All of us have heard this word and most of us have a pretty clear idea about what it means and is.
Networking, very simply put, is, for most, their single greatest factor in achieving any sort of measurable success.
Because people want to help those they know, like and trust.
If you have had the opportunity to sit on the side of the table of “job giver”, assuming risk for a new process and responsibility for outcome, you have likely encountered this thinking.
Entrepreneurship is about risk. In fact, you cannot separate risk from the definition of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a process of taking risk for potential profit—“potential being the key word”.
When one engages in a process of becoming an entrepreneur, there is so much risk present (i.e. the very health and success of the business in question) that the job-giver typically wants to reduce risk as much as is possible.
I know this all sounds common sense, but some people find it difficult to understand why they are not considered for some jobs that are outside of their networks and bitterly point towards “cronyism, nepotism and favoritism”.
Now, how can we, as job seekers (or job givers) use this information to our advantage? Well, we can invest in our network. When we invest in our respective networks, we are likely investing in our own futures. Remember that people like to help those they know, like and trust.
I am not advocating being false—quite the contrary. I am advocating helping others. When you help others, they are more likely to want to help you. Some may call this perspective selfish, but if you are acting in a manner that helps others, who cares? Such individuals arguing about selfishness, I would argue, have a limited perspective regarding business.
When nurturing your network connections, support those relationships that are fertile and symbiotic. Some people in business only take and are reluctant to help when asked. Many such individuals get burned in the end as few people want to put up with such behavior. Our respective time is better spent on healthier scenarios and relations.
None of us knows what tomorrow will bring, much less the next five minutes. We do not know what positions we will find ourselves in, personally, or our what positions our pears and colleagues will find themselves in. Nurture your business and social relationship. After all, in this economy, who knows when you will need to reach out in need?
Jim Hart is the founder of Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts LLC, The International Theatre Academy Norway, Sleeping Hero Productions, LLC and others.
Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts is now accepting applications for the full-time conservatory in Entrepreneurial Theatre Training and we are offering a wide array of evening workshops for artists and business-minded professionals. For more, see www.austinconservatory.com