Paul James - CAP Business Clubs
Networking is for nobs! That was my opinion back in 2007 when it was suggested I should start networking to help grow my marketing business. I was of course right (not) and would never attend these strange events……until my wife, who was also my business partner at the time made me. I did argue my corner, but….well….
Anyway, I went kicking and screaming to my first meeting and to be honest I felt like a fish out of water….but not for long. These people seemed to be “normal”. I was made very welcome and within a few meetings I felt very comfortable, amongst friends even.
It took a while longer to really get the many advantages networking has to offer. Like spending time with positive people every week, gaining knowledge from experts in various fields, and working with others you can trust. Up to that point I thought it was all about gaining new business!
Well of course I did gain new business, lots of it. It just took a while longer. Before this happened, I hadn’t noticed or indeed even measured how I was doing regarding receiving leads. Why was this? Simple….The support, knowledge and collaboration was just as, if not even more important.
Slowly I began to cease doing things “Paul Way” (which was often the long or wrong way around) and began learning valuable information. I began collaborating with others for mutual benefit, and perhaps the biggest buzz of all ……Giving. There’s something about giving that makes you feel good! I also realised very quickly that the biggest givers were also the biggest receivers.
Now, eleven years later I run my own networking clubs and have been for over six years. It’s been amazing to say the least, and the real beauty is ….My passion for networking has never wavered. There’s something new to learn every meeting, sometimes with huge beneficial consequences for my own businesses…. And then there’s the pleasure of watching others grow and prosper, or helping them through rocky periods, working with people I trust, as a team. I could go on…..
So, in conclusion – Was I wrong to trash networking as a form of marketing? Well, yes, in my case I was wrong. Would that be the same for everyone? I don’t know, that’s why we offer free visits at CAP Business Clubs …most groups do. I would encourage anyone to try it out, and even try several groups as clubs vary in structure. One size doesn’t always fit..and all that stuff.
One thing I do know – It was probably the single best move I made regarding my businesses over the past decade and a bit. For once I was glad to lose an argument with my wife….who of course is always right.
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