Networking For Personal (And Business) Success

NetworkingIt all started with something I heard on a Tuesday morning. The phrase I heard was on the subject of networking. Although not a verbatim quote, the phrase was “By increasing your network, you are also increasing your net worth.” Wow! Brilliant! I never thought about a network equating to a financial value.

It was so good, that I had to tweet it out almost immediately. I then added a simple comment, “What are you doing to increase both?” It got a few good re-tweets and comments back within a short period of time. One person replied stating “making introductions..expanding other people’s networks..everybody should make introductions everyday!” Another said “being selfless in helping others to grow their networks is key. It always comes back around.”

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Bring Your Ideas to Life, with IdeaMensch

Idea Mensch Road TripFor the regular readers of this blog, you know that I am a huge proponent on start-ups and entrepreneurship. In the past, I have blogged about various events that promoted start-ups and entrepreneurship. This blog is not different. Last night was IdeaMensch, Raleigh edition. IdeaMensch is a community of people who inspire others to act on ideas and the Road Trip is a traveling idea generation platform that covers 48 states, with 50 events over 4 months.

Along with Mario Schulzke, who started IdeaMensch, there were 5 great entrepreneurial speakers about their ventures, opportunities, and things they learned. Here are some quick highlights of all the speakers:

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Teaching What You Know

Teaching

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com

Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk about what I do on a daily basis…market research. It was with a group of social entrepreneurs who are getting read to pitch their health based startup as finalist in the BCBS NC Health Innovation Challenge.

I was able to get the opportunity to give this talk because of my networking and my connections with one of the sponsors. Also, when I started to work on my own, I started to put myself out there to my network about opportunities I would be willing to talk (and teach) about market research and industries I am involved in.

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Why Some Networking Events Are Just Social Events

I go to more than my fair share of networking events.  Since I typically do two to four events every week, I have easily been to over 100 in the past 10 months, the time frame I have been actively networking.  In the beginning, I met new people at every event.  It was almost a unstated goal to walk out of an event with at least two or three new business cards.  By getting to grow my network and LinkedIn profile, I figured that was the way to find work and grow my business.  I know that growing my small business was not going to happen by chance or by Google.  So proactively networking seemed like a logical marketing avenue. Read more of this post

Why Networking Is Important

I tend to go to my fair share of networking activities.  It is something I do and plan in my weeks schedule as much as meeting with clients and paying bills.  Why?  Because it is important.

Many people see networking as superficial and based at just wanting to grow your business or to add to the number of connections you have on LinkedIn.  Unfortunately, while there are people that go to various networking opportunities for these reasons, a majority of them are there for the right reasons.  In my belief, there are two reasons why networking is important

  • To deepen relationships that you already have
  • To develop relationships with people you do not know

Notice I said relationships in each of the reasons.  Relationships are important to everyone, regardless of your personal or professional situation.  By growing your relationships with other professionals in a professional setting, people then do the same with you.  From there, then people can get to know who you truly are. It is, I believe, in everyone’s DNA to want to help people, especially the people they have a relationship with.

I just saw a job posting for a graphic designer.  I know someone that is currently looking for work.  This is someone I know from professional networking events and gatherings.  I immediately sent him the link to the posting and let him know I thought of him immediately as I was it.  If I did not have and relationship with this individual, I may have passed it along.  But then again, I may not have.  It was the relationship that made sure I sent him the posting.

Let me know how networking has helped you.

–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at jnolfo@rhinomarketresearch.com.

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