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Dare to contact one person you don’t know this week!

If you’re looking for a new job, the first piece of advice you’ll hear is to network. If you’re working on your first book and looking for an agent, the second piece of advice you’ll hear is to network (the first piece of advice will be to do something else since it’s so hard to get published and you should ignore that advice completely and entirely and carry on!) If you’re starting a new business or moving to a new city, the first piece of advice you’ll hear is to network.

‘Networking’ is a cold and scary term for something very natural and fun – meeting and talking with other people. And perhaps if we think of it in this less intimidating way, we’ll be more open to doing it.

This week, I dare you to contact one person you don’t know. Maybe it’s an author whose advice you’d like or an entrepreneur whose war stories you want to hear or a blogger whose writing has inspired you to start your own blog. If this person is doing or has done something you’d like to do and if you can find a way to contact him or her, go for it!

You might think that the last thing someone wants is an email from a stranger saying “Hi, I’d like your advice!” But you are wrong! People like to talk about themselves and their success and being asked for advice makes all of us feel special and smart, two very good things. As long as you ask nicely and respectfully, you’re good to go!

I received one of these emails from an aspiring first-time author last week and it felt pretty darn cool to be asked for advice. (Yes, I am not ashamed to admit it!) Don’t spend time worrying about someone’s reaction to your contacting them – just take that first step. What’s the downside?

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