Is there a word cringy-er than networking?  Does it have to be that way?  Building relationships is essential to modern life and business and we believe most people are inherently good so why does networking feel like such a chore? We asked some very bright folks for their thoughts and have shared their perspectives below.

Suzanne Najem | Owner

I really like connecting with people at events by getting to know them and not just from a business perspective. But to really know and understand people on a deeper level. It can really open so many different doors for you. Whether it’s developing new friendships or establishing a business relationship down the line. I always appreciate when others ask questions and want to get to know me as a person and not just the face of a business. I avoid people who only look at you as a business opportunity. Read more>>

Valerie Wade | Public Historian & Certified Archivist

For me, a genuine spirit is a high priority when networking. I want to connect with people who are truly involved with their projects and who are honest about what they want from me and what they can offer. Quality over quantity. One thing I’ve learned from networking in the past 12 months is to watch out for busybodies. To me, a busybody is someone who has their name attached to several businesses and initiatives, but their actual involvement is shallow. Read more>>

Beth Younger Purpich | Designer & Consultant

It’s always so much fun to meet new people at events. I love hearing others’ stories and learning about them, their background and creative or entrepreneurial journey. People are fascinating and in Houston we have the most interesting people. It’s pretty easy to tell who to talk to and who to avoid. I gravitate toward happy and interested people. If you look kind and open then I definitely want to talk to you. Read more>>

Kemi Yemi-Ese | Visual Artist & Counselor

On the topic of networking, I’ve learned that the best way to connect is to be intent on being genuine and interested in what the other person is saying or doing. If you’re focused on trading business cards and your specific projects, the other person can sense that and the interaction falls through. I avoid people who talk too much about their projects and I gravitate towards people who passionate about their work and considerate of my work as well. Read more>>

Paul Stafford | Artist

I would say instinctive behavior of a persons talent. I always question the Pros & Cons of connecting with someone that share the same interest. Is this person truly focused, what’s their level of thinking, and do they have any knowledge about the business. I ask about short term goals and their process to obtaining long term goals as well. In a short: Rather than avoid, I choose not to deal with people that mis-manage their time. Read more>>

Dina Torres | Eyelash Expert

As a entrepreneur network is important to introduce your bussines and hanging out with like -minded people . The introduction is a key to connect with another professional share contacts and start a good mutual relationships . I will definitely avoid a negative person . Someone who’s only focus in their own needs. Read more>>