Stupid Networking Mistakes: Letting Fear Keep You From Connecting |

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
I was re-listening to Alex Banayan’s book, “The Third Door ” and was reminded of how fear paralyzes so many people from meeting someone they should or want to meet.

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Hi, I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. And people hire me for no BS career advice.

This is designed to help you in networking situations and make you aware of something you may have a bad habit with. And that is letting your fear of making a mistake, embarrassing yourself, doing something wrong, prevents you from connecting with people, or even introducing yourself to people who you want to get to know. Let me tell you a quick story.

I was re-listening to an audiobook called The Third Door. I’m not going to go into the story or the derivation of the title. But this is a situation where the author

Which door to choose
Which Door to Choose – Difficult Choices Concept

was in a room with a lot of very successful tech entrepreneurs, people whose names are recognizable, and he has the opportunity to walk over to them introduce himself, and start forming a contact relationship with them.

What happened, he describes as being ‘the flinch’– That fear that you have of asking a girl out when you’re in high school or junior high school. (Modernizing that example asking a guy out, asking a woman out),  and fear of being rejected. And thus he missed out on an opportunity of meeting some of the top people in the world because he was afraid.

Even Bill Gates. There’s a story about when he was starting out and he and Paul Allen were developing software and had not heard from the first firm they had written to. They were arguing about who should call because they were both afraid and how fear keeps you from doing the things you need to do because you don’t want to embarrass yourself, you don’t want to (fill in the blank).

This is something that you need to work on overcoming. Just put yourself into more situations where you can become comfortable, where you can make your mistakes, and they may not matter. Attend networking meetings, maybe for groups that you’re not particularly interested in, but practice walking over.

When you see a group chatting with one another, you might just consider walking over and say ‘hi, can I join you’ and listen for a while. No one’s going to say no. But we will hesitate about doing that.

Start breaking through your fear. It will help you a lot in building strong ties and, as importantly, weak ties, weak relationships with people where they get to know, like, trust, and respect you a bit and thus are more willing to help you if you need them.

I’m Jeff Altman. Hope you found this helpful. My website is You can go to the site, go to the blog, there’s a ton there to help you. Plus, you can schedule time for coaching with me, find out about my courses, books, and guides. Again, there’s a lot at to help you.

Also, connect with me on LinkedIn at Have a terrific day and most importantly, be great!

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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, and YouTube (on the account) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me via messaging on LinkedIn or in chat during the approximately 30-minute show.




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