Dedicated martial artists, once they get to a certain level of proficiency, stop training new moves and forms and return to the basics. The Mickey Mouse foundational moves that every fresh uninitiated beginner has to master at the outset. This approach does a number of things. It reveals a depth of meaning and value to what seems so simple on the surface. It corrects core actions that may have grown sloppy over time. It allows the martial artist to experience the moves from a position of knowledge and mastery, rather from a novice beginning.
This same concept can be applied to networking. Most of our members feel that they are practiced hands at networking, and rightly so. But sometimes revisiting the simple ABCs of beginning networking makes us re-focus, calls attention to bad habits, and revitalizes our game. Simple things such as: smiling, asking and offering names, giving attention instead of demanding it. Remembering people, finding common ground, and offering referral advice. All too often we get wrapped up in our self-designated identity of expertise that we forget to put in the basic work that makes networking effective.
As networking, so too for business. Whether you are a sales associate, a one man shop, or a senior executive there is value in stopping and considering the basic foundations of you job and your business. What is your business here to do? How does your job help the business accomplish that? If you were forced to hire someone with absolutely no experience to do your job, what would you tell them? Where would you start? Now consider, of the things you are telling this fictional newbie – how many do you yourself let slide? What focuses would you demand of them that you actually put on the back burner in favor of other “more important” concerns?
A New Year is a time of rebirth and growth. It’s when the natural world renews itself in preparation to forge ahead in new directions. But every tree that grows new limbs and stretches higher into the air starts first by strengthening its roots. I encourage you to take a moment of reflection, and do the same with your business.
Your Chamber President