Networking for Life – Let’s decompose this one.
Networking – to become a life-long giver and connector of people to solve their individual and business problems.
For – a preposition with the object or purpose of:
Life – as long as you live.
Notice we didn’t say “networking for” a day, or a month or a year! A life is usually a long time so what I’m implying is that you need to network forever. Not “when the economy is bad” or “the economy is good” or “I lost my job” or any one of a thousand reasons.
A week doesn’t go by when I don’t talk to somebody who needs help expanding their network for a myriad of reasons. The worst one is “I’ve lost my job so I have a little more time.” Yep, you do! I don’t try to make people feel bad because to live in regret is a terrible place to live. What I try to emphasize is that they should use this moment in their life as a reminder to never allow it to happen again. Life is a long time. Take the long view and imagine your life richer with a powerful and well connected network of people.
In our firm we record “market touch points” so we can teach every employee how to network. It also allows us to see how we are doing week to week, quarter to quarter and year to year. In 2010, the company had 28,000 touch points across the markets we serve. At Pariveda, networking is just part of what we do every day. It is one of the first classes we teach and is something that we reinforce at every turn. As networkers, we have good weeks and bad weeks. We have days when we are awesome at recording our progress and days and sometimes weeks when we are pathetic. I’ve had plenty of those days and I’m the teacher! Failure is an event, it is not a person! Remember that next time you get knocked down.
Life is a long time. Cut yourself some slack. Start over tomorrow. Wallowing in it will not make it better. Everyone takes their eye off the ball from time to time. We all mess up. Encourage one another! Help your friend or colleague back up. Maybe all they need is a little courage. Don’t stay down. Zig Zigler is famous for talking about having a good attitude. Often he hears the comment “it just doesn’t last.” He replies “neither does a shower!”
I don’t know how you motivate yourself after disappointment. I just focus on today. “I’m going to get better today.” A friend of mine is good at reminding me that “regret” is yesterday and “worry” is tomorrow. Live today and network yourself into tomorrow. Always get back up!