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Network outside your comfort zone!

April 24, 2012

This excerpt taken from an article by David Chevalier published here, looks at how a network of the same people, with the same interests and ideas can become stale. At Business Network SW we believe that by mixing decision makers from every trade and business we possibly can leads to better networking, valuable relationships and more results for you. 

Do you wish your network provided you with new ideas, greater intelligence and more money? Are you searching for a job without realizing that it’s a permanent campaign rather than a job search? Or, are you just trying to find the people who are willing and able to refer business to you? It’s crucial that your network help you encounter new ideas, learn new skills and regain your sense of purpose.The problem is that relatively isolated, homogeneous networks – consisting of people like yourself who live nearby – are unlikely to produce positive outcomes.

I’ve been there – after reading Harvard Business Review’s How to Build Your Network, in 2006, and taking the article’s diagnostic test, my network was revealed to be full of connections made in school and the workplace. It was even bold enough to suggest my network of 90 people was inbred.

Frankly, I liked my network just the way it was because there were very few dissenting views, everyone lived within an hour of me, and I didn’t have to put in any ‘leg-work’ to build the connections. It was comfortable and fun. I wouldn’t have changed anything about it except my network was not producing much business. In fact, it mainly produced beer, wine, food and redundant information. Yet in a fast-changing world, I perceived a credible threat that I could get left behind. I felt compelled to change.

Homogenous groups are very comfortable. They tend to share your interests, opinions and profession and they rarely challenge you or your thinking. But your network should cut across geographies, functions and specialties because that’s where the magic happens! It’s time to let new people into your “circle of trust” and explore ideas that differ from your own.

Start networking outside your comfort zone!

Come along to a Business Network SW lunchtime networking event to broaden your network and get the opportunities available to you through new experiences.


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