This is my shocking confession: I do very little. Shocking, but in some ways true. We’ve talked about leveraging our teams, and when I speak in those terms, we are typically talking about our internal teams.
There is also leverage to be had from our external teams, our networks. I accomplish very little on my own because I am always using my network to help accomplish great things. I have people externally who help me. Friends, and friends of friends, this is my business network. I know great people, those people know great people, and those people, in turn, do things for me and help me.
It is rare that I book a speaking engagement or obtain a client for the first time by randomly meeting that person somewhere. Typically, there is a relationship formed, either through other people who have introduced me or from my online presence. This is bolstered by my connections to other people, in that somebody has made that initial connection. Then I develop it into a piece of business.
My network is critical for my success. I can do very little on my own, but I can do very much with my network. How do we build better networks? How do we make things happen?
#1. Understand who we are. Who are we and what is our product offering? How do we add value to the economy? The better we understand ourselves and our goals and interests, the more we can get people to help us and move us to a higher level. It is hard to help people who do not know who they are or do not know their direction.
#2. Communicate. We need to communicate with our network and tell everyone who we are and what we are looking for. The more you ask about something and the more you communicate about what you want to do, the more you are going to accomplish and the more people are going to be able to help you.
#3. Develop deep relationships. Work with your network. See how you can help them. What value can you add to them? Who can you network them with? What insights or information can you provide them? How can you help them in their journey? I have found that the more you are genuinely willing to help people without expecting something in return, the more they are willing to help you.
#4. Keep in touch. We are all busy but make sure you keep in touch with your network.
#5. Revisit. We never know what the future may hold. You may meet people and only have a cordial relationship with them. Then as your business changes or their business changes, you may be able to do more and more together. Always revisit and revise to be sure that you are doing the things you need to leverage your network.
It is a fact that today, you cannot do much on your own. If you stood on a street corner and shouted about your products and services, odds are you would go out of business. By working with others, leveraging that, and communicating who you are and what you do, you will get in touch with the right people, and you can build your business.
What has been your experience with networking? What has been the best thing your network has provided for you? How does your business grow? Join us in the comments below and let us know your thoughts.
Make sure you download our free checklist to assess your business.
This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Satendra Mhatre.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.