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Episode 1: Why We Struggle With Networking 

Welcome to the first ever episode of Networking with Paritosh Pathak. I'm super excited. It's my privilege that you are watching or listening to this. As I'm getting started, I want to take a moment and send my gratitude to a lot of people who've over the time, inspired me, nudge me towards this, and specifically to one Swati Mithal Suri, without whose ownership this episode won't have happened. And then there are a couple of people who are holding the space for me to get this done. All right, let's start. Question. How many times do you find yourself in a situation where you are in a conflicted relationship with networking? You know the value. You know you should be staying in touch, networking, going out, building relationships, connecting with more people, talking to your customers, meeting your friends. 


You know that interesting things can happen, but you somehow just don't seem to be getting around to it. Does that happen with you? It's a pretty common phenomenon out there. Now, a lot of us have a love hate relationship with networking. We know that we want to do it. But it is sometimes so much of pressure that we don't get to it. Sometimes there are fears, sometimes the limitation. Maybe it's the time that you're not able to find it in order to go out and do it. Sometimes you're stuck in your work and other situations, but you want to do it, but you're not able to do it. Does that happen with you? If yes, let's change that. The three things specifically I want to talk to you about today. Why is that we struggle in networking? That's very important to understand. 


A lot of misconceptions there. Number two, what is the real value that it brings to your life? And number three, how to do it right. How can you actually get around to doing what you can do? Okay, small and steady progress. All right. So why is that we struggle with networking? One of the biggest reasons we struggle with networking is how we think of it. For a lot of us, networking is connected to a transaction, a business deal, career growth, or going and getting something from people. Now, one of my most favorite quotes in networking is this that the more you try and sell in networking, the less you will. If I'm going out there wanting to get something from you, if there's a transaction in my mind, I want to get business from you. I want to get career opportunity from you. 


Now, it is very important to understand that other people can tell if I'm coming to you for transaction. I can't hide it. Everybody has seen enough life, enough world. They have enough experience that they will be able to tell sabko, Sabka sach dikhtha hai. Hey, everyone can see everyone's truth. Now, bear this in mind and at the same time understand this. When I want something from you, I come under pressure like, okay, I need to go and ask, am I going to look needy? Is this going to be okay? What are they going to think? What am I going to say? How do I bring the ask in? Now, that creates pressure in my mind. That creates a certain kind of thoughts in my mind. And those thoughts convert into my behaviour. And those could be micro expressions on my face. 


That could be a little stiffness in my body language. That would make me uncomfortable, right? It'll create lack of self belief in me, reduce my self confidence. You'll be able to see that and you're going to go, something's not right here. Why is he so defensive? Et cetera, et cetera. And then with this pressure in my head that I want something from you, with my behavior changing, with your guard going up, what I want from you will actually not happen. So remember this. When you are going out there to sell, people can tell. Now why do we go around and we feel limited pressure, et cetera, when we are networking? That's because we've never been taught the true meaning of networking. We've never been taught anything about networking. 


When were you sorry in a classroom where you had been given education on this topic called networking? I'm going to pause for a moment, think, do you remember? I don't know of any particular colleges or institutions that are taking this up as a topic, as an academic topic, and teaching people what is networking, how to do it right. And most people are left to learn from trial and error. Now, some people are fortunate enough that they're able to figure it out through trial and error. Some people, intuitive, because of their conditioning and environment, are able to learn this. But most people continue to struggle. So how do we go around and succeed if this is how it's going to happen? That I kind of have to learn from trial and error. 


And if I'm lucky, if I am lucky, I will go around and be able to learn it. And if I'm not, then I'm stuck. Okay? Now on top of this, imagine that there is this core belief inside of us, inside a lot of people, that our ability to network is fixed. We look at other people and we go and say, hey, I can't do what that person is doing. I just can't. I'm not that kind of personality and it's not possible for me. How do I do this, how do I do that? So while we've not been taught so, one, we are transactional that is creating pressure. Two, we've not been taught networking. And now comes the comparison. Oh my God, that person looks so good. That person is good looking. That's why people want to talk to that person. 


That person is a smooth talker. That's why people want to talk to that person. I don't have that in me, right? So there's a significant amount of self doubt that we keep imposing on ourself again and again, over and over. That keeps making things worse. And then the pressure of time we look at, oh my God, I had that person, I had that opportunity. I did not go here, I did not go there. I should have done this. I missed that opportunity, I couldn't do this. I went there. When we go to events, I went to that event. I want to talk to this person. I couldn't talk to this person. Did I talk to this person, right? What did they think about me? So things just keep getting from bad to worse in our head, and it's all happening subconsciously. 


And as a result, we procrastinate. We procrastinate and we continue to procrastinate right? Now, number one, guys, I've been teaching this skill to people for over twelve years. And one thing I want you to know, that this is a learnable skill. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, networking is a learnable skill. You could be an extreme introvert. You can still learn to network. You don't have to network like an extrovert, let's be very clear about that. But you can learn to network. I want to do a dedicated podcast one of these days on how introverts should be networking, and that'll come. Okay? So at the end, guys, this is what I want you to know. We don't have to struggle at the end of part one, right, of this podcast not ending here. We don't have to struggle. 


A lot of the limitations that we feel experience around networking are in our head and they're getting created again and again. So we don't have to go through this. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, you can really, truly become an amazing networker, right? And there's so many success stories I have around that. Okay? But anyways, let's stick to the basics for today. Now, what is the real value of networking? Is networking good for business? Absolutely it is. Is networking good for career growth? Hell yes it is. Right? But are we really thinking about networking the right way? Are we going about it the right way? Well, let's look at that. Now, networking, the real value of that is this, that it applies to every area of our life. 


For a lot of us, networking is just going to events, talking to people, exchanging cards, coming back and following up. And if something comes out of it does. And if it doesn't. Keeping relationships alive as long as we need them, so on and so forth. But then what if there's a much bigger role that networking plays in our life? Now consider this. Whatever you want to achieve in life, you can't do that without the right people around you. It could be business or credit growth. Very simply, it could be building your business internally. You need the right people for that. You need the team. And with that team, you need to have the right relationships. So networking applies within your organization as well. You want to be a great leader. Who are you going to lead people? 


What do you need with them? Great relationships. It applies there with your customers. Why are your customers not referring you as much as they could? Why don't you own the customer relationships? Why is that? You often find yourself under pressure of fear with your customers and not in charge. That's because I say this again and again, that one of the most ignored categories in a business owner's network is their customer. Once a customer is onboarded, most business owners and say, okay, done, this is in, let me go after the next one that's going on. So with your customers, it is so important that you build the right relationships because every customer is capable of getting you multiple customers in the lifetime, which changes your effort, which changes the investments in marketing, sales, et cetera. By the way, marketing, sales, everything is great. 


I do that. I love those things. I'm not showing them down. But you can't be doing marketing and sales at the cost of networking. Okay? So networking applies to business growth, career growth. It applies within your organizations, your internal customers that are your employees. Then it applies with your external customers. Those are your clients. Those of you who are in a job, who are your customers. Your customers are people, every single person who is capable of helping you grow, whether in your career, whether within your mindset, et cetera, every single person. And it doesn't matter if you're in a sales relation, a sales role or not. Okay? So networking applies to every area of your life. And one of the biggest myths that we have around work is this one sentence my work will speak for me. Biggest myth. 


A lot of business owners and a whole lot of employees are constantly thinking that, hey, my work is going to speak for me. But you know what? The work doesn't speak. Yes, good work is always appreciated. It is absolutely essential for us to continue doing business. I can't be a great human being and a horrible coach, and you're going to work with me doesn't work like that. So I need to be good at what I do. You need to be good at what you do. But here's a question are you the best at what you do? Probably not. There are people who are better than you, businesses better than you, more effective than you, more efficient than you, cheaper than you, faster than you. So why are people working with you? 


One thing that we have often not realized is that the only true USB in our business or career is us. Everything else is available out there on the market. The only thing that's not available is us. The person, the human being, the relationship. So your work's important, but it's not going to speak for you. You need to be out there having conversations with people, staying in touch, being connected, right? One thing that I often joke about is this that the most struggling category in the world, the most struggling category of people in the world is experts. People are really good at what they do, but they're not good at leveraging that, turning that into a business, into a career success. 


One of the most struggling categories, and it is people who have the right mindset, they're able to actually leverage their expertise and create something amazing with that because they're out there building the right contexts, the right contacts, the right relationships and leveraging it. Now, the people who are extremely successful look at networking very differently. People, they are good at what they do, but they also understand that real networking is when your network is working for you. Networking, right? Your network working for you. Now, I know of real life cases where people have opened huge doors for themselves through the power of right relationships. These were people who good at what they do and just one door opening took their talent, took their business, took their opportunities to the whole world and it completely altered the games, their games completely. 


Now the people that are extremely successful, they're out there building the right relationships. Networking is a strategic priority for them because they understand it applies to every area. When they're in the business zone, they're building the right relationships there. When they're within the company, they're building the right relationships there. When they're with the customers, they're building the right relationships there. In their personal life, they're building the right relationships. And the amount of extent I have seen people go to build the relationships is crazy. I've personally seen people send their private jets from one country to another country to get the family members of their friends flown to another country and give their friend surprise, like hey, I got your family here. Surprise. Let's have dinner. That's the level. Can you imagine that, right? 


Day to day examples are people have cars at their homes and drivers because they want to make sure if someone's coming around, they want to take care of them. They want reasons to add value in the life of people. So many cases around that. And the most amazing thing is these people expect nothing in return because they understand that it automatically happens once the relationships get built. Magic happens. They are not transactional, they're not keeping score. They are being those kind of people that are just loved, respected, valued, appreciated, any of these. And once these things start to kick in the mind of their network, amazing thing happens. Just ask yourself how many people you know today that you think are truly amazing people, right? And if they called you and they said, hey, I need this help? Could you do this for me? 


You would love to do it. You would jump on to do it. It's called social capital. It is what you think about them behind their back. The higher the social capital in your mind for them, the more you would be willing to do. How many times you've gone around identified opportunities and reached out to people on your own because you think positively about those people. You have positive social capital. People are out there doing this not for the short term, but for the long term. You need to start doing this too. Help people become successful. You may be able to add 5-1-5 into their life, but whatever you can, it needs to start becoming a priority. Start looking at networking differently. It's not something that you do only when there is a business need. It is something that you do all the time. 


And will all of these relationships pan out and give you something back? No. There's nothing called 100% conversion in life. Nothing. Not no one area of life where there's 100% conversion. It's not going to be here either, but it all averages out. You don't have to score, you don't have to track, you don't have to do anything. But you just have to have the intention of building the right network for yourself. Remember, networking applies to all relationships, to your business, clearly to your career, clearly to your leadership ability within the team, external customers, personal relationships. Personal relationships is a huge conversation. Networking as we a lot of us don't realize that the relationships that we have at home follow the same principles that the relationships outside follow. It's just we are more personal to those relationships. 


It's just that we tend to have a stronger emotional connect with those relationships. Okay, cool. Right, let's come to third conversation for today. How to do networking. Right? And I'm not jumping into you should give cards, you should do this, you should do that. Take time out. No, we're going to talk about those on the Future podcast today. I want to dedicate to the fundamentals to the basics and one of the biggest basic is this. Take the pressure off. Yeah, take the pressure off. You don't really have to go and do hundred today. No you don't. You just have to do a little better today than yesterday. So if you take the time out today to just call one person in your network, give them a call and say, hey, long time no see. How have you been? How's everybody at home? 


That's good enough. I want you to know that's good enough. Just ask yourself if all you did in networking was kept making these greeting calls every now and then that how are you doing a year down the line? And let's say you just did it once or twice a week. Not even every day of the week. If you just did a little bit of this once or twice a third a week, three times a week. You're at the year end, how many relationships you would have revived. Some people you're going to call and they're going to say, good to hear from you. Some people will call you back. Some people will say, come, let's have dinner. Long time no see lunch, et cetera. And through these conversations, opportunities will start to open up. Networking is a game of probabilities, not possibilities. 


Probability means there is a probability something's going to happen. Possible is yes or no. Probable is yes. It is probable. It's 1% probable. It's 100% probable. But there's always a probability. You just have to be out there and the way to out there, take the pressure off. Don't do 100. Don't join crazy networking platforms. Join them if you want, right? Do whatever. But the point is do as much as you can do. That's where you start. You've got friends around you. You just go have a cup of coffee with them. You've got a couple of customers. Just meet them without any agenda. Call them and say, hey, haven't sat with you in a long time. I want to come and meet you and go do that. And that's all it takes. And you begin with this and then you slowly grow. 


Okay, that's one. Two, you don't have to network in any certain way. Everyone has their own networking style. If there's one thing you take away from this podcast, it's got to be this. Everyone has their own networking style. So never look at someone and say, oh my God, I can't network. That's what it takes. No. This is one of the biggest myths that out there, that people believe that they have to be a certain way in order to network and this is just not true. This is one of the biggest myths that's out there, that people believe that they have to network a certain way and this is just not true. You network your way. Of course it has to be reasonable, right. You can't be an arrogant person and just expect people will appreciate the relationship that you have. 


So courtesy, professionalism, of course those are common grounds. But among those you can have your own style. You could be the kind of person who goes to events, doesn't go to events. You could be the kind of person who calls people home for dinner, just goes and have a cup of coffee. You could be the kind of Speak less kind of networker. You could be the Speak More kind of networker. No problem. No problem. Everybody has their own way. And whatever kind of networker you are, it's not a limitation. Okay, so one, take the pressure off. Two, stop comparing. And three, it is so important that you discover your mental blocks. Yes. 


If you're sitting out there thinking that, hey, you're not good enough, or if you're thinking that people would not appreciate you, if you're thinking that people will reject you, or you're not successful enough, and because of that, they'll not network with you, or let's say you're successful, but you don't have that style, that charisma, et cetera. These are all limiting blocks. C, people appreciate authenticity. People appreciate people who care for them. We have all sorts of people in our network and it takes all sorts to build a network, right? So one of the things you should really work on is discovering your limiting beliefs. Because till the time you are holding self sabotaging beliefs, no tool, no system, no strategy is actually going to pan out. You could go to the best networking platform in the world, best networking event opportunity in the world. 


But if you're going to go there and you're going to be, oh my God, I can't approach people and say, hello, oh my God, that person's too big. How do I talk to that person? If you are limited in your mind, nothing's going to happen. I keep doing a program called the New Rules of Professional Networking. Come to that. If you truly want to learn the skill set, it's a great program. Networkingsuccess in. Check it out whenever you want to. Okay? So take the pressure off. You do not have to compare yourself to anyone and then build your network, right? Cool. So one, let's summarize this. The reason we struggle with networking is because we look at networking in a very narrow way, right? We are left for trial and error. We have not been taught right? And we're afraid to make mistakes. 


We're afraid to fail. And without failing, we're not getting anywhere in life. If you don't want to fail, the only thing you can do is don't try. And if you don't try, you're not going to succeed. So you have to be okay with failing. Challenges are part of life. To struggle is choice. Two. Understand the real value of networking. Whatever you're trying to do in life cannot be done alone. You need people at every stage. That's how our world, our life, has been designed. We're not supposed to be independent. We're supposed to be codependent independently. You can't even get vegetables to your home because you kind of have to go to the farm, dig the farm, put in the seeds, plow the field, grow the vegetables, and then, okay, you'll get the vegetables, but then how you'll get the patrol? 


We're codependent on an ecosystem. So understand the real value that applies to every area and start networking. Do whatever you can. It doesn't really have to come down to doing the best things. You will be ready for it one day, and that day you will be able to do some pretty amazing stuff, right? And three, you got to do it right. You don't need to carry that pressure on your head. It is not needed. You do not have to compare yourself to anyone and say, oh, my God, I can't network like that, and I've done that plenty in my life. Right. Yeah. This is coming from a practitioner of constant comparison and how it messed up my ability to network at one point in time. It's crazy. I'm telling you don't have to. 


You're okay or you're not okay, and that's okay either ways. Okay. You are okay, right. All right, cool. And then discover your mental blocks. This is perhaps one of the most important things you have to do in order to get you get started. See, it always starts with your ability to network with you. How do you look at yourself? If you look at yourself in the mirror and you don't value yourself, I'm not going to value you. This is going to be a huge conversation in one of the future podcasts, right. The kind of relationship we share with ourself, probably the next one, I'm going to look at this. 


Okay, but your relationship with yourself is the number one relationship that you have to build, because what you feel about yourself, what you think about yourself, shows in how you walk in, what you talk and how you conduct yourself, what you do, how comfortable you are between people. It just shows. It oozes out of you. Right. And people out there can detect, can sense how you feel about yourself. They can. And they respond to that. Right. So it is so important that you take care of the relationship that you have with yourself. Okay, cool. Now what do I want you to do? What should you be doing after you've listened to this podcast just a little better than yesterday? That's it. Listen to this. Absorb it. 


Take any one lesson out of it, anything, any one thing that works for you, and start implementing that in your life, no matter how small it is. Okay? Just that. That's all I'm asking. Okay, cool. Done. And as you've listened to this, now let me know what you thought about this podcast. More importantly, let me know what topics you would want me to cover in this podcast. I don't want to talk about the topics that I think are important. I want to talk about the topics that you believe are important. Okay. So wherever you're listening to this, leave a comment. Let me know what you thought about it, what made sense, what did not make sense, what would you want to know more about, and what else would you want me to talk about? 


I'll keep bringing the topics out, but I'd love to hear from you as to what you're thinking. Right. I'd love to have your wishes to continue doing this for a good amount of time, and I hope to keep adding value in your life with this initiative. All right, cool. So with this is Paritosh Pathak signing off with the first ever podcast of Networking with Paritosh. And I want to thank you if you've stayed till the end. If you're here right now, then I want to thank you for listening to this. God bless. Take care. Wishing you a great network. Bye. 

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