Many of us try to leave work at work. After all, nobody wants to be the boorish jabber-box, who mysteriously stops receiving invitations to cocktail parties. While a good work/life balance is certainly an important thing, social conversations often turn to business talk. After all, how many times have you been asked, “What do you do?” You never know… some of these conversations could lead to important business connections down the road.
Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft
Raising capital is generally at the forefront of the entrepreneurial mind. It takes money to make money, and so it makes sense to always be vigilant for potential investors and business partners. They just might be the parties who will be able to help finance your latest business venture, or to otherwise contribute to its success. And while you’re at it, it couldn’t hurt to keep your eye out for potential suppliers and clients among those in your extended social circle.
One way you can get the word out about your business without talking peoples’ ears off, is by taking note of things about your business that are, in a word, “noteworthy.” This could be just about anything, from a humorous anecdote about a particularly difficult customer, to a fascinating new technological development in your field.
The thing to ask yourself when deciding what to share about your line of work, and what to keep to yourself, is this: “If I weren’t in the line of business I’m in, would I find this interesting?” If you apply this litmus test to the ways in which you bring up business in casual conversation, then you’ll run less of a risk of running off at the mouth, and inadvertently turning away friends or future partners.
You should also apply similar criteria when spreading the word about your business via social networking sites. Remember, just because your post is about you or your business does not necessarily make it captivating material. Keeping it light, insightful, humorous, and engaging can ensure your social contacts’ ongoing engagement.
Chance Encounters Can Lead to Serious Connections
Not too long ago in a popular television show, there was story about an advertising executive who was invited to a cocktail party, hosted by one of the founders of his agency. Not really being in the mood for social niceties, he made his escape to one of the venue’s more secluded bars. There, he met an older gentleman who was not feeling particularly social either.
The two made cocktails, sat down, and exchanged small talk, bonding over their humble backgrounds, and their mutual disdain for the social gatherings of the upper classes. Soon after that, the older gentleman showed up at the ad-man’s agency, and revealed himself to be the founder of one of the largest hotel chains in the world. Can you guess what happened next?
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