If you're asking, "What is a Network?" Realize that it is the life blood of your business.
Your network is a group of people that you know that you interact with from time to time. These aren’t necessarily people you just see passing by and don't say anything. These are people interact with you based off of:
The most common influential network is known to be your family members. In the past it was common (and some cases still is) for people to gain employment for a certain position in an organization because they were related to someone.
It has become so commonplace that some union jobs made nepotism a violation against ethical standards.
In college, you will hear common talk of building your networks for when you graduate because of the saying, ". . . it is not what you know, it is WHO you know."
Therefore, we know that family isn’t the only network that you have access to. We naturally connect with people based on our:
While residing in Ohio my daughter happened to make friends with a child her age at local day care center in the area. After a while, I naturally greeted the parents of my daughters friend in passing.
After a few school functions we had small talk and the mother just happened to tell me she was from NY. I said, “Oh Really!? . . . where in NY”. She said, “the Bronx”. So naturally I get excited and say, “WHERE IN THE BRONX!?” After she told me the street, she was pleasantly surprised that I grew up 15 minutes away from her. Now, we make it a point to speak to eachother when we're in the area.
When you reside in your area, it isn't a big deal to meet people who live in the same area. But when you meet someone in your area who is from a distant place where you both grew up it is an immediate connection
My high school population was approximately 3,000 students. My collegiate population was approximately 10,000 students. Throughout my years in high school and college, I noticed one thing that never changed.
As many students that were in the school, individuals with the same Ethnic background ALWAYS had an immediate rapport. They sat together at lunch, had study sessions together, and networked with each other.
There are certain characteristics, norms, food, and cultures that people from a certain culture share that hardly anyone can relate to. To find someone of the same Ethic background can make you feel a sense of closeness or an immediate bond. Especially if you are in an area where you are considered minority.
I happen to be a member of several clubs and organizations. People join organizations for specific reasons.
In most cases, being a part of an organization doesn’t automatically give you connections with people. However, when you actually work together with those individuals in the organization, you eventually start to have a bond.
Whether it is a weak bond or a strong one, it will be enough to atleast recognize and greet each other by name when you see each other on the street.
It is common for people to have a bond when they have the same religion. Religion is one subject that some people cannot have a peaceful conversation about without it turning into an argument at the end (depending on how the conversation turns out).
I say this because many people feel very strongly about their religion. You can find many people in their places of worship on a weekly basis working and volunteering.
The above are examples of where your potential networks may come from.
We all graduate high school, graduate college, or leave old jobs for new one’s. Years later you suddenly realize that your good friends at one point become strangers. The best way to maintain your networks is to use your resources to keep in contact with them. With the power of social media it makes it easier stay in contact.
From this point on with the friends you have now, make it a point not to lose that connection you have with them. Make it your duty to reach out to them atleast once a month, even if it is to say hello and catch up. While you’re doing this, you will still meet new people along the way.
After approximately a year, you realize your potential warm market list (of people that you are actually not afraid to call) may have grown 30% - 40%.
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