Your networking muscle matters, if you don’t use it you lose it
Your networking muscle is like any other you have to use it to build it. Ask anyone in business in Adelaide and there are two things they will say without fail.
- If you can make it in business in Adelaide you can make it in business anywhere
- In Adelaide its all about who you know but more importantly who knows you.
Both of these statements are proof that your networking muscle matters.
Through my time in BNI I have learnt to use my networks to fulfil my core purpose for being which is to connect people to people for mutual benefit, a highlight of which was taking on the role as Executve Director for BNI Adelaide North in 2019 and speaking at BNI Global Convention in Bangkok in 2019 The photo below is from the speaker awards that year with Ivan Misner
In BNI Adelaide North our members take a proactive approach to building their networks and by proxy their businesses through a structured approach to generating word of mouth referrals but what does that even mean?
Its not as complex as you might think. A BNI membership is like a gym membership for your networks. It is designed to give you a structured program and the equipment required to seriously beef up your networking muscles and in doing so create Master Connectors. That said just like the gym if you don’t use the program you are given you won’t get very far
Sure you can work on your networks without it but just like when you are first going to a gym sometimes it is helpful to have a personal trainer and some accountability buddies along the way so you get the best results from your time and effort.
So what are these magical networking muscles and why do they matter anyway?
Have a think about it for a second, who is the most networked person you know? You know the one who can solve any challenge for themselves or someone else? The person whos opinions you are interested in and who you call when you need to find someone to help you with a specific business challenge.
These are the body builders of networking or as we like to call them in BNI – the Master Connectors.
Now in fairness they didn’t get there overnight and some of them will be in that enviable category of the natural networker, but like anything in business this is something that you can learn.
When I came out of corporate life and into the world of Business my first company Social Media AOK was just three months old, I was an introvert in a sea of humans and I had no idea where to start when it came to building my networks. Thankfully I was invited along to a BNI Chapter and there my journey began.
The beauty of being a part of a BNI Chapter is that it has structure, there is a level of accountability with your fellow chapter members (business owners like yourself) but more importantly they are in your corner every step of the way.
As part of a structured networking group like a BNI Chapter you get into the habit of flexing your networking muscles on a daily basis and what’s more you understand why it matters. Your networking muscle matters because you have to use it before you need it. Getting into the habit of working your networks when you don’t need anything from them means that when you do need help, support or a hand up then your network is there ready and waiting.
Unfortunately the vast majority of people think that the contacts in their phone or on LinkedIn or Facebook et al are there ready and waiting. The fact is they aren’t people don’t care how much you know or what you can do until they know how much you care.
So as you start winding your way into the end of the year perhaps now is a very good time to take stock of your networks and where you have dropped the ball and in doing so perhaps you can catch it before that ball rolls away.