For me, there are two key benefits are networking. First, if you do it right it’s immense fun. Even addictive.
Secondly, you can get opportunities through networking that you simply can’t get any other way – often because you don’t know that these opportunities exist until someone offers them to you. After honing my networking skills for several years, I had two standout experiences last year as a result of people I had met and stayed in touch with. In May I appeared in the film The Look of Love with Steve Coogan and in December I finished the year on a high after I was invited to China with Prime Minister. If you had asked me even a couple of years ago I would have not thought either of these amazing life experiences were open to me. It makes me eager to find out what 2014 holds.
Last week I gave a talk to the Hub Launchpad founders group on networking. Unknown to me, there was a sketch artist in the audience and Lucy Knight produced this amazing infographic, which I will be using as my wallpaper from now on. Lucy and her partner Martin Howitt are setting up a business to create infographics to help local government digest important issues – if you are interested in using their services, please tweet Lucy.