The purpose of your network is to help and support you GROW through life (and business). For the sake of this blog let’s focus on the business reason, but this can be related back to any aspect of your life as you will see below.
Your network is made up of people who will fall into one or some of these headings. Information, Support or Growth.
The information component of your network consists of your most knowledgeable sources, and the people or resources that can provide you with the knowledge and expertise you need to run a successful operation.
You may have discovered already that it is next to impossible to keep up with all this information on your own. There is simply too much of it, and your own inclinations and time limitations steer you toward some kinds of knowledge and cause you to neglect others. For example, you may be strong in marketing and business planning, but weak in human resources and legal matters.
Fortunately, the knowledge you lack is always someone else’s specialty, so you can turn to others for help. There will be a web of contacts who know and understand what you must do to achieve success in your profession or business, and who have the experience to help you achieve your goals.
The Support component of your network consists of people who can help you deal with certain issues or special problems that you may encounter in the business. If you know you are needing specific support like, Brainstorming, Inspiration, Venting and maybe sharing uncomfortable situations like money or conflict, you must know in advance whom to contact and where to go to get the support you need. This part of your network is mostly your closest people and likely to be within your personal network.
The third side of your Network is for Growth and is made up of people that have the ability to help you learn and refer business to you. They usually come from the eight referral sources (which I will cover on another Blog soon) and are hugely valuable to your business progress. What I find typically happens is that we miss use this network and approach them with sales in mind and not Growth. Understand that the best way to use your Growth network is to collaborate and help each other in mutual gain. Be very conscious to not sell to this group. Its most unproductive.
It’s important to remember with the above that there may be some overlap between categories. We want to be cautious that we don’t over task anyone in our network. Therefore, we want to have multiple people in each category of each type of network.
So who is who in your network and are you asking too much of a small number of people. Keep in mind that your network is bigger than you think and is there to help and support you grow through your business journey (and beyond) so don’t miss treat it…