Just Not The Biggest Schmoozer

by
LAURYN

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So this is a random topic but that’s no surprise I guess.

The whole networking thing.

Regardless, wanted to jot down some thoughts on networking.

To be entirely honest, I’m not the biggest networker. It’s not to say I don’t LIKE being around people— because I DO, I DO, I DO. For the record, I enjoy meeting people in my industry too…but I’m just not a fan of networking events.

In fact, there’s probably about 10+ a day I politely decline.

There are multiple reasons for checking the ‘unable to attend’ box, which we’ll get to.

But first, picture this: how many of you have ever spoken to someone & you can feel them looking over your shoulder, looking for the next ‘IT’ person to talk to. Looking for someone who has something ‘better’ to say. Let’s call it, a real convo hopper, k?

To be blunt: they’re looking for the next best thing?

GROSS.YUCK. NO THX.

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Google ‘I hate networking‘ & a million sites will pop up on why you OMG, OMG have to network or your business will FAIL.

…….YAWN.

In fact, there are even ADs on Facebook currently telling us to bite the bullet & JUST network.

But PLEASE.

Firstly, what ( WHAT ) the hell is networking anyway?

To me, it’s usually a pond full of lily pads. Jumping from one lily pad to the next trying to get to the other side of the pond, while stepping over each lily pad on the way.

The thought of networking my way across the pond is just…..HMMMmmm, I dunno? Boring. Uneventful. Predictable. SOMETIMES ( a lot of the time? ) even a big, fat waste of time.

( I can’t stand predictable unless it’s a great moment on Housewives ).

Of course, some networking events are necessary. But some are just NOT. Why? Well:

Saying no to events has allowed me to focus on growing the brand…not my network.

Yes, it’s true. Spending time away from parties & events allows me to focus on the long game, not the short game. I direct my time & energy towards building the brand, not a network of bloggers.

I feel like putting time towards The Skinny Confidential as a whole is what works best for me. It’s not so much about who I know all the time & what someone else can do for me…it’s more about what the fuck I can do for myself to get to where I want to be.

…& it’s not always about who you know.

To be real, there are plenty of VERY, VERY successful people who have gotten to an insanely successful place by not ‘knowing’ someone who’s ‘someone.’ I’m not saying it doesn’t pay to have friends in high places, I’m just saying don’t push it. Let it happen naturally. Many networking events feel forced & like overkill.

Also, nowadays you can network on the Internet without mingling over overly sweet glasses of chard & tuna tartar tray pass hors-d’oeuvre.

At the end of day, I believe it’s important to create your own opportunities.

I feel like people create their own opportunities. You are in charge of your destiny, career, & LIFE. What a bore life would be if it were reliant on someone else’s success to get to where you want.

Be an in charge bossy bitch. & of course, make real friends along the way.

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LOOK, I get networking if it’s 100% ( really, a full 100% percent) relevant to building your business. For instance, it’s important if you’re attending a convention based on your craft looking for an internship, BUT at the end of the day, I believe you need to really gauge networking.

Feel out what’s right for you, feel out what’s WRONG FOR YOU.

No need to be one of those people who needs to attend the opening of an envelope.

Besides there’s something empowering about not attending EVERY single party in the world.

Realness: selfishly, I also enjoy a Friday night at home with my computer & a glass of Pinot Noir networking with my chihuahuas. Actually I’m quite skilled at this type of networking.

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I guess my point is: YOU DO YOU. I am not the blogger networker of the century. I’ll never be. I’ll never be at every blogger brunch talking Instagram feeds and gift boxes. Because at the end of the day, I blog for YOU GUYS. I just don’t have the biggest interest in networking with every blogger on the planet. Personally I’d rather project my energy towards YOU. Besides, you’re what drives The Skinny Confidential…not other bloggers.

( & hey, some people like to network for the Instagram tag. I’m entirely too lazy for that, HA! ).

Don’t get me wrong: I love people who enjoy the same craft. For instance, I attended a Pinterest seminar a few months ago that benefited the business of The Skinny Confidential, BUT if it doesn’t make sense ( AKA meeting you guys or helping business growth ), it’s not for me.

Plain & simple.

Does that make sense?

Ok, switching gears: how fun is this outfit? I feel like I can say that because it was designed by my friend, Erica of Fashionlush. You haveeee to stalk her whole collection. Very much about the great white tee with a black mini. I paired them with a leather jacket over the shoulders & a Forever21 cross body that looks like it’s $2398423 dollars…but it’s $15 bucks. Yes please, I live for a good Forever find.

Oh! Also, new episode of The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER PODCAST is live: sexting, anxiety, hiring, & rallying…in the bedroom. Listen here.

Anyway, we’re headed to dinner with friends at our little hole in the wall Italian place. Excited for some Dover sole with capers & lemon ( side of chile flakes please! ). Literally drooling on the keyboard so…YUM.

See you tomorrow, lauryn x

P.S. how boobie-ish is this shirt? I love a good low V.

{ photos }

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  1. AvatarRachel @ Betty LIVIN

    When I first graduated and went out into the PR world I tried the whole “networking” deal and it was absolutely not for me. Going to a cocktail event and walking around shaking hands with strangers felt so fake I couldn’t do it. But I figured out that I could network and still be myself if I attended events like fun runs, concerts, etc. because I had something to talk about besides work. The atmospheres at these type of events were more relaxed and fun and it felt like I was making friends not network connections because I would hardly talk about work.

    I think that whole “network event” concept will eventually fade away as our generation takes over because that’s not us. We like to connect on a real level, we like to follow each other on social media and share our passions and hobbies not shake hands, exchange business cards and call each other when we need something.
    Rachel @ Betty LIVIN recently posted..No Trespassing- Private PropertyMy Profile

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  2. AvatarKatie

    YAYYY! Thank you Lauryn!! Someone had to say it & I’m so glad you did. It’s totally acceptable for people who love Networking to Network, but it’s also 100% acceptable for people who don’t want to Network to skip it… I agree with the entire post to a T! It’s so refreshing to hear someone do the opposite of shoving networking down your throat. Great post!
    Katie recently posted..Your PERFECT Dubai Vacation Itinerary!My Profile

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  3. AvatarErin Cusack

    LOVE that bag. I ordered a Chloe Drew look alike from Aldo for $25, was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. A week later it still hadn’t arrived so I called and they CANCELLED MY ORDER. Without telling me. Because it was out of stock. Did I mention this was ON MY DAMN BIRTHDAY. Disappointment of the century. Maybe I’ll snag this F21 bag to make myself feel better.

    Reply
  4. AvatarMelanie

    This is just brilliant and I completely agree. I’m going to say it: sometimes networking can seem a bit… desperate. You’re amazing. Thank you for keeping it real. XO

    Reply
  5. AvatarS U G A R & S A V A G E

    convo hoppers are the WORST! I’ve worked in the investment industry for the last three years, aka I was dragged to way too many “networking” events. So people that would let their eyes wander in mid convo & just give me the creeps. hello….real person here. talking right in front of you…to you, WITH you! huge pet peeve.

    Reply
  6. AvatarSabrina

    Can you do a post (or even just comment back) on what you wear under your clothes! You always have the best classy cleavage and a lot of outfits that can’t be worn with a regular bra. I have tried several different sticky boobs and nipple covers and they either show through the top or don’t last long! Your favorite bras, and other undergarment tips tricks and secrets would be great to hear! Thank you 🙂

    Love the content of this post as well, just stuck on how great this outfit is!

    ps. Enjoy your trip!! Following on snap

    Reply
  7. AvatarKasie Chelanne

    I needed this post today! I have two “networking” events coming up tonight and Saturday that I’ve been beating myself up over not wanting to attend. They’d both be awesome events but, truth be told, I’m like you and don’t 100% see the value of going to events with a bunch of other bloggers when I really could use that time working on my blog and connecting with my readers. Thank you for validating my choice!

    Reply
  8. AvatarOla

    I’m glad you say it! Sometimes I feel that most networking events just don’t deliver any value… many are more about “to be seen” and nothing more. I love how focused you are on the blog and on your readers, keep it up 🙂
    Ola recently posted..5 Reasons to love BolognaMy Profile

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    1. AvatarLauryn Post author

      AGREED. It’s hard to gauge what is working & what’s not. At the end of the day there’s kind of a gut feeling! x

  9. AvatarJohanna

    i totally agree with this entire post, but also – can you tell me the name/brand of your sunglasses? thanks!

    Reply
  10. AvatarGracie

    This is why you’re my favorite blogger. I stopped blogging a few months ago – largely in part to feeling like I couldn’t “keep up” with where the industry was going. It was like, if I didn’t go to these (forced) events all the time, I wasn’t relevant (especially here in NYC). I love how you keep it so real, and you’re just getting more and MORE real. As a former blogger, I realize how difficult it is to stay so true to yourself and blog for your READERS first and foremost. SO very appreciated! xoxo

    Reply
  11. AvatarKristy Wolff

    lauryn! you linked to the mobile site for that forever 21 crossbody so the page isnt loading! thought maybe you’d want to update the link for CR reasons 😉

    Reply
  12. Avatarcourtney bentley

    So true, I usually find networking events to be more about making friends then actual “networking” which is fine with me sometimes! I have seen some great events and spoken at a bunch so I can’t totally knock them but I don’t feel the need to go to 100 just a few a month is good enough for me 🙂

    Reply
  13. AvatarKrista Williams

    So weird I was like – wait am on I on Fashion Lush right now? V ERICA! This look tho girl. I bet Michael was a TAD BIT into it.
    hehe

    So yah, completely with you – and, I feel like if you’re networking – its not genuine, its boring. I just want to get to know people, or be with people I already know, ya know?

    “what do you do” blah blah blah.

    This shoot might be one of my favorites yet, I LOVE.

    xoxo
    Krista
    http://www.hundredblog.com

    Reply
  14. AvatarAnnie

    I am totally with you on this one, in person networking doesn’t always do it for me. I have a hard time finding people to connect with that have the same interests OR that can provide equal value for what I have to give. I do love online networking and if any other bloggers are reading this – check out http://stylecollective.us for an online blogging network. I’ve met lots of awesome ladies there. Thanks again for a great post & sharing your thoughts with us!
    xo Annie

    Reply
  15. AvatarAlexis @ Chemistry Cachet

    This post is everything! And I am so happy that you wrote this because I totally hate it too. Not to be rude, but I get so sick of networking with other bloggers or trying to. I am not a networker type of person, and I don’t really want to be part of that. I write my blog for people, to help them. I also dislike when companies approach me about sponsored posts, etc and tell me all these amazing things about how awesome it will be to get my “name out there” and when I give my rates, they say well, no we really just want to get your name out there. This post came at the perfect time because I get discouraged at all this networking crap. Thank you!!
    Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet recently posted..11 Cheap Backyard Ideas to Create a Dreamy Inviting AmbianceMy Profile

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  16. AvatarTatum

    I 100% agree with you! I think attending every single event is a waste of time if it doesn’t correlate with your brand. PLUS, when your working all day (for the growth of your brand) the last thing you want to do is kiss ass – no thank you hehe, I’d rather hang with me man and frenchie. I too don’t attend networking events but if I DID, I think that there would be something more special about it, that you chose that specific event because it called to you. Of course I agree with you on choosing the right one to “network” at for the betterment of your brand… Argh saying network irks me too! {bleh}

    Because of this “rebellious nature” of mine I started to network in my own way (actually not realizing I was doing it because it was so natural). To be real; I connected with brands, influencers, blogger’s, and some bad ass bit*hes whom have become great friends. I started hosting mini intimate dinners throughout the year (mainly because I love food and bringing cool/REAL boss ladies together hehe– & it’s really awesome in today’s world through social media to pick and choose whom to be friends with! I heard once {via BIZ CHIX podcast} that you are the sum of the 5 people you hang out most with… Hmm, kind of cool to put it like that if your relating it to your “networking” group. And by “networking” I mean the people whom support you (in different ways than your family), assist with your growth, help develop your business ideas, connect with you on both a personal/business level & who ultimately genuinely care about YOU (the YOU who is a bad ass chick trying to build your own success! & they GET IT!)

    Anyways, I don’t normally comment but I just wanted to say I feel you girl. Networking is not fun because it has that old school label on it. But meeting your “pack” of likeminded go-getters is pretty awesome! Sending hugs and smooches xo

    Love,
    Tatum

    Reply
  17. AvatarStephanie

    Couldn´t agree more with your thoughts on networking. And once again am reminded of why I read TSC. Because it´s always real AF on here!

    Love that skirt…it may need to be in my closet soon!

    Reply
  18. AvatarKendel @ Little Misadventures

    I have a love-hate relationship with networking! Some days I wake up and I’m like: “YES! LETS GET IT!” and other days I’m like: “Nope, staying at home with a book and candy.” I find a whole room of people (like, hundreds) intimidating, but I could deal with fifty. I also find that having the same conversation over and over is not for me. At all. I find that you do make a few good connections, but the rest feel fake and forced.

    I’m a PR student, so people expect me to love networking. I tell people that I don’t network at every opportunity and I think their heads almost explode haha. It’s brilliant. Thank you for writing such a great post…and saying what a lot of us were thinking!

    Reply
  19. AvatarMellinda Hensley

    This post is really refreshing — I graduated with my masters in screenwriting last year, and though network is extremely important and I really love getting together and meeting new people who do the same thing I do, everything feels really natural until the conversation ultimately comes to the, “So how can we help each other?” moment. And though I really love the fact that I work in a collaborative community where we’re willing to help lift each other up, it’s hard to constantly be in that mode. I’ve watched some people definitely become more interested in serving themselves through networking, and that can lead to some really unhealthy attitudes. But I’m rambling.
    tl;dr — You’re awesome, this post is so true, and it’s great to take time for yourself and your brand every once in awhile 🙂

    xo

    Reply
  20. AvatarRachel

    Love this – so refreshing from the usual take on networking! Genuine interest in other people goes much farther than just hitting as many events as possible, anyway.

    Cheers,
    Rachel
    wayfaringrachel.com

    Reply
  21. AvatarYana | NoMad Luxuries

    Ok, so refreshing and amen! How exhausting to put on your best face and network every night of the week. It’s so forced and feels fake. I’m horrible at pretending I give a shit. When do you actually blog then? Or have a social life….or polish off a bottle of pinot? I’m in the same boat and at one point I was forcing myself to go and network and realized that so many of those events were a waste of my evening. #sorrynotsorry I rather focus on my blog and cultivating some creativity. Thanks for being real, as always. And, can I just say….super jealous of your boob situation!

    Reply
  22. AvatarMelanie

    I think that networking is super important but in a way that is authentic to you. I love to meet people and build relationships in a real way with people who I genuinely like and connect with. I think that networking in an organic way also turns out to be the most beneficial. I like to form relationships with people online. Or meet someone through a friend that I really connect with instead of going to networking events that feel forced.
    Melanie recently posted..Weekend Vibes + Some Blazer LoveMy Profile

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  23. AvatarHolly @ Healthy Living Holly

    I totally agree about networking. Although it is great to meet new people, the amount of time spent at networking event after networking event can add up to a lot of REAL WORK being done.

    PS LOVE that Forever 21 bag! Would not have guessed it was only $15!

    Reply
  24. AvatarLola b

    The realness of this post is what the very essence of what the world of social media and being who you are to the world..the gifts that you have within.. like my favourite line from En vogue says “free your mind and the rest will follow.” Xo
    Sincerely a new follower

    Reply
  25. AvatarCynthia

    Great post Lauryn. I really do think you blog and come up with content you think your readers would like and should be in the know about. xxx

    Reply