Today, I read a great blog on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog. Titled, Top Marketers Talk About Their Scariest Professional Moment, I reveled in others’ professional (and personal) self improvement. In the competitive world we live in, we all put on our armor from at least 9 to 5, and I’ve witnessed how vulnerability can often be seen as weakness. Looking over the shoulders of others that not only conquered their demons, but have the generosity and courage to share those parts of themselves is inspiring.
I wonder if these amazing professionals would be just as forthcoming if they were still staring at the maw of their fears as young(er) professionals rather than the burly lion tamers they have grown to be. But, if Joe Pulizzi can share his fears, so can I, right? So, thanks to Joe and the others, I’ll show a chink in the armor. Who knows, maybe it will help…
A few weeks ago I left my job at a large B2B company to set out on my own as a copywriter and aspiring content strategist. It’s scary to leave a steady paycheck and health insurance, but the support of my wife gave me the courage to do it. Perhaps what’s worse is the fear of the unknown; turning my back on the ghouls and goblins I faced every day at a “good” job to walk into the dark corridors of the unknown as an entrepreneur.
But, that’s all backstory and beating around the bush, isn’t it? The fear is networking. It’s ambiguous, non-linear, and my introvert tendencies don’t make things any easier. I was the student that took all the writing classes I could to avoid the dreaded Public Speaking 101 class only to realize 10+ years later that having a voice publicly is critical for storytellers. As a writer, I’ve learned to measure words before sharing them with the world. There’s a barrier. Information interviews, Meetups, and other networking opportunities don’t afford this crucial luxury.
Moving forward, I’m trying to convince myself that networking is a skill, a learnable asset. And for all my shortcomings, the willingness to try new things is not one of them. Hopefully this blog is the first step into the cave, and I’ll come out (sooner rather than later, hopefully) shorn of this fear and ready to meet you and others for a beer, coffee, or whatever it is that people do while doing the networking.
If you have any reading suggestions or words of advice, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!