In the spirit of Shopify Unite 2019 kicking off today, let’s talk networking: the ultimate test in self-awareness and mindset.
It’s our fourth annual partner and developer conference and Shopify Partners from around the world are coming together to connect and reflect on the future of commerce.
Are we an introverted bunch? Mostly.
But the energy here is unlike any other. It’s authentic. It’s supportive. With a focus on culture over competition and quality over quantity.
There’s a way to make networking valuable and enjoyable. To step out of our comfort zones and still maintain an authentic personality. Because when we force ourselves to be something we’re not, we end up following outdated habits… mostly of transactional and self-serving conversations.
Instead of following every rule of networking, adopt a mindset shift instead…
An abundance mindset. Tailored however you want to your personality.
Guaranteeing value and enjoyment.
Abundance in opportunity
There’s a seat at the table for everyone. Because there are plenty of tables to sit at.
We all carry this regret of not having “started sooner”. Attending a conference for the first time and feeling like we are late to the party. Or starting a business and feeling like it’s all been done before.
Whether in networking or launching that business, choose a mindset of abundance. There’s still room at the table for you. It’s okay to have joined the party late. A newcomer’s perspective is equally as valuable as an old timer’s.
“The early bird gets the worm” isn’t a success mindset, it’s a scarcity mindset. Because while there are advantages of being first, that mentality also has some pretty big downfalls…
We might rush to get in first place, to realize we’re in the wrong lane.
Or get discouraged that someone is ahead of us, and stop pursuing it all together.
In networking and business in general, there are unlimited opportunities that haven’t been grabbed yet. And chances are, there is one that’s just waiting to be seen through your eyes and executed with your unique skills.
Be open and curious to the information that you absorb.
Abundance in value
Approach networking as if every single person has a gift to share with you.
Don’t get stuck with the mindset that only a few people are worth your time, because the greatest insights and connections can happen when you least expect them. Let go of the transactional metrics of how many people you meet or the type of people you meet.
I’ve noticed that most people know what to do, they’re just looking for reassurance to go for it. And this reassurance can come from many sources: a thought leader who approves your idea, a success story from a peer, an accountability partner who will keep you on track, or simply a support system of others taking risks.
What will give you reassurance to go for it? Look for that.
Abundance in growth
As you educate, you accept accountability to embody those traits.
It’s why teachers are the best students.
When networking, there’s just as much value to gain from being the teacher as there is being the student. If you look for opportunities to bring value to others, you will notice that value comes back to you. One of those ways is in how you grow—whether as a respected leader or in your own commitment to your practice.
Our circle of influence is one of the most important factors to our success. And networking—authentically—is one of the best ways to take that next leap.
Know that you’re not behind, regardless of when you join the party.
Know that one conversation, often the least expected one, can help skyrocket your business.
Know that competition is only for the scarcity minded. There are opportunities available to those who see them.