Monday, August 30, 2010

College Bound? Network!

Last week U.S. News and World Report’s September 2010 issue came out ranking the country’s best Colleges and Universities.  For those who have students who are moving in that direction, I’d encourage you to buy a copy and leave it on the kitchen table!

A college education is still worth it!  Don’t let your kids tell you about Bill Gates, who dropped out of school.  After all, it was his network at Harvard that eventually came with him to build Microsoft.  The evidence shows that college grads are making more money and those with advanced degrees make even more.  It is getting more expensive to go though, and the game of getting into schools is more complex not only from an admissions perspective, but from a financing perspective as well.  Get on it early.  The articles share several resources for funding an education that did not exist 5 years ago.  Minimize the debt you use to finish school.  Schools are committed to attracting a diverse set of students so don’t fear the tuition until you understand the average discounts available as outlined in the magazine.  The recession has hit many state schools hard, so ask a lot of questions about the number of students in the classroom and the use of student teachers.

Networking will enable you to find alumni, understand the quality of a program, or meet key folks in the admissions or finance office in order to get the best possible advice.  It will also give you an inside line if you meet a department chair or somebody influential.  Separate yourself from the crowd!  While the article made several references to the importance of a University beyond the books, it only scratched the surface of the importance of a school’s network.  First, it is likely that you will graduate and live in some proximity to your University so pick wisely.  Look at the GDP in the area and growth prospects.  Your network won’t serve you as well if you have move across the country to get a job.  Second, network in college…with a vengeance!  If you are at a top University, you are surrounded by talent.  Establish those relationships and friendships early and they won’t be strangers in 20 years!

Networking for Life.  As one of my students once said “ start today and don’t ever stop.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Do CEO’s Think About?

One of the areas you need to consider when you are networking is a concept that Dale Carnegie discusses in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is the notion that you can make friends by becoming interested in other people.  From a networking perspective, focusing on other’s first, is job number one.  If you are interested in helping them with their challenges, you will succeed. 

I follow several newsletters and blogs and today I’d like to highlight Paul DiModica’s words around the metrics that CEO’s follow.  There are the things that “keep them up at night” and if you do some planning before a meeting, your chances of connecting to them are increased substantially.  From a financial perspective they think about:

Financial Liquidity

Profits and Profit Margin


Borrowing Capacity

Corporate Asset Usage

Employees Performance

By linking to Value Forward Selling you can read in more detail, how these metrics affect the ability of a corporation to thrive.  When somebody is minding the store, these are the metrics they look for!

Focus on helping them grow the top line, improve their margins, increase their net profit or lower their risk and you will have a great conversation and a connection for life!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Find a Leaking Ship

Where do I start?  Many of us sign up for the typical meet and greet at our local Chamber, technology forum or monthly “get together.”  While these organizations are important tools for connecting with people, often, the best way to start is to “find a leaking ship.”

What does that mean?  As a networker, the first thing you have to realize is that you have special gifts.  Others need what you have to offer.  Challenges abound.  Last night I received an email from an employee who was asking for others to assist the HERO Mentor Program for college-bound Juniors and Seniors.  The mentors guide and coach students through the college application process, which culminates with a College Signing Day. Wow!

In 1984, United Technologies published a series of topics in the Wall Street Journal.  I found them so inspiring that I wrote the Chairman of the Board and asked for a copy.  They sent me one!  Here is the message for:

Find a Leaking Ship

Many a foundering ship could be rescued by your ideas and energy.

A failing business, a scout troop, a church choir, a public school or a city council.

Plenty of struggling organizations are salvageable if they get the right kind of help.

Remember: America went from its greatest naval loss (Pearl Harbor) to its greatest naval victory (Midway) in just six months.

So plug up the leaks, trim the sails and get going.

Your effort can make a difference.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Speaker’s Tour – College Series Kicks off at University of Texas, August 30th

Speaker’s Tour Overview

The “Speaker’s Tour – College Series” is focused on giving back to college students through teaching and inspiring them to embrace Networking for Life to advance their personal and professional lives. Helping students and aspiring entrepreneurs expand their personal brands through networking, blogging and leveraging social media tools like LinkedIn will assist them in securing the jobs they desire and connecting with others for life.

Some quotes from a few who have attended the lecture:

“I liked how the lecture moved beyond “how business professionals meet” to connecting people to a mechanic, a doctor, a contractor, etc. It makes networking seem much easier and more applicable to a student who is just starting to think about the future.” Joshua Lyman – Brigham Young University

“Networks grow exponentially, the more you network the easier it gets. This was good motivation to start networking now and never stop.” Golf Sinteppadon – University of Washington

John co-founded Pariveda Solutions in 2003 with the desire to build a different kind of technology consultancy in response to the growing shortage of technical talent in the U.S. Building a multi-million dollar national consultancy without a direct sales force provides John with a unique perspective on how to build a business leveraging relationships and networking. The company has grown from zero to almost 200 employees in seven years using these techniques and you can have a front row seat to hear how his experiences can help you.

Speaker Background

John graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.A. in Economics. Later, he completed an M.B.A. at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University with a concentration in Management Information Systems. John has not only built a successful company, he has developed a proprietary system (SONAR) that the company uses to track market “touch points” in order to measure networking effectiveness and teach the concepts of Networking for Life to all employees.

To learn more about Networking for Life please visit:

Sponsored by Pariveda Solutions, Inc.

Pariveda Solutions has been counted as one of the fastest growing companies in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the Dallas One Hundred, which is comprised of the 100 fastest-growing private companies in the DFW Metroplex. Pariveda was recently named to the Dallas Morning New’s “Best Places to Work” in 2009 and ranked ninth overall and third among small companies. The Dallas Business Journal named Pariveda as a “Best Place to Work” in 2008 and 2009 as well. In 2008, Pariveda was named as one of Consulting Magazine’s 7 “Small Jewels.” Recently, they continued their place in the “Inc. 5000” as one of the fastest growing companies in the U.S. Launched and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Pariveda Solutions has additional offices located in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Pariveda Solutions, an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company, is 100% employee-owned. They assist organizations in solving complex business problems through the use of process and technology. Networking for Life has enabled Pariveda’s growth as 93% of their business comes from referral and repeat customers.

To learn more about Pariveda Solutions please visit:

Networking is about giving to others

A thought, an idea, an inspiration, a solution to a problem.  At the core of networking is the idea that if I want to be a connector of people then, I have to give myself away.  I have to be willing to connect people together.  I have to be an attractor of people.

If you set out on the journey of networking to share with others and genuinely help them, your rewards will be great. 

I received this movie clip today from a friend that was inspired by a consultant who was hired to help a grocery store become more customer service focused.  For all of us in the services business, taking care of clients is often a matter of the heart.  We can make a difference beyond the dollars and cents.  When you enter through this door, the possibilities created by networking are unlimited.

Watch this great story about Johnny the Bagger.

Just click here to watch.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Networking for Life Speaker’s Tour

For years I’ve been teaching Networking for Life to our company, Pariveda Solutions, in our boot camp for all new employees.  Through various networking groups, I’ve been asked to speak and teach on this topics to various professional organizations.  I’ve also been privileged to be actively involved in campus recruiting and working with young people graduating from college.

What amazes me is how many people don’t understand the exponential effects of networking; or, they understand that networking is important, but they don’t know how to go about it.  While I love speaking to business executives, my passion is working with students.  I was never exposed to networking in college, there are no classes that teach networking; and yet, connecting to people is one of the most important things we do.

The “Speaker’s Tour” is an on-going effort to speak at college campuses around the country and share networking and entrepreneurship concepts and ideas.  See you at a campus soon.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why another site on Networking?

As I have spoken around the country in various venues, it seems that people either have a head or a heart issue when it comes to networking. If a heart issue, they understand that it is important but tend to put it off as a business related item. If a head issue, it is possible that they don't know how, or have not been exposed to the concept or seen it work in their lives.

The intent of this blog is offer my experience and to bring out both the why's(heart) and the how's(head) to encourage young people to start networking early in life. There are many reasons for networking as we will begin to explore, however, the most important thing is getting started!

You will be exactly where you are one year from now except for the books you read and the people you meet. Begin your networking for life!

Stay tuned!