14 January 2011

The Power & Benefits of Effective Networking.

Andrew Morrison
I want to give a big shout of gratitude to one of MY coaches, Andrew Morrison! (right) He passed on some info to me which I passed onto my wife and out of thousands of applications submitted she was one of ONLY THREE applicants to win a mentor loan from The Thypin Oltchick Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship.

An honorable mention goes to my "big Sis" Cathleen Williams, Esq. (below) because I met Andrew through her. As a matter of fact I was able to facilitate the necessary introductions in order for Cathleen to host her first booksigning and release party for her book, "Single Mother the NEW Father Volume 1: Sports" at the Hue-Man Book Store in Harlem, NY. (on Saturday - Jan. 22nd - Mark your calendars!).

This is networking at it finest!

Food for thought ... This is the power of networking at work. It's not about getting hook-ups for yourself. You meet people and then meet the people they know. Networking really pays off - not when you meet someone who can do something for you, but when you can connect one person in need of a particular product or service with another person who can provide that product or service.

If you meet someone who can hook you up - you kind of owe them a favor in return; however, if you can connect one person in need with another person who can provide, then you have TWO people who are grateful TO YOU and they'll be likely to help you if and when they can.

Having two people willing to help you is a whole lot better than having to owe any one person!

There's a book that I just finished reading that I highly recommend to anyone looking to step up their networking game ... Especially for my African American and Latino brothers and sisters. The name of the book is "Success Runs in Our Race" by George C. Fraser. (right)

This book is replete with examples, exercises, and resources to teach anyone how to begin or improve their networking skills. If your business involves talking to and meeting new people, you will be doing yourself a disservice by not purchasing it! If you are really determined to improve the quality of your life, and perhaps even more, your business - then this is the book you need to have in your hands.

"It is vital that you overcome negative thinking, not only for your career but also for your personal growth & happiness. You can't stand back and be scenery for other people's lives. You have to become engaged in life and take life on." G.C. Fraser

I honestly don't know where to begin to go about explaining how beneficial networking has been for me personally in improving my "people skills," as well as professionally in improving my business and providing me opportunities to meet and learn directly from some really great people. So what I'm going to do is just give you a few examples below:

Les Brown
"The Motivator"
When I met Cathleen on Facebook, I saw she personally interviewed one of my motivational mentors, Les Brown. Meeting him was one of my life's goals - especially after I decided to become a professional speaker, so I immediately accepted her friend request because in my mind I said to myself ...
"This woman is going to be the one who introduces you to Les Brown."
A little over a year later, she facilitated that introduction.

 Claudia Jordan
"Model, Actress, Radio &TV Personality"
I also met this beautiful woman on Facebook. After a few conversations, I began listening to her radio show, "The Claudia Jordan Show" on Jamie Foxx's "Foxxhole Radio" channel on Sirius/XM Satellite radio. I soon became a welcomed regular caller & known for always providing a logical twist to the topics being discussed, she dubbed me "The Deep Brotha." When I told her I had written a book ("FIND A WAY TO MAKE A WAY!") she invited me out to Los Angeles to sit in on her show as a live guest and promote my book (the first time I ever flew 1st Class!).

Marvin Towler
"Martial Artist, Fitness Expert & Entrepreneur"
Yet another person whom I met on Facebook, who has become very much a good friend. Originally from New Jersey but living in California, Marvin and I became friends after he viewed a few of my video blogs. Late last summer, when he returned to New Jersey to visit his family after many years of living out west, he made it a point to see me - first just to actually meet up in person, and then a surprising second time in October - the day before my birthday - to show his support at my "Motiv-ACTIONal" seminar & booksigning at the Hue-Man Bookstore in Harlem, NY. Marvin also played a part in my meeting the man below ...

Jack Canfield
"America's Success Coach" & Co-Author of the
"Chicken Soup for the Soul" Book Series

Through his books and seminars all over the country, this man has helped millions of people all over the world take stock in themselves and improve their lives. When I read his book "The Success Principles," I was getting fired up because he had put to paper many of the ideas and ways in which I had been living my life. When I went to see him at a seminar he was giving in Boston; I introduced myself to him, showed him a copy of my book and said, "Mr. Canfield, my name is Harold Reed. I believe you have one of these from Marvin Towler." He smiled and said, "Yes, yes I knew you looked familiar and Marvin told me to look forward to meeting you." Because I was seated in the V.I.P. section, I was able to have lunch with him and have a few minutes of direct one-on-one time with him.
(When was the last time you had lunch and could casually converse with
a multi-millionare businessman in your line of work?)

If you'll notice, the common thread with all of the above people is that I met them either directly or indirectly via Facebook. While many of people use this medium to play games and have fun, I actually use it as a means to meet new people - people who over the years have become clients, colleagues and customers.

In the end, I guess I'm no different than the rest of the people on Facebook. I'm just "having fun" at playing a "different" game. I'm playing the "Networking Game" and ...



Coach T.C. said...

Playing to WIN is certainly a key to success. Congratulations on effectively using social media to expand your brand and grow your business!

Patrick Davidson said...

What a very powerful blog you have. It's always inspiring to see people that are passionate about making human connections and building on this.