One Ringy Dingy- How to Find Time to Network

Most of my clients have one common problem.  They don’t have enough hours in the day to do everything they need to do.  Most are working long hours and that “To do” list keeps growing not shrinking.  So it is no wonder that when I suggest that they find time to network they think I am just plain daffy!

If you are working in a business (your own or someone else’s) with plenty of business, why bother to market yourself?  When clients are flowing in it is hard to imagine that it will ever stop!

During the past few years here in Boston firms that closed down because they were no longer profitable, firms that merged with other firms, and employees were fired. What used to feel like a stable environment now feels very unstable.  What can an individual do?

Nothing is constant in the work world today.  Everything changes very quickly.  To be really nimble we all need to be flexible so that we can make a move when circumstances change and the job we have is threatened.

If you are absorbed in your work, it is sometimes difficult to even notice that the environment is changing.  Michael Gerber in his book The E Myth Revisited talks about the three roles a business owner must take: entrepreneur, manager and technician.

The entrepreneur sets the strategy of the business and has the vision, the manager watches over the processes of the business and the technician does the work of the business.  If you work in a firm you have been hired to do the work of the technician or perhaps you have the responsibility to manage the work and the technicians.  A few of you may even be part of the team that sets the strategy.

I’ve suggested before that everyone manage his/her own career as though it were a business. Have the attitude of what Daniel Pink calls a “free agent”.   Not only do you need a career strategy but you need to manage that strategy and also keep up with your work as a technician, manager, or strategist for the company you work for.  This is really a balancing act – difficult but not impossible.

For starters in order to be ready for whatever comes your way, doing really good work will help you no matter what happens in your firm or in the environment. That means forming good relationships with people inside and outside your workplace.

Ok so how do you find the time to create and maintain those relationships?  It doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time.  Make a list of colleagues, clients, and business contacts that you respect and value.  Set a goal to get to know a few of them better.

Telephone calls, notes, breakfasts, or lunches are all good ways to stay in touch.  Networking can be fun not a burden so find your own way.  It can also be done quickly between tasks or at a meal that you would be having anyway.

Take Action:

  1. Read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
  2. Read Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink.
  3. Read Ten Ways to Develop A Free Agent Attitude
  4. Make a lunch date with one of the clients or potential clients on your list. Enjoy the connection!!

If you make networking fun, you’ll be more apt to do it and be successful at it.  How can you do that?  I’ve helped many reluctant networkers become really successful at building relationships by working with them to use their own unique strengths, talents and values to make networking enjoyable.  If you are ready to build your network and your career, call 781-598-0388 or email me asparker@asparker.com to set up an initial appointment. There is no charge or obligation for the appointment.  We’ll use the time for a mini session to see if we feel comfortable working together.

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