Tim Houston on Why You Don’t Want to be a ‘9 to 5 Networker’

About a month ago I was in New York, home state of my good friend Tim Houston who is the author of a book I highly recommend called The World’s Worst Networker.  I had the opportunity to record this brief video with Tim to get his thoughts on a really interesting topic: ‘The 9 to 5 Networker.’

In the video, Tim explains what a 9 to 5 Networker is, why you definitely do not want to be one, and how to avoid becoming one/stop being one.  Says Tim, “The 9 to 5 Networker is one of the world’s worst networkers . . .”  These types of networkers are overlooking a very, very prominent network which is at their very fingertips and they confuse business acquisition with business transaction.

I agree with everything Tim says here and if you want to ensure you aren’t missing out on the huge opportunities that 9 to 5 Networkers are missing on a daily basis, I really encourage you to take the two minutes out of your day that it will take to watch this video.  After you’ve watched it, I’d love for you to leave your thoughts in the comments section . . . have you been guilty of 9 to 5 networking?  If so, after hearing Tim’s points, do you think you’ll rethink your 9 to 5 networking strategy?

7 thoughts on “Tim Houston on Why You Don’t Want to be a ‘9 to 5 Networker’

  1. Dear Ivan and Tim,

    I’m so glad to have come across this video blog entry. I tried conversing about this one on twitter once… but failed badly :-S

    It occurred to me one day, that going to lot’s of networking training, business networking events and to chapter socials was not helping me get more referrals for other people. In fact, I found these activities became a hindrance to my contributing, because I wasn’t in the right place at the right time for finding referrals. Too much time for training, not enough time to harvest results. I didn’t have enough time left for my friends and family, an important part of my network, where people discuss their current activities, needs and challenges. For me personally, I needed to be more balanced in my commitments. I tend to make a lot of incidental connections through my social network and not just through the people I meet in the course of my work.

    Your value in a focused network, is your wider network. So how about this for a contribution strategy: be the person who regularly gets your friends together for a social.

    Next time I’m on twitter asking “What time do you make for your ‘existing’ network?”… it didn’t come from me, it came from the Ivan and Tim!

    Best wishes, Terence.

  2. Dear Dr. Misner and Tim,
    You could stay “business correct” by passing the referrals between 9 and 5 , M-F. But networking is a conscious, lifestyle activity that you willfully practice by being present in the now to pick up on key phrases and clues. You have a mind to give and to help and therefore remain tapped into the world around you.

    Wishing You Plenty To Live,
    Tom Doiron

  3. Dr. Misner and Tim,

    I agree with both of you that most business people overlook their friends and family members as sources of referrals.

    Each friend and family member probably has numerous friends that at some point may need the type of services you provide, however you must let your friends and family members know that you are always looking for more customers.

    Thank you for the video and your time,

    Michael Cappello
    (Biz I Like)

  4. You can network anywhere and anytime. I’ve networked on airplanes, in line at Target, even at a funeral- the key is to honor the event! Networking is indeed a lifestyle- being a 9 to 5 networker is a poor choice.
    The point Tim brings up about family and friends is spot on. When was the last time you got a referral from your family? If it’s been a while, they probably don’t understand what you do! So make a point to sit down with them and educate them on what would be a good referral for you.

    BTW- Tim’s book is an excellent and fun read (although some of the stories are very scary :)).

    Shawn McCarthy

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