Have Fun!

This is the fifth in a series of 10 tips about networking based on a phone call I received.

You can read the four  prior tips and a little bit about the conversation that prompted this series on prior blog posts:

Tip #1 Participate Fully In the Event

Tip #2 Set Realistic Networking Expectations

Tip #3: To Feel Comfortable – Serve Others

Tip #4: Dress and Act the Part

This next tip may surprise you, because business and work are supposed to be so serious, right.  Well, not so.  I think you should adhere to

Tip #5 Have Fun

One of the best pieces of advice that I received early on in my career, was to simply “have fun.”  I was told to choose a profession that I would find engaging, to surround myself with professionals that I considered easy to “hang around with,” and to generally be agreeable.  I’ve taken this advice a step further and have tried to take fun with me, at every networking event that I attend or organize.

Fun is more than, well “fun.” Fun is simply good business.

People are attracted to and want to do business with those that make an effort to make themselves enjoyeable to be around.  People tend to remember those that make them feel good.

Here are some specific steps you can take

1.  If you are having a bad day, we all have them, don’t feel bad about that…just leave your bad mood outside of the networking event.   This may mean literally taking the moment or two you need to center yourself, and at least for the time you are “networking” try set your troubles aside.  A funny thing will happen when you do this: first, you’ll be more effective in attracting others and second, you may just work yourself out of your bad mood.

2.  Having and being “fun” doesn’t mean acting goofy if that’s not your personality.  I’ve seen people act like they have to put on a show, when that’s not them at all.  Please don’t change who you are.  Instead, having fun means smiling, looking people in the eye, not immediately sitting down or sitting in a corner, allowing yourself to laugh at jokes, and allowing yourself the ability to enjoy the process of meeting new people.

3. Give yourself permission to stand-out from the crowd.  Normally at networking events you’ll have the opportunity to formally introduce yourself to the group in some way.  Make your introduction memorable and just don’t worry about feeling silly.  The more whimsy, humor, and creativity you bring the more you will be remembered and the more “fun” you have at your introduction, the more fun the other networkers will have along with you.

In short, you don’t have to be silly or goofy but being light-hearted will help you to grow your connections and your business because people will find you more approachable and likeable.  Networking is not painful, it should be enjoyable.  Just give yourself the permission to enjoy the process.

Stay tuned for the next tip, “Tip #6 Don’t take “no” personally.”

Until then, I hope to see you at the next networking event, having fun!




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