What Is Your Intent? Do You Know Your Purpose?

Photo courtesy of Boykung at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Boykung at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All great teachers assert the importance of having intent and purpose in our lives.  According to Benjamin Disraeli, “The secret of success is constancy of purpose.”  Before you go into a networking scenario, make sure you know your purpose.  If your underlying pupose is to exploit the group, you will communicate differently, both verbally and nonverbally, than if you intend to give to the group.  You expect an eventual return, of course, but a good networker goes in with the immediate benefit of others uppermost in mind.

We are, at most times in our lives, a dynamic mixture of intentions.  We seek to do good for others, and at the same time we seek personal benefits in many different forms.  When we attend networking events, our attention instinctively and constantly jumps from situation to situation, searching for opportunities that favor us.  To fix your intention firmly on benefitting others, it is useful to organize your thoughts before the event by formulating, in writing, a clear statement of your main purpose–a mission statement.  Focusing on your number-one priority helps you push your many other impulses into the background.

With your attention and intentions focused, you will communicate clearly and unambiguously your willingness to help others solve problems and satisfy needs.  You will be more self-confident and open to the messages of others, and they will sense it and be attracted to you.  Your message will foster trust and rapport with your networking partners, enabling you to establish and strengthen mutually beneficial relationships.

For the networker, the most authentic message of all is this: “I would like to be your friend, and for you to be my friend.  I think we will both benefit from it.  And I want to start this friendship by doing something to help you.”  If you communicate this orientation toward others in all possible ways, with integrity, you will easily form valuable, rewarding, long-lasting networking relationships.

What have you personally found to be an effective tactic in relaying your genuine networking intent/purpose?  Please share your feedback in the comment forum below.  Thanks!

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4 thoughts on “What Is Your Intent? Do You Know Your Purpose?

  1. Great Blog.

    At the conclusion of a meeting, I usually stand by the door and shake hands, give a hug, pat on the back or fist bump to every person. I ask them how they are and the status of business. If we see the need to discuss business we will schedule a one to one meeting.

    One a recent occasion at the chamber, when I asked a P & C agent how he was, he replied not good, my business is not doing good. I then asked if he had time for lunch and he did. I bought his lunch and for approximately 1 hour, we discussed his business. I made a phone call and connected him to another mover and shaker.

  2. Great Blog!
    Not everyone can afford health insurance that is starting a new business. Many of us are broke the first few years that’s just reality. Part of what I do is also probono work for my chapter and my community. Medical insurance is something I get paid to sell for my non MEDICAID clients. I help MEDICAID clients out on a probono basis to give back. About a third of my chapter present and past has qualified for MEDICAID or free insurance. Other members have qualified for substantial tax credits to help pay for medical premiums on a monthly basis. This I get paid on. It has been very rewarding helping my chapter out getting basic health needs met while also showing the value of having a free broker – it’s isn’t all about just getting paid; It’s about developing relationships. It has paid off ten fold and really driven my business this year. I didn’t offer to work probono to get the referrals as you spoke about above I did it to give back to struggling new business owners and people that needed insurance -this was just the end result.
    Rebecca Humphrey. -Gig Harbor

  3. As for purpose, well it’s grown from what I came to BNI for 6 months ago. I want to be part of a team. As a independent fee-appraiser, the office can be a lonely place. Now on Thursdays at 11:00, I get a chance to interact with some really cool professionals doing business in my neck of the woods. These are folks I wouldn’t have though to get to know, let alone help in some way if I could. The ones I spoken to the most are beginning to get the most from me. And I from them. Its a good thing.

  4. After a 12 year long career as a Licensed Loan Originator refinancing only veterans, as well as traveling 45,000 miles a year, the bank closed after 75 years. I spent time and research to find a company with the integrity necessity and the services that will make a difference for others. My Life is about making a difference as well as a living. As a new member of BNI I am enjoying the consistency of weekly meetings, one-on-ones and being able to develop friendships and business relationships with new people with a purpose and integrity. I chose Legal Shield and Identity Theft Protection. My ongoing challenge is the ostriches that have their heads buried in the sand, thinking that if they can’t be seen – Then the thieves cannot find them and it will never happen to them… that they are safe from the No. 1 crime in the country – Identity Theft. I appreciate your words that clarify better steps for me to take… Thank you for your ongoing wisdom, grace and desire to make the world and its people better prepared to live our dreams with integrity and clearer vision for success…

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