Business development is usually perceived as such a serious endeavour.
Traditional attitudes towards the art and practice involve constructs of ‘power dressing’, elevator pitches and dream teams, who are skilfully proficient at twirling a business card on one finger and venture out into the complex melee of industry competition armed to the teeth with watertight NDAs and an attitude that would frighten a wild honey badger.
But for freelancers and smaller businesses – this kind of Wolf of Wall Street pantomime is simply not necessary.
In many cases, if you want to grow your business network – the best thing you can do is just go to more parties…and when you are at the party, make sure that you spend time talking to people that you don’t know.
This might be ultra painfully obvious for folk from Joburg, but this style of reckless social behaviour does not come naturally to the native Capetonian. Extending a foot outside of our well-entrenched comfort-zones is not an encouraged practice.
However, with very little effort, and perhaps just a slightly sore head now-and-again the next morning as an annoying consequence of these reckless actions – it is really magical what a casual chat with a random stranger can do for your long-term professional prospects. No pitches, no cards, no fancy dress.
Give it a go.