What’s important to you?
Following are some great snippets about the value of building your network.
In a 2013 article in The Huffington Post, Porter Gale, author of the bestselling book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth: Unlock the Hidden Power of Connections for Wealth, Success, and Happiness in the Digital Age wrote,
“I believe your social capital, or your ability to build a network of authentic personal and professional relationships, not your financial capital, is the most important asset in your portfolio.”
She goes on to elaborate how the book explains her affirmations that our net worth is not based solely on the size of our portfolio, but on our ability to work with other people who share our passions and values. This network of people will become an interpersonal safety net that guarantees greater output and personal fulfilment.
Powerful networks mean powerful business opportunities. More and more in today’s business world, leaders prefer to become intermingled in important transactions with people they trust. Relationships establish and fortify that trust. That’s why serious serial entrepreneurs, influencers, deal makers and multiple project players choose to seek out exclusive business networking opportunities.
Being visible and getting seen is a benefit of building your network that is vital in building and growing your career and business.
More than this, being visible and getting seen in tandem with the right people can also mean an increase in your own standing among peers and others in your industry. “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is true in business around the world.
If you want a successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them.
Building your network provides you with a great source of connections and opens the door to highly influential people that can be a boon for your business.
Often, just having a networking relationship with certain people enhances your standing and credibility, which therefore helps your business in numerous ways. And that influential person will already have a network you can tap into as well.
Building your network can help to build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable, and supportive person who can provide useful information and connections to people who need it.
You are also more likely to get more leads and referrals as you will be the one that pops into their head when they need what you offer.
The right network can put you into contact with high quality, trusted, and powerful connections throughout numerous business and professional communities.
Building your network builds your knowledge power, and not just through gaining insider information on the latest big deal.
Having like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs with whom you can confer gives you the opportunity to learn and obtain advice from them on any conceivable topic related to your business and obtain that important work-life balance.
Family and business in this culture are inexorably entwined, so maintaining good family and business relationships are top in everyone’s mind.
Building your network is a superb way to tap into advice and expertise that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain.
Solid advice from the right person can sometimes be a critical factor in business and personal success. That knowledge can come through intense conversations, dinner meetings, or even casual discussions of mutual interest.
The people with whom you associate and spend time influence who you are and what you become.
Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people that help you to grow and thrive as a business owner and as a person.
Positive people naturally exude their best attributes; these are the individuals with whom you want to associate and connect.
Building your network is great for this because entrepreneurs, business owners, and successful people who are themselves involved in network-building are typically people who are pursuing excellence in their business and personal lives and are naturally positive and uplifting.
You cannot help but receive a charge just from being in their presence.
The knowledge you may gain is important, but the mindset you can adopt from them is invaluable.
Regularly participating in the right network and pushing yourself to engage with people you don’t know, will help to increase your confidence.
This is vitally important as a business owner or entrepreneur because your business growth depends on talking to the right people and forging lasting connections.
If you are not very confident, network-building is a great pathway to gaining the confidence you need for success.
Pushing yourself to connect with others and being accepted into a network alongside them is a great confidence booster. As you become a part of the group, opening in conversations and creating lasting connections with people, further enhance your confidence.
In addition to the business-related benefits of network-building, the personal satisfaction you can gain from contributing to the growth and opportunity of others is often the great reward.
Building your network can and should provide altruistic opportunities as well as business rewards. These may come through connections with other network partners who serve in non-profit causes or through the casual or structured mentoring of others.
Mentoring is an important aspect of network-building.
Virtually everyone has gained value from a mentoring relationship, either formally or informally.
Bill Gates often refers to his ongoing relationship with Warren Buffett as a mentor. Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg counted Apple Founder Steve Jobs as a key mentor.
If you have learned any lessons about life and business, you have something to pass on to others. Healthy people have both inlets where people invest in them, and outlets where they themselves invest in other people.
The Dead Sea is dead because it has inlets but no outlet. To thrive as successful people, we need to be receiving quality and pouring quality into others around us. This is a defining virtue of building your network.
Network-building is about sharing, not taking. It is about forming trust and helping one another toward goals. Regularly engaging with your contacts and finding opportunities to assist them helps to strengthen the relationship. By doing this, you sow the seeds for reciprocal assistance when you need help to achieve your goals.
Your network can be an excellent source of new perspectives and ideas to help you in your role.
Exchanging information on challenges, experiences and goals is a key benefit of network-building because it allows you to gain new insights that you may not have otherwise thought of.
Far from it being a nuisance, most people love being asked for help. It’s flattering and makes them feel useful.
If you’re struggling with a decision, challenge or new direction, calling up a trusted former colleague, mentor, teacher or friend to organise a coffee can be beneficial to both of you, as they will, in turn, think of you when next they have a challenge.
Offering helpful ideas in return is an excellent way to build your reputation as an innovative thinker.
Create value for other network participants by listening carefully, following up on conversations, remembering names, and offering your knowledge and expertise.
You can then help to build your reputation as being a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive member of your profession by offering useful information or tips to people who need it.
Expanding your contacts can open doors to new opportunities for business, career advancement, personal growth, or simply new knowledge. Active network-building helps to keep you top of mind when opportunities such as job openings arise and increases your likelihood of receiving introductions to potentially relevant people or even a referral.
Don’t forget that many jobs don’t even get advertised – particularly as your career advances – so being a recognised part of networks is a key way to gain access to opportunities that you might not have otherwise.
Network-building is a great opportunity to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of your peers and stay abreast of the latest industry developments. A wide network of informed, interconnected contacts means broader access to new and valuable information.
The opportunity to gather new information is an often-overlooked benefit of network-building, as it’s not the most obvious one.
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of your professional realm and end up in a rut. By talking to others in your field or people with expertise in a particular area, you can gain insights that only come from viewing a situation with fresh eyes. Asking for opinions from contacts you trust or admire can help you see things in a new light and overcome roadblocks that you might not have known how to circumvent otherwise.
Of course, the point of network-building is to develop and nurture professional relationships, but some of the strongest and most long-standing friendships are borne from work connections.
Your networking contacts are probably like-minded people with similar goals as your own, so it’s not unlikely that your professional support network will spill over into your personal friendships.
As long as you have a strong network of professional connections, you can be confident that someone within your sphere will be able to answer even your toughest questions. And, if there’s no definitive answer, you’ll have a solid sounding board to bounce ideas off and put into action step-by-step plans to tackle bigger problems.