March 2, 2013

A Networking Philosophy

In conversation last week, I was surprised to hear for the third time in as many weeks, a similar reason for resistance to joining a networking organization: "I don't want to connect with people that are just looking to sell me something."

It has me speaking up this week. Never did it occur to me, before I joined a network, that this would be a problem. And never, since I joined a network, has it been a problem.

All of the small business owners I have encountered through organized networking seem to have the same goals, desires and philosophy as we do - find other small business owners and independent professionals to:

connect and share
Both experiences and lessons learned. Meeting new people only brings more lessons learned to the table. It is possible to learn from others mistakes. Use your network as an educational tool.

support and collaborate
Whether support comes in the form of sharing social media content, attending events or spending dollars - it is equally appreciated! Often working alone for long and thankless hours, any support is appreciated by small business owners.

Our philosophy of networking is to build a cooperative community that can collaborate to support business growth for everyone.

I have never found a fellow networker that was more interested in talking to me about selling me a product than the coolest new thing they saw on Facebook. Most of us are all just looking for ideas that work. Idea execution comes from brainstorming and that is what a network gives you. The opportunity to work together even though you work alone.

Not to mention support when things just don't go your way. Trust me, they won't always go your way. Wouldn't it be nice to have someone to lean on? If you have been resisting, take a chance and join a network. Get involved with an open mind and you might just get a pleasant surprise. I did.

 

Originally published in Work Better, Not Harder on February 26, 2013

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