Updated: Mar 4, 2020
What Hotcake & Networking have in common
A Hotcake is something in high demand everywhere it shows up, while networking is creating and managing fruitful relationships.
Being a Hotcake Networker means whenever you show up in professional events or social gatherings, people just want more of you.
Hotcake Networking is about the REAL you, expressed in your natural style.
Nothing artificial or superficial. If you're flashy, bling! If you're reserved, chill. Flashy can be noisy or glamorous, reserved can be timid or confident.
We’re talking about you becoming a Hotcake that’s real, approachable, and invigorating at the same time. Enough of the intro, let’s get started with an experiment.
The iPhone Experiment
Without mentioning the color, size and model of this iPhone, think up some words that you may use to describe this it.
Some people use words like: sleek, elegant, beautiful etc.
You may have come up with words different from the above, but the words you’ve come up with are not written on the phone, however; you’ve attributed them to it.
You’ve essentially created a profile for the phone.
Well, apart from the fact that I asked, that’s what we do. As human beings, we make up profiles for anything or anyone we come across. This iPhone example is only to make you aware of it. We do it automatically, all the time.
Imagine that based on the profile you created, you order an iPhone. When it arrives, you open the package, but everything in the profile is absent. Meanwhile the package and invoice says its an iPhone.
Because the phone didn’t live up to its profile, you would say it’s not a real iPhone. It’s not authentic.
What does this have to do with you being a Hotcake Networker?
Not being real, not being authentic is what causes people to back off from “strangers”.
Uncle Google says a stranger is a person whom one does not know, or with whom one is not familiar. When you come across a stranger, what you immediately do is to create a profile for that person.
I call it “This is me” profile.
When you get to interact with that person, and they don’t match with the profile you’ve created; as far as you’re concerned, they’re not real. They’re not authentic.
For example, sometime ago, I conducted a training for a group of startup entrepreneurs in Germany. One of the participants said after people get to know her, they tell her that “I used to think you’re arrogant, but you’re not. You’re a really nice and respectful person!”
If you think about it, she’s not authentic. She was supposed to be an arrogant person, but she’s not.
Fortunately, this was a pleasant surprise. In most cases, the surprise is usually unpleasant. Can you imagine how many professional and personal networking opportunities she would have missed?
You want to make sure that when people see you, especially for the first time; what they see is what they get.
But Kunle, how can I do that? I’m glad you asked!
You’ll create your This is me profile. Whats that?!
Photo by Jonas Stolle on Unsplash
Your This is me profile is a collection of the information people generate about you, before they interact with you.
Why you need a “This is me” profile
If you want to become a Hotcake Networker everywhere you go, you need a recipe. That recipe is your is your "This is me" profile. That recipe produces the same cake everywhere and every-time it is used.
Do you remember the iPhone exercise? You were creating a “This is me” profile for the phone.
It’s the same thing we do for people we meet. For some people, it’s based on what they see. For others, it’s based on what they feel.
Personal Example on how “This is me” profile works
One of my best friends is Kenyan. We met at the airport in Nairobi, and she literally opened up the doors to her home for me, minutes into our first meeting. Although she was a complete "stranger" half an hour before then. I got to meet her husband, her whole family, including her dogs and cats!
She told me later that when she met me at the Nairobi Airport for the first time, she had a physical sensation at the back of her neck, which is usually a good sign when she meets special people. How would I have known?!
Like I said, people create a profile one way or the other. For some, it’s based on what they see. For others, it’s based on what they feel.
We’ve been close friends for almost a decade now,she’s visited and met my family, which is a hard thing to do, because my family is literally a global family. Living across Canada, America, London, Germany and Nigeria!
Back to your “This is me” profile.
To create a Yummy This is me profile, you need your own recipe.
The recipe contains
If you want to bake a cake, what ingredient can you NOT do without?
Authenticity is the flour that your Hotcake You cannot do without it.
Authenticity is knowing who you are, and expressing who you are without apology or remorse.
To be authentic is to live true to your own original standards, and the things that are important to you.
It goes without saying that to be a Hotcake Networker, you must be authentic; because AUTHENTICITY is the most powerful tool that likable people have.
This is the point where the profile they created is confirmed as correct or incorrect, without your input or approval.
Although we are told to never judge a book by its cover, but don’t most people do? Consequently, you want to ensure that when people "judge you by your cover", the outcome would be in your favor.
As you know, to be approachable is to be friendly and easy to talk to.
To get to this point, usually, you’ve passed the Authenticity test. The test you didn’t know you were taking, and your examiner wasn't consciously aware they were conducting.
You take this test every time you meet someone, or even as you are walking or driving by, and minding your own business. It’s better to be prepared, because you just never know who and/or what’s around the corner.
How do you want to come across as a person? Note that networking is often about your relevance to others.
How relevant your personality comes across to the people you meet, will determine how far those professional or social contacts will go.
Networking is often about your relevance to others
Lots of people agree that the iPhone is beautiful. If you consider what Steve Jobs said, you’ll realize that it wasn’t by accident.
In the same way, whatever you want to authentically reveal about yourself may not show up by accident.
Here’s how to become a Hotcake Networker wherever you go.
Create your This is me profile which becomes your hotcake recipe.
1. Be Authentic
Don’t be modest, be honest. You’re Awesome!
2. Be Approachable
Everything has a right angle. If you approach it from the right angle.
3. Applicable You
There is nothing that you truly, deeply, desire in your personality that you don’t have in your life…in seed form.
Start applying it, and you'll see it grow and serve others.
Slippery slope! Trying to be liked by everyone.