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How important is networking to entrepreneurial success?

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YoungPadawan

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How important is it to make friends with people when it comes to entrepreneurial success?

I've always been kind of a loner, but whenever I've achieved something noteworthy in my life, it's been through my own effort.

I can see if you're trying to do a joint venture or other type of business deal with someone, that networking with that person would be important.

But what about networking with random people with no specific goal in mind? Is that something that is important to success?
 

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robust_money

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I'm no expert when it comes to this, as I haven't done too much "networking for the sake of networking" myself. However, I think it probably depends on what sort of service you're offering, and what you would be looking to gain from having connections.

For instance, if you're offering marketing services, making some random connections never hurts. You never know when small talk will turn into a business opportunity.

Connections are also great for expanding into other marketplaces. Having a great business connection in the USA while operating your business in Europe, for instance.

I'm looking into going out there and making some random connections just to see what happens. Remember, a lot of business is conducted on the basis of confidence. Charming someone in person is a hell of a lot more effective than sending out emails.
 

Stargazer

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I know you are a huge fan of the 17th Century English Metaphysical poet John Donne, and his famous sermon No Man Is An Island would suggest that knowing others is not a bad thing.

The last line of the sermon is For Whom The Bells Toll.

Told you that you were a fan! Bet you have heard both of those sayings. :smile2:

So to answer your question which is a two-parter really.

You can't do business with yourself so you surely must buy from and/or sell to someone? Networking with those clients/suppliers is not a bad thing to do - though not obligatory if the thought fills you with dread.

The second part ie Random people with no goals is not really networking. Sounds like socializing. Nothing wrong with that either. Again it is not obligatory.

Some highly successful people were recluses.


Dan
 

lowtek

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Organic networking is great. By that I mean: meeting people out and about that are doing things you also like to do. Some of them will be business owners, particularly if you are hanging out in places that business owners are hanging out in. If you're into software, go to software meetups, for instance.

Going to dedicated networking events is mostly a waste of time. 95% of the people will be either a) Insurance Agents b) Real estate agents c) Financial advisers d) Multi level marketers. I've been to many, many of them, and this has proven to be true in all cases. The one exception is here in Phoenix there's a group called ELiances which is filled with other more noteworthy people and they exclude the aforementioned groups. I didn't end up staying there, but I can see the value for some.
 

Ismails

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Networking events are good essentially but make sure you know what you are doing otherwise you are doing something wrong and time wasting.

A Good & Standard Deal Consists 3 Things:
1) Spot Opportunity: Spot it without being ready
2) Value: Cost/Benefit = Value
3) Create a Win-Win situation: If you Win, I win
 

Ing

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For me networking allways worked.
My issue is, tha I can t remember names. But when hearing a mans name, I tell him, that I ll forget and thats a good small talk, too.
In my slowline job I organize nearly everything of my work. So the networking I did the decades before I started the job is now my basis for my salary.

BTW: I could have made my job as an entrepreneur, but it would still be a job; not really scalable.
 

James Klymus

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If you want to talk to random people, that’s more of being a chatty person. It’s a good skill to be able to chat and meet new people, but doing it aimlessly for conducting business seems like a waste of time to me.

if you do want to network in order to get new business, you’re better off finding an association that is specific to the industry you want to help.

for instance, if you wanted to helproofers get more business, you could speak to a roofers association.

otherwise general networking meetings just seem like a lot of random people all trying to drum up business for them selves. Probably a lot of MLMs going to those too
 

Mutant

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How important is it to make friends with people when it comes to entrepreneurial success?
I would say hugely in many cases - granted depending on what you're trying to do. All the most successful people I know have large networks, & these can be leveraged to find customers, partnerships, or just answers to your problems.

But like most things in life, there's a balance to be struck. It's often not the most important & pressing agenda item.

But what about networking with random people with no specific goal in mind? Is that something that is important to success?
You know what, it can lead to breakthroughs far faster than you would have thought, or it can be a complete waste of time. You just have to assign an appropriate amount of your time to it, try it & see. Sometimes it's about finding the event that attracts the right kind of people (e.g. would you search for quick hook up on Tinder or eHarmony? :pompus: ), sometimes it's about trying those events on different occasions because not everybody attends every time, & sometimes it's about realising that right now you should be assigning zero time to it.

if you do want to network in order to get new business, you’re better off finding an association that is specific to the industry you want to help.

for instance, if you wanted to help roofers get more business, you could speak to a roofers association.
This. This is basically one of the best ways of doing it.

However recognise it's usually a long game, but an exponential one.
For each one person you add to your network, you're now one quick introduction away from all of their network, & when you're idly catching up with your friend & chatting about how you can get your puppy to sit, but not stay, & *bam* you find out they know the top dog trainer in the state, & actually they were discussing the other day about how this dog trainer has an idea for a product, but doesn't know how to sell it online, & suddenly you're getting email intro'd to the dog trainer who arranges for coffee over which you discuss a possible business partnership where you get a healthy chunk of profit for helping with e-commerce from their own already established authority as a personal brand in their niche *&* you get help with getting fido to stay put! And whilst you're at it, turns out their sister can help with a problem you currently have in your main business. Wins all round.

Of course this type of thing isn't guaranteed, but it's a heck of a lot less likely to happen with a smaller network.

Focus & work hard, but leave some space for happy accidents.

And come to my talk on Networking & Playing The Game at the summit!
(Shameless promotion? Who me? :devil:)
 

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