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Category: Randomness

The Introvert’s Edge to Networking

A Review.

OMG I’ve got to do what? 

Networking: the plot of every introverted business person’s horror movie, am I right? There is nothing like a room full of strangers who may or may not want to work with you that you HAVE to interact with to pursue your dreams. The nerves, the fear, the panic attacks, the butterflies, the inability to remember your own name.

Well, what if it didn’t have to be like this? What if we – the introverts of the world – could use our innate skills to network naturally and leave an event with a smile instead of a cringe? We can. Absolutely. The Introvert’s Edge to Networking has shown me how. In fact, I am starting to see my introversion as a strength where it has been historically perceived as a weakness. 

"To truly succeed in strategic networking, YOU CAN'T BEND YOURSELF TO WHAT OTHERS WANT, or even what you mean to sell: they must bend to you." Matthew Pollard

Turns out, some of those natural abilities that help define me as an introvert are some of the best networking skills available. Matthew Pollard’s second book, The Introvert’s Edge to Networking not only showed me how to see this as reality, it also showed me how to use them to my advantage. 

The Gist

Throughout my life in assorted businesses, networking has always been my nemesis. I’m no good with too many people around, there’s too much information to gather. My brain always gathers data whether I ask it to or not. Who’s there, what’s going on, what’s on the buffet, the atmosphere, good discussions, bad discussions, secrets, people to seek out, people to avoid, and on and on – and the bigger the room, the harder my poor little brain works. So by the end of any event, I’m exhausted even if I just sit in a corner and don’t say a word. 

Now I know that this can be mitigated, if not alleviated, by one simple trick Matthew discusses: being prepared. The depth to which he clarifies his methodology and how he got to it is wonderful and illuminating. A number of tips and tricks are elucidated for us to take, modify, or discard as appropriate. Now I can gather the data in advance, and only have to worry about being in the moment with people like I prefer. 

Good thing, too, because now that I am all narration, all the time, networking is more relevant to my business. Potential corporate narration and eLearning clients are everywhere, as are authors looking to get into audiobooks. They all need a narrator, and if it’s not me, there’s a good chance I know another awesome narrator who would be ideal. Gaining new tools to truly become the Intent Facilitator that I have always innately been is, oddly enough, fun.

Introverted Networking 101

It’s not like he’s reinvented the wheel or achieved Networking Enlightenment (well, maybe he has, but that’s another story). Matthew has simply seen what is in front of us and packaged it in a lovely little present for us to open. He provides stories, suggestions, thoughts, inspiration, templates. There is woo-woo stuff and full-stop logical stuff. Bottom line, the way Matthew presents his information works for all sorts of people, probably even those weird extraverts. 

Perhaps the biggest thing I have gotten out of Matthew’s books is comfort with my introversion. Today, I am not just OK with being a borderline hermit, I am beginning to embrace it and use it to my advantage. Especially in marketing and networking. 

"When you speak about something you really care about, you can't help speaking with passion and excitement." Matthew Pollard

Even though they are about all I’ve ever known, ‘Spray & Pray’ and ‘If you Build it They will Come’ are not valid marketing strategies. Who’da thunk it? 

So I’ve learned I have hitherto been what Matthew terms an ‘aimless networker’, which really explains a lot. I’m unwilling to be smarmy and transactional and unable to be a social butterfly. For an introvert, hustle like is so often the norm at networking events, like ‘regular’ people do and enjoy and rock at, this hustle equals burnout. And minimal results. So networking has often been seen as lose-lose and hence ignored, discounted, and done under duress.

He says to “focus on strategy and preparation, not trying to be charismatic and engaging.” This is helping me to break the belief that I have to be Brilliant and Wonderful at all times. It also is helping me to remember my roots as a researcher and that it is a Good Thing to know what I’m heading into. Be it an online workshop with acting coaches and directors, an in-person conference with the whole audiobook world, or a local Chamber of Commerce meeting. Between this quote and working to delineate my mission and define my passion, my confidence levels are skyrocketing. And not crashing back down like they usually do.

The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades

Now I am (almost) looking forward to networking. Part of it is because I freaking love, Love, LOVE research, but it is also because The Introvert’s Edge to Networking has given me the freedom and permission to be myself at all times. Yay! For so long, I have tried to mold myself to match what all of my clients, regardless of the industry, want. The goal now is to match my narration clients to what I want, to who I am. I don’t have to be someone else’s idea of good. The Real Me is perfect for plenty of people. 

"Success doesn't come from being everything to everyone but being the only logical choice to a select few." Matthew Pollard

The Bottom Line

Matthew GETS introverts because he is one of us. His success, and the success of innumerable other introverts throughout the world and history, proves we can all get where we want to go. We just have to play to our strengths and not try to force our square selves into round holes. Until this whole global pandemic thing subsides, I’ll have to wait to test my new found theories in full force, but even the tiny forays have shown me that Matthew knows what he’s talking about. 

If you, like me, are an introvert who has always struggled with networking but has to do it to live your best life, this book is worth acquiring. I am sooooooooooooooo grateful to have received an ARC – advanced review copy, that is – of The Introvert’s Edge to Networking and be a part of the launch. (Every word of this review is my own and voluntary.) Thanks, Matthew.

Check it out on Amazon here (releases Jan 19, 2021).

Reach out to chat or just say hi. If you need a voice, you can hear me on my websites. Feel free to email with requests for auditions/sample reads : lisasware.com for audiobooks and lswareonline.com for corporate narration/eLearning.

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Welcome 2021, it’s About Time You Got Here!

My Words About It

Over. It’s almost over. One small miracle came of that dumpster fire of a year… The whole world agrees on one thing: Good riddance, 2020!

Although I do wonder why we are all so fixated on changing the calendar. Nothing changes other than a page, a date, a number, a word. Reality will remain. The BS will continue, it always does. (It would be nice if changing the date would change things, fix everything but I am not holding my breath.)

But we can choose how we deal with the BS. Do we swim in it? Do we throw it at others? Do we pretend it doesn’t exist? Do we leave it in the sun to dry? Do we use it as fertilizer? So many options! Pick what works for you. If that doesn’t work for me, that’s fine. I have my tribe. And together we can conquer all.

Which is why I am here today, to shout out about the wonders of my tribe. 

Crossing Paths

The path I am on has led me to so many amazing people. The past couple of years learning the Ways of the Audiobook Narrator have been beautiful. The narration community is possibly the best I have ever come across. So open, so kind, so helpful, so real, so loving, so beautiful, so fun, so true. This includes the authors, the narrators, the coaches, the casting directors, the publishers, the engineers. Everyone. 

And so, for the first time in some time, I have expanded my tribe. 2020 may have been one of the worst years in recorded history, but I’m choosing to revel in the silver lining of that black cloud. The fact that we all had to go online and virtual meant that I was able to participate in way more events than I would have otherwise. This meant that even my ultra-introverted self interacted with other humans and made connections. Like, real connections. And it’s wonderful.

Building Tribes

I am a hermit. I like being alone. I enjoy my solitude and quiet. Too many people and I break. Too much interaction and I must recoup for days. Yet I would do anything and go anywhere if my tribe asked, and love it.

Not everyone in my tribe is new. Many have been a part of me for eons, some for lifetimes. I love my tribe for accepting me and all of my flaws. I am bad at social anything and even worse at anything that doesn’t require an unvarnished response. 

This year, my poetry writing (and writing in general) has started to return. (yay!) And as we wind down the year and everyone does their holiday things, I found myself pondering my people. Thinking about how much I care about them, how wonderful they are, and how bad I am at conveying this. Then the below fell out. It may not be fancy but it’s from the heart. 

The Words

So here are some words from me to my tribe. You know who you are. If you are of my tribe, this is for you. Whether we know each other (yet) or not. Whether we’ve spoken lately or not. 

Tribes are eternal.

Tribes have no boundaries.

Tribes persist. 

Tribes abide. 

Words often fail me, but sometimes they do flow... And as I look back on 2020, waiting for it to go, I find that there are things I'd like for you to know. I am always grateful for you. I always think of you. I always wish the best for you. This is not said enough. I don't know how, this is not one of my skills. It is not Logical to be Sentimental. But I am, and I love you. Your Soul brings me Light. Your Light gives me Hope. Hope gives me Solace. Solace gives me Faith. I have faith in you. I have faith in me. I have ultimate faith in We. For we are the champions, my friends. Thank you for being part of my tribe.

Reach out to chat or just say hi. If you need a voice, you can hear me on my websites. Feel free to email with requests for auditions/sample reads : lisasware.com for audiobooks and lswareonline.com for corporate narration/eLearning.

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