting may seem bizarre, but making new professional connections will ultimately expand your pool of contacts to assure the success of your startup. This doesn’t mean you need to be fake—actually the opposite is true. By finding the right group to network in, you’ll create the right context for making real, meaningful connections.
The skills required for a good networking session don’t just include going to events that promote the business culture you strive to be a part of. You can also gain these skills by picking an appropriate environment to work in, socialize and/or volunteer at. Look for areas to work that have highly-collaborative, motivated, available and caffeinated individuals—this might help you to reach your goals. Context is very important for ideas to flow, for spreading culture, or when starting a business.
The identification of key influencers is also paramount to your success. By observing and communicating with people who share your same values and are identified as leaders in their field, you will gain access to people they know, the lives they lead, their opportunities, and their interests, which will help you to expand not just your business, but potentially other aspects of your life.
The bottom line
While it may seem like who you know is all a random process, the connections you make as an entrepreneur can be attributed to a lot more than serendipity. It is up to you to place yourself at the right place at the right time. Connecting with a key influencer could be a way to get a business idea to someone you really need to meet indirectly—and most likely, will serve as connectors to you and your idea. As an entrepreneur, your ability to leverage the environment to work with you is one of your greatest assets.
The LAB Miami is a creative campus for entrepreneurs and innovators. It operates out of a converted 10,000 square foot warehouse in the Wynwood Arts District and promotes an open, collaborative environment for learning and exchanging ideas. Subscribe to the NL and learn more on how to work at the LAB in thelabmiami.com