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Do You Hate Networking?

Boy, you can tell that the gurus - and everyone else - is scrambling desperately to figure out this new economy thing. It's pretty interesting actually because one thing I have noticed is that almost no one has a clue what to do - and so they are beginning to bash the experts - and each other.

Of course the two that have caught my attention are the Niche bashers and the Networking haters. Lots and LOTS of people are out there screaming that the emperors (experts) on these two subjects have no clothes.

What's most interesting is that these people with all of the thwaking and whacking of these two "n's" have utterly failed to realize that they are ‘undeniably and reliably dead’ - wrong. (to borrow a phrase I particularly like from the Munchkins). And there’s blame to share because most of the experts also have it wrong – hence the internet airtime battle.

Here’s the truth that EVERYONE is failing to see:

Your business is supposed to be an expression of who you are – your highest and best self.

If you don’t believe me realize this:

During the industrial age it was important to our economy to have large numbers of people trained to obey and do “big box” corporate jobs - both blue and white collar. Even our school system was created to provide industry with an unlimited supply of ready workers. We, as a society forgot how to be entrepreneurs. As children we were taught that money doesn’t grow on trees so we had to give up our deepest desires, be responsible and go get a job. Our jobs became separate from our “regular lives” and our dreams were forgotten.

That was all well and good in 1950 (sort of). Now it’s 2010 and schools, business schools, big business and society in general tells us that the 1950’s way is “safe and sensible.” Don’t believe me? Just watch the news tonight. BUT the new economy is all about changing those paradigms. True, many of the experts and gurus haven’t caught up, but neither have the naysayers because they too are still coming from this mentality.

“I am not my job, I am a human being.” said the Elephant Man and many of the networking naysayers. Well sure you are, but in the new economy your job, your business is not just about making money any more. It’s about helping and healing people on a global scale – and that is where the disconnect lies. Your business IS who you are and it is important to be able to articulate that.

Your uniqueness aligns you perfectly to do something that will change people’s lives, even if just on a small scale. It’s no longer about you making money, it’s about you helping people – even if you are “just a financial planner.”

And don’t get me started on how spirituality and integrity are incompatible with having money. Just how many people can a homeless person help? How many lives will be changed by someone whose business is failing?

The fact is that by successfully communicating who you help, what you help them with and who your perfect client is, you will make the money you need to stay in business and make a difference in this world however you choose to do it.

I can teach networking and why niches are important all day long BUT if the student is “just in if for the money” and they’d rather be off doing something else in their spare time, it’s a total waste of time and money because it won’t work.

This is also why the network marketing people really struggle. They go money to money. They see their job as changing people’s lives by giving them an “opportunity” – which is about making money and recruiting more than it is about helping people with their problems which (oh my god) sometimes have nothing to do with money (imagine that).

So my first request of you in 2010 is to think about what your ideal life would be like. Not just the things you want, but your life, your experiences. What would you like your perfect day to be like? Where would you go? What would you do? With whom would you do it?

Take out a sheet of paper and write it down – seriously.

When you answer these questions, you’ll be able to see clearly whether your business is really an expression of you or if you are “just in it for the money.” If your job is a mismatch for your ideal life, then you need to make some adjustments. I am not saying close your doors necessarily, just notice and adjust.

Finally, as you think about how to talk about what you do and for whom you do it (your networking statement and your niche) remember your passion. The deep “why” buried beneath the surface of why you do what you do. When you speak with that passion to someone about what you do, the words come easily and don’t matter so much, because they will hear you with more than their ears. They will also hear you with their hearts. And that is what Networking is all about.

Want to use this article in your newsletter or on your website? You can! Just be sure to include the entire article and include this complete “blurb” with it:

Networking Expert, Karen Frank publishes Networking News, a semi-monthly newsletter devoted to helping you avoid marketing disasters and networking faux pas. Get the home study course "The Seven Deadly Sins of Networking and How to Avoid them" Free when you sign up for Networking News at

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About the Author

Karen Frank, 3 E Communications
1934 Contra Costa Blvd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

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