Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock for the past four years, you already know the economy has been terrible. Everyone is looking for an edge on making money. Many of us are now known as “under employed” because we have two or three jobs just to pay the mortgage and keep gas in the car. While I agree with the concept of multiple streams of income, I am going to get on a bit of a rant regarding all the scams out there praying on peoples difficult situations. I am a member of several “networking” groups on Facebook. The word “networking” already sets some people off either positively or negatively and many automatically assume that it stands for Multi-Level Marketing. THAT IS NOT NETWORKING! Networking is about people coming together to help each other grow their business. Often that means making referrals and in many cases it is about sharing best practices. Networking is not about giving away a business card and then calling asking for their business. Networking is about relationships. Networking does not have to cost hundreds of dollars a month – just the cost of a business card and cup of coffee or two should be your full outlay of monies. Joining networking groups that require membership dues are fine but, honestly they are typically a waste of time and money. I believe in supporting my local chamber of commerce but I do not rely on them to bring me business. Real networking is not about joining a group or paying a fee. Real networking is about having a conversation and showing interest in others around you. I’ve actually done more networking in the checkout line of a store than I ever have at an “after hours” mixer for a group or club. You see, these so-called networking groups are full of people trying to sell you their product or service. They are not normally attending a meeting to be sold anything. They are there to SELL. Then there are the groups that require you to provide “x” number of referrals to individuals in the group. Personally, I don’t have time to spend looking for business for someone else when I am trying to build my own business. Finally, I know very very very few people who have ever made it big in an MLM. As a matter of fact, I personally know one multimillionaire who is in Amway and they started 40 years ago! If you are in need to extra money, I want to encourage you that MLMs are not the best option. You would be better off getting a second job. You will be just as tired and won’t have to buy an inventory of something to sell.
Real networking will cost you the price of a business card. I know I can get 250 cards through vistaprint for nearly next to nothing! Real networking requires courage to speak up and say hello. It requires you to engage in conversation and ask questions like “what do you do for a living?” Real networking never begins with here is my card, but always ends with “Do you have a business card?” Real networking is about showing interest in the other person and their company. It is never about you … Real networking shouldn’t cost you monthly dues and membership fee, or a certain level of inventory purchase. Real networking only requires a smile and a hello. Networking can take place nearly anywhere and there are literally no strings attached!
Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/President of Maximum Change Inc. Elevating leaders and their organizations to the next level since 2005. Master Certified Coach, Philip A Foster, MA and his associates facilitate effective positive change by helping organizations, leaders and individuals in high demand — design and implement strategies that maximize focus and deliver results. Specializing in Organization and Strategic Leadership.
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