Networking – The Mindset

In my blog posting titled Networking: Even Accountants Can Mingle, I discussed four networking tips that you can use immediately. I would like to discuss in greater detail some things around tip number one – the Mindset.

The Mindset is all about attitude – having the right attitude, believing in yourself, having a plan, and the simplest thing of all – remembering to smile!

In the months of May and June, I spoke at eight conferences and two in-house workshops that stretched across nine states.  I recognized that I would have the opportunity to meet over 1,000 individuals during this journey. So I devised a plan where I would meet at a minimum five people at each one of my stops. My plan was simple –I would simply introduce myself to people that I didn’t know either at the breaks or after my presentation ended. (You thought my plan was going to involve a lot more than that, didn’t you?)

In early July, I counted the number of business cards that I received over this timeframe, and I have 65 business cards. Wow! (65 cards divided by 8 stops = 8.125 cards per stop. I beat my goal! Now I just need to figure out who was the .125 person I met.)

I started thinking about these people that I just met and a few really stood out:

  • At the Association of Accounting Administrators Conference in Detroit, I met a woman who is a partner in a CPA firm, whose role is the office administrator, and she not a CPA.
  • At the Maryland Association of CPAs Innovation Conference in Baltimore, I met a gentleman who is the managing director of a technology company, which is located in Honolulu and he is a speaker for the AICPA.
  • At the National Association of Black Accountants Annual Convention in Nashville, I met a woman who is from Ethiopia, who is a US CPA, working for a CPA firm in Nashville.

These are just three of the fascinating individuals I had the opportunity to meet and learn about – all in a matter of two months! And all because I made a commitment to open myself up to networking. I had a positive attitude, I believed in myself, I had a plan, and I smiled! Networking really is all about the Mindset.

As the conversation would come to a close with each person I met, I would always end by saying, “please feel free to contact me at any time if I can do anything for you.”

Treat every gathering as an opportunity to meet someone fascinating.  With the right mindset, I know you will.