December 2007 marked my last month as regional editor of The National Networker online magazine – the premiere publication of the networking community. I was fortunate to pass it on to capable hands. However, my monthly article provided an arena to write about “Inspiring Networkers” that I will miss. Below is my farewell article. I think it is an important message to preserve.
The Inspired Networker Gives to Give
“Give to Get” may be the most common, most often-used credo of networking.
Frankly, I don’t like it.
I founded this column to inspire networkers toward a much greater ideal; that is, just “Give”. You will be amazed at the results. You may just become an Inspired Networker. You may inspire others – many others if you really put yourself out there. You may just change the world for the better.
Give-to-Get is a transactional act. Giving is a transformational act.
December is a Giving Season for almost everyone in the western hemisphere. It is also a time when we tend to rethink our lives, even in some small way. So why not try putting away the old credo for a day or two, if not for good? Why not spend today GIVING? Don’t give with the expectation for some kind of “secret” transaction to take place, or for your blessing to the world to miraculously “attract” many more blessings back to you. JUST GIVE.
Give something away. Help people because they could use it. Appreciate the act of giving. Become a GIVER.
What if you made your cause one of restoring spirit and noble values to your workplace, to your business community, to your networking group? This means you would have to live these values, be an example of an inspired spirit to all around you. You would need to consistently give your most authentic self. How would your life be different? How would your life NEED to become different to become such an example? How would the lives around you be different as a result of your higher ideal?
Life is an opportunity where you get to give, not give to get.
What if your networking group was a place where people get to give instead of give-to-get? In other words, your group saw the privilege and opportunity in just giving to one another? Look at the list of people in your referral network. What have you given them lately? (That’s no matter what they have given you – don’t slip back into the old credo now!). Now, for each person, can you think of something to give him or her? No, not a tie or a knitted scarf, but something VALUABLE…something from your HEART.
Yes, your gift this year could most certainly be a business referral or a business introduction for each person in your networking group. That would be appropriate. It might look or sound something like this:
Friend, I am giving you a referral this week. I have already spoken to this person about you. I told them you are a person they can trust, because I trust you. I told them that, even though they may talk with other businesses, they should speak with you because you are a person who will look out for their best interests – and I know you will. I gave them your name, not just because you are in my network. I spoke to them about you because of who you are as much as for what you do. I care about this person and I care about you. I am really excited about putting you two together.
Make this your Giving Season. Make 2008 your Giving Year. Better yet, make this life your Giving Life. Give something away. Help people because they could use it. Appreciate the act of giving. Become a GIVER.
This was my last column as your Great Lakes Bureau Chief, but maybe not the last time you will hear from me. I hope you have enjoyed my column. I hope you have been INSPIRED!