You will accomplish your career goals much faster if you put yourself “out there.” That’s where you’ll meet prospective partners/employers/proteges/vendors.
One of the best ways is to attend industry trade shows. Yes, the formal aspects of these programs — the speeches and the product presentations — are often superfluous. But the networking that surrounds them can be invaluable.
I am a reluctant show-goer. But every time I force myself to attend a trade show, I am rewarded. A trip several years ago to a health show resulted in a multimillion-dollar deal with a doctor/publisher I literally bumped into on the exhibition floor. A cocktail party in New Orleans led to a relationship that completely revolutionized the way I thought about a certain type of business.
If you have ever attended an industry function, you know what I mean. You can’t help but make some useful contacts and get some helpful ideas.
So do something right now.
Take a look at a trade publication for your industry. Check out the calendar of upcoming events. Pick one that offers you the best chance to meet as many people as possible. Book yourself an airline ticket.[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]