No, not just ‘A’ gathering, you could say it was THE gathering of the year.
I was at MindValley’s Awesomenessfest, a gathering of spiritually inclined, service oriented, self-development hooked entrepreneurs who are all doing amazingly well in their businesses.
Seriously, most of the entrepreneurs there are… well, a big deal.
Authors, public speakers, celebrities, people with thousands of employees, millions of customers and multiple six, seven and even eight figure income earners.
It was great to be amongst such great people, it really was.
And you know, before I went I was intent on doing what most people do at these events.
I thought to myself “This will be a GREAT networking opportunity!” and so, of course, I felt myself ‘preparing for networking.
And I didn’t like it.
In fact, I hated it.
See, I’ve never been good at nor enjoyed ‘networking’. At least, not the way it’s traditionally done.
You know, the “Where are you from? What do you do? How long have you been doing that? Can I have your card?” kinda thing?
I’ve never liked the idea of having an ‘elevator pitch’ and all that other crap that networking normally entails.
So, after about 5 minutes of being on edge, I took a deep breath, relaxed and asked myself what I really wanted from the experience of being at the event and the answer was simpler and more straightforward than I originally thought; I wanted to make an impact and be remembered.
That one realisation changed the entire event for me… and everyone I came into contact with.
Because I spent the entire event asking people two questions which COMPLETELY changed my interactions with people, helped me to go deeper in my conversations with them and create connections that no amount of networking ever could.
First I asked “What do you LOVE?”
Quite a departure from the usual “What do you DO?” don’t you think?
Instead of getting the bog standard “I help business owners to… (yawn, yawn)” I started having conversations with people around what they LOVED in their lives. Sometimes it related to their businesses, sometimes their families, sometimes to their bigger life-purpose but ALWAYS it related to something dear to them, something that made them light up, come alive and WANT to share.
And of course, the more more you care, the more you share, the more you connect and the more you DESIRE to connect.
And so too was the second ‘magic question’ I asked.
“What are you struggling with right now and how can I help you?”
It was amazing to watch their faces when I asked this. Like they’d never been asked so directly before (perhaps they hadn’t) or like they had never been offered help in such a way.
So I’d help them.
As best as I could, as fully as I could and in a way that truly impacted on their lives in a way that truly made a difference to helping them with their struggles.
That was it.
No business cards exchanged, no ‘fill in an application form’, no strategy calls.
Just show up, talk about what people love, find out what they’re struggling with and helping them as best as I could.
In other words, I did what I love doing most.
And the impact?
Well, it’s still early days but as of writing this I’ve had invitations to speak at events, requests for writing chapters of books, invites to theatres, interview requests, JV invites and promises to introduce me to some very influential and highly placed people.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
And, you know, so much more enjoyable (and impactful) than networking.
So here’s my challenge to you, if you’re willing to accept…
Stop ‘networking’ and instead start simply being the great human being and awesome coach that you already are.
Ask people what they love instead of what they do.
Ask people what they’re struggling with instead of talking about YOUR successes.
Ask people how you can help them instead of figuring what you can sell them.
In other words, show up as awesome and let THEM ask YOU about how they can take things further.
Show up as awesome.
Because you are.
And it’s time everyone knew it!