Do you have a new years resolution?  I don’t.  

Not because I don’t believe in them, but for some reason I thought the July-June financial year was a good time to write them, so I’m actually half way through mine. 

One of my goals for the year was to make new contacts in both business and life.  So I set a goal to meet a NEW person every week for coffee or a meal and just talk life, business and whatever else.

So far, so good. I even had a list of names of people that I wanted to meet with and I’ve only got one left.  I invited him for coffee but he declined.  Fair enough, he’s a very busy guy… funny thing is, I just made a contact with someone who seems to know him well, so who knows?

Not only have I made some good friends but I’ve also done some good business and learnt a lot in the 6 months gone.  I have lost track but I know I’m well over the 1 per week ratio.  

Here’s a few ways I’ve ensured that I have access to contacts to invite out and meet with. 

1.  I joined a BNI chapter.  This is a business networking group that has chapters all over Australia and encourage catching up and doing / referring business.  My group has over 20 people in it.  WWW.BNI.COM.AU

2.  I meet with guys in my local church.  Lucky for me, our church recognises the importance of business in people’s lives and although it doesn’t believe in joining church for the sole agenda of  business networking, it does encourage friendship and support amongst like-minded people.  As we all know, business effects so many parts of our lives and having people to meet with who look at business being a ‘part of life but not your whole life’ can make a massive difference to one’s sustainability through good and bad times.

3.  Be on the look out.  Having this goal has often pushed me to ask new people I meet out-and-about for lunch or coffee.  I know that I have a quota to fill and it’s become really easy to do – ask for a business card, drop them an email and ask them for coffee!  I’ve only had one knock-back. 

I come with no agenda, accept to learn about them and their business .  Naturally, some ask about me and my business but I don’t push it.  I’ve learnt that listening is learnt skill and I’m getting better.  As my network and contacts have grown I’ve even been able to connect some people and ad value to their business and lives.  It’s incredibly rewarding.

Why don’t you start your 52 today?  Think about it. 5 years, 260 people.  That’s one heck of a network, not to mention an excuse for some great coffee!