From that title (I know) you’re thinking “gobs of cash”, right? Okay, sure, gobs of cash is great, but to get there, you might ought to consider something where there is no money at all. In fact, there’s no promise of money. Worse still, you put out more than you take in!
WTF! How does that make sense? Here’s how: it’s the single biggest influences on your ability to make money.
It’s your NETWORK. You do have one right? Oh oh. We need to fix that.
Who do you hang with? Who do you talk to? Who can you (and do!) call for advice when you’re in a pinch? Or maybe even when you’re not in a pinch! Your network is that informal mastermind of people that you know and who know you just well enough that the occasional honest answer can be had for no more than the asking.
We’re not talking loans, organs, or transfusions – just no-BS counsel. Ask yourself: who you gonna call? And if that list is not very long … like (OMG) zero … you have a problem, and it’s not with your business. It’s you!
Most web entrepreneurs don’t get out much – they don’t have to. We really don’t even have to get dressed each morning and we can still run a six figure business. But that sort of isolation leads to stagnation. And stagnation is pretty much the opposite of growth.
A network is the cure.
Get out of your house. Get out of your office. Get the hell away from your business and interact – even just socialize – with other online business owners. Yes, you have time, you’re are not so busy that you can’t push away from the computer 2-4 times a year and attend an industry live event. That’s where networks are built … and it is not as hard as you think.
For example, Kelly Felix and I knew of each other for years before one three day event we happen both to attend. Jonathan Mizel and I corresponded in email for even longer before cementing a friendship at that same live event. Paul Lemberg and I hit it off instantly in a close-door meeting in Atlanta one year and have been friends and partners since.
The essence of networking is simple: be available, be open, be genuine, aim to serve and not to profit, and your network will build itself.
And at this point some of you “get it” and some of you are thinking “so what?” So let me tell you so what …
There are dozens of stories just like this, and I only have room for one, so my apologies to everyone except Jonathan.
Jonathan Mizel was an affiliate for OptiLink. The introduction was made by Michael Campbell in 2002 (that’s a story for another day) but we did not meet in person for more than a decade. A year after that chance meeting, I asked someone else in my network (I wish I could recall who!) about media buys and they told me to talk to Jonathan, so I sent him an email (with full contact info in the footer).
A day later, I’m driving to diner here in Atlanta when Jonathan calls my cell phone. So dinner is delayed a bit while I describe what we’re doing and he audits it on the fly. Why? Personal bond. We know, like, and trust each other well enough to make such a favor a sign of our relationship, not a burden upon it.
That’s a network. And likewise Jonathan knows that anytime he wants something that I can do, he has it for the asking.
Yes, who you know really does matter, but it works both ways, so always always always start with what you can do to serve others and you will find that your network brings you greater enjoyment, guides you to grow as a person, and returns in dollar for dollar terms for more than it “costs” to develop.
Now, that’s love!