Personal Branding Networking Can Start Anytime
By Fred Horowitz, Guest contributor
When I retired from dentistry in 1981 because of eye surgery, I was really scared. In my mid thirties, I had no idea what I was going to do next. It was like an artist facing a blank canvass and dealing with something all creators (people) face- “nothingness.”
My training in marketing and selling was negligible. I related to myself as a dentist. So how was I going to transition into another career?
Well, because of limited space, I’m not going to share the pathway I took to making seven career transitions all of which I enjoyed. What made the biggest impact for me was the development of my networking skills. These abilities were strengthened through being a BNI (Business Network International) director for ten years.
It's not about age but your mindset
In this post, I’ll share with you the mindset required to be an effective networker. This new way of thinking will enhance your ability to develop yourself professionally and socially. People have a tendency to focus on the “how tos” - (doing). They neglect the context (being, mindset, context, frame of reference) of what they’re engaged in. So they may not get the results they intended.
Here’s a definition of networking that I like- networking is the cultivation of mutually beneficial, give-and-take, win-win relationships (Bob Burg). Networking is not: selling; using people strictly for your gain; coercing or manipulating someone to do what you want. It is also not putting friends, neighbors, or associates on the spot, badgering people about your business or career.
Personal branding networking is about growing your network
My view on the purpose of networking has changed recently. It isn’t trying to get referrals and business from everyone. It isn’t trying to give referrals and business to everyone. It isn’t to make valuable connections. The purpose of networking is to grow your network.
And within that purpose you can do all of those other things. But now you are looking beyond your one-to-one connections. You are looking at creating, building and nurturing a network for the long term. A network can help sustain your business and develop your career (Sharon Rich).
A key to personal branding networking - Givers gain
The larger context in which everything I’ve shared occurs is in the philosophy of “givers gain.” You give freely without any expectation of return. You give for the sake of giving as in a gift, with no attachment to the outcome. Those that give the most receive the most. That’s how life works.
In my experience, most people who network operate like bolo bats (toy consisting of paddle tied to a rubber ball). When they give something to someone, they expect that person to reciprocate. Life doesn’t work that way. It operates more like a boomerang. The receiving may come in another form, not directly from the person to whom you gave.
Often, “givers gain” gets turned into “bait and switch.” This happens when the person giving has an ulterior motive of selling something to the receiver. They are being inauthentic and manipulative.
I promise you that if you truly take on the practice of “givers gain." You will stand out from the crowd. You will be be successful no matter how you define success in all areas of your life. Practice these personal branding networking ideas and build solid relationships.
Now take these two action steps:
- Find more personal branding ideas by taking the online multimedia course: How to Create a Remarkable Personal Profile
Fred Horowitz is coach who works with conscious small business owners who want more out of their work and lives. They want to engage with what really matters to them. His commitment is to support his clients in improving the quality of their work and personal lives. He is also dedicated to the sustainability of the planet.
Fred has been coaching individuals, groups and organizations for the last 30 years. He has a background in a number of fields including dentistry, wellness, career transition, and personal and business development. He also has experience in financial services and referral and online marketing. He has the ability to offer different perspectives on what it takes to lead a meaningful life.
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