It was Craig Rodney who in passing conversation said, “People like you and I have the innate ability to always make money.”
Craig is a smart guy who says smart things for a living. He said that quote rather glibly, a week after I started my new business venture, but it has been floating in my *Cerebra-l cortex for the past month.
It may first seem a rather cocky statement to make, but Craig is right. Certain people will always make small fortunes, fortunes that are not necessarily in the billions of Rands but money that is way above average incomes and often enough to allow the individuals to retire debt free with a property or two, regular holidays and some healthy interest payments.
Perhaps you may think this is a case of trial and error and that most entrepreneurs lose their fortunes before making their retirement numbers. This may be true but there is something deeper at work, something that sets the successful apart from the mediocre. I believe that something is the ability to network.
Networking is a skill that can be taught. There are millions of pushy motivational speakers who claim to know the key to successful networking in 5 easy steps. It’s the people who have a business and the natural talent to network which are the ones that outshine all the pseudo sales gurus. Let me define “natural networking talent” as an ability to integrate ones social skills with the needs of ones business, seamlessly, effortlessly and without expectation of a return.
Networkers I admire always offer up their contacts that can address my needs without expecting me to scratch their back too. They willingly share their information because they want to genuinely help and be supportive. These people are always on the top of my mind when someone I know may need their service.
Great networkers have cast their net far and wide thus giving them a broad spectrum of people they know and can refer to, when needed. They are approachable and always pro-active in introducing themselves to strangers. These people prefer networking face-to-face more than social media platforms as they thrive off personal contact and seeing people’s appreciation for genuine moments of friendship. Look at the successful people in your life and whom they are friends with – chances are they are successful people too.
I think it is basic Karma. Sharing is caring. What goes around comes around. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.
Let’s hope that Craig was right about me.
*Sometimes I think I’m smart too.