Networking for introverts is a lot like working out. You have to start out easy, because you don’t want to overwork before you start to get conditioned. Eventually, though, you need to work a little harder. It seems difficult at first, and your muscles feel sore. But your ability and conditioning gradually improve over time.
With networking, it’s O.K. to start out easy. Look for what’s comfortable. But sooner or later, you have to push yourself to try new ways to build your network. And sometimes that means reaching out of your comfort zone, feeling awkward and exhausted, but eventually becoming more adept. And then it doesn’t feel that difficult anymore.
As my personal trainer likes to remind me when I complain about being sore after a workout – It means you’re making progress.