The “Butterfly Effect of Networking”

I am writing to you today from Necker Island in the Caribbean where I am meeting with about 20 business leaders including Sir Richard Branson the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways and owner of the Island.

My journey to this island is a dramatic example of the “Butterfly Effect of Networking.”  The “Butterfly Effect” is the theory that a small action in one place may have a ripple effect that creates a dramatic action in another place. It is like a pebble in a pond creating ripples on the surface.

For networking, it is about how a seemingly minor connection or conversation with one person may, after many ripples across the network, end in a dramatic connection later in the process.  This week, I am living that concept to its fullest.

It started several years ago when I received a phone call from a woman I did not know but who has since become a good friend.  Her name is Kim.  Kim asked me if I would be willing to help with the creation of an online networking and social capital community.  It took some work to put this together, but at the time I had no idea what type of ripple effect this request would have on my life.  I did it because it fit the values and direction that I wanted to take my company in.  With that, the ripple began.

This relationship turned into a strategic alliance, which turned into a speaking engagement, which allowed me to meet Jack Canfield (co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul), which led to an invitation from Jack to participate in an international organization called the Transformational Leadership Council, which led to meeting a woman by the name of Nancy, owner of an ethics training company. Getting to know Nancy led to an invitation for my wife and I to spend five days on the breathtakingly beautiful Necker Island where we have been meeting with financial wizards of business, movie producers,and successful business leaders such as Sir Richard Branson (OK, I won’t hold back this week is a networker’s dream).

The ripples that take place in the networking process may not be clear when the pebble drops into the water and the ripple begins. What is certain is that there is a ripple. If you follow that ripple and make the most of the contacts that you meet during each stage of that journey, it can lead you to making connections and creating relationships that may very well surprise you when you look back to where the journey first started.

Look for more later about the journey of this particular ripple.

16 thoughts on “The “Butterfly Effect of Networking”

  1. First off. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy and take it all in. It is truly amazing what happens when people just “ask”. Kim “asked” you and from there things just spread.

    I have seen it happen in my BNI group with a person having a chance meeting with someone and cultivating that relationship to turn that person into a networker for them and opening doors that seemed shut.

    It really sometimes comes down to the 6 degrees of separation.

    All the Best to Sir Richard Branson and now I have to try to use my 6 degrees of separation to get an invitation to that island. 🙂

  2. Great article. You can’t predict the outcome from the dropping of a pebble. It is certain that doing nothing will yield the same. Keep dropping thoses pebbles and opening doors.

  3. Ivan,

    As a result of finding and reading your article, I believe the “butterfly effect” has again taken place. You see, I recently heard mention of Jack Canfield from Richard Paul Evans, also an author, as he was discussing his newest business venture, Bookwise. It’s a likely business for authors and readers and from what I understand, Jack Canfield, co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, is also involved in this new, very intelligent home based business.

    I’ve happened upon this website seeking information to make my Bookwise business more successful. Perhaps sharing this connection will encourage you or your readers to explore Bookwise. Hmmm, the “butterfly effect”, I like it.

  4. This article proves the six degrees of seperation theory and shows that you should be kind and open minded to everyone you meet they will hold the key to your financial success.

  5. Ivan,

    I’m actually reading this blog post because of the Butterfly Effect…

    4 1/2 years ago I met a man in a park while walking with my son. He invited me to a BNI meeting in Pittsburgh…my first experience with BNI or any referral organization.

    After visiting that chapter I decided to put BNI on the back burner (dumb on my part part ironic after you read more…I’ll tell you more about this later – maybe in San Diego). However, a few months later I received a phone call from a member in the chapter I visited. He was starting his own BNI chapter due to a conflict (he switched careers).

    I decided to start the chapter with him and within 6 months we formed our own chapter (which I’m now President of). A year after forming that chapter I decided to become a BNI Director in Western PA. A month after that decision I met you in Long Beach, CA at my first ever International BNI Director Conference.

    2 years later…I was the first Director to sign up for your Article Mentoring you offered to all the BNI Directors in Long Beach last year (I almost tackled you in the aisle as you got off stage if you remember).

    And to end this story, I just recieved an e-mail from you regarding this new blog. Funny how things work out.

    See you in San Diego next month – thanks for BNI and everything else you do!!!

    Weston Lyon
    Author, Speaker, & KING of the Functional Fitness Jungle

  6. This story demonstrates the great value for our efforts to invest in rippling relationships. Though we make it a plan to help and connect others, relationships have a way of taking a course all their own.

    The experience begs the thoughts, “So, where might my island be? Where could my ripples take me?â€? It’s exciting to think about…

  7. Dear Ivan,
    thank you very much that you found BNI. I have already contact to Frank de Raffaele jr.: The Butterfly-effect is really great and all the people of the world who know and live “the secret” will join networks and use the Butterflyeffect. They should be awre of this great possibility! Me e.g. I met Sunday in Berlin Dr. Quantum from the film “what the bleep do we know” and I never thought that it is possible. I will support the spirit of BNI as much as I can and I hope that I can realise my vision (I am the creator of my realitity) announce also in the US. I wrote a book called “Nanorevolution” about the Nanotechnology and why we have now the time of this Nanoperiod.
    B. Rgds from Germany and thank you a lot!

  8. Feb. 2008
    Dear Ivan,
    How symbolic to call this “spreading” of networking “Butterfly-Effect” for the spreading of wings and landing on so many is like the butterfly!
    I helped start two BNI chapters and will soon join my third. I have a Skincare Company and Mobile Spa business and my best clients are referrals from my BNI business “partners.” Six degrees, The Secret, 12 Step Programs;our spirituality and success, mind and body connection are intertwined. Our Higher Power wants us to connect, ask for guidance, help and to prosper!

    I cannot wait to meet you and I will “ask” you to autograph my book!
    -Karen Fritschi, Director, BeautiControl, Inc.
    Murrieta, CA

  9. I really enjoyed seeing where the Butterfly Effect took you! Wow … givers really do gain.

    I am left with two thoughts. You were able to track where the opportunity came from, back to the person you originally helped. How easy it is for us in the “busyness” of life to not pay attention to how opportunities come our way.

    After reading this article, I will pay more attention to the people in my life who bring me opportunities and see if I can find the original source of that connection. Paying attention and tracking will allow me to go back and thank the person who allowed me to drop a pebble in the pond.

    Thanks much for inspiring some new thoughts and practices!

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