I have a friend who I will just call “friend” to protect his identity. He is a master networker. He goes to pretty much every networking event that he can drag himself to. He is on Facebook and Linkedin with alarming regularity. He Tweets and Diggs and whatever else one does on the internet. I don’t know how many boards of directors he sits on. His office is downtown at the “right address” (I won’t say what downtown he is in). He drives the “right car.” I assume he has the “right” home as well though I have never seen it. Why, to hear him talk, he knows everybody there is that’s worth knowing and the ones he doesn’t know ain’t worth knowing anyway. He is a thoroughly likeable fellow and I am always glad to see him.
I have no idea what he does for his daily bread.
I really don’t. I’ve heard him explain it a number of times but I cannot spout it back to you, even with a gun to my head. So far as I know, nobody else does either. I’d like to ask him why he networks so much and yet nobody knows what he does but I’m afraid of the answer I’d get. I’m not sure he knows himself. I’ll tell you though, if you want to meet somebody (so I am told), he is the person to ask. Friend can introduce you to the Sultan of Antarctica if you ask him. He will also promise no end of assistance for you in helping you build your business and introducing you to just the right people. Yes, my friend is an expert at networking and helping people achieve their goals. The only problem with my good friend is he rarely does what he says he will do. He is wholly unreliable in virtually everything he says and does. It is a sad thing to see somebody so talented waste it all on an inability to do what he says he will do.
My point in this discussion is to point out what should be the bleeding obvious.
My friend has two strikes against him now in that nobody really understands what it is he does and, furthermore, nobody cares. They don’t know because he is unable to articulate it clearly and they don’t care because he is untrustworthy. We all have that human tendency to forget. It’s another thing altogether to forget on a regular basis and even worse to promise as much as he does and never do any of what he says he will do.
So, two ideas I want to leave you (and me) with. 1) Know and be able to clearly articulate what you do for your daily bread and, 2) be reliable.
Ok, I’m done with writing about networking for awhile. Augie is in town and I am sure he will have a story or two for us.