Episode 137

The Introvert's Guide to Networking with Greg Roche

Tired of feeling drained by networking? Learn how introvert Greg Roche went from laid off to LinkedIn legend by developing unconventional strategies that play to your strengths. In this episode, he’ll show you how to ditch the small talk and use thoughtful questions to start quality connections from the comfort of your keyboard. Discover tactics for virtual outreach that feel natural instead of nerve-wracking so you can build your network without leaving your comfort zone.

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The Introverted Networker

Greg’s Bio

Greg Roche teaches introverts to grow their networks without going to networking events. He is the author of book, “The Fast and Easy Guide to Networking for Introverts,” he’s publishes The Introverted Networker which is his weekly newsletter that delivers one networking tip to your inbox every Saturday morning, and he posts every weekday on LinkedIn about networking. He’s a VP of Compensation at large healthcare company and has spent the last 25 years of his professional life working in the healthcare, consulting, cybersecurity, and multifamily real estate industries. Greg is a Colorado native who has lived in the Denver area for the past 20 years.

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Transcript:

Angie 

Hello, and welcome to No More Mondays. I am your host, Angie Callen. Networking, LinkedIn, professional communities; If you listen to No More Mondays and have for more than a hot minute, you know this is a topic I love to talk about, and how much of a game changer networking with actual real humans can be to your professional development. And the day is finally here where I get to dig in and focus an entire episode on this subject as I am joined by Greg Roche, a networking guru and LinkedIn legend who focuses specifically on helping introverts embrace networking and become more comfortable putting themselves out there by day he is a non HR HR guy, and by night he is an entrepreneur with multiple side hustles, including early childhood education, food trucks, and of course, the executive coaching piece that aligns with the networking stuff he does. He’s a man of many talents, and I am excited for you to get to know him. Let’s welcome Greg Roche. To know more Mondays, Greg, welcome to the show.

 

Greg 

Thanks for having me, Angie.

 

Angie 

I saw a little chuckle when I said networking guru and LinkedIn legend, but it’s true, at least in my mind. Yeah,

 

Greg 

I mean, I don’t know about LinkedIn legend, I don’t. One day, when I think about some people who I would put in that category, I don’t put myself there. But I show up every day and do my best. So that’s all you can do. Right?

 

Angie 

You and me both. And before we were coming on the show, Greg and I were like, comparing notes on different performance metrics and things that we’re seeing happening. We’ll see if we get more into that. But I want to like let’s cut to the chase, I want to understand how you kind of came into this this world of kind of networking, networking, coaching almost, and empowering others to kind of do the same. How did this come to fruition?

 

Greg 

Well, it was all my own need. And I’ll say that because about 11 years ago, almost exactly 11 years ago, I was laid off for the first time. So my boss brought me in the office one day back in October of 2012. And said, I’m eliminating your position. And I had worked at the company for nine years, had steadily moved up, had gotten promoted, thought I knew all about how to have a successful career. And when she said that, I’ve realized I hadn’t done anything to keep a network going and grow a network, I really didn’t know what to do. And I had looked at jobs online and I had explored other possibilities over the years but nothing very intense and and certainly no networking. I am by nature very introverted, I’m perfectly fine to talk to you, I’m fine speaking in public, I’m fine having one on one conversations, when it comes to walking into a room full of people I don’t know, I find the nearest corner and just back into it. And I pray somebody comes over and has mercy on me and starts talking to me, I just am bad at that. It’s it’s not something I’m good at. And so I never did it. And I realized after I lost my job, I needed to get better at it. And through that process, I just had to figure something out, I had to figure out a way to connect with people, I had to figure out a way to talk to them and and tell them what I was looking for, and create the opportunities for me to find my next My next role. And I was able to do that through something different than going to networking events, I figured out a way I could do it that worked for me. And when I got into my next job, I told myself, I don’t ever want to be in that position again. So I’m going to keep doing this. I don’t. And that’s the hard thing about working with people who are in this situation is when you really need your network is not the time to be growing your network. Like it’s just like, if you have a garden, yeah, you can plant the seeds today. But you’re not going to eat anything out of the garden for months, it’s gonna take time. And the problem is nobody thinks about that until they really are in that situation. So I had learned that and I just kept trying to connect with people and that led to new opportunities and different roles. And I had people start telling me, you know, you seem like you’re really well connected. But you know, you’re never at events, you’re not doing anything like that, like how do you how do you network without going to all these events and stuff and so I started telling other people and showing other people it started working for them and I started to kind of do some some online coaching and and working with some friends of mine and they were like, this is a really great This worked really well and so I just kind of kept going with it and following it and trying to figure out how do you teach people to network? Because it’s not something We, we think of networking in one particular way. And for a good portion of the population, that way doesn’t work. And so it just, it really grew out of my own need. And I would say the first time, I had to find a job, it took me three months, which wasn’t bad. But it happened through connecting with people and networking. The second time, and I did get laid off again, about six years ago. When, when that happened, it only took me three weeks to land my next role. So I took months, there’s the punch line, 10 months into weeks. Now, is that always going to be the case? Probably not. But you can definitely shorten your search time if you have that network already in place when you need it. So that’s kind of how I got into and I’ve just kind of stuck with it. And I’m now just trying to tell people about it, help them understand. And really, I talk about it every day, because I hope somebody will come across my LinkedIn posts or my newsletter, and will think to themselves, hey, I know I need to network. I don’t really need it. Yep, I’m gonna get started. Because this guy tells me every single day, I need to do it now instead of waiting until I actually lose my job.

 

Angie 

Yeah, and then and then if Greg doesn’t tell me, I see Angie, and she’s telling me because you You hit the nail on the head. And where I want to visit this a little bit more later is that you know, you don’t start growing food when you need to eat, right, if you if you’re thinking even if it’s an inkling, you’re probably already behind the eight ball. Because I also I also feel the approach, Ken has a lot less pressure on it and feels a lot less achy, if you’re doing it more proactively than during the time of need, where you literally are in a position of asking people for help. And I am also I love when somebody is the like specific real world example of something that I tell people, which is if you proactively and just consistently network, whether you need a job or not, you will likely never have to go into an aggressive job search because opportunities will come to you. And you’ll have the right connections to kind of make that stuff happen. So yes, yes, yes. Yes, preach, preach, preach. And I also really enjoy that like this idea of just from the giving, giving the information out. It really came from your own need. And it’s interesting how often I find that to be the case. Because if you have this need for, like, how do I go about this? Others probably do, too. And now you’re taking what you learned firsthand and giving it to others. So they don’t have to go through the learning curve.

 

Greg 

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s, that’s what I hope to do. I mean, that’s, again, what I’m, my whole goal is to teach people to be or teach introverts to be better networkers. That’s what I say in my profile. That’s what I tell anybody when they say, What do you do? That’s my sort of one line answer to that. And what I’ve seen in working with other people is it’s worked for other people. And so like you said, there’s other people out there who are in the same position. The thing about it is when I actually break it down and tell them, here’s what you need to do. They usually say things like, they can’t be that simple. And I say, Well, it’s simple, but it’s not easy. It’s certainly the steps are simple. But it’s it’s hard to do, because you have to, you have to go out and do it. Nobody’s going to come and network for you, nobody’s going to come to you and say like, Hey, let me you know, I’m going to start the conversation. And that can be scary for people. But there’s a lot of ways to make it less scary. There’s a lot of things you can do to get started and get some momentum. And once you start doing it, you get consistent. I’ve had people say, you know, that thing you told me to do, seemed really like, it didn’t seem like it was going to work. And it didn’t seem like it didn’t seem like a good use of my time. But I did it. And it was not only very valuable, but it was fun. I had a good time doing it. And so now I’m like, you know, networking can be fun, and doesn’t have to be this thing that we all dread if you take a certain approach to it. And that I love to hear that kind of stuff because I think it’s pretty straightforward to like I said it’s the steps are simple, but you have to show up in you can’t just show up for like a week like you got to show up consistently. It has to become a part of who you are and a part of your identity. So you’re not just someone who networks you are a networker, right, you it is it is part of who you are, and how people start to see you and identify with you. And if that’s how they see you then you know you’re doing something right there and you’d be surprised at what you wouldn’t be surprised most people though listening are going to be surprised. All of a sudden these opportunities start to just kind of Hear, and you’re like, where did that come from. And it’s like, it’s because of your efforts, getting out there and talking to people, helping them out, finding ways to make them successful, and then letting them know what they can do for you. Because people want to help. And if they know how they can help, it may not be today. But when it pops up, when the opportunity comes, you’re going to be the top of their mind, and they’re going to reach out to you and say, Hey, I thought of you first. Well, they thought of you first, because you’ve been out there connecting with them. So it’s definitely something that works for other people. And like I said, I just the hardest part is people getting started and like, realizing I’m going to do it now, instead of putting it off and coming back to it later.

 

Angie 

Yeah, and in case you haven’t noticed, the word approach has come in into this conversation in just 10 minutes a lot. And I think that’s a big it both mentally and relationally. It’s an important aspect of it. And one thing I think is important to think about is if you’re going to network, you have to be willing to be on the other side of the network as well. And kind of that like karma, what goes around comes around, you can’t just suck everyone dry and not and not feed into it. And I think a lot of people are hesitant to do it, because some people don’t take that approach to it or just even don’t yet work. And so you know, there’s this idea of like, okay, well, I reached out to 10 people, and only three responded, okay, that’s great. Those three are worth your weight in gold and the other seven, they’re not blacklisting you, they’re not mad at you. They just don’t get it right now, where this kind of networking tends to either be in my mind positive or neutral, it is rarely and almost never a negative action.

 

Greg 

Yeah. Well, we’ve all been on the other side of the pitch, right? And whether it’s on LinkedIn, or in real life, we’ve all been in that place where somebody’s just met us. And it’s like, Hey, would you be interested in buying this? And we all most of us, I’ll say all of us, because I don’t know anybody who’s like, I love getting that. I’ve never met that person if they’re out there. Send me a message, I’d love to meet you, but nobody loves. And I would like

 

Angie 

to understand your thinking nobody, because I get we get so many of those in my head. Okay, maybe it’s a strategy that works. But on who

 

Greg 

it is my point of view, there are certain things in life that I think it must work for somebody because people keep doing it, you know, not just not just those kinds of things. But there’s other things in life where I’m like, if it didn’t work, people wouldn’t do it. So there must be somebody that it works for, or it’s so cheap to do it. It’s such a low cost in terms of effort and money, that there’s no downside in in doing it, like it’s not a waste of anything, because it’s so cheap to do. Because otherwise, why would you keep doing it if it didn’t work. But again, I don’t know who that person is. Like I said, if you’re out there listening to it, let me know, I want to know why I want to know, but but the point is, we’ve all seen what bad networking looks like. And I think what people get afraid of is I don’t want to be that person. And that stops them from reaching out to people and connecting people with people. And at the same time, one of the things I tell people is, anytime you’re hesitating or you’re concerned, put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and think about what you would like to receive in a networking relationship. And do that I most of us, not everybody’s we’re not all the same at all. But we tend to like the same things. I mean, it’s just like the golden rule of life, right? I mean, do unto others what you’d have them do unto you. And it’s like every world religion or value system has some form of that. It may be phrased differently. But the idea is like, if you are going to send a message to somebody, would you like to get that message? Would it be something you would respond to? And if you’re like, No, if I got this, I wouldn’t respond well, probably take a different approach. Yeah. And so I or people will say something like, I sent a message and the people didn’t respond. And I was like, and I’ll say, Have you ever received an email or a LinkedIn message that you just kind of sat on for a few days, because you were busy? Because other things were going on? Because you want to sit down and write a good response, but you don’t want to be rushed? They’ll usually say yes. And I say, that might be what’s going on. Don’t panic. Sometimes people will get back to you later. You’ve got to keep going and keep connecting with other people. You can’t just stop and wait for that one.

 

Angie 

Yes, exactly. You know, and also, you’re not their top priority. And that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to help you and that you don’t have a place in their list of priorities. But you’re fallen in 17 of the things. And I love that idea of like, we’re all humans, humans still matter. It’s a hashtag that if LinkedIn doesn’t get rid of hashtags, I’m going to try to get on the platform but it’s, it’s like we’re also human. So approach approach it as a human, and one of the things I often say is, and I want to go back to that in person networking thing you brought up, and this is how I’m gonna get us there is, you know, I if you were at an in person networking event and you were not the wallflower who waited for somebody else to come up and you approach somebody what would you say? How would you introduce yourself to approach LinkedIn networking very similarly because it’s human to human interaction, and if you treat it as such instead of sending, so when when Greg and I are talking about it, we’re talking about these like messaging campaigns, it’s lead generation spam is what I call it. And they are, they’re known for sending these like six scroll messages with a Calendly link in the bottom, and it’s like a direct hit. And I ignore them and I and I pass, if I have to scroll more than once, I think you’re a bot. So you can’t be that you have to take kind of a human approach, even though there is a technology platform in between and, and so I actually want to talk a little bit about the in person networking, versus virtual networking, and how that can be a little bit more approachable, and maybe even more fun for introverts. Tell me more about that.

 

Greg 

For in, in person networking, whenever somebody says I’m going to an event, or I’m going to a conference, or I’m going to something, how should I network. The key for me, is in the preparation, like lots of things in life, you want to establish connections before you show up in person if you can. Now, you can’t always, but if possible, find a way to connect with people who are going to be there or potentially be there in advance. So that when you walk into this room, it’s not a roomful of complete strangers, you may not have met the person in person yet, but at least you’ve interacted you’ve probably seen a picture, you’ve maybe had some back and forth messages. And you can at least start a conversation there. So you’re not just trying to figure out who should I talk to, that can be the organizers of the event. A lot of times, you can figure that out. It can be if you’re going to a conference, the speakers, because they’ll list who the speakers are, you can try to connect with them online, start the conversation, or sometimes again, conferences will have an app or a list of people who are going to be there, do what you can to try to connect in advance so that you’re not walking in just again to a roomful of strangers. Yeah, that is the thing I tell people to do. And is it always going to be 100%? No, I mean, none of this is but if you’re if you’re planning, you know, make a plan, don’t just walk in and say I’m gonna find somebody to start talking to him. Because too many things can cause you to get off track. And you end up at the end of the event, thinking I didn’t meet anybody because I didn’t have a plan. So, definitely planning in advance is one of the things I tell people about in networking. And it ties a little bit to kind of my own approach, which is connect online, but build relationships in real life, right, so So you, people you find are the people you want to talk to you can do that online, you can start it. But in order to really develop a professional relationship, you’re going to need to have voiced a voice or face to face contact with that person. You can have online friends, that’s fine. But again, if you want a deep, professional relationship that’s going to be mutually beneficial, then it’s going to require that you have a real conversation with them.

 

Angie 

It’s one of the reasons I actually love having a podcast is it gives me a really good ask and a nice excuse to say, Hey, Greg, we’re friends online. Let’s go be friends semi IRL. And then it turns out he lives like three hours from me. So, at some point, you all get the picture of us actually having coffee? Well,

 

Greg 

and even if you just have a phone conversation with people, or a video call with people that’s better than just messages in the chat or email. Yeah. That’s where you really get into the deep, deep stuff of, you know, what are you working on? How can I help you, as opposed to just writing a text based message back and forth?

 

Angie 

Yeah, I like this idea that in person net in person networking can be extended, let’s say through the virtual connection that makes it easier to kind of nurture passively, but then virtual networking can become more meaningful if you do move it to more personal platforms. And one thing I kind of I want to bring into this conversation is, you know, I still think starting with virtual networking is the way easier path of least resistance for a few reasons. One, if you can man up and get yourself to send the message that is a lot easier than walking into a room full of strangers, even if you have made some pre connections. And also, unless you’re going to like a specific networking event for your industry or your profession or a conference aligned with your profession or industry. In person. Networking is kind of a crapshoot is how I look at it. You just don’t know who you’re gonna walk in that room. Who is going to be kind of helpful to you who you’re going to be helpful to. And even if they are in the room, you don’t know if you’re going to come across them, or if they’re going to be the one who approaches you were like something like LinkedIn or virtual networking gives you the ability to be really strategic and targeted with who and how you network, and then you can move those conversations to more personal means.

 

Greg 

Yeah, absolutely. I agree with that. And I would say, you know, one of the things, whether it’s LinkedIn or any other social platform, but we’ll stick with LinkedIn, because it’s the one most people think about with professional networking, you have that opportunity, also, if somebody’s active on LinkedIn to interact with them before you even connect with them, right to get your name known. And I always describe it as if you see somebody’s post. And you like what they said, Imagine that you went to a conference with them, and they were the speaker, and they presented and what they presented was their post. At the end of a conference presentation, you have the ability to ask questions. And your comment is like your question. So make sure it’s what you would say in real life if you were asking that person a question at a conference,

 

Angie 

that’s a thoughtful way to engage with somebody on LinkedIn, right? Reactions, the like, support clap. Light bulbs are fine, but they don’t really do much to get you seen. Or, or, or personal brand building is an aspect of that. Whereas like, ask, ask the comment or a question. You know, you don’t also have to agree, you know, sometimes you can be like, Well, I’ve heard this, what do you think of this, and it’ll some chatter will ensue. And that’s where then we go back to what Greg was saying about like, people start looking at your profile, and your views will start increasing, people will start connecting with you. And you don’t have to be a content creator. In order to leverage something like LinkedIn to network, you can basically leverage other people’s content with these thoughtful engagements in order to drive kind of your own networking goals.

 

Greg 

Yeah. And I would say, as somebody who who is creating on LinkedIn, I’ll see the same people show up in my comments, because I look at those I mean, you know, there are probably some creators that don’t, you can usually tell because they don’t ever respond to any comments, but the ones who are responding to comments, they’ll see you, they’ll see your name, they’ll remember, and if you reach out and connect with them, they’re gonna accept your connection, they’ll probably have a conversation with you. Yes, and so, you know, have that, do that a little bit, be consistent with that, you’re going to be able to connect with them. And and then you go from there, right. And so that’s one of the good things about LinkedIn in terms of meeting new people. A lot of people will just go search somebody and say, here’s the profile, I’m looking for the person I want to meet, which is fine. But one overlooked piece of that is people will go and just hit a connection request. Look at the person’s activity, have, there’s a section that’s called activity, which is posts and comments and stuff, click on the All Activity, when was the last time they did anything on LinkedIn. And if they haven’t been on the platform, ever, like if they’ve never posted anything, or if it’s been a year, it’s been months, you can try to connect with them, but they probably are not going to respond. So they’re one of those seven out of 10, who just isn’t there? Well. And the thing about those people will say, well, but then okay, LinkedIn doesn’t work. And I can’t get in touch with people it’s like, but that person, you wouldn’t get in touch with them anyway. Like, if they’re not responding, just forget that they’re even in the pool of people to connect with, well, they work at my target company, okay, fine, you’re gonna have to find another way to get to them, it’s, you’re just gonna pick someone else, or go with somebody else, right? Find somebody else at that company. So looking at that activity, I think is important. And that’s who you want to follow and show up and look at each day and comment on because they’re on the platform, they’re active, they’re people you can connect with and start to build relationships with. So I mean, there’s some ways to make this faster. There’s some some different practices, but part of that is just you have to get on there and check it out and see what’s going on and, and engage. I mean, I’m always amazed, the people that I will talk to in real life, who will say things like, oh, yeah, I see your posts every day. I love them. And they’ve never liked or commented or anything, you know, they’re seeing them, but they’re not doing anything. And that’s fine. That’s great. I mean, I have to remember that whenever I’m, I’m putting it out there because some of these people are, they might be family or friends or co workers or things like that. But at the same time, I think to myself, Why didn’t you say anything? Why didn’t you engage? Why didn’t you participate? I mean, you’re there anyway. You know, just don’t just scroll, you know, don’t just lurk, like be a part of the conversation, and

 

Angie 

on and so I’ve got to tell you something funny. That happened. All right before we came on, it’s like so validating to what you just said. But before I do, I’ll tell you is Join the conversation and don’t fear your voice. Because I think that’s a reason people like refrain from engaging is they’re afraid they’re going to be shamed. They’re afraid that they’re going to be chastised for their opinion. And you just have to kind of get over that. And trust what you have to offer a conversation. And literally, as we were logging in to start recording, Greg, my mother in law, sends me a text message. And it says, Angie, a friend at work saw, I liked one of your posts on LinkedIn. So she started following you and said, You’re a breath of fresh air on that site. See, this is the kind of stuff that sometimes you don’t even know what you’re doing. You know, I hope maybe she’ll chime in on some conversations now, but you have impact more than you may realize, because some of it is kind of behind the scenes, or residual. Yeah.

 

Greg 

100%. And it’s, yeah, you again, you never know who’s gonna see it. So you take that responsibility, and you make sure you’re being constructive and positive. And, you know, which is odd to me. Sometimes I’ll read other people’s posts, and I’m thinking why why did you post that? Like, how did you think that this was going to be a good idea? But that’s, I mean, that’s social media, in general, right? Yeah, exactly. But But yeah, I mean, I will I have people to all the time, just just say that to me. And it’s good, because it lets me know, I mean, back to the conversation we were having before this with like, how how’s the algorithm doing? And are we, you know, seeing more or less views, and, you know, there’s still people out there who are seeing it may not be the bigger number. But I think it’s good to, it’s a good reminder that we’re trying to push numbers because those numbers help drive where we want to go with our businesses. And at the same time, every one of those numbers is a person, every one of those those those people who saw it has their own issues and problems and things they’re struggling with and are looking for solutions. We have to kind of remember those people and not get so focused on getting more and more and, like, how can we do something to help the people who did show up for us?

 

Angie 

Yeah, yeah, there’s a, there’s a quality factor there. And you kind of open to the door to something I want to chat about for a minute, we’re going to we’re going to take a left turn, but then we’re going to come back. So, let’s stick a pin in the networking for a second. And I want to ask you about how you have built this presence on LinkedIn while also having a VP level career. Right. One of the one of the things that people will say to me when you know, if they come to me, and they want help building a business, or starting a coaching practice that we’re going to do kind of on the side with the goal of transitioning is, well, I still have this job. What do I do with LinkedIn? How do I build this brand and this voice without, you know, either my employer being mad or stepping on their toes still respecting that, like, how have you managed that?

 

Greg 

The The first thing I think, is, you have to be, I would say honest with whether it’s your boss, or your manager or your employer, and make sure that’s not, it’s not going to be a problem. And and I’ve had, I’ve never had an issue with this, I’ve never had a boss that came to me, it was like, You got to stop posting on LinkedIn, or you got to stop doing these things. And I think part of the reason for that is you have to be doing your job very well. So first off in your day job, get it down and get it to a place where you’re still performing. You have to figure out what that looks like. Everybody’s job is different. And everybody’s demands are different. But you’ve got to get to a place where you’re doing your job so well that nobody cares what you’re doing in your off time. The only time anybody ever cares about what you’re doing outside of work is when you’re not doing your work. That’s the first thing you have

 

Angie 

to prove. You have to prove it’s not going to be a distraction. And if anything, then it can be an enhanced potentially.

 

Greg 

And then you have to be smart about what you’re doing such that it’s not going to be in conflict with what your role is. And I, I have a very specific niche of things that I talk about that really aren’t related to what I do in my day job. So there’s not like, I’m never going to be saying anything that my employers is going to say, well, you’re talking about our company, and we don’t like what you’re saying. I avoid that, right? I just stay completely away from it. There are probably people out there who will say, Hey, I’m trying to start a business doing what I do at work on the side. Okay, you’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to deal with that, right? You’re gonna have to come to a way of balancing those things so that you’re not sharing something you shouldn’t. Or you’re not taking clients away from your company. You got to be smart. Okay, I can’t tell you the exact way to do it. I can just tell you, for me, my two worlds are pretty separate. And my LinkedIn presence This is all about my networking stuff. I’m not using it to try to find a new job. Yes, if you look on my profile, you can see what my day job is, you can see what my title is, you can see where I work, that’s fine. If people will say, well, then recruiters can’t find you. I’m like, I don’t care. I’m not asking recruiters to find me right now. Now, you may be in a different spot where you need recruiters to find you. So okay, post, post your role and what you’re doing, but you’re going to be using LinkedIn for a different thing. So again, if you’re doing well, you’re not going to have an issue. If you’re staying out of conflict with your employer, you’re not going to have an issue. I think the other thing is time having a job, this is what I found. And again, look, I’m not sitting here saying like, I’ve got this like, six figure side business, that’s totally like paying for my lifestyle, and I’m ready to quit my job because I’m not, I’m not, I’m not there I am.

 

Angie 

I love that you just straight up admit that too. I love that you just straight up because it’s, it’s approachable, and it’s real. I am

 

Greg 

my timeframe, I am long term timeframe, meaning I’m building an audience and content around a topic that I feel like I could talk about for the rest of my life. So this is for me, years down the road. Now, not everybody’s in that situation, like I need income now, because I have to start a business because I got to get out of whatever job I’m doing. If you’re gonna do that, I the only thing I can say is you’re gonna be working more hours, you’re gonna be working a lot more, you’re gonna be working nights, you’ll be working weekends, or go find a job that gives you I call it like the Einstein job. This is why this whole thing about okay,

 

Angie 

I think I bet this is my version of a bandaid just so far. So we’ll,

 

Greg 

I’ll come back, I just want to explain what I mean by an Einstein job. So Einstein worked in a customs office or a patent hmm, when he worked in this office where basically, he reviewed patents and stuff, I guess it was in, he just looked at this stuff. But it only took him a couple hours a day to do that job. So he did everything he had to do. And as far as I have read, he was considered a very good employee, they really liked him, they thought he did a good job. But it only took him a couple hours. And so th,e rest of the time he spent thinking about physics. So if you’re in a job, that’s high pressure and high stress, and you’re thinking, I gotta get out of this and start this side business, but I have no time, you might have to get an Einstein job, right? To give you the space to pay the bills till you get the business going. That’s one thing to do. I happen to be in a role where I have a strong team, I have a, you know, doing something that I’ve done for a while it takes full time, right, I work full time. And I’m able to spend enough time each week to continue to create content and grow my audience around this topic. What it forces me to do is get really, really focused on the things I need to do, instead of wasting a bunch of time chasing different trends and different growth strategies and things like that, I have to boil down really, really clearly, what am I going to spend my time on each day, in order to continue to grow this audience? So I’m always looking for how can I be the most efficient at this because I don’t have extra time to just mess around. I limit my time, you know, commenting and engaging on LinkedIn to mostly the morning. Sometimes, if I have some extra time in the afternoon, I will look and see what’s going on. I spend some time on weekends developing content. But again, I’m not like working till five or six and then working till midnight, I don’t do that I have a family. I’ve got a lot of other things going on in my life. You know, it’s not just work in the business. But and some people will be like, Well, okay, you’re never gonna, like go all in, you’re never gonna do you know, and I was like, I don’t know, I’m trying to figure it out. And if I had to, like jump in, and suddenly all of a sudden start making money that was paying all the bills because I didn’t have the day job, I would probably make some bad decisions or some subpar short term decisions in it in order to make money to pay the bills. So that’s my point of view on it. That’s not how everybody else wants to do it. But I have my job provides constraints that make me work, I think more efficiently in my business.

 

Angie 

And I think that’s a really interesting point to bring up. And, and I’ll bring it up as we go back into kind of the networking, more specifically focused on networking. I think a lot of this is about what your goals are and what your goals aren’t. You have a very clear goal of what this this business endeavor does wh,at you want it to do, and what you don’t want it to do. And there’s an element of patience. That’s a little Bit of a common theme here and that, you know, you’re very rarely Can you like strike gold overnight. Right? And so whether it’s a business or whether it is in networking, there is this element of patience, like going back to that idea of like, why message this guy an hour ago? Why hasn’t he written back? Because, nope, not everybody’s sitting there on LinkedIn all day with the tab open like I am, right? So we kind of have to subdue the instant gratification that we’re all really, really prone to. And just settle in for a long a long term effort, which is also why when we come back to networking, it is so much better to do proactively when you don’t need it, instead of when you are in a panic, and you do need it. Which brings me to my next question for you. And I just gave us one answer. What are some common mistakes you see in people who are getting new and attempting to network?

 

Greg 

Yeah, and so the first one is, I need it now. And unfortunately, that’s not a mistake that you can fix right away, because obviously, you’ve waited too long, but it’s never too late to start. I think the other mistake I see people making when they’re just starting now is they forget they already have a network, whether they’ve worked on it or not. Everybody who has spent any time working and even college students just coming in off a campus, you have some people you know, that you could reach out to and reconnect with. And I always tell people when they’re starting, start with who you know, everybody you know, in your life you met because you were around them, I call it proximity you were either in school with them or you worked with them. They’re in your neighborhood, they’re in your organization’s you’re in in your life. You you already know those people and you know them because you around them. But the other way you know people is because those people you already knew introduced you to somebody else. That’s pretty much how you meet people. There’s you could meet random strangers on the street, but most people don’t have very many random strangers in their life. Or people they met like that. Yeah,

 

Angie 

or you’ll have some commonality, I think like alumni networks are really leverageable on LinkedIn and easily overlooked. And when I say alumni, I either mean school alumni or company alumni, because it gives you a common link and an air of familiarity that makes it not so cold, have an outreach, that feels better, because you can say, hey, we went to school together, I’m also living in Denver, I’d love to connect. And that’s where it gets the ball rolling. Yeah,

 

Greg 

it there’s a level of trust, it may not be the same level with everybody, you’ve got relationships with that you talk to all the time. But there’s already this level of you’re not some random person who’s cold emailing or calling somebody. You’re, you’re somebody that you said have commonality with. And that’s going to at least start the conversation. And that’s, that’s again, people will be like, who should I search for on LinkedIn? And how should I find these people? It’s like, have you gone through each place? You’ve worked on your resume? And you’ve gone on LinkedIn and seeing who which people that work there in your location, wherever you might know them? Are you first connections with those people? If not, start there. Are you already first connections, but you haven’t talked to them in a year or so? Reconnect? Send warm it up? Or email? Yeah, I mean, just just get in touch and start talking and saying, Hey, I thought of you the other day, and I was wondering what you were up to, I would love to talk and catch up. And starting there. It’s so much less intimidating, it’s an easier thing you can do, you’re probably going to get a better response. I mean, not 100%, but you’d probably get a better response and go with where the conversation goes. And then, you know, see how you can help other people. I mean, I think that’s the other thing is people think I’ve got to have this pitch that gets them to do something for me. How about you ask them what they’re doing? Listen to what they’re working on and find a way to give them something. If you can do that. They’re going to turn around and say, ma’am, you are so helpful. What can I do to help you? And then, yeah, you don’t even have to ask, right? You’re like, Oh, hey, I’m, you know, I’m interested in this, this and this. Who should I talk to? Right? So door

 

Angie 

just opened and people love. People really do love to talk about themselves, which is why we tend to approach to it to lead with that, but I love that you gave a little like, riff of a message you would send because I was going to ask you like, Hey, give us an exam. ample of a message to send. And it’s just literally it’s just like you would walk up to somebody at an alumni networking event and being like, Hey, I haven’t seen you for a while. What have you been up to? Let’s reconnect. It’s it. Is that conversational? And I think it’s, it’s easy to overthink it, and try too hard. And then you, you know, you do seem like too much of an opportunist, because you’re leading with the me foot instead of the, hey, tell me about you foot, which is that approach thing we’re talking about?

 

Greg 

Yeah, that’s what I tell people. They they’ll say things like, Well, what am I going to talk to this person about? What am I going to have? How what’s the conversation look like? And I say, ask them about their favorite topic. And there’ll be like, Well, how would I know that? I was like, it’s the same for every person. It’s themselves. It’s what you just said, we are. We are our own favorite topic. Not because we’re self centered. It’s just we’re the person we spend the most time with. We know the most about ourselves. It’s what we know. We can talk about ourselves all day long, right? Yeah. And when you start having those conversations, and you’re really listening, you will hear things that you go, Oh, I have an idea for that. Or I know a person who does that. Or I could recommend a book they should read you. That’s when I say give that those are the kinds of things I’m talking about. I’m not talking about finding them a life changing opportunity, just the smallest little thing. And this is something that Robert Cialdini, he wrote the book Influence, and he talks about reciprocity, it’s one of the seven. Now there’s eight principles, but one of the original seven principles of influence is reciprocity. They did studies in restaurants, where you go, and they put, like, if it’s an Asian restaurant, it’s like a fortune cookie. Or if it’s not, they, they put mints on the bill, when they bring it to you. And they’ve proven that people who get that little token, that little gift before they fill out the check, tip more than people who don’t. So we are like gesture, we are gesture, subconsciously, we want to give to people who have given to us, right, and you mentioned like karma, it’s like, to me, it’s like the karmic scales of the universe. We hate the thought that somebody else has given to us and we haven’t repaid them. We don’t hate it consciously. But subconsciously, we’re trying to balance the scales. If you give people things, they’re gonna want to give back. And they’re gonna feel again, not bad, but they’re gonna feel it until they do. So it just has to be something little, it doesn’t have to be huge, but find a way to give to somebody first. And then, like I said, they’ll go, what can I do to help you? And then you say, you have to be very specific, because you also have to be easy to help. I think sometimes, yes, a mistake people make is they say, well, here’s my resume, can you go give it to somebody, that’s, that’s hard. Like, I can’t tell you how many times in my career, somebody’s done that and the resume sits on my desk, it gets buried under a pile, I want to help because you

 

Angie 

don’t know what to do with it. You don’t know what to do with it. There’s no direct ask there.

 

Greg 

And it’s hard, I gotta go figure out who to give it to, I got to sell you. I mean, I gotta do a lot for you. If you make it as easy as saying, like, Hey, I’m looking at these 10 companies, I’d be interested in meeting somebody there. Is there anybody you know at one of those companies? And they go, Yeah, I know somebody here or No, I don’t. But have you thought of this company? Because I know somebody there sounds good. Could you send an email and introduce us absolutely done. That’s all they have to do. They’ve helped you, it’s you’ve done most of the work, you’ve done most the thinking for them, by giving them the list, they come up with the idea that help you and you meet somebody new, you get introduced, which again, has a level of trust. Now you don’t have to be the random person on the cold outreach, and you get a new contact and you start the process all over again. You know, it’s it’s just you, it’s the same process over and over, you show up week after week, month after month, the network grows. And if you ever get overwhelmed with all the people, you can just dial it back, you could just like now that you’re in control of it. But that’s the that’s a hard part is getting people to think about doing that over and over again and staying up with it and continuing to to grow the network.

 

Angie 

It really is constant methodical repeatable process. And you’re 100% right that you don’t, you don’t really ever want to have to start from stop. However, you could, you’re still moving forward at 30 miles an hour, just as you are 65 miles an hour if it gets to be kind of too overwhelming. And I love this idea of a gesture and I am a huge fan of the be easy to help. And it doesn’t have to be you don’t have to be like super direct blunt and like, Hey, will you give me this job, but there are ways to say this is the action that this is the specific action that would help me. Yeah, and it Now I want to talk a little bit about the introvert is a superpower in networking because I have to tell you all, I can help introverts network, I do not have empathy for introverts networking, because I love to walk into a room full of people, I don’t know and work it, I’m probably going to be the one that comes up to you on the wall to bring you into the fold. Because I don’t want you to be standing there by yourself. So how, as somebody who’s somebody that’s introverted out there? How do they you leverage that as a strength when they get into this kind of networking process?

 

Greg 

The one of the things that no introverts do well, is that listening piece of it, introverts are generally more inclined to listen to somebody who’s maybe more extroverted talk. And I think sometimes, while that can be a superpower, because most people love to talk, and they love to be heard, one of the things that I tell people is, if you can’t give anything else, just give your attention, because we all have it, and everybody else wants it. So give them your attention. But also, introverts tend to like to ask questions, deeper questions. So continue to ask good questions, to draw out from the person who’s talking a little bit deeper level of what they’re working on, or what they’re challenged with, or tell me more about that, you know, use that sort of curiosity, to to get the other person to tell you more, so that you can be focused on helping them. And, look, we’re all networking because we need, we want to meet our own goals, we have our own goals, and networking helps us get there. But if you’re focused on what you can do for other people and how you can help them. And that only comes when you ask more questions, and you you dig deeper. So I think that’s where, you know, in my own career, not just networking, I’ve gotten the feedback of You’re very quiet in meetings, I’m not sure that you’re really engaged. And you know, my response to that is, okay, I’ll take that feedback. I guess my solution to that is, I try to really focus on asking more questions and better questions that move the conversation along, because I’m processing what people are saying. And I’m thinking about it, I don’t want to just talk to be heard. I want to really move the conversation forward. So for me, it’s always how can I ask better questions? How can I get to know the person more? How can I draw out what it is that they’re they’re struggling with? And then I can talk and help them and come up with a solution. So for me, that’s that’s the thing that being an introvert helps, because I think if you get two big time, extroverts talking to each other, they’re both just talking about their stuff, and neither one of them is probably doing a whole lot of listening. And so people will say to me, Well, what if you get two introverts and they’re just asking each other questions, it’s like, okay, well, a little bit of a challenge there. But again, most people, if you ask them something, they’ll start talking, and maybe it’s gonna be a little more back and forth. But I think that’s, that’s how you can really be a good networker is by being a good listener. And, and, and really trying to dig more and get more out of them by asking better questions. Mm hmm.

 

Angie 

Yeah, we don’t we don’t we certainly don’t listen, and we definitely don’t hear. So if you’re the one that does that you automatically are memorable, which I think is amazing. And you know, now that we’re in this kind of like, advice component, I know you have some really good resources that go deeper into some of these things we’re talking about. So I’d love for you to tell everybody a little bit more about that. I know you have a newsletter, there’s a book, there’s the Guide to 15 minute networking, all this stuff that has come from your own experience, you know, getting into this networking stuff. Tell us more about all of that and how we find it. Yeah,

 

Greg 

each each week on Saturday, I put out a new new issue of my newsletter, which is called the introverted networker. It’s on substack. So the introverted networker.substack.com is how you can go there, it’s free to subscribe. I try to always provide something actionable in terms of what you can do to become a better networker. And a lot of that has come through experience. But as you said, I also wrote a book called The Fast and easy guide to networking for introverts, which is available on Amazon either an ebook or print. So that that walks through the process tells you how to do it gives you some some ideas and some tips. Have an ebook. Like you were saying a 15 minute guided networking that’s really focused on what you can do small steps each day and 15 minutes in order to continue to grow your network. And really, it’s all it’s the same ideas sort of with with different approaches. So if you need to do it in a small amount of time, you can do the 15 Minute networking guide. If you’re like to read books, you can you can read the book on it if you want to get the advice every week, it’s a newsletter. I’ve started doing a video edition of the newsletter, when I call, it’s almost like a video podcast where I’ll talk in more depth each week on the topic, I’m going to talk in my newsletter, so that’s on my YouTube channel. And really the my my goal there is everybody kind of likes to take in information in different ways. So I’m trying to have different platforms and different ways to consume it and interact with it and hopefully find some some tips to be a better networker. I post on LinkedIn every weekday, and it’s always a tip or something about networking. And I’m always there to engage in the comments. Or if somebody wants to send me a direct message and talk a little bit more, just say, Hey, I’m struggling with this. I always try to to give them suggestions or ideas on on how they can overcome some of those struggles. But like I said earlier, this is something I could talk about for hours, I can talk about this all the time I can I never really get tired of talking about this, even when I start to see the same questions come up again. And again, I know, hey, that’s something I really need to address in the next newsletter. This is a topic people are asking a lot of people have the same struggles. That’s how I think about what I need to write about each week. So trying to listen for where people are getting tripped up. And what the problems are. Is is where I try to focus and figure out how I can solve that problem for people.

 

Angie 

You and I share the the I could talk about this forever, because it’s it is it’s a game changer if you’re willing to embrace it. And the point I’d like to break I’d like to make with you know, Greg talk about all of his resources is, yes, this is a constant methodical repeatable thing that you want to do consistently. But that doesn’t mean it has to be a time suck at the same time. So, I hope all of you will check out some of the resources Greg has to offer. He’s connected to me on LinkedIn. And I can tell you that all of his thoughts and wisdom that are put out are fantastic. If you connect with him, the two of us will just fill your newsfeeds with great things. And and there are links to all of his resources there. And we will be sure to have that profile link in the show notes. And there you have it everyone, Angie and Greg, get on the soapbox about why you should be professionally networking all the time, no matter whether you have a job or not.

 

Greg 

Absolutely, yep. Always be connecting ABC. That’s what I ABC. Yep. I

 

Angie 

love it so much, Greg, thank you so much for being here for sharing your insights and some of your personal experience with how this these kinds of things have come to light and benefited you. This was a really good practical tactical conversation. I hope all of you got some little pearls of wisdom out of it. Thank you again, Greg rochet, find him on LinkedIn. Connect with him. Follow along and get some tips on how you can always be connecting. Thanks. There you have it, everybody, another fantastic no more Monday’s episode we always love hearing from people who have successfully navigated their own career challenges and are charting a path to their success better when they’re helping others. As I mentioned, there is some awesome tactical advice here. So, I hope you will go dig deeper and consider how networking can support your future career development. For all of you out there, I hope you will head on over to no more Mondays that info to grab the show notes and links from today’s episode, drop us comments or guest suggestions, and also leave us a five star rating wherever you get your podcasts because it’s a huge help as we continue to bring you these inspiring conversations. And until next week, when I see you again for another episode of no more Mondays. I hope you have a great one.