It is almost a year since the first lockdown in England, when we were told to stay home in an attempt to stop this horrendous virus. If you read my blogs regularly (thank you) you will know that this time last year I was knocked sideways, see “Being hit by a two by four”: https://www.ebn.uk.com/blog/?p=145 as my business seemed to have disappeared and I was getting letters, phone calls and texts giving dire warnings about going past my own front door.
I know, whatever challenges I have faced, some others have faced worse. We have all valiantly battled with virtual meetings, working out the etiquette, lighting, camera angle whilst at the same time dealing with strange hairdos, barking dogs, deliveries arriving in the middle of meetings, people drilling outside the room we are working in…you know what I am talking about.
It’s been a long year, while, at the same time, time has flown. As we learnt how to get connected, unmute and mute, and leave a meeting by saying goodbye, doing the obligatory wave and then have to find the leave button. People have shared their problems, both business and personal, we have laughed together, and tried to make sense of what is happening and how we deal with it, together. This is what networking has always meant to me—having people around me who give advice, support, and refer people to me so my business grows. Networking has meant I have helped others when they have challenges and celebrated their successes.
In all this malarkey all the pluses of networking have remained, and we have dealt with the minuses. We have tried to remain positive, even when things were uncertain and sometimes basically frightening.
In the last month however, things seem to have changed. As one contact said: “I can see a light at the end of a tunnel and for the first time in ages I don’t think it’s a train coming towards me”. People are getting their injections and we are on our way to safety, to getting back to meeting people without fear. Life will not be the same, many of us have learnt new ways which will be carried over even when we are allowed to meet in face-to-face. It will be fantastic, I cannot wait, and I know others feel the same. What I hope is that we do not lose that deeper sharing, that people continue to feel they can talk about how they are doing as well as how their business is doing.
Since networking is about building relationships, please accept my gift of Top 20 networking tips by following this link: ebn.uk.com and complete the form to download your copy.
Have fun, stay safe.