Networking is a key to success

Here are the results of last week’s Small Business Advocate poll, followed by my comments:

The Question: How many networking events (any gathering of business leaders) do you attend?

30% - None

30% - Average about one a month

26% - Usually two or more a month

13% - More than five a month

In 1998, I began telling small business owners that one of the three most important activities we were going to have to get better at in the 21st century is networking (the other two are leveraging technology and building strategic alliances). This week, in our poll question, we asked you about your networking activity and got some very good news.

Almost two-thirds of you are participating in at least one networking event a month. And almost four of ten are attending more than two a month.  Unfortunately, almost one-third of you are not attending any networking events.

Networking, whether one-on-one at lunch, or participating in a gathering, like a club meeting or chamber mixer, is as important as ever.  If you’re one of those who are doing no networking, allow me to tell you what I’ve learned in the past 30 years: Whenever I’ve ventured outside the four walls of my business, even when I didn’t want to go, something good ALWAYS happened.

Get out of your four walls and find out what other people are thinking and doing.  And remember, networking is not all about you. Practice the law of reciprocity. Or, as my friend, Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI and the world’s leading networking expert says, “Givers gain.” If you want to get more out of networking, give more first.

One last thing: Social networking online is fine, but it’s not a substitute for the original social media: face-to-face.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio, and on the Internet.

To participate in the current poll question, visit and vote.

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