TEN YEARS BLOGGINGIf you have found this blog in 2015 and gone seeking the first post I ever wrote, you have found it.
I would like to believe that I have come a long, long way over a decade. It has been a great experience. This blog has been a major part of my life and has lead to the writing of books, speaking to over 450 audiences, and the launch of the "Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do Podcast".
At the time I started writing this blog I dreamed of earning my income as a speaker, trainer, and professional EmCee. Today that dream is a reality, and I have had the honor to speak all over the world, including in China.
I am very fortunate because of the amazing people in my life: Family, friends, clients, other speakers, etc... all have shared in my journey. I am enthusiastic about the next decade!
March 2, 2005
So what is all this about "networking" and why is it important to a business person. Many people think that if you do a great job, clients will come to you. "If you build it, they will come" (to quote Field of Dreams). I once knew a law firm who bragged that they were the best kept secret in the legal world. That is just plain stupid. If people do not know about you, then they cannot invite you to be on the short list to earn their business.
Having a network of professional contacts is import to everyone regardless of what industry they work. Your contacts can refer you business, directly give you work, or tell you about bigger employment opportunities. People who have large networks rarely are out of work..
Yet for some reason, many people think that cultivating relationships is either not important or that they do not have time. The truth is you can't afford not to focus on business relationships.
I am currently writing a book on this subject. I spent over four years working as the business development manager in a large law firm. The legal business is currently changing. Many lawyers used to view their profession as a calling (like the priesthood), and ran the firms like exclusive country clubs. However, they are now realizing that law firms are a business, and successful business focus on sales. Yes, law firms are actually realizing that the "S" word (sales) is not beneith them. Where they used to rely on a few "Rain Makers" who were naturally skilled at networking and business development, they are now spending big money to train all their attorneys on the importance this topic.
If law firms realize that that everyone in the organization should be developing business, and training their lawyers on the subject, you would think other companies would already have it figured out. The sad news is that while everyone instinctively realizes that it is important, they simply do not do anything about it.
What about you. Regardless of your job title, do you think about the importance of building a network that can refer business to your company? Why not? New business is job security. And if it is not, your competitor would love to employ someone who is the go to person in your idustry.
Here is an article I wrote that I hope you will like:
http://www.pmforumna.org/pages/magazine.asp?Action=DrawArticle&ArticleID=114&MagazineID=12 (Dead Link in 2015. Sorry, PM Forum is gone).