I grew up the child of parents who had both grown up on farms. My parents had lived through both the Great Depression and WWII and they instilled in me the work ethic that they had grown up with. Hard work was what they had both grown up knowing, and they wanted me to appreciate the value of working hard. I won’t say that there isn’t something noble and right about performing hard work; to the contrary, I think it does wonders for a person. However, expending effort doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
Any endeavor that you begin is worth doing right and building a network isn’t any different. This means that you are going to be putting in the effort and, after all, “networking” does contain the word “work”.
I practice and teach Chinese Martial Arts; what most Americans would call Kung Fu. In fact, calling it Kung Fu is quite a misnomer because in Chinese it actually means “great accomplishment through hard work”. Many accomplishments can be referred to as Kung Fu, not just those in the martial arts. One thing that I have learned as an instructor is that even though accomplishment comes through perseverance and hard work, no one really sticks it out unless they are having fun.
Recognizing that accomplishment comes from work doesn’t mean our lives have to be dreary and solemn.
This concept of having fun while working may not have been passed on to me by my parents. I have no problem putting my nose to the grindstone and enjoying the results. I have, over the years, learned what Disney tried to teach me when I was a kid: everyone produces far better when they are able to enjoy themselves in the process.
Years ago, a colleague was responsible for helping a number of networking groups grow. In this case, there was a clear system with proven results; however, the groups were comprised of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs aren’t always the best at following systems (they are more inclined to create their own systems). My colleague, caring as he was, focused hard on the system and how to get them to implement it. He thought that all they needed was to understand how to get results and then base their decisions on their ROI. Uhhhh, that didn’t work so well for him.
We changed the approach: focused on how the system freed them up to enjoy their time together. We got them whistling while they worked. Before long, even my colleague was enjoying himself more.
Who doesn’t want to exceed their goals while spending more time with those closest to you?
The reason I encourage entrepreneurs to market via networking is that it can be remarkably productive while being a whole lot of fun.
This week one rule, Remember to have FUN with the steps to achieve your goals.
Good Luck and Good Networking,