Never say never. Back in April 2008 I wrote what I thought would be my last post for this blog. Although I said "Goodbye, for now," I really thought that I'd said all I could say, and what little spare time I had needed to be used on other things. But, as my grandma used to say, "You never know." (or something along those lines - it was in Yiddish)
Why am I back? In my last post, I mentioned my (overcommitted) schedule and everything I was juggling at the time. It was actually much worse than that, because in the middle of everything - running my business, being AIIP president, editing the Find area of FUMSI magazine - I wrote a book, Research on Main Street: Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information. Hectic? Amazingly so. Gratifying and rewarding? Amazingly so.
I'm no longer on the board of directors of AIIP, and the book is done. My life is still hectic, but a lot less so. I'm doing more blogging at MarcyPhelps.com, marketing my book, and have taken on some volunteer jobs that are a lot less time-consuming than being president of an international association. And I've gotten back to networking.
Yes, I have to admit that during the time I was writing the book, I did basically zero networking. There was no time. I was fortunate to have a nice core of regular clients that brought repeat business to Phelps Research, but the lack of networking definitely affected the flow of new business. It was also lonely. I missed getting out of the confines of my office to meet new and interesting people.
Once the book was done and I started making progress on my after-the-book-to-do list, I knew I needed to get back to networking. I knew how important it was and how its done. I've blogged about it, for Pete's sake! Did I get right to it? Not at all. I procrastinated for months, each week finding better reasons why it could be put off. When I would finally drag myself to a networking event, I was at a loss for words and fearful of approaching people I didn't know. The introvert had retreated.
So - at least for this introvert - it seems that networking is definitely not like riding a bike. If you haven't done it in a while, you forget. You forget that networking really isn't all that scary, and you forget what real networking is all about.
While it's not exactly like when I first started networking (heaven help us), I do feel like I'm starting over. I've taken some baby steps, like volunteering and attending events where I know some people. Reading and writing about networking will - I think - help the process and help get me get back into the swing of things. I also like sharing what I learn. And, looking at the blog stats over the past few years, I've come to realize that people really want to know about this topic.
So, I'm once again blogging about Power Networking for Introverts. Not a lot, and I'm not promising that there won't be gaps. But, as I come across a great article or other resource or have some new insights during my re-entry into the world of networking, I'll pass it on. I'm also looking for some guest bloggers to help out.
Let me know what topics you'd like to read about on this blog. What's on your mind? What do you wish you knew more about? I'll try to cover what you'd like to know about Power Networking for Introverts.