“Relationships are all there is.  Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else.  Nothing exists in isolation.  We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.”  Margaret Wheatley

Don't Network - Connect Instead

Here’s the whole thing in a nutshell:  When you help others, they often help you.  When you care about somebody, you want to help them.

Ferrazi suggests that instead of focusing on “networking”, focus on connecting and sharing your knowledge, time, energy and compassion.  He reminds us that if you strip any business down to its basics, it’s about people selling things to other people.  You’ve heard it before and it’s true: people do business with people they like.

Other tips:

1.  Share your passions. When you spend time with someone who shares one of your passions, you’ll both let down your guard and really get to know each other.  Have dinner with someone who shares your passion or engage in the hobby or activity.  For one period of time, I was getting lots of requests to have lunch with others -at the same time I was trying to lose weight so didn’t want to eat out as often.  I invited folks to take a walk with me instead and had many fruitful net-walking meetings.  You may like to meet people over golf, at a sports event or by inviting them to a book club.

2.  Treat business contacts like personal friends. There’s no need to draw a big line between the two types of relationships.  Build trust with business contacts by showing your human side -not just the polished professional.  Share what really matters to you including your interests and even your frustrations.  By being authentic and human, you’ll build stronger bonds.

3.  To Succeed, Make Others Successful. Be generous with others. Share your knowledge and your contacts.  I’ve built a very successful grant writing profit center by doing my best to help other grant writers succeed.  Your rewards may not come directly from those you are helping, but trust me, it comes back tenfold!