You’ve probably seen the Verizon commercials on television where the guy who represents the whole operation is walking around with the army of people behind him that everyone refers to as “the Network”. They are great TV spots. He used to go to all sorts of different locations and speak the famous words, “can you hear me now?” into the cell phone. This was to show all of us that he was making sure Verizon customers would get reception in as many areas of the country as possible, by going everywhere himself to test it. Again, great spots. It showed the commitment of the company to it’s users. It also showed the support staff that was available, apparently, to every single customer, at any given time. “The Network” is in full effect!
So the Verizon guy, and all of the happy Verizon customers are set. But let me ask you this…”how’s your Network?”
If you plan on being successful in life, I will tell you that you better have your own built in support group that you can go to for certain things, and that you are contributing to on a regular basis. You may not physically walk around with all of them like the dude on TV, but you should certainly be connected.
In fact, it is a necessity if you plan on achieving anything meaningful while you are here on the planet.
For business, whether it be a job where you are working for someone else, or you are running your own company, you need to have resources. There are a couple of things that you do very well. I’m sure of it. But I’m just as sure that you can’t do it all.
Let’s say that you have an internet business. You may be incredibly creative…an “idea person”…but your technical skills rival that of a chimpanzee. You need one of those people who are extremely technical to supplement your effort in order to make things most efficient. It’s not a weakness to bring someone into the circle. Far from it. Not only is it smart from a pure business standpoint, but it is also a smart thing to do from a human standpoint. You will learn and grow, and actually get even better at what you already do well, because you can cut loose and focus on it. Plus you will be allowing someone else to use their talent in a very meaningful way. And I can tell you this…good karma has a nice way of coming back to reward you several times over!
From a more person standpoint, you need to have people that you can count on for advice in certain areas, and that help you on your journey. Some are good listeners, some are great talkers, some solve problems, and some make you laugh.
Networking is a vital part of our existence. Interaction sustains us and makes us better in every area of our lives. You want to be doing all of the things that you do best as much as possible. So does everyone else. When the effort is combined, and has a mutually agreed upon and beneficial goal, the results can be staggering!
To use some reverse psychology to prove the point…picture this – you’re at home all by yourself. No kids, no distractions, no spouse, no friends, no pets, no agenda! The phone is turned off, you have peace, quiet, time and opportunity. Woo hoo! It’s awesome, right? For about two hours…then you realize that you’re bored to tears, you need help with something, you need to talk to someone, and if it gets any more quiet you might actually hear the sound of your brain deteriorating.
You NEED your Network!
There’s another benefit to networking aside from just pure efficiency and productivity. And that is this – you will ultimately become as successful as the people that you associate with. The whole “birds of a feather flock together” thing is a very real part of life. Now, you are a little smarter than a bird, so you don’t just hang out with people who have the same color shirt you have on, or who sing the same as you do…
Find the people who are doing what you would like to do and make a connection with them. Learn from them. Make friends. Share ideas. Become that proverbial sum which is greater than the parts. I can assure you that they will be more than willing to form a relationship of some sort, as long as it makes sense for both of you.
If you’re ready to start living and creating your best life, and you’re lucky enough to know of someone else who is just as excited and motivated to do the same thing…you better make sure that you don’t miss the opportunity to hook up and share experiences.
We live in an age where making connections with people is so easy it’s almost silly. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, My Space, LinkedIn, and all that stuff make finding helpful people really simple. Now, don’t expect to be fully embraced by everyone you reach out to…some folks are in a different part of the journey, waaaaaaaaay up the road from you. Some may have hundreds or thousands of people trying to befriend them every day. But some will be thrilled to make a meaningful connection, and you will be surprised how like minded individuals react to your requests or questions or comments. Be smart about it, and above all else, be genuine. If you are sincere, then you will become the recipient of that sincerity. If you are trying to be something you’re not, it will eventually backfire on you.
Be YOU. And start building your Network.