Tammy M
Network groups are one of the most successful ways to create word of mouth to market your business. A referral can create a chain reaction and start a windfall of opportunities.

You membership in a networking group can generate regular income but it requires that you contribute to the network groups you participate to ensure your return on investment. Especially if you calculate your time, gas and money on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis you want to ensure that your investment provides a return.

Your success will be realized when you have developed the relationships and created trust that the other group members begin to open up and give you their best referrals. Make sure that you are not creating an unprofessional image that cause you to not gain from your investments and waste your time.

Here are things to ensure you are wasting your time in a networking group:

  • When it is your turn to do your 30 second commercial or your presentation just wing it. Don’t keep up with the latest offering of your business. After all it still is the same old stuff.
  • Use one-on-one meetings to talk about your networking groups' issues instead of learning more about each other.
  • Focus your efforts primarily on selling your services to members of the group.
  • Make sure that you gossip or complain about other networkers and guests. The person you are speaking to wants to hear your complaints.
  • When you get a referral don’t feel that you need to contact the person right away. They know where to find you if they really need you.
  • During the 30 second commercials is a great time to check your text messages. You have heard everyone's commercial before. It just the same ol same ol and you’ll see them again next week.
  • Inviting guests is a lot of work and you can just depend on other people in the group to invite guests.
  • Make sure that you take the phone call or check you messages during the meeting. It doesn't bother anyone; and it shows that you put your customers first above all else and everyone admires that.

If someone is continually these sure fire time wasters, then how enthusiastic are you about giving them referrals. Your connections are valuable.

Business networking requires your commitment to each member and to the group. Make a decision that you will be a participant and support the network groups that you are involved with and the support your give will be reciprocated.

Again, it all comes down to relationships and nurturing your relationships with others. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time.

Tammy M

Finally, we can say the hot summer is over.

Here in Texas the heat of the summer is sometimes overwhelming. When Fall comes it is a welcome relief and we look forward to cooler days and nights.

We look forward to spending time with family and friends as the holidays begin to be revealed through our daily routines.

It's easy to just decide to not go out and work our business one day and just stay home, open the windows, let in the fresh autumn air.

It's so easy to loose focus, so easy slow down.

But now is the time that we need to focus more than ever. Create forward momentum and create excitement.

Many of us have heard, "set yourself on fire and the world will come to watch you burn". Sounds pretty disgusting and painful. Right now, is the upward climb toward creating momentum that will get you on the downhill side after the holidays.

I read something this week that said, "opportunity will show up at your door wearing work clothes".

Do you have a dream because that is your fuel.

Do you have a dream because that will keep you moving forward when the days get shorter and the nights get longer.

Keep your focus on your dream. Write your story of what your life will be like for one day when you have achieved your dream.

And if you don't have a dream. Then I suggest that you find one or pray for one.
As a child we all had dreams. Ask any child if they have a dream. Most of them do and can describe it to you if they are not too embarrased.
As adults we have allowed embarrassment and the real world to make our dream smaller and smaller. But if your dream has become so small then it is not longer a dream.
If you don't have a dream find it. Find out other peoples dreams. You may find your dream wrapped up in someone elses.

Having a dream will keep you young.
Moving toward the dream will keep you happy.
Achieving the dream will bring a new dream.
Everybody needs a dream.
Your dream is your fuel. Gas it up!
Tammy M
OK, we have all heard the term ...Networking.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of networking is as follows:
Function: noun
Date: 1967
1: the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions, specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business
2: the establishment or use of a computer network

With the above definition I think that this topic is pertaining to number 1.

In the definition there are two key parts, the first is, "the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions".

The EXCHANGE, is the important action in this sentence. When you network it is important that you keep in mind this is an exchange. You give a little and you get a little. You give alot and you get more.

How much are you exchanging when you are networking?

Are you suggesting leads or key alliances for the other people that you get to know and trust?

Are you sharing your successes and what works for you?

When you or someone you know, needs a service or product, are you looking online, in the phone book, or in the business cards you have collected recently or in the not so recent past?

The question is what are you doing toward your EXCHANGE?

The second part of the definition is, "the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business."

Cultivation is the action word in this part of the definition.

How are you cultivating your relationships?

Are you targeting people to develop your specific relationship and are you just moving from person to person trying to be that special someone for everyone?

Think about the last statement. What do you think would be more productive to your business development?

Trying to fit the mold for everyone or choosing specific people that can be key players to build a "productive" relationship?

Networking is not, presenting your business to everyone and looking for NEXT.

Networking is not, going to a meeting and as soon as the meeting is done getting out the door to the next meeting or appointment. (that is timeclock mentality)

Networking is about relationships and building a team of people that feel comfortable with sharing what you offer.

Networking is finding out what someone else needs and then being able to suggest a solution to the need and....guess what.... it may not be your product or service but it may be someone you know in .....your network.

Networking is about helping other people. Cultivating the relationships so that you want to help the other people and at the same time you will....let me repeat this...you will be helping yourself.
Look in the mirror tomorrow and ask yourself, "am I cultivating relationships to build my network for exchanging information, goods, and services?"

Till next time...