Why I Take Every Meeting

I meet with a lot of people. It’s kind of ridiculous – in a given week I might have the privilege of sitting down with dozens of talented, passionate people in the community and learning more about what they do, how I can help them, how they can help me and how we might be able to work together in the future

This is the essence of networking. Networking is not just exchanging business cards, that is the worst way to do it. Instead, you need to form meaningful connections with people. Take a genuine interest in what they are doing and be a good listener. Let them talk about themselves and not the other way around. 

To foster this mentality, I generally take almost every meeting that comes my way. Some I have a feeling might not be so productive, and others I am incredibly excited about. But as a college senior, I can afford to spend a good amount of time meeting new people and learning new things. The big idea behind my policy is that you never knew who you might meet. Sure, a meeting could be a dud, or you could be talking to future business partner, best friend, spouse or mentor. 

A mentor of mine that epitomizes this philosophy is Ryan Durkin, the COO of CampusLive. As an executive, Ryan is willing to meet with people, give them advice, make connections, and share his wealth of experience. He is a role model for the entire community.

Remember, your network is one of your greatest assets. The relationships you have can provide tons of unknown opportunities, so it is a worthy investment to foster them. Here are the action items:

  • Get some business cards. They are still important to have to share contact information.
  • Get on LinkedIn. That site should be your best friend. It is a virtual rolodex and it’s free. 
  • Get out and talk to people. Go to some startup events or just find people on their company websites and send them an email to set up a meeting. 
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