Networking and Exercise
By Brian Trivitt
There are many things in this world that are tough, yet necessary to do. At the same time, it seems like many conversations you have with people sooner or later end up dealing with the subject of how to make things easier in general. The fact is, there are a lot of things you can hire somebody to do for you. However, there are also some things that are not only necessary to do if you want to improve your own life; but more importantly, can only be done by you, regardless of how much fame and fortune you currently may have.
I consistently like to work out to stay in shape and be healthy. After being laid off from a Fortune 50 Company a few months back, I am also making a strong effort to build a network with a wide array of people. So why am I bringing up exercising and networking in the same sentence? Because they are two of the best examples of activities nobody else can do for you.
Not only are tasks that can only be done by you often very beneficial to your own life, but they also separate the true hard workers in this world from the ones who merely claim to work hard. Can you imagine if one of your New Year's resolutions you told you co-workers that you were paying the kid down the street to go hit the treadmill three times a week for you?
In networking, being present and actually making an effort to converse with people on a consistent basis are critical to building a successful network. Sending somebody else to network for you not only does little to nothing to build your network, but after while, I believe the argument could be made that it actually ends up hurting your efforts more than not networking at all. The reason for this is that successful networking requires that somebody consistently show they are truly interested in getting to know an individual or a group of people. Of course, the only way to do this is for you to be in the presence of the other party and make a genuine effort to get to know them. Beyond that, you must also follow up with an individual to continue to foster the relationship (insert joke here where the rich and powerful CEO has his secretary call the average guy he met the other night to see how he is doing!)
I think most everybody would agree that one of the best feelings in the world is working hard and taking a moment to say to yourself, “this isn’t easy, but the results make it all worthwhile.” So, while you may not make the cover of the latest fitness magazine or become the next networking guru, exercise and networking actually have something very important in common--EVERYBODY has the ability to improve upon their fitness level and their networking skills!
Since everybody has the ability to improve upon some things themselves, I highly recommend examining the things you need to do to improve your own life, and make the effort to do them yourself. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be those tasks that it’s better to have somebody else do them for you (if you are as bad and dislike house cleaning as much as I do, you can do what I did, which is marry a lady who owns a maid service). But besides working on building your network and improving your health, find something that you enjoy making an effort consistently to do on your own.
Brian Trivitt, MBA, specializes in Enterprise Customer Service and IT Project Management. He holds an undergraduate in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State University and an MBA from Texas State University. Mr. Trivitt is an avid homebrewer who has a passion for brewing as well as analyzing and discussing the beer industry. You can follow him on his blog at trivittbrew.com.