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5 things a networking event taught me

Schmoozing-Art-Networking

Recently I attended a business idea incubation event organized in Mumbai, called in50Hrs. It is a wonderful platform to convert your ideas into a prototype over a weekend, technically in 50 Hours!
No, I was not a participant but I attended the demo day as a volunteer.

When i decided to attend the event, what I did not have was – a plan about what I will do there; connection with any of the attendees. But what I did have was – an open mind and the belief that I will come back a penny wise.
After a power packed day, this is what I took back from the event:

1. Don’t judge a book by its cover: Lot of us are scared to get introduced to strangers or people who we feel have accomplished greater successes in their life. I held similar views for few entrepreneurs who were attending the event. To my surprise they were extremely humble and helpful. Do you hear that word “helpful”? Yes, that’s what they were. They introduced me to more like-minded people, some more awesome Startup founders and shared their story with a pure heart.

2. Start small: You don’t necessarily have to be a speaker, mentor or judge to be a part of such events. Start small; offer to help in whatever possible way you can. It could be as simple as helping set-up the projector and arranging chairs. Do not always think of, how you can possibly talk about that brilliant marketing strategy or share tips on the best UX experience. It would follow through.

3. Be a good listener: When we are busy talking about our accomplishments (blame the innate human tendency to prove themselves), we often miss to hear great things that people have to share. Introduce yourself in not more than 30 seconds and then commit self to listen to others. Be a part of someone else’s story. Connect to their issues and problems and seek to help them. Remember:

Kindness Is a beautiful gift, not always unleashed by all.

4. Your idea is not as lame as you think: Few months back I started an initiative called Brew Ideas. It is a side project through which I help Startups with their Marketing and Sales challenges. I call myself their “60 minutes marketing manager”. I never believed in the power of this idea until now, when people saw real value in what I had to offer.

People do see value in what you do, if you can solve a problem for them.

5. Pat yourself: Meeting new people and forming connections need time and energy. A hell lot of it (unless you are a networker by birth!). If you have invested in it, take a minute to pat yourself. You have shown the courage to take steps to reach your goal. After all, there are many who only act in their heads.

No learning is too small. Take little steps towards whatever you want to achieve; remember that’s how we learn to walk as a toddler. Push yourself out of your limits and you will be surprised to discover your hidden potential.

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This entry was posted in: Articles, Daily Inspiration

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Founder, Happy Roots. Passionate about agriculture, social change and rural economic development. I am on a mission to address the biggest problems faced by small and marginal farmers in India with technology and supply chain efficiencies. I work with small and tribal farmers across Maharashtra and help them connect directly with end consumers in high potential urban markets. At Happy Roots we not only build market linkages for our farmers but help them train and upgrade their skills so that we can nurture the next breed of micro entrepreneurs.

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