In the book, I walk you through all of that. I want to share just a little bit of it with you. The reason that I wrote this book is because for most of us, the advice that we get about how to build business relationships and how to grow our network comes down to get out there and see and be seen, shake hands, kiss babies, and go to all the networking events that you can go to, cram as many as you can in an otherwise busy schedule. In fact, one of the big international business networking groups advocates the idea that you need to spend eight to ten hours a week on growing and building your network. Certainly, that can pay big dividends, but in reality, there are very few people who can devote that time to growing their network. What you’re going to discover in the book is a way to get that same effect, probably a bigger effect, in an hour a week. In some cases, it can be done in an hour to an hour and a half a month. It’s accessible. No matter how busy you are, you’ve got the time to do this. Back when I was doing a lot of networking and business development in my first company, I spent a lot of time at networking events. I’d go to a breakfast event. I’d probably have lunch with a referral partner or coffee with a referral partner during the day. Then oftentimes at night, at least a couple of nights a week, there would be a networking social, a mixer, or a chamber event. All of those things were great, but after a while it begins to wear on you and it can become very difficult to keep it up.
I’ll never forget, I was going to all of these events and I kept seeing one particular vendor at all of them. He was an older gentleman. I was in my 30sat the time and he was in his 60s, so quite a bit older than me. He’d seen it all and done it all. I get to talking with him and we became friends. I got to appreciate the fact that he had been working it through this circuit for decades and he knew everybody that there was to know. He’d seen it all, done it all. Honestly, he had gotten a little bit cynical about the whole process. It hit me one evening, we were sitting at a bar together towards the end of a mixer, and he was a little bit burnout and you could tell. I realized at that point that if I kept going doing what I was doing, I was 30 years away from being that guy. I knew at that point that I needed a different approach, an approach that allowed me to focus on my business, allowed me to make the relationships that I needed to make, and allowed me to get home and spend time with my family and do the other things in life that I wanted to do and have some balance. I’ve written about this guy before and what I saw him doing is what I call the hamster wheel of death. He’s just going and going and he couldn’t get off because he didn’t have a better method of creating the relationships that he wanted to create. That’s a scary and dangerous thing. I don’t want to be on the hamster wheel of death and I don’t want you to be on the hamster wheel of death. It’s a terrible place to exist.
Some of you may be there. You may be in that place where you’re just trying to hustle and build relationships. I get it. I know that you need to do that sometimes, but it’s not sustainable for the long run. You need a way that gives you some leverage, some scalability to the whole thing, and works a whole lot better at the same time. That’s what the book is all about. I wrote this for people who are sick and tired of the old networking, of doing that time-consuming show up and mingle in a room of people that for the most part are there because they want to sell you something and aren’t necessarily there for a real relationship. I’ve just found that those never pan out. Occasionally, you’ll find a good partner. I used to go to those events and I had a coach at the time, a sales coach, who was mentoring me. She taught me, “Show up and have your quota in mind. When you get your quota, you can leave.”Sometimes my quota was I needed to meet two quality people. Sometimes, I needed to meet four. It was a struggle to find people that weren’t in it all for themselves, and that can get frustrating. We’ve all been cornered by that person that leads with their business card. We never want to be that person. You want to find a way to build these relationships and do it where you’re coming from a place of value from the beginning, and that’s easy for you to do.