The networking marathon – and what to do when you hit the wall

Networking, like so many other things worth doing in life, is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like a marathon, it requires training, persistence, determination and energy. Just like a marathon, there are times when everything comes easily and you’re ‘in the zone’ and there’s inevitably a time when you ‘hit the wall’.

If we think about a networking year as a marathon, November can be the danger time. The time when we hit that networking wall. Here’s how I see the big race every year…

January – the new year, with promises of new beginnings is like training for the marathon. We’re full of enthusiasm and excited by the challenges and possibilities ahead. We’re making resolutions, planning for a great networking year.

February to May – the siren’s sounded and we’re well and truly into the race. This is the point where we’re busily making new connections, Getting Fresh, attending meetings and really building up the networking pace.

June and the end of financial year. We’re halfway and from here we can count down the distance. We’re still feeling good and know that we’ll make the finish line. We really value our networking and what it brings us.

July and August – our pre-race calories have been used up and we’re starting to flag a little. Networking through winter, getting up and out to meetings in dark, chilly mornings saps our networking mojo a little…

September and October – …but we have a Gatorade and the mojo is back. The spring weather puts a boost back into our networking.

November – we’ve only got a few kilometres to go, we can smell success and suddenly BANG – we’ve hit the wall. Do we really need to get to every meeting? Could we just put off meeting that guest who wanted to chat? We feel ‘networked out’ – maybe we’ll just start the Christmas break a bit early…

NO! Just like the successful marathon runner, we have to push through. We are so very close to the end of a great networking year, and it’s important to keep going and making the very most of every Get Fresh, every meeting, every connection, right to the end of the year.

How do we make it through the wall? With the help of our Fresh community. In every hub, I see such resilience, such camaraderie, such support and such generosity amongst our members. It makes me really proud and I know that it is the support that gets each and every one of us through the wall.

The Fresh community is to networking what Gatorade is to running – a mojo booster, a pick me up, and that final burst of energy that gets you to the finishing line.

Here’s some practical tips on how to harness the power of Fresh to get you through the wall – it’s all about keeping the focus on things that work…

  • Invite guests – a new introduction for the hub can mean a potential new referral relationship for one of our hub mates.
  • Get Fresh to build relationships – make sure to make it more of a ‘get to know you’ rather than solely business related.
  • Visit another hub – we never know who’s going to be in the room, so let’s set ourselves a goal to meet one new person.
  • Refer to a Freshie – referring to someone is one of the best ways to boost our mojo
  • With the wall behind us, we’re at the finish line in no time.

    Once we’re there, we celebrate (have you booked your Christmas party tickets yet?), we refresh, we reset and we rest. Then we pick ourselves up and start to build our mojo for next year’s marathon.

    We’re nearly there Freshies, just a few kilometres left, keep going. See you at the finishing line.