Networking is the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts. Yes, simple as that.
Many people are afraid of getting out of their comfort zone and if you are a very anti-social person, this might be a bit uncomfortable for you. In fact, I know plenty of folks who dislike getting to know people, simply because they feel like they are not going to have anything in common with them or because they believe that networking is "lame".
As an entrepreneur, the benefits of networking is extremely important. I've always enjoyed meeting new people along with having conversations with them; most importantly because I believe that you can always find at least one thing in common with a stranger, and you never know what the next person can teach you.
Here's why you should network/attend networking events:
You gain confidence: By pushing yourself to talk to people you don't know personally, it will increase CONFIDENCE in you. In addition to this, you will also feel more comfortable with building new relationships without feeling awkward.
Connections: Remember that the point of networking is to build connections. Be genuine with those you meet, and never try to take advantage of them. Instead, share knowledge with each other that will help the both of you.
Friendships: You will be surprised, but you can gain awesome friendships from networking. Once you meet someone who has the same passion and goals as you, a friendship can grow from there; I've made a few friendships from networking and, they are always down to help me out when I need assistance.
Opportunities: This has to be my favorite. Why? simply because I am always hustling and I like to try new things. Not only this, but also whether it's a referral, or request for you to promote a product, it's very important that we take advantage of those opportunities.
Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, your uniqueness, what you stand for. -Christine Lynch