“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” Robert Kiyosaki
The words of the title of this article were said by Ms. Sheila Sudhakaran, Assistant Secretary-General of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry yesterday at the Zimbabwe- India Business Summit at the Crown Plaza hotel in Harare. Although she was referring to the importance of co-operation between the two countries for business development, it is likewise true to business people and entrepreneurs as individuals.
To succeed in business, you have to know a lot of useful people. Not just to know their names but to have good relationships with them. For example, look at the contacts in your phone. How many of them are successful business people? To be successful you have to hang around people who are also successful so that you can emulate them.
Stephen Covey said something very eye opening: “You become like the people you spend most of your time with.” Spend a lot of time with people who are unsuccessful, negative minded and always complaining, you will also be like them. Spend time with proven business builders, and you will strive to be like them.
Relationships in business take time to build. Someone will need to get to know you very well in order to start liking you and trusting you. Make it easy for people to like and trust you by making the first move. Get to know them, their interests and what’s important to them. Find ways of helping them whenever you can.
The author of Swim with the sharks without being eaten alive, Harvey MacKay was able to write a best selling book because he kept details of thousands of people in his rolodex. The publishers of his book were reluctant to print a hundred thousand copies because he was a new and unknown author. Then he brought in suitcases filled with details of thousands of people he knew personally that he had met since he was 16. He told the publishers that all these were going to buy a copy of his book and for their friends as well. When the book was published, he contacted these people and most of them bought at least a copy. It was because they knew and liked him. But he had taken the initiative of getting to know them first, in detail, and keeping in touch with them over many years. He knew their birthdays, those of their children, their anniversaries and their likes. He used such information to keep in touch regularly.
If you are struggling to grow your business, ask yourself if the reason could be that you don’t know enough useful people. If that is so, then it is time to take action. Start connecting with people, especially those who are also in business. You will not find them while sitting in your office or at home; you will need to go out to the places that business people go: that is business events, seminars, networking meetings, golf games and so on. Keep details of all the people you meet and find ways of keeping in touch. Soon you will have a large network of useful contacts and you won’t have to walk alone.
Please email your thoughts and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS: Don’t miss the networking breakfast meeting with the ZNCC Harare Businessman of the Year Mr. Chomi Makina on Friday 6 June 2014. Full details on our website or call 0772 854 301
Business Courses in progress
- Quick Guide to Starting & Building a Business in Zimbabwe.
- How to Write a Winning Business Plan.
- Effective Marketing and Selling Strategy for Solid Results.
All courses $20 (BusinessLink magazine subscribers $15), inclusive of handouts, Guide books, breakfast and refreshments. Times: 0830- 1200. Full details at our website on the Training Courses and Seminars page or call / Whatsapp Christine on 0772 854 301.
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