I love LinkedIn! Whether or not it is sociably acceptable to make such a bold statement is debatable, but I do know that I love the concept that this social networking service promotes and the feeling of value I experience while immersed in its environs. The same may be said of any number of other social media platforms, but for me, LinkedIn is it. Through this particular medium, I have been able to experience first hand the power of networking and the wonderful benefits to be derived from collaboration.
Two great events happened for me just over the course of last week that has me rehearsing the virtues of networking. First I had the awesome privilege of hosting Corhinn Brunot, CEO and Founder of the International Creative Arts Women’s Network (ICAWN) and Owner of Creativ Magazine, on the biweekly segment of the Building According To Pattern Podcast Series. Secondly, because of the relationship that both Corhinn and I have diligently worked at cementing overtime, I was given the rare opportunity to share a platform with some very powerful speakers; including Internationally Renowned Motivational Speaker Bert Oliva and Marketing & Media Relations Expert Jonathan “JDOGG” Lederman. The event was the “How To Sell Your Genius: Tapping Into You” workshop, hosted by the dynamic Priscilla Dames-Blake, Owner of Wingspan Seminars, LLC and Chair for the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council. I was given the floor to speak on, of all things, podcasting.
By now you are probably wondering what does LinkedIn have to do with any of this. Well, my arrival at this point in my journey emerged from a simple connection with one individual on the network. After accepting my request, she called me to inquire about my business and invited me to attend a conference where she was slated to be the keynote speaker. That event was ICAWN’s first annual Women Empowerment Conference. The rest, as they say, is history. Interestingly enough I have not had any contact with this individual since then, but as a consequence of the power of networking, my brand is well on its way to becoming the dynasty I have long envisioned in my spirit.
Networking and collaboration are certainly not 21st Century ideas. Long before there was a thrust in technological advances to deliver such great social networking platforms as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, the Master Manufacturer espoused the incredible value to be derived from embracing these two approaches. At the building of the first sky-scraper ever; recapped in the human’s Manual for Living in the Book of Genesis 11:6, God stated clearly that, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” Though the motives were wrong in this instance, the approach was on point.
Here are a few simple but profound benefits to be derived from networking:
1. Insight. “Plans go wrong without talking together, but they will go well when many wise men talk about what to do” (Proverbs 15:22). This principle demonstrates the value in having a core of people around who are determined to helping you make your vision a reality, because they themselves have bought into it.
2. Momentum. The surest way to catalyze or speed up the process of building your brand; central to which is your personal life, is by connecting with those heading in a similar direction. Scientists have shown that migratory birds traveling together experience greater efficiency in flight; greater energy conservation; are able to travel longer distances; and, experience a decrease in fatigue, hence a higher rate of survival.
3. Promotional Opportunities/Leveraging. Nothing is more rewarding than having a fellow colleague open a door for you to walk through on the basis of his or her name or platform. That is what Corhinn Brunot and ICAWN continue to afford me and my organization.
4. Friendships. Last but certainly not least, are the invaluable relationships you are able to form and forge out of the networking experience. There comes a point when it’s no longer what others in a network can do for you and your business, but how meaningful and personal relationships can begin to emerge, with genuine care and concern for others that is reciprocal in nature.
If you have been toying with the idea of becoming a part of a network or you have never really given consideration to moving in this direction, let me encourage you to go for it! Find a group that shares both your interests and values. Write to me and share your experience.