George-112113Networking with George Bailey & Friends

George Bailey and the Power of Networking

George Bailey (It’s a Wonderful Life) had big plans. He was going to travel the world but life kept getting in the way. You all know that George sacrificed his dream over and over for the people in his life. And, in the end, it paid back in huge dividends as the whole town came to George’s rescue and saved him from being arrested.

We all know the story as a nice Christmas story about valuing your life. It can also be viewed as a primer on how to network.

I’ve been a member of the Professional Women’s Network of the Monterey Peninsula for 10 years (and their Woman of the Year for 2013). For the last three years I’ve been one of our New Member Orientation facilitators. I always share with people that you cannot attend one meeting and expect business to just flow to you. It’s about so much more.

George Bailey was successful because he committed. He jumped into the ice and saved his brother’s life. He took over the savings and loan to save the bank and the town’s people who depended on it. He used his honeymoon money to quell a run on the bank and save it from collapsing. The dude was committed.

Committed networking has 6 common ingredients:

  1. Committed networking requires preparation. You need to set your intentions for the event before you arrive. Your mindset should be one of generosity and happiness. You have to have the right tools with you – biz cards, a note pad, your calendar.
  2. Committed networking requires you to listen to your intuition. Since it’s all about relationship building, it takes time. Which means you may not know immediately if a particular networking group is going to be a fit for you. This is where you have to learn to listen to your intuition. If you’ve done your homework in deciding where to network, you now have to trust your inner knowing to tell you if you belong.
  3. Committed networking requires presence. Be with the person you are speaking to. Like Maddie examining the flower, be about them, not about what you are going to say, or what you want from them. Be present with them.
  4. Committed networking requires you to bring a happy mindset. If you are stuck in worry, fear, overwhelm or stress people sense it. They move away from you. Be happy and they will want to talk with you…. and some of them will want to work with you.
  5. Committed networking requires you to follow up. It’s up to you to build the relationships you’ve started. And the building happens after you return home. What you do with that stack of business cards you’ve collected will ultimately determine your success or failure at networking.
  6. Committed networking requires gratitude. Yep, gratitude. What we focus on is what we draw more of into our lives. So focus on the good stuff happening in your networking activities and more good stuff will happen.

Stay tuned: The first week of December I’m going to release a short, three part video on the specific steps to successful networking. It’s free and you don’t want to miss this. So watch your email for the invite!