According to my research 79% of successful entrepreneurs network five or more hours each month. Networking with others in your industry is critical to gaining the expertise you need to succeed. The ability to be mentored by experienced individuals shortens the learning curve inherent in any new venture, saving you time and money. Being able to pick the brains of those who have already made the costly mistakes and know what to do and what not to do is smart. The more you network with others in your industry, the greater the likelihood you will avoid the pitfalls and traps new entrepreneurs experience.
It is far easier to network today than ever before. Digital networks such as Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google and blog sites offer an efficient and convenient alternative to formal in-person networking groups. Plus many digital networking sites, like Interactive Minds host interactive networking events without the need to travel.
For those who feel uncomfortable schmoozing with others face to face, interactive networking enables you to participate without the discomfort. It’s easy to join these groups no matter what country you live in.
For those who need human interaction, there are many networking groups right within your community that are specific to your industry. Meetup.com makes it easy to find a local group within your area of expertise. You can even create your own Meetup group if you like and invite others to join.
Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with a network of experts they can tap to help them anticipate or overcome obstacles that are inherent in any entrepreneurial pursuit. If you’re a neophyte entrepreneur, networking will help you survive and thrive. In time, you’ll find two or three individuals within your network who become your informal board of directors, helping guide you along your path towards success.