Networks of Value
Many people see networks as a pool of potential clients to whom they can sell something. But a good network is far more complex. A good network compares to a family that will support us no matter what. It provides us with information, experience, relationships and moral support we need while we are growing a business. It is like having many mentors and friends who help identify opportunities or know others that can open doors. It is surprising how small the world becomes when you become part of a network.
As entrepreneurs, when faced with a problem, we turn automatically to our peers. We look for people in the same industry or business. Of course they will understand what we are going through. The problem with this approach is that we all drink from the same stream; we became ‘infected’ with the same views and assumptions without realizing it.
In a good network we can share doubts with a person that is not an automatic choice and does not belong to the same entourage. There is a big chance that person might ask different questions that give us new insights. And in the exchange we might even tackle assumptions that became holy cows but in fact are blockages.
A network has tremendous power. But the benefits demand openness and honesty.
Be honest in giving feedback and open to hearing constructive, but not necessarily positive, opinions of others. The truth is that too often, we avoid exposing ourselves to critical views even though deep down we know that we need them to progress.
Are you taking the time and making the effort to build a solid network?