Networking is supposed t be a maneuver wherein one links with people in one way or another; with the intention of deriving or attracting future value, through putting out information which might benefit them-people, even if you don’t directly gain. This is hard for me to explain, but I trust you get the gist of what networking is.
I’m becoming less of a terrible networker. Maybe it’s because I know how I add value to processes, businesses or people. So when you ask me what I do, I just shout how I help out where I help out.
At The Hookup Dinner a while ago (it’s a networking event for entrepreneurs ok), I heard the networking queen (Helen Nicholson) say, when you tell people of what you do, say something like: I specialize in helping businesses achieve one two three. Not her exact words, but you catch my drift. This way of explaining exudes trust, and is welcoming, and leaves room for further conversation.
This is something perhaps a lot us of do unaware. We tarnish the value we possibly possess/portray, or chances of attaining any value.
At some point in your life, you have met a guy who works at, example - a clothing shop. This chap can get you (right word is steal) clothes at discounted prices, from his employer’s shop, but without their knowledge. He even boasts about it. The whole hood knows about him.
This fella’s network keeps growing, more and more people want to know him. I guess most of us are crooks; we always want stuff at bootleg prices. Actually who is better: those who want stuff at bootleg prices or those who knowingly buy knock-offs (counterfeit).
As the fellow boasts about what he does, he gets famous (notorious bastard), his network grows through not even just his efforts, but of others (referrals are important).
The fellow above is un-networking himself. If you hear of a job opening at a shop owned by one of your friend or associate, honestly - would you recommend this thieving chap? Probably not! If yes, then you are bad for your friend’s (the shop owner) network.
Are you this guy? Were you ever this guy? I’ve been the guy that claims to know this guy. And I was lying; I just wanted to be cool.
Unaware, we always network some sort of value. Either this value is working for us or against us.
The basic and best thing for us is to decide on a meaningful journey that has long term beneficial value for our careers. We shouldn’t be known as the thieving and dubious fella.
Rather be known as the shop salesman who is good at his job. It’s not quick cash probably, but if you invest in developing the kind of value you can add to the world, then your career path will be greener and very wealthy.
I trust you know a good graphic designer, the operative word being ‘good’. When you refer this good graphic designer to someone else, you mention a ‘good’ graphic designer’.
Be the ‘good’ graphic designer who practices hard to be good, so people can refer you to their networks as ‘good’.
When you un-network yourself, no one wants to lift you higher, they want you to remain where you are so they can benefit from you only in that one way. They actually want you to remain as their dog, not dawg.
Of course these people would want you to grow into premium shops, so you can steal premium brands for them, but as long as its shops not owned by anyone they care about.
They won’t promote you into their network. They want you to remain in the next network so they can benefit from you but at the same time make sure you don’t contaminate their precious networks.
Tiisetso Maloma is a business model consultant, author of Forget The business Plan Use This Short Model and most times he is an entrepreneur activist. Follow him here Twitter @TiisetsoMaloma, Quora, Facebook
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