Reverse networking

It has always fascinated me that networking events revolve around various business owners or sales people walking around a room full of people and often blindly presenting you with a business card asking if you would like to buy their widget. 

If instead we were to walk up to someone and ask “is there anything I may be able to help with to improve your business” I think the concept of networking would be turned on it’s head. 

Last week, I was a featured speaker at the Economic Forum of the Americas in Miami. I spoke to the organizers after and complimented them on a well-run event and the quality of the speakers who never once made a sales pitch from stage.

In fact, almost everyone I met asked me how they could help me in my endeavours. 

Travelling home through the U.S. it is hard not to read the headlines. I was thinking about Donald “Teflon” Trump and wondering if the age-old approach of demanding people do things “for him” rather than asking what he could do to assist them is working?

In fact, if immigrants are crashing the U.S. border from Guatemala and Honduras, perhaps we need to put ourselves in their shoes for a minute. 

We can guess a few things:

  • The migrants never wanted to leave their homes and families
  • They have seen a lifestyle that they would like to have the freedom to attain. 

So instead of closing borders, imposing sanctions and cutting back on help (which actually exacerbates the problem) could we not ask what we can do to help the countries achieve the level of freedom they aspire to?

We have a brain pool of entrepreneurs, academics and experts who are used to building something from nothing.

If we applied our energy and resources to showing others how to build an economy rather than working to tear it down and control it, might we have different results?


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for more than 40 years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business.

He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the U.K. in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
mark[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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