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By Bryan Elliott

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6 Reasons Not to Procrastinate Networking

The problem with Orange County is also one of its greatest assets–there’s no shortage of things to do here. With work, family and all of the other fun activities that vie for our attention, who has time to keep their connections warm?

Here are 6 reasons you might want to make the time…

and a special perk for anyone who decides to take action–read on!

 

1. Get In the Game
Pro hockey legend Wayne Gretzky is famous for saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” If you’re only watching from the sidelines how do expect anything good to happen?

Step 1. Get in the game. Step 2. Take shots.

*(Use code: OCMETRO to get in the game for free on Feb. 22 for a very special event for a limited time. OC Metro has secured a block of tickets but when they’re gone, they’re gone. First come, first served…http://endofbusinessasusual.eventbrite.com/)

2. Get Noticed
In 2010 I founded a group called Linked Orange County that currently has 10,000+ members. We started with one member–me. I wanted to create something different from all of the other organizations and professional groups out there. Not a slow-moving city-run organization that is political, focused on revenue not people and dependent on member dues to survive…

Not a group that limits choices or excludes others based on industry or status…

Not a trick or scam to trap people with thinly veiled promotional events….

Linked Orange County is very different. First of all new media is a common thread that runs through everything we do. But that’s not all, it’s something you have to experience to understand…

My advice is to start networking to get noticed, but remember that (at first), no one cares about you. It’s a harsh reality but I’m willing to bet that aside from your family or significant other, no one–not your boss, colleagues or friends–are staying up late thinking, “I wonder how I can help Julie make more money, find new customers, grow her biz…”

If you want it, you have to make it happen. No one is going to hand it to you. No one cares about your brilliant idea or how great your services are as much as you, UNLESS it directly benefits THEM. Start networking to build relationships and get noticed.

3. You Get What You Give
I would rather be at the DMV instead of at some of the “traditional” networking events and mixers I’ve attended. But there’s something different happening here at a little group called Linked Orange County. Membership is free and we’re a diverse 10,000+ member cross section of OC that wants to stay ahead of the curve. But don’t show up to our event expecting to get without giving. Our events are great when you help them to be great. Does that make sense?

Help keep this group special. Don’t be “that guy.” Some people at events look like they are going to explode unless they unload their awesome idea on you. They are dancing around with excitement and and won’t shut up for 20 minutes. Be respectful of others’ time.

Remember what Steven Covey said in the classic book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, “Seek to understand before you are understood.” Don’t dominate the conversation. Ask about the other person first. Listen. Then talk and build friendships. If you pitch, do it in 60 seconds. Then wait for a response. If you get asked more about it, then exchange ideas and keep asking about the other person.

4. “Keep Your Connections Warm”
How do you feel about the friend who only shows up when he needs to borrow something or help moving furniture? My friend Chris Brogan said this plus, “No one likes desperation in relationships, no one likes it in business either.” Keep your connections warm, don’t let them get cold.

If it’s been 6 months and your first contact with me is a desperation call because you need help, that’s not cool. Don’t be a fair-weather friend. Keep your connections warm so that when you need help or you can help others you have a strong support system.

5. The Person Who Can Help Most is the Person You Least Expect
Sometimes you might not want to show up to an event because you don’t think the “right people” are there. In my experience the famous, notable, popular, wealthy–whatever people can’t help you or don’t care about helping. Don’t judge a book by its cover, you never know what someone can do for you or who they know that might make all the difference.

6. Pull Your Weight
If you are a member of a group or community, you have a responsibility. Remember the Little Red Hen? In the story of the Little Red Hen, the Hen decides to make some delicious bread. All of her friends want to eat it but no one is willing to help. There’s a lot of work to be done and the moral of the story is about pulling your weight, not being selfish and earning rewards.

One of my favorite quotes and the #1 principle upon which this community is founded is, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If you really want to create something special, everyone needs to participate. What can we do when we do it together? The possibilities are endless…

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