30th December 2015

Next Level Networking by Jessica Huie MBE

Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, but how often do we actually tap into the possibilities that this presents?


A few weeks ago I decided to take a trip to Los Angeles in an effort to broaden my network and explore possibilities.  What was different about this particular trip, is that my itinerary was built entirely by tapping into the connections of my close circle.


In London, like most people, I network by coming into contact with others through face to face meetings and social media introductions, so having my circle arrange meetings with likeminded individuals on my behalf, was a new and exciting change.


In the space of ten days I was able to start powerful conversations which may or may not evolve into partnerships and opportunities, with individuals working in parallel fields five thousand miles away. All by asking my closest network to open their closest network to me.


So often we do business with a clear objective and outcome in mind, comfort zone stuff for control freaks like myself who like to ensure that our time is spent as productively as possible.


There is a logic to this, but we limit the possibilities when we close ourself off to having conversations which do not begin with a clear objective – as this suggests that all the possibilities for collaboration are visible to us before the conversation has taken place. This is of course ludicrous. Creative magic happens when minds come together and invent new possibilities, and for this to happen we need to enter into unchartered territory without expectation.


I’ve shared my suggestions for effectively incorporating ‘next level networking’ anywhere in the world, into your entrepreneurial toolkit. The best part is that travelling to new places and indulging in conversation with new people, will shake up the most stale outlook and get you back into the mindset most condusive to creating!


  • Have something of value to offer. All relationships should be symbiotic meaning that we must be of value to others in order to warrant their time and expertise/ability


  • Be strategic by asking those individuals who operate in a space which is relevant to our industry or the industry you want to access, to introduce us to three people they think would value a new connection


  • Once the meeting is set, research the individual before meeting with them. This shows respect for their time and an interest in them, rather than a pure focus on what they might be able to do for you.


  • Be open minded and listen. It’s useful to have one or two pieces of information you’d value taking from the meeting, but ask questions and listen more than you speak. It’s the only way to leave more knowledgably than you entered.


  • Buy the coffee – always suggest getting the bill. Remember that you asked to meet them!


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