I never eat alone… Why?  I love networking.

I am basically an introvert, but I love building my network. Connecting with new and interesting people to help them connect to others in a meaningful way drives away my apprehension. We all like to eat great food, especially in good company. Breaking bread with someone inherently creates an immediate connection, so it’s easy to have an open conversation. In addition to fueling my love of connecting people, eating with someone makes the time pass better. It keeps me from wolfing down my food, and I encounter some of my favorite meals – I pick more interesting places to eat!

That time spent during a meal, creates a real relationship and deep relationships lead to better business, better friends and a better community.

Here are four lessons to help you become a skilled net-worker (and reinforce why you shouldn’t eat alone):

  1. Relationships are built over time, just like muscles – you need to exercise them.
  2. You must build your network long before you need it; if you do it as a reaction to your own need, it just won’t work.
  3. How you spend time with people is much more important than how much time you spend with them.
  4. Networking is not about what someone else can do for you, but what you can do for them.