Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Givers gain | Networking isn't just for business people

The word networking is one that brings out different reactions in people. Some hate it. Some fear it. Some understand its importance. Many don't know how to do it. Most think it's only for business people.

I recently finished reading a great book on networking called The 29% Solution, 52 Weekly Networking Success Strategies, written by Ivan R. Misner, PhD and Michelle R. Donovan. Although the book is primarily geared for business people, there are still some great concepts and strategies that all of us can use in connecting with people.

One of the key principles that master networkers practice is the principle "givers gain." In The 29% Solution we read:
When you help someone meet a goal, you instantly become a "value-added" friend - an asset to this individual's life and business. You've demonstrated that you're in the relationship not just what you can get out of it, but also for what you can invest on behalf of your friend. You've demonstrated reciprocity and caring. You've nourished the relationship's roots so they can become strong, deep, and broad (p. 96).
Start by giving. Let your mantra be not "What's in it for me? but "What can I do for you?" This is perhaps the most powerful technique for deepening and widening your networks, as well as for adding value. When building a deep network, do everything you can to bring business and contacts to your networking partners. Share information with them, and invite them to business meetings that will position them favorably with people they need to know. Get to the point where your networking partners know you always have something to give them. In short, do what it takes to earn the help you may need to ask for down the road. It's no wonder that the most effective and powerful networking entrepreneurs live by the philosophy "Givers Gain": when you help others achieve their goals, they will help you achieve your goals. Do not underestimate the power of helping other people - it is the cornerstone upon which relationships are built (p. 98).
As believers in Jesus Christ, it would seem that we should live with this same philosophy of giving of ourselves to others, and not just for business reasons. When we give of ourselves to our fellow believers in Christ, to our friends, to complete strangers, we are imitating our Lord.

For God so loved, that He gave... (John 3:16).

My challenge for you today is to be available to help those around you. Make personal connections with people and help build relationships between friends in your own network. Gain through giving.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! I needed this today. I have recently joined a BNI group in my area to grow my business, and have been reading Ivan Misner's books. Something in this concept, "Givers Gain" struck a cord with me and I have been looking for a way to apply it in my church. Yours was the first article I found on the subject. I would be grateful if you have more resources for this.