Those who seek to understand the power of networking go through many stages of self-discovery. Much of the draw of having a network is about self. We witness those who are well-connected living on the receiving end of opportunities and we desire to have others help us achieve success. We network to get.
Eventually we learn that to get, we must give. It is hard for some to realize this, and with busy schedules and life commitments they shy away from networking as they cannot see the short term value in dedicating time and resources to serving others. Giving takes time. Time is a precious commodity.
The important lesson to learn is that all parts of our lives are a journey, including cultivating personal and professional relationships with others. While it takes time, it cannot be avoided if we want to achieve all that we can. Building a network is not like building a house. Once it is built you cannot walk away from the solid structure. The foundation of your network is directly tied to other people, and thus always in flux.
When one person holds the relationship dear only for their own gain, there are flaws in the structure of the network. Selfish networking exists when a scarcity mentality is dominant. If there is only a certain amount of success to be divided, each person will grab all they can get. But when we wake up each day knowing that there is unlimited opportunities and who gets the prizes will change from day to day, we can easily embrace assisting those around us to find victory.... as we can be sure that our time on top will come as well.
When we live in an ecosystem of givers, everyone will prosper.
Being a "giver" can be uncomfortable for some people who have always felt that others were out to take advantage of them. They feel vulnerable. It can take a long time for people to change their mindset, and to do so they must expose themselves to the right type of people who care about their success... and then take a leap of faith.
This perceptual shift in the brain will allow everyone to live an extraordinary life of abundance. I believe this is possible and that we are all capable of living in communities of contribution. It is not about finding happiness or constantly being blissful (constant joy is not going to happen) -- but is more in tune with finding your potential and helping others reach their own goals and dreams. Impacting the greater good for the universe has power.
If you have never thought about the greater purpose of networking, spend some time looking at how all people are connected and can positively change the world for the better, if they choose to do so. All opportunities come from people, so people matter in your life.
Finding balance between the needs of self and the pull of our commitments while making a difference in the world has forever been part of the human condition. Those who succeed in this are the ones who know at their core that they are not alone. Nobody is an island, and we are here to help each other win the prizes we seek.
Look at your own journey and uncover the ways that it is joined to the journey of others. Be still in your own mind and allow the connections to how you impact others become clear. The directions to how you can be the catalyst to boost other people are visible if you take the time to look for the clues.
You lead by example. If you are outwardly giving, others will see your efforts. It is hard to get past self-focus, especially in tough economic times. With so much uncertainty it is natural to circle the wagons and protect what we have. Hunkering down until the recovery has been the mantra of many, but I do not think this is the best answer.
Look for somebody in your circle of influence and give to them. It can be a small boost that launches them into the stratosphere. You need not abandon your own goals and responsibilities to help others. Even kind words of encouragement and praise can make the difference.
Take joy in the successes of others and most of them will do the same when they see you triumph. For those who are not on board with celebrating your successes or that of others, do not fret about them (you cannot change them). Be grateful for those in your life who do share your abundance mentality and realize you have your success because they are part of your life!
Have A Great Day.