This is a new term I created while reflecting upon an industry event. It essentially summarizes all that I’ve learned while reading the book “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi and builds on the common phrase “the size of your income is a result of the size of your network.” While this has been demonstrated to be true while observing well connected people, there are a few key concepts missing. Connecting with people we barely know on LinkedIn and “surface” talking to others at networking events will not help us accomplish our goals.
Here’s a formula that summarizes what NetWEarning™ is all about:
Networking + WE + Learning = Earning
Let’s break it down:
1. Networking – Very straight forward, right? Not so. Keith Ferrazzi’s book is dedicated to this subject and there’s a high ROE (Return on Energy) way of networking and a low ROE way. A few takeaways. First, be strategic with where you go, who you meet, and most importantly, how you can help them. We often get caught up in how others can help us and that’s not very useful or effective. Second, do your research. Knowing who you want to connect with & why, find intersections, and link them with other people in your network. As Robert Schuller once said, “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation.” Third, focus less on “to do’s” and more on “to meets.”
2. WE – Focus on what you can do together, either directly or through your respective networks. As Ferrazzi mentions in his book, success in life is equal to the people you meet plus what you create together. It’s all about the “we” and never about “me.” Going to an event, meeting, or connecting online requires the mindset of partnerships. How can we partner? How can I help this person/company partner? How can this connection help make other connections? How can we solve problems together or through our networks?
3. Learning – This is the most interesting part from my perspective. I love learning from others, understanding their perspectives, and testing my own ideas/assumptions with their input. If there is anything you should leave with after meeting someone, it’s “what did I learn from this person today?” If you didn’t learn anything, it likely means you didn’t ask engaging questions or your frame of mind was on “me” rather than “we.” This small mind shift is critical when meeting others.
And finally, the last thing on your mind should be the earning part. This is a product of consistently and persistently applying a relationship building process over the long term. Success is the sum of detail and the application of those details into a way of doing business should be your “proprietary process”. If you’re naturally introverted like me, you will find ways to build a unique netWEarning™ process that suits who you are and fits your NetWEarning™ style.