A Values-based Network Will Save Your Life and Grow Your Business

There aren’t many people that like or enjoy networking. That’s because most people approach networking in the wrong way. It’s seen as a strategy to extend connections that will be useful to you. For most of us, this makes us feel kind of cheap. Purposefully seeking fake friendships because we think we can gain from them is selfish, so we feel dirty doing it.

Honestly, this isn’t the type of network you should be building. The most valuable network is one that is developed around your values. That kind of network will grow your business and improve your ability to find people to collaborate with. It can even save your life.

Why networking is important

Before we get into discussing the value of a values-based network, it’s worth pointing out why developing your network is vital to your entrepreneurial success. Let’s bullet point the major benefits of ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. A strong network has the power to deliver:

  • Stronger business connections
  • Generation of new ideas and innovation
  • Access to better job opportunities for careerists (estimates go as high as 85% of open jobs being filled through networking)
  • Chances for collaboration
  • Growth of sales and revenues
  • Support and greater self-confidence

If you don’t build a strong professional network, you’re going to miss out on all of the above benefits, and more.

Your network can save your life

In the Black Diamond Podcast ‘The core differentiator is you’, Ken Andrukow tells us of being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma when young, and his poor reaction to it. He tried to run away from facing the truth. He left the business he was involved with, and was in California when he ran into a friend of his.

The two got chatting in a bar, and eventually, a couple of beers in, Ken let it drop about his illness. His friend put his hand on his shoulder and said, “We’re going home tonight. My best friend is the chief oncologist at our local cancer centre. You’ll be seen tomorrow.”

At that moment, Ken’s friend put everything to one side. He saved his life. “It’s one of those moments where you realise what a true, giving friendship is all about.

“A moment when I realised that giving is great, and when someone feels something is so important you’ve got to give them the pleasure of giving and be okay with receiving.”

Your network can grow your business

Your network is a key to your success. If you aren’t experiencing the success you desire, you should take a long, hard look at your network. An effective network helps you and your business to improve performance. It will fill the gaps that need filling, and deliver a stream of new clients.

A strategic network is built around people who understand you, and whose values resonate with your own. It delivers motivation, complimentary skills, clients, and more. It can be difficult to cultivate a strategic network, because it requires most people to move out of their comfort zone. So where do you start? We love what Brendan Hsu, Director of Operations at Ariel Canvas, told us when discussing real estate disruption which can be applied to network building:

It’s about creating solutions, creating opportunities and the more of those that you can create for not just yourself, but for others the more successful you'll become.

Networks empower you to reach your full potential

A powerful network empowers you to grow personally and professionally, and to take your business to places you never thought possible. You’ll learn from like-minded entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals and customers.

You’ll be able to tap into expertise that would otherwise be unavailable to you, and develop collaborative partnerships that are mutually beneficial. You’ll have greater access to advanced training, mentoring, social meetings, conferences, etc.

The more you learn and the deeper your network develops, the more you’ll be able to innovate and collaborate to enhance your work/life balance. You’ll be able to manage your alliances to manage your time more effectively, and that will produce a shift in the quality of your life.

Develop your values-based professional network

The key to building a genuine and life-enhancing network is to develop meaningful relationships with people who resonate with the same values as yours. It’s an investment that takes time and has the power to generate incredible results – perhaps, even, lifesaving.

Building a genuine network requires a very different approach to traditional networking. You must go in to give. You need to build your authority as an expert, offering advice and helping without expecting anything in return.

Today, connecting more widely and developing authority is far easier than even only a few years ago. Tactics you can apply include:

  • Writing and publishing articles on the web
  • Publishing a regular blog
  • Joining communities and forums and getting involved in the conversation
  • Speaking and presenting at local events
  • Hosting webinars

Remember, too, that developing a genuine network takes time. You cannot wait until you need it and then start frantically trying to connect. The time to start is now. Your network should help you develop the business ideas you have – and to do this successfully requires an already established network.

To start developing your network now, first ask yourself what you want from your network in the next one, two, five, and ten years? What is it that you can give? What is your expertise? For help brainstorming the answers to these questions and to develop a strategy that will help you create and maintain a life-changing, values-based network, book a free call with Level 5 Mentors now.

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