In my fairly short, somewhat corporate career I’ve met my fair share of business people. Anyone from CEO’s and building owners to entrepreneurs and freelancers, and I’m here to tell you – if you don’t already know – it’s a jungle out there. I know the song says “don’t believe the hype,” but seriously, don’t. When I innocently entered the corporate world, I had no idea how cut throat the world of business would be. And let me emphasize that it doesn’t let up and it doesn’t get better. You will make allies, you will make connections, you will expand your network, but all of them are, and should be strategic. Even if you don’t realize what the function of a business relationship is the person on the other end definitely does. So be smart, y ponte trucha. Here are the main things I’ve learned:
Be careful who you trust. Everyone is fishing for information. Everyone. People always want to know what others are working on. You may start to get invited to coffee dates, people will want to “pick your brain,” other people might just beat around the bush trying to pull info from you. Don’t underestimate the fact that you have valuable information that someone wants.Even if it’s a stranger, keep your secrets guarded because there is power in information.
I remember being approached by a woman at some exclusive networking “party” who had been to one of my events. She was so excited to meet me and I thought nothing about answering all of her questions about how I plan and execute everything. A couple months later she put on an event with nearly my exact same concept with nearly all of the speakers I’d worked so hard to find on my own. My advice to you, stick to “stuff & things,” which is my go to saying when someone gets a little too bold with their line of questioning. “What are you working on Yvette?” “Oh you know, stuff and things.”