Building Your Business Network
by Steven D. Huff
We've all heard it said, “Success is not so much what you know, it is who you know." Perhaps the old saying contains a little bit of overstatement, but not much. What you know and how you use it plays a tremendous part in getting ahead. Yet, the “who you know” remains, for most people, a vital part of reaching professional success.
People in most professions or careers find a significant advantage in building a massive network of friends, advisors, and contacts. Networking, as defined by Rick Warren, is about meeting people, working with teams, developing a list of trusted advisors, and having personal contacts in place when you need the resources. There are many important lessons on how to expand your network and keeptrack of all your contacts. But the foundational building block of networking is learning to develop long term relationships with people.
Here are several important considerations for building a lifelong business network:
Give At Least As Much As You Take
Rule number one: Don’t join any organization or make any personal contacts solely to advance your own interests. The world is about give and take. Those who are “takers only” aren’t much good to anyone else. Remember your responsibility to give back at least as much as you take. And it never hurts to give before you receive.
Safeguard Confidential Information
An old proverb says, “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” As your network grows you will know more and more about certain people. Those who are closer to you will begin to confide in you. Earn their good faith and confidence every day by zealously safeguarding what you know about them.
Be Uncompromising About Honesty
Someone once said, “Those who exaggerate in their statements belittle themselves.” The strong relationships that make a good network are always built on trust and integrity. Exaggeration, deception and other compromises simply kill your credibility. Everyone eventually sees through a phoney so never compromise your character.
Embody The Principle Of Loyalty
Too often the world of networking seems to be “what can you do for me today.” Everyone flocks to the influential, the powerful and those on top. A real network is built differently. Loyalty -- being there in good times and bad -- provides a certain strength in relationships that will benefit everyone over the course of a life-time. In other words, be an all-weather friend to your network, not just a fair-weather friend.
Treat Everyone With Respect
Harvey Mackay, in his book Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, shares this maxim: “Never assume that a junior person is a meaningless person; he or she may end up being more important than the big name.” Treating everyone with dignity and courtesy is not only good manners, it is good policy.
Steven D. Huff is a Telly Award winning Video Producer and Commercial Photographer with experience producing promotional videos, commercials, event videos, drone video and a wide range of award winning photography including business headshots, events and more. Our Charlotte Video Production and Photography firm, Steve Huff Media, serves the North and South Carolina areas. You can find us at SteveHuffMedia.com or call 704-572-1901.