When I was working for Mike Bashey many years ago, I was scared of Networking for so many reasons-
1. Afraid of the cost.
2. Afraid someone would ask me a question.
3. Afraid I would ask a stupid question. [ED. Of which he’s no longer afraid.]
4. Afraid I would not be able to refer anyone.
Are my taxes filed? When was the last time I changed the oil in the SUV? Is my neighbor really hitting on me? Is my estate plan up to date just in case?
The list could really go on and on. Then one day, a retiring member of the firm told me he was leaving his networking group and would I want to take his place. I had substituted for him a few times so I at least knew what the meeting looked like. So I agreed—assuming the Networking Group would want me (another thing to be afraid of)!!
From that day forward, I have enjoyed the experience of being in a networking group. The revenue it has generated for the firm alone should be a standalone reason, however, that is only a part of the picture.
Having Having a group that you can depend on when you offer up their services and products to your clients and connections is so important. Robert from DeLaurenti Florists has been a go to guy —everything he and his staff put together is just fabulous! Suzy from Hair Republic Salon is so much fun — granted it only takes two minutes to cut my hair, but we talk for an hour!
Business aspects of networking aside, (and of course, business is the number one reason to network,) I can say that 60% of the friends I have are from the groups I join. My beautiful wife and I seem to have a gathering to attend every other weekend that is either from my BNI networking group or the Rotary Club of Kirkland. My my wife jumped in and volunteers at NW Harvest, and also teaches Math to a small group of kids at the elementary school. She has joined a book club and a dinner club from the wonderful friends we have met through Rotary.
What am I trying to say??? Don’t be afraid and don’t wait! Go out and find something to join. It will end up being one of the best decisions you make. Maybe you’ll meet a really good CPA and want hire him (or her).
Thanks for listening and I will talk at you again.