Steps to Networking – Step 1: Networking isn’t new

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010


A number of recent publications have heralded networking as the new wonder drug that will enable you to thrive in either a slumping or a booming economy. They give the impression that simply by following a few relatively easy steps, presto chango, you can propel the smallest, most obscure business straight to the top of the Fortune Five Hundred list. Or you could meet the perfect partner, get the ideal job or otherwise strike the mother lode.

First, lets clarify that networking isn’t new; it’s been around as long as our species. Until recently networking was referred to as being “well connected,” having “contacts” or a great Rolodex. It’s something we’ve heard about all of our lives, but with different names. It’s an age-old process of exchanging leads, referrals, tips and recommendations; it’s mutual support alliances. Whenever someone recommends a restaurant, a travel agent or a book, that’s networking. Networking isn’t new and it isn’t some miraculous potion that you can gulp down at night before bed that will cure whatever ails you by the next morning.

Undeniably, networking is a valuable tool. Reports claim that over 80 percent of all jobs are obtained through networking. Clearly, networking can boost sales and increase profits. It can help you find a wonderful place to live, a great caterer and an endless stream of supportive services that will lighten your load. However, these benefits are little more than byproducts that emanate from something substantially larger and vastly more important.

The essence of networking is surrounding yourself with outstanding, caring and helpful people. It’s building mutually supportive relationships with those who will happily help you, it’s the process of making and spending time with close friends. Networking is more than a career, marketing or social tactic, it’s a way of life. And it doesn’t occur overnight! New York attorney Richard Solomon put it best when he said, “The object in life is to be rich in the resource of people.” And we agree! Nothing is more important or will enrich your life as greatly as forging close personal relationships, which is what networking provides.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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