Adam Rifkin, is declared by Fortune Magazine the best networker in Silicon Valley and now he is CEO of his latest startup
I am naturally introverted
and shy, so I can relate! The key is to think of networking as a skill that anyone can learn; it just requires practice:
1. Do something every single day. Make it a habit. The more of it you do, the better you can get at it. Every day is an opportunity to get better, but do not try to do too much at once. Take the long view, and connect with at least one person professionally every day. Could be following up with someone you already know; could be asking for an introduction from a mutual
2. Once in a while, think of two people who should know each other but don’t, and introduce them. Follow through with them later to learn from whether that introduction was worthwhile
, so you can get better at making introductions. Practice!
3. Imagine you got laid off today. Who are the 5-10 people you’d write to for advice? Make sure to invest in those relationships regularly, not just when you have an urgent
4. Look at the 5-10 people you’ve spent the most time with in the last 3 months. Are you happy with the way they’re influencing you? If so, find another person who belongs in that group and invest in that relationship. (If not, change the way you’re spending your time! How you spend your time determines so much in your life.)