First Step in Creating a Powerful Network: Create a Lunch List

Do you ever feel lost when thinking of how to expand your network? Have you gone to networking events but felt they were “fake” and full of people who were only interested in selling themselves? Well today is the day for you to build your own power network.

While watching Dancing with the Stars (please don’t judge 🙂 there was a couple who, after a disappointing performance the previous week, came back and received great scores. They were asked what made the difference. The difference, they said, is they decided to focus on the character of the dance, the real soul, and then learned the techniques and steps later. The same goes with your network, take notice of those around you who emulate the morals and standards you value before focusing on their business or position. For example, you know people who are always kind to everyone regardless of title, and never compromise themselves for greed or pride. Get to know them. In my own journey, I decided to reach out to colleagues and company officers who really impressed me by their actions and unwavering character.

First, stop and think for a moment about who stands out in your mind as having fascinating interpersonal skills and a career history that mirrors or complements your interests and passions.

Next, come up with a lunch list. Jot down a few names of those you would like to have lunch with. For some readers, this will immediately take you out of your comfort zone but the reason they are on your lunch list to begin with is because they touched your spirit in a positive way. So this should not be a painful activity but an uplifting one. Include people that are easy for you to invite but also include 1 or 2 who would normally reside on your wish list. Think big!

At these lunches, begin with explaining to that person why you wanted to have lunch. The purpose of this is for you to express your respect and admiration for their character and genuine spirit. You would like to learn what they do to keep their head above the nonsense. Does this sound fake to you? If so, here is the difference. You don’t want anything from them. You don’t want a raise, a job, a client relationship, a free product, or a favor. Nada, nothing, zip. You only want to spend some time and listen to them. The person you choose will be flattered by your genuineness.

You must place yourself on a higher plane than those who are only flattering and helpful because they want something. So enjoy your lunch and broaden your network with like-minded people.

Until next time. Enjoy the ride.

Guest Expert:

Career and Empowerment Coach, Boni Candelario, brings a value-based approach to her coaching. She was coined Coach’m Up Boni by her colleagues and friends because of her skills in coaching others up to meet their goals. Her specialty is in helping women, and working moms in particular, to climb the corporate ladder, re-enter the workforce, or start their own businesses. As a working mom herself, she knows that many times our focus is outside of ourselves. With a background in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Human Resources she helps people find their true calling and assists those stuck in difficult career and life/balance situations. Her other passions include spending time with her family, traveling, ballroom dancing, and writing. Check out her blog, Coach’m Up Boni and follow her on Twitter @coachmupboni.

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