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Episode 5 : Why Networking Matters Today

One of the most interesting questions that I've heard from people about networking is this. Paritosh, If I'm doing well, if business is going well, if there are no problems, then why do I need to network today? And that's a great question. Honestly, if you think about it now, this is what I'm going to say, that if you could solve tomorrow's problems today, how would that be for you? If networking could help you solve tomorrow's problems today, how would that be for you? And I know the risk with this. The risk is that this is going to sound philosophical. And because it's going to sound philosophical, a lot of people like, okay, sounds nice, but do I really need to do this? Okay, let's break this, jump into this. 


Now, as a business owner, let me ask you if you could discover what challenges are going to come in your business tomorrow that are going to limit you from getting to your business, how would that be? And if you could start taking actions on those, how would that be? And this is keeping in mind that there's nothing wrong happening in your business. There are no challenges. Number one, I don't think there's any business where there are no challenges. But just in case you think, then this conversation is for you. Now, the power of networking lies in not just generating new business, which is how a big part of the world looks at networking as that, hey, networking is going to events, meeting people, exchanging cards and doing some follow up and probably bagging a few clients. But no, let me ask you this. 


How do you think the biggies are networking? What do you think they're doing throughout the day? And when I mean the biggies, what I mean is, let's talk about Ratan tata. Let's talk about ambani's. Let's talk about Elon Musk. What do you think they're doing? Are they going to your office all day and they're saying, okay, Mariachi to do list. Mikhail, what do I have in my to do list today? Check this item, check that item. Sign this check. No. What do you think those guys are doing throughout the day? Let me tell you my understanding. They're constantly working on building their vision. They have a vision, and that vision is ever evolving because they're seeing new opportunities, new horizons all the time, and they're constantly finding the right people to fulfill that vision. 


And what do you think finding the right people is networking? It doesn't matter what you're finding the right people for. Whatever you're doing with human beings is networking. Now look at this, why people don't really network. Why is that despite so much noise being there on networking, despite so many big people promoting networking, propagating it that relationships are everything. Why do a lot of business owners still go around and keep networking aside for later? Well, the answer to that is because they don't really understand what networking is about. Like I said earlier, it's not about going to events, exchanging cards, connecting with people, and following up, if you remember to follow up, most people even get that wrong. Another conversation for another podcast, I'll cover that up. Okay? But there's so much more to networking. 


When you are talking about your internal relationships within the organization, you and your team, there's networking. There when you talk about the relationships with your customers, which by the way, a lot of you ignore, that's networking then meeting the prospects, of course, for businesses is networking. Then meeting the right kind of people who could tomorrow be your vendors, your suppliers. That is networking. Scouting is a big reason, looking for the right kind of talent. Because whatever you're looking to achieve in life, you can't do that alone. You need good people. So that is networking. So stop limiting, first of all, do yourself a favor and stop limiting networking to just numbers, to business growth. I have to go out, meet people, because meeting people is going to get me more business. That is just one part of networking. 


But it is so much more. But most importantly, what networking does for you is that it allows you to build the resources that are going to help you solve the problems that will come tomorrow. Now, one problem could be getting more business, it'll help you solve that tomorrow. Another could be you land into some kind of challenge and you need the right advice. You need mentors, you need supporters. That problem, you need the right kind of talent, that problem, you need people who could help you with the right contacts and connections to get something big done, a proposal through, to get you the right intelligence. That is networking. So if you truly want to become good at networking, begin by understanding what it is and what it isn't. And it isn't just business. 


The most successful people, the biggies, as I call them, are the most successful people in the world, this is what they're doing in their mind. This is how I believe that they think of themselves. They think of themselves as a chief networking officer. They don't look at themselves as chief executive officers. They don't because a CEO has to run the business. And if they're running the business, they're sitting in the business. But they understand that it is the inflow of opportunity, intelligence, contacts, connections, talent, et cetera, that moves the business forward. And they're out there doing that. Okay, so two really important sides of networking. One is business growth, which is what we've been discussing. The second thing networking helps you with is self growth. When you network, you surround yourself with the right kind of people. 


You surround yourself with the kind of people who are motivating you, showing you vision, breaking your mental barriers, challenging you, perhaps if you're limiting yourself in your head, in your goals, et cetera. And so many people are. It teaches you leadership. It helps you understand perspectives of other business owners who have done things right. Things where you may be stuck today. And if you're not stuck today, you might, just might be stuck tomorrow. So when it comes to networking, understand that it's about building the right kind of network. It's not about just taking small actions like going to events, et cetera. It is so much deeper than that. I talked about this during my training. One of the most valuable resources for a business owner and the business itself is the existing customers. 


And in the same sentence, I continue by saying that one of the most ignored resources in a business owner's world today is the existing customer. A lot of us, what we're doing is we're going around working hard, networking, building contacts, making presentations, proposals, selling, bringing customers in. And after that, the moment the customer is in, we're like, okay, this is done. Let's go on to the next one. And we talk to our existing customer when either we have to deliver some work or we have to collect payment and then we go around mistaking that transaction as a relationship. Yeah, of course it's a relationship. It's a transactional relationship, but it is not a relational relationship. 

So if you truly want to build amazing relationships with your customers, which by the way has to be one of the key priorities for you and your business, you have to network. If you want to build great relationships with your team, you have to network. If you want to get more business, you have to network. If you want to build the right contacts, connections who can help you through the challenges tomorrow, you have to network. If you want to inspire yourself, if you want to motivate yourself, you have to network. If you want great people who can hold you accountable, you have to network. Hey, if you want to find great trainers and coaches, you have to network. Because it's only the people who've done their programs, taking the support can actually give you real feedback about them. 


You want great vendors, you have to network. So one thing you should be taking away from this is to start thinking of yourself as the chief networking officer rather than the chief executive officer. Like I said, the biggies are the people who are running big businesses. I don't mean big people, I mean people are running big businesses. That's what they're doing. They're going out there finding the right people because they understand one final key lesson for today: guys get this. They understand that doing networking saves you time. It saves you time in getting the right customer. It saves you time in hiring the right people. It saves you time in getting to the right contact and connection. And time is the most valuable nonrenewable resource. So the biggest reason you're supposed to network is because it saves you time. 

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