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           Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about Creating Yourself                         - George Bernard Shaw

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Network Your Way To Success

by Chuck Groot

One of the best ways to build your business when you are just starting out is by networking.  

Investopedia defines networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It may be for social or business purposes. Professionals connect their business network through a series of symbolic ties and contacts.

 

Get involved with your local chamber of commerce, service club, sports association, or church group and start looking for what are called COI’s, Center of Influence. These are the people that make things happen.

When you connect with the right people they can connect you with the right people. What you are looking for is massive exposure. People who can connect you with at least ten other people and these ten can connect you with ten more. By now you can see that you have been exposed to 10x10, which are one thousand people.

The key is to make sure that you have a clear and concise image of exactly what your perfect client is. Make a complete profile of them, what they do, how much they make, what they drive, what their hobbies are and go after them. No sense wasting your time smoozing with people whom you don’t want to do business with or more importantly don’t want to spend time with.

This may sound harsh or manipulative, but it shouldn’t be. It is just forward thinking and proper planning. Sincerity is a key element here. You must truly feel the desire to help people and connect with them. People need two basic dimensions to be happy: trust and honesty. Neither of them can be achieved on their own. Our most significant relationships must be made with this acknowledgement and sincerity.

Celinne Da Costa provides us with three great secrets to networking:

  1. Make it easy for someone to help you

At its core, networking is a form of connecting with people who can help or advance you in your goals and vice versa.

  1. Pay attention to details

 

Make an effort to remember details about people. It goes a long way.

  1. Offer tokens of gratitude

Find ways to appreciate people who help you. Not only will small gestures of kindness give you major karma points, they will differentiate you and keep you top-of-mind for future opportunities.

But before we get that far, Ellen Alcorn has a few suggestions:

  1. Get an Early Start

The sooner you start creating a network, the faster you'll progress in your career.

  1. Look Before You Leap

"Be careful of whom you ally yourself with," warns Mary Jane Sinclair, president of MJS Associates in Morristown, New Jersey. "They may be using you to advance an issue." 

  1. If at First You Don't Succeed, Try Again

Unfortunately, there isn't always an obvious network to join.

  1. Cast a Wide Net

"Look for support wherever you find it," Sinclair says. "Networking really works best when the group's common interest isn't just race or gender, but the success of each member in the group." 

Go to where these people are and once you meet them, follow up with them, and call them. Look for people who you would like as friends and develop relationships with them. Start by picking the right accountant and lawyer, these are the ones who are dealing with the type of clients who you would like to be dealing with and through them you can arrange introductions.

How do you follow up? Send them or email them articles that may help them with their business, a new slant on their hobby, something that may be of interest to them, or ideas on how to get more clients. By being interested in them, they will help to promote you. But you first need to connect and then follow up with a CALL. That’s right calling people up after you met them at a function or meeting.

Remember, word of mouth is very potent and valuable. Best of all it is free! There can be nothing better for your business than an excellent referral – it speaks volumes about you in a way that you could never do.

Finally the Oracles give us their words of wisdom:

1. Do the work.

No magic fairy will wave her wand and give you quality, reliable contacts in a short time. I have a saying: “You can get rich quick, but nobody gets wealthy quick.” Having a great network is wealth. Creating an extensive valuable network will not happen overnight or even quickly. You can speed things up attending the right kind of events. Grant Cardone

2. Become your best self.

First, identify the ideal person you would want to do business with from a philosophical, character and principled perspective.

Second, become that person. We attract who we become. To have an ideal network, first become your ideal self. Work harder on yourself than your job. Life is never about what we get; it’s about who we become. When networking, don’t ask yourself, What am I getting? Remember who you’re becoming. Brian Klock, founder and COO of Financial Freedom Creator.

3. Meet strangers.

One of the easiest ways to meet new people is a strategy I employed when I had almost nothing: taking strangers out to lunches or dinners.

In 2015, I did that every single week and met eight new people at a group dinner. Those dinners built an amazing network that contributed to nearly a million dollars in revenuewithout spending a dime on “advertising.” Scott Oldford, founder of  Infinitus.

4. Give instead of take.

I try to provide as much value as possible to people in my network without asking for anything in return. In the beginning of a new relationship, you have to earn the right to have a genuine relationship. The only way you can do that is by giving an insane amount of value. James swanwick, entrepreneur, author and CEO of Swanwick Sleep

5. Make a life-changing introduction.

My entire world changed when I learned that networking was not about building my database but about being the gateway to another great relationship. Every time I meet someone new, I’ve trained myself to ask the question, Whom can I introduce this person to that could change their life? Sharran Srivatsaa, angel investor and president of Teles Properties.

6. Invest in your people portfolio.

Because your network is your net worth, invest in it like a financial portfolio. That means toxic people need removing. Building a good relationship with a bad person is impossible. The right network will be like blue chip, ever-increasing dividend stocks. Joe Kakaty, co-founder and president of Poker Central

7. Treat connections like neighbors.

Before the 1980s, most people lived in tightly knit communities where knowing your neighbor was a given. Everyone was expected to contribute to the success of the village. But this concept is slipping away as social networks revolutionize how we communicate. We get compet0it0ive, only revealing certain aspects of ourselves—especially our successes.  Sweta Patel, a startup marketing advisor and founder of Silicon Valley Startup Marketing.

8. Give back.

For me, wearing a nametag and chitchatting at networking events feels like the dreaded public speaking class in high school. It fills me with dread, and I feel like a sleazy car salesman. If you’re not the networking, nametag-wearing type, use my preferred back-door method. Everybody knows somebody, and it’s great fun to give back to your community. Steve Griggs, founder and CEO of Steve Griggs Design.