I hate the terms ‘schmoozing’ and ‘networking’, because they make it seem so insincere and fake, but meeting up with like-minded people can definitely be a valuable exercise. As well as giving you a much-needed mental break from the business (or the business of your job), taking time out to meet with someone you don’t talk to regularly can be so invigorating. A conversation with them can:
* Remind you why you do what you do. There’s nothing like explaining your business to someone to remind you of your passion and why you’re putting in the blood, sweat and tears day in, day out.
* Give you new ideas. Sometimes it’s not until you voice an idea or explain a current process or a situation that the answer becomes clear.
* Give you a new insight. Talking to someone with a different perspective, experience or skill-set can set you off on a new track.
* Provide valuable market research. No one can be on top of everything that’s happening in our industry or even in business, so talking shop over a drink can be very helpful. You might discover that so-and-so is launching a product similar to yours, so-and-so needs an HR consultant like you, so-and-so is looking to expand into your area. As Oscar Wilde said, “My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people’s.”
* Give you renewed enthusiasm. At the very least, give you the mental break you needed to go back to the office and attack that to-do list with vigour and a new-found energy.
On that note, let’s catch up sometime! For a coffee, some business coaching or just a chat about life in business: firstname.lastname@example.org