Networking Ooh La La!

Red Book SolutionsBarons, Alberta, Canada, population 250, the centre of the universe

I believe the small town community model demonstrates the power of networking for success. The people and service skills that come with everyone knowing everyone (plus the name of their dog and cat) is what has helped me in all successes in my life, both personally and in business.  Small communities like Barons accomplish outstanding things because of the willingness to protect and strengthen the community by working together.

The same networking principles apply to successful businesses, successful manager careers and personal successes – no matter where you grew up.

Every successful person I have ever known had a strong team of support. Success and one’s “team” go hand in hand.  The key ingredients to Networking Ooh La La! are:

1.       Transparency

Every day is an acting job where we act out each “scene” as it comes our way, ensuring to protect and hide as many self-proclaimed flaws about ourselves as possible.  This protected, “if they really knew” approach of what we think other people are going to think about us, is the biggest detriment to success.

The key to utilizing your network for success is to be sincere about who you are, what you are about and have a willingness to be vulnerable to possible judgments by your peers.  Be open and authentic.  Be willing to “drop the act”.  Communicate openly, honestly and regularly, and your network will carry you on their shoulders.  

2.       Reliability

The people who want to help you are looking for someone dependable, focused and with the discipline to do what they say they are going to do. 

3.       Integrity

Honesty, trust and being face to face with your peers in complete integrity is perhaps the most important part of the “transparency”.

“Integrity is the essence of everything successful.” – Buckminster Fuller

4.       Ask

It’s been said that when you ask someone a question you are empowering them. That is what your network is for.  Ask them.  Empower them.  As you ask openly and honestly for what you need, your “team” will coach, instruct, train, support and guide.

 5.       Network by Default

Every day in every way. You should be open to being “available” to all opportunities.  Whether you are at lunch, at school, at work, at your business or at your kid’s game, you are constantly around other people who have great life experience and who want to share it. 

6.       Entrepreneurship

An entrepreneur is really someone who starts an enterprise, utilizes a network of contacts to help, and is constantly looking for money to put toward the project’s successful completion.  Doesn’t that describe all of us?

 

I hereby dub you an entrepreneur—if you didn’t think you already were one. An entrepreneur is about planning, opportunity, drive, determination and thinking big.  All great qualities if one wants to get on the road to success in an accelerated fashion, yes?

All of these words are a part of the small town model mentioned earlier.

Whether you are a President or CEO of a company, a multi-millionaire, just starting your first job at McDonald’s or just trying to manage your own life; you already have a community of support working with you.  The exercise of Networking Ooh La La is about enhancing and increasing that current and future community of support.

Life in a small town, to me, was an exercise in everyday networking.  It was about being upfront and open to people, whether the information was offered freely (the preferred method) or they found out through the grapevine and you had to come clean.  I learned that people could, would and want to help others.

Take action. Utilize this great list of key ingredients, this great community of yours, and nothing can stop you.

Danny Lyon, Guest Blogger

Danny Lyon is the author of The Colour of My Underwear is … Blue! and the Owner/Operator of more than 47 Mail Boxes Etc. stores in Canada. He has presented, spoken and conducted workshops at numerous business meetings, Regional Conferences and National Conventions within The UPS Store/mail Boxes Etc. system. In addition, he speaks at Chamber functions, to sports clubs, Canadian Franchise Associations, and to College and University students. He may be reached here.

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