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6 Ways to Turn Friends’ Weddings into a Networking Event Goldmine!

6 Ways to Turn Friends’ Weddings into a Networking Event Goldmine!

Weddings are a fun time to celebrate the union of two people who love each other. However, for anyone not directly involved in the wedding party, weddings can often become boring and stilted. There are plenty of ways you can keep yourself occupied at weddings. A wedding is one of the best places to network among friends and acquaintances. If you choose to use a friend’s wedding as a networking opportunity, there are a few guidelines you should follow that will keep your interactions appropriate.

Ways to Turn Your Friends’ Weddings into a Networking Event

I.Ask for introductions

A wedding is the perfect place to meet new people. This is one of the best ways to widen your circle of business associates. If you do not know someone, simply ask someone you do know for an introduction. If you can’t find anyone that knows the person you want to meet, you can make a note to ask the bride or groom after the wedding for an introduction. Please don’t bother the bride and groom for networking help at their own wedding. If you’re feeling extra bold, go ahead and approach a stranger on your own.

II.Bring business cards

Business cards are the perfect tool at weddings because they communicate all of your necessary details in one place. If you meet someone who could make a good work associate in the future, giving them a business card is the perfect way to stay in touch. However, at a wedding, you do not want to push business too hard. Only hand out a business card if someone asks for it. This will prevent you from looking pushy or too personally focused on yourself on your friend’s special day.

III.Small talk before shop talk

Never launch directly into business talk. Allow business and work topics to come up naturally in the conversation. Usually it will, because after comments on the weather and how nice the bride looks, there is often little else for people to discuss. At this point, many people will ask you about your career, which is an invitation for you to share a little about what you do and get some networking in.

IV.Keep business conversations short

No matter how into a business conversation you are, lengthy conversations about business at a wedding can detract from the joy of the event. Even if you are at the wedding with a work associate, it is best to keep shop talk to short conversations. If you must have extended conversations about work topics, take the conversation out of the main room where the wedding reception is taking place out of respect for the bride and groom.

V.Network on the sidelines

Never exchange personal details and business cards out in the main part of the action, such as on the dance floor. Keep business networking interactions off to the sidelines. This will keep the attention from you and on the bride and groom where it belongs. No bride wants to see someone conducting business in the middle of her wedding, and you should respect that. You can always take your conversation or exchange to another room or outside the main wedding area.

VI.Do not disclose personal details

Weddings typically serve alcohol, and if you are not careful, you may end up disclosing more personal information that you would like to casual acquaintances. If you want to use a wedding as a networking opportunity, do not overindulge in alcohol. Keep a clear head to avoid any embarrassing situations that could cause your image to become tarnished and all of the hard work you put into networking to fly out the window.

If you these tips, you will find that weddings can be a great place to find potential co-workers, associates, clients, and professional contacts that can help you in your career. As long as you observe a few rules of common sense and courtesy while at the wedding to show respect to the bride and groom and you can take advantage of all of the networking available to you.

Featured photo credit:  Bride and Groom Under Archway via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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