My nephew lives in New Mexico.
Recently, he hit me up on Facebook : “Hey, Uncle Ronnie, can you do me a favor?”
“What you need buddy?” I replied.
“Do you have any advice on networking with other people or a book I could read?”
My response via text message:
“1) read my book 2) start working out everyday except on Sabbath 3) start a healthy diet 4) give with no expectation of getting 5) love people regardless of what they can do for you 6) be you, don’t be someone you’re not 7) follow Christ 8) find a mentor 9) study
Once you begin becoming the best person you can be you will attract your own network. You will be the leader of that network. Success will follow.”
Why would I respond that way? He just asked about networking. What gives?
Networking was the question, but it wasn’t REALLY the question. No, the underlying question was–How do I grow my business.
Or, How do I grow as a person.?Or, How do I find meaning in my life. Or, How do I find a satisfying career?
You see, my nephew recently joined an insurance agency and he is looking to grow his business. I could have given him a direct answer that solved his problem. Something like this: “Try a local BNI networking group.”
The answer would be correct, but woefully incomplete.
The Karate Kid was a popular film in the 1980’s and a great deal of life’s lessons can be learned from this corny movie.
Young DanielSon wants to fight. Mr. Miyagi gives the best advice: “Fighting always last answer to problem.”
My view of networking mirrors Mr. Miyagi’s view of fighting.
Networking is always the last answer to problem.
The first line in my response to him was the beginning of the solution– “1) read my book, 2) start working out everyday except the Sabbath.”
Why would I answer this way?
First, I knew that the book would start the journey. It will point him away from shortcut tactics like networking and introduce him to a more powerful idea–building relationships.
The secret to relationships? Become someone worthy of a relationship.
Which is why I advised workouts six days a week. I wanted him to understand the power of being physically fit, but as important, to begin the process of self discipline. Working out consistently is difficult for most adults. If he can accomplish this, he will grow in confidence and self respect.
Once we have healthy self respect, we are more likely to earn the respect of those in our orbit. We can begin to build quality relationships.
Networking is the last answer to the problem, but reaching out and asking the question takes guts.
I’m proud of my nephew for reaching out, it’s the first step in building an amazing future–one that includes a daily exercise routine.