Networking is simple; it’s just not easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it and do it well… and people don’t! This is not a blog piece about the step-by-step process you need to employ to network effectively. No, this is more meant to get you to stop and think about all the articles, books, blogs, podcasts and audios that you have read or listened to yet aren’t following through on in regard to what you learned. This is a post aimed at helping you to discover what you should be doing rather than focusing on what you know (or should know).
I do presentations around the world talking about how to apply networking to your everyday life. Sometimes I have someone come up to me and say, “I’ve heard people talk about some of those things before.” Hearing it for a year versus doing it for a year are completely different things. Success is about the “doing,” not just the “knowing.” In fact, I believe that ignorance on fire is better than knowledge on ice! The only thing more powerful is knowledge on fire.
There are so many things in life that look simple but are, in fact, not easy. Cooking is one of those for me. It always looks so simple. My wife can go into the kitchen and put a gourmet meal together in 30 to 40 minutes. Then I get into the kitchen and burn water.
Small repairs around the house–these things look so simple. Then I pick up a hammer and, well, it’s just not pretty. That’s when I’m reminded that I’m missing the “handyman gene.” It skips a generation in my family. My dad can fix anything. He’s incredibly capable with a toolbox. I’m not. When I was 17 he brought me into the garage and solemnly said to me, “Son, you’d better go to college, because you’re never going to make a living with your hands!” Good advice, Dad—thanks.
Golf. Looks simple, right? I’m not talking about professional competition, I mean just going out and smacking the ball around some grass. Looks simple. I’ve learned however, that it’s not easy.
There are so many things in our lives that look simple but are not easy. Networking is one of them. It’s a skill; a skill that takes commitment and effort to learn and apply consistently.
So I’m giving you an assignment (sorry, my inner professor is coming out). Your assignment after reading this blog today is to think of one idea in a book, article, recording–anything–that you’ve read or heard over the past year or so that you wanted to apply to your life but never got around to doing. Your assignment is to find that article, locate that “something” you wanted to do and do it within the next seven days. If it’s something you do on an ongoing basis, then find a way to incorporate it into your life and/or your business. All excuses are equal – just do it. Also, please feel free to share the knowledge source (e.g., book, article, etc.) you chose to focus on in the comment forum below. The only thing better than applying knowledge is sharing it.
Success is the uncommon application of common knowledge. You have the knowledge. Now apply it with uncommon commitment. It won’t be easy. But I assure you it’s simple.