COVID-19 and the Future of Business Networking

No gathering in groups of 50+ says CDC

As I read the latest New York Times update, it brought tears to my eyes – perhaps because I never thought I would see anything like this in my lifetime. But here we are. No matter what station of life or business we are in, we are all affected. I can only hope and pray we show kindness and generosity to each other in the days ahead.

A few of my colleagues are starting to feel a bit of restlessness and anxiety because networking is their livelihood. It’s how they pick up new business, but now that the CDC has stated group gatherings of 50+ should be postponed for eight weeks, what does that mean for those of us who network almost daily?

I’ve been networking on a professional level for nearly 15 years, and I have a few of thoughts on the subject:

🀝 First and foremost I firmly believe God is our sole provider above everything and anyone else.
🀝 If we’ve worked hard to build our networks, we already have an amazing support system available at our fingertips. Now is the time to support each other like never before.
🀝 Use technology for the next 8 weeks to connect. Pick up the old fashioned telephone and make phone calls. Conduct group meetings virtually through Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
🀝 Continue to purchase goods and services from each other. Do what we can to pay invoices we owe on time. That person waiting for our paid invoice has to pay their bills too.
🀝 Give that idea or new business or book or whatever we’ve been putting on the back burner some actual dedicated time and energy. How can we tweak it to be recession proof or perhaps serve people the most during this time?
🀝 Conduct business through the lens of a service to humanity, not from the lens of how to profit off this pandemic.
🀝 Take control of our health. We will all need to be at optimal levels in the days, months, and years to come.
🀝 Pray. Meditate. Exercise. Get out in nature. Spend more time with close family and friends (virtually in some cases).
🀝 Stock freezers and pantries with health conscious, and energy and immune boosting foods.
🀝 Gather in small tribes to discover what we can do to help our neighbors, local businesses, single parents, the elderly, and anyone who perhaps needs more than we do.
🀝 While there may come a point where we end up on lockdown like Italy and other cities and countries, we can’t isolate ourselves. Gather in Facebook groups for support and stay connected.

Finally, be extra kind, extra patient, extra generous, extra forgiving. We all need each other now more than ever.

What do you think?