What is the networth of your network?

In tough times a network's value can be priceless, but it should not just be for hard times that we decide to network.

One of the critical mistakes I see far too often is only calling on your network when you need it. Too many times I have conversations with successful professionals and executives who suddenly are in a situation where they need their network and they are almost literally going to have to dust off their 'rolodex'.

As the year draws to a close and you start to consider your goals for 2010, start to consider who are the people that will help you get there? Are they in your network at the moment?

1. Get your network up-to-date, it's a great excuse to pick up the phone and find out what people are up to now.

2. Make it a point of finding one thing with each contact you make that you can provide value to - information, advice - whatever it is get them on your radar.

3. Book an appointment every week with your network. I don't mean lunch, I mean one hour a week where you are taking the time to send information, drop an e-mail or pick-up the phone. Make a target of 5 contacts a week - that really should be easy.

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  • Great suggestion Paul. Many people treat networking like dieting. 1. They only do it when they have to. 2. They start it much later than they should have 3. They stop doing it when they get what they need. These are all things we do as we associate dieting (or networking) with loss and pain.

  • Dave Soehner

    The idea of booking an appointment to network each week is a great one. It answers the ‘when will I have time if I’m working full time?’ question and will serve to remind us of the importance.
    I guess that a real key to making it work is to treat it as a high priority, firm appointment and to resist the urge to use that time slot for something more ‘urgent’.

  • Dave H –
    great analogy dieting and networking, can probably add – finding the right mix
    of ingredients (online, face to face, frequency etc) produces the best results –
    all in all makes for an interesting visual. Thanks for the toonies donation –
    you are a true RHB!
    Dave S – we
    can always fill the ‘firm’ appointments with something more pressing, or likely
    with a more immediate reward or outcome. Authentic networking takes time,
    patience and belief that it pays you back eventually – for many that just seems
    all tofar away. Make sure you keep those appointments with yourself.

  • Steve Rosen

    Hi Paul,
    Great reminder. I’ve tried to be generous with job seekers, meeting 2-3 a month to see how I can help – often just advice. This is a reminder that I need to put more effort into proactive versus reactive networking as well!
    Take care,
    Steve

  • Paul,
    Sometimes the most basic, even “simplistic” ideas are the most profound. Why wouldn’t I make a point of contacting my network – at least some of my network – regularly?
    You just never know what might have been “brought to the front burner” in these first days of the new economy. Now that it seems we have turned the corner, projects that were shelved may be coming to light.
    Time to strike while the iron is getting heated up. Maybe I can encourage the projects I have been waiting/yearning for, see the light of day again!
    Thanks for the encouragement.
    Rik

  • Steve –
    great of you to give your time to those seeking help, if we all did a little
    more think of the impact we would have. Thanks also for the donation.
    Rik – great
    point, as we climb out the recession opportunities will be there – but companies
    and individuals will not be shouting about them, they will be going to those
    they trust and have a relationship with.

  • Barbara Mackie

    Hi Paul, I am really enjoying your Tuesday toonie. It is interesting, informative and SHORT! Providing a lot for a little is what we are all looking for today! I still see too many long and boring articles that are terribly repetitive and offer little value. You’re leading the way with this blog!
    Barbara