Do you enjoy networking? I do.

But for me, it’s a game!

In fact, it’s a couple of games.

Perhaps that’s why I enjoy it so much.

Connect 4

The first game is called “Connect 4” – plagiarism intended! To play this game, I aim to connect at least 4 people from each meeting. If I succeed, it’s a winning meeting! Of course, to play in the Premier League for Connect 4, you benefit from a large number of connections. The more you have, the easier it is to connect others.

The brain is similar – the more connections you have between your nerve cells – your neurons – the easier it is to learn anything new and to master any subject. Your business network is like your neural network – the more connections you have, the easier it becomes for you to grow other people’s businesses (thus adding value) alongside your own business (thus enjoying value from your network!) This is the easiest way to become a ‘valued’ member of your community. It’s a form of Social Capital…

Your network increases your net worth!

[WARNING!  Geeky bit from neuropsychology: your brain is hardware.  The more connections you have in your neural computer, the more valuable your hardware because of its capacity to process information more rapidly and deeply… however, it is the software that makes all the difference!  At The Boardroom Education, we aim to share some amazing programmes to upgrade and enhance the software you run.  We’ll have accountancy packages, funding programmes, leadership and team building ‘software’ – stuff that makes your business work smarter, faster, and frees your time to focus on what you do best.

More than this, your mind can be expanded (mind, not brain) by tapping into the intellectual prowess of other people in our own network.  This is like ‘distributed processing’ as used in powerful corporations – enabling massive number crunching beyond the capacity of any single unit.  At The Boardroom Network, you have the opportunity to build a powerful system of connections that can 10x your business’ capacity, impact, and cash flow.  It is our belief and commitment that you’ll have all the team members, products, and services you’ll need ‘in the room’.]

The Generation Game

The second game is named affectionately after ‘The Generation Game’ – though in this instance it is all about generating invitations to attend. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many new people I meet with a purpose when I’m consciously thinking about whether they’d benefit from the business network I belong to… and what value they’d add to the network.

My chosen networks are The Boardroom Network and the property investors network. I used to be very involved with the Progressive Property Network – another one for you to check out if you’d like to invest in property with solid educational support to use the right strategies.

The two games, Connect 4 and The Generation Game, necessitate that I see the Networks as ‘My Tribes’ – with a proud sense of belonging and ownership of the success of the networks.  I believe that the value I get from the Networks is proportional and connected to the value I bring to the Networks. Part of this value is introducing new people, and also making sure I do my best to make powerful connections for the people I am already committed to.

“Committed to,” may sound a bit strong, but I am. I proactively seek to add value to the other businesses and business people in the room, until they prove to me that I’m wasting my time! The onus is on ‘valued’ until proven otherwise!!

This is not mercenary. It’s about building strong social bonds that bring delight. Our brains are built for Social Intelligence – it is a reward in itself.  An excellent example was when Marc Smith invited me to a day’s sailing with one of his other networks. That was a positive day to remember. Now, I’m actively looking out for ways to reciprocate to add value to Marc’s business and network.

Are You Waiting for ‘Permission to Play’?

Whatever Networks you belong to, I urge you to proactively get some “skin in the game.” Don’t wait to be asked – start inviting people along to every meeting. Furthermore, proactively seek to connect people who would gain value from those connections.  Find a role that adds value to your chosen networks.

My belief (backed up by my experience) is that adding genuine value to others causes value to be returned to you. Also, going to a meeting to add value takes all the pressure off focusing all the attention on me.  If I am listening to others within a thinking-frame of, “Who could I introduce this person to?” or, “How could I add value to this person’s business?” all effort is removed from networking.

Let’s play to win – and in this case it’s a win-win-win outcome: your contacts win, your network wins, and, of course, you win too.

ps. it would be great to get some more new people to Solstice THIS Thursday.  Who could you invite?