One of my great friends John Vrba commented on one of my LinkedIn postings.
John Vrba. Four letters. Two Syllables.
John makes a lot out of a little.
John is 95 or maybe 94.
He wrote “You’ve made networking a challenging accomplishment!”
I went to a John Vrba milestone birthday party a few years ago. Could have been his 85th or 90th. The OC Register was there. It was at the Ritz Restaurant in Newport Beach CA the epicenter of many things manifested in the Housewives of OC. The restaurant went closed during the Great Recession.
Mr. Vrba is still in the game and so am I employed full time by my network even though I don’t have a job.
His comment made me smile.
Yes networking is a Challenging accomplishment.
The problem with networking is that it attracts a sea of the unlearned.
Many people think it means find people who know lots of people and sell them your stuff.
Be mostly obnoxious and turn people off although you are clueless on how you are approaching it.
There are no courses on networking in colleges although the majority of jobs and gigs are found through relationships. That’s not teaching your children well.
Young enthusiast sales people find one of my blogs or videos on social media and like them and then try to sell me appointment selling by telephone in the New Normal. I don’t think so. Want to buy the typewriter in my garage? I have an overhead as well.
I get LinkedIn emails from New Business people at agencies sitting at their computers with paychecks coming every two weeks asking me to connect them with some prospect I know. They think I am a public utility and my network is theirs.
I mostly ignore them.
I spoke about networking recently at Product Camp in OC and they told everyone at the opening if anyone sells in their presentations use your two feet and walk out.
That is the New Normal.
Some folks believe in the Pay it Forward Strategy of helping with no clear return in site.
I love the sentiment but many people don’t get the meaning.
Then there are some of the hardest ones.
They can be well intentioned and want to help people in transition.
Meet Jessica a friend of mine. She is in a totally unrelated industry than yours but has always loved marketing. Can you please help her?
I can’t help somebody who wants to get into marketing who has no relevant experience. I still believe in Magic but nobody can make that happen.
Then there are the wonderful connections of networking. Those Starbucks coffees when you meet immediate friends. The people who open doors, create opportunities and enrich your life.
I look at them and wonder how did you come into my life?
I have just met you but have known you all my life.
You have walked in my paths. Know where I want to go because you see it before I explain it.
You validate that I am doing the right thing. Make the waste of time worth it.
They don’t happen every time but they make me network almost every time.
That’s the challenge and the delicate dance.
I won’t let the people that don’t get it make me leave my networking path.
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