Sunday, January 15, 2012
Forming business connections and contacts through informal social meetings.
Does this pretty much sum up your definition of networking? I would say for most it does, but I am hoping that by the end of you reading this blog, you will come to a new understanding and openness to the thought of this word. I hope you decide to add one more word to the definition, and it being: “FAMILY”.
Let’s first discuss why I feel the need that everyone needs to have a “network”. I have been in the fitness industry for over 13 years now, and I have a saying that I not only say to myself, but also preach to my clients.
”Every day in every way, I promise to become 1% better than I was the day before.”
This saying pushes me to educate myself in not just the strength and conditioning part of training, but to implement and become knowledgeable in nutrition, supplementation, Rehab, etc.
After spending hundreds of hours reading books, shadowing physicians, watching DVD’s, and listening to podcasts, I realized that it was almost impossible for me to become an expert in these categories. When I became aware of this problem, I did not like the idea of it, so I contacted me mentor and told him about my frustration. Listening to him calling me an idiot for about 5 minutes, have gave me two great pieces of advice.
#1 CREATE A NETWORK:
Create a group of fitness professionals in the industry that are experts in the areas that you are not an expert in.
He was exactly right. If you take the number of hours that I had spent trying to learn other aspects of the industry, it was countless. I could have spent those hours becoming the best at what I do right now.
#2 YOUR BUSINESS FAMILY:
Now I know when you first hear this you immediately think, ”Do I have to work with my family?” The answer to that is “HELL NO!!!” When we say family works, we mean not to just associate yourself with just anyone, but to find people that you trust, find people that you would trust with your family, people that you care whether they succeed and are willing to help them succeed. When this selection process is officially completed, make them feel like family. Family looks out for each other. Family is always there for each other. This relationship cannot be based on money, but has to be based on trust. If they feel like family and are willing to do all the things for you that you are willing to do for them, then everyone wins in the end. This especially applies to the client.
I have spent the last 3 years fine-tuning my network and can finally say that I have my family selected. These people are not only a part of my fitness career, but have now all become members of my REAL family. These people will all be at my wedding, at family engagements, and even dog sitting. We have created a name for our networking group: “NEXT GENERATION”.
Watch out for the “NEXT GENERATION”! We will be presenting at seminars all over the country and hopefully taking our show to Canada very soon. We will also be hosting networking events that will make bring together fitness professionals in the area, to make the selection process that much easier for everyone.