I’m going to have you brush off the Network Mapping Exercise I covered during Week 13: Uncovering the opportunities (and gaps) in your network.

For purposes of this week, think of the TOP GOAL you have for yourself right now. Perhaps you want to run your first 5K (or marathon or triathlon), learn a new skill, grow your business, get exposure to a new job function, or take your first international trip.

Now, look at your network map. Think about contacts at each level who have personal experience with this activity.  

  • Is someone in your inner circle an avid runner, but you’ve always stayed away from a conversation about their hobby? How excited might they be to bring you up-to-speed?
  • Do you have a secondary connection or peripheral player who is well-traveled? How could asking them about these adventures bring them closer to your inner circle?
  • Who on your dream team is a pro at the profession you are looking to get into next? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you reach out to them for advice?

Call me a glass-half full kind of girl, but I see no downside in any of these asks.  The worst thing that could happen is they ignore you or tell you to buzz off. Move along.

Think of all of the best things that could happen? You deepen a connection while also gaining knowledge about something that is very important to you right now.

Do you feel icky because this feels like all taking and no giving?  Don’t worry, you’ll get your turn to be in the helper’s seat next week!  

Having trouble with your network map? Not sure how to make the first move toward your ONE connection? Reach out to me at natalie@smalltownleadership.com. As a coach who specializes in networking, relationship building and professional development, I’d be happy to spend 30 minutes with you to discuss your goals and help you network confidently.

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Small Town Leadership Founder; Natalie believes everything she needed to know to succeed in her career she learned by growing up in a town of 600 people. As a Certified Professional Coach and award-winning public speaker, she helps her clients and audiences make wherever they are feel like a small town. She lives in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rob, a professor at Ohio State and two little girls.

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