Networking with a Mission

Convincing people to join your team for free is difficult. When you network at a party, startup event or any kind of get-to-gether, the most important factor to convincing others will be to have a strong mission. Anyone you talk to will immediately realise whether you’re on a mission to accomplish something big, which is usually a bold vision that you have set yourself. This has to be authentic and only then will it have a strong magnetic effect. From Jeff Bezos who was just incredibly passionate about the gap in the market he found to Jaan Tallinn who seems to be passionate about saving the world, everything works as long as it is genuine and authentic.

Imagine bumping into someone at a networking event. You will ask him: What are you doing? “Well”, he says, “I’m working on a venture that currently builds an education platform”. “How boring, another platform!”, you think, “Isn’t there already Coursera, EdX and YouTube? There’s tons of free educational content out there already”. 

Now, imagine the person would have reacted differently: “Well, when I was at school I had to memorise content I never needed again. Some things made sense to be memorised, but most of the stuff I forgot completely and never used again. This makes sense, because school has to be standardised to fit the crow. However, during the age of digitisation, why shouldn’t we only learn what is necessary? Shouldn’t we start solving challenges first and only learn content in relation to that challenge? We would automatically know why this content is relevant. Our brain would release more dopamine and store the studied content quicker. Moreover, we’d be much quicker in becoming experts and discovering our passions. That’s what I’m currently trying to build. I want to build a school that has a challenge-driven way of learning and I am convinced that in 20 years from now, everyone studying a practical subject will learn and work like this!” This is a much more compelling vision, and I guarantee you that the second approach will be much more convincing to most individuals. Many will identify themselves with what has been said about the school system and, seeing this vision, might want to support it. As you know, this is no arbitrary example. This is what we’re trying to do at EWOR. I’ve tested both pitches and I am convinced that the second one works better.

Networking with a mission is much broader than that. It helps everyone understand what you’re trying to build and helps you separate those that will be your allies in the future and those that don’t care. It will also help you to brand yourself. You could be “the AI person” or “the person who is trying to build that new school”. In the latter case, it is guaranteed that whenever a person encounters someone in the education sphere, they will at least think of you. This is networking with a mission: It blends sales, hiring and branding. 

After having read the topics of this lesson, please reflect on the following:

  • How will I communicate my mission during a networking event?
  • What is my 30s networking mission pitch?

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