Self-made millionaire and successful author Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with” which is a very sobering thought if you haven’t paid much attention to your network recently. It doesn’t matter whether you run your own business, work for a company or are a stay-at-home parent, you are a reflection of the people you surround yourself with so it’s important to make sure your network is in good shape!
Follow these 3 simple steps to get your network back on track and working for you:-
Step 1: Take Stock
Firstly, take a moment to look at your current network and think about whether you’re really using it to it’s full potential. Who do you have access to that you haven’t spoken to in ages and who do you owe a return phone call or email to? Identify people in your current network that are a positive influence in your personal and/or professional life and make a concerted effort to reconnect with them. Think outside the square rather than focussing on the same people you see week in, week out.
Step 2: Educate
Do key people in your network know what your goals are and how they can help you? And importantly, have you connected with your network enough to know how YOU can help them? A givers-gain mentality is key to building a successful network and you need to spend time building a trusting relationship before you can expect to benefit from it in other ways.
Think about the conversations you’re having with the people you know and consider expanding the topics you discuss and the questions you ask so that you can find out MORE about that person – it’s amazing how many ideas and opportunities can arise when you start to approach your conversations differently.
Step 3: Build
A powerful network will stretch and challenge your thoughts and ideas as well as supporting you to achieve your goals. Therefore it’s important to connect with people who have more knowledge and experience than you so that you can learn and develop. One of the easiest ways to extend your network is to join a group or industry committee and become an active member. Think about what you’re interested in or the industry you’re trying to develop your career in and research what options are available to you.
Get out of your comfort zone. Networking groups are in abundance these days and offer a structured and organised approach to meeting new people so google networking groups in your area and go along to find out more – many of the first meetings are free and offer a great opportunity to see how the group works before spending any of your hard-earned cash!I
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