Michael Donnor, Connections, 2014 from the series Notes on a Paper Universe
Today I want you to concentrate on these 3 powerful words: Networking, Connections, and Mentors. These are words that you should get use to seeing. They are very important in today’s society where millions of people are trolling the Internet and becoming “social”––as in “social networking”. You’ve heard that term before, right?
People were social before the Internet––I’m certain of this. But the definition of being social had changed quite a bit from interacting in person, to then interacting via a telephone call, to now interacting via email, text massages and social media sites. We attend fewer social gatherings in person. They have been replaced by chat rooms, virtual meetings via Skype and Hangouts on Google+. I actually think our society is less social now even though we are more connected as ever to practically anyone in the entire world.
The three magical words (Networking, Connections, and Mentors) can be applied to your everyday life, regardless of what business you are in. You could be a corporate-type or an artist––it doesn’t really matter. When building your personal brand or climbing up that corporate ladder or even taking the leap to start your own business, it’s much easier if you have a defined and well-rounded network, a group of people who are connected within your industry, and mentors to bounce ideas off of, stroke your ego, and guide you away from a variety of pitfalls. The people defined by these 3 magical words should be people that you have actually met. People that you have shaken hands with or shared a meal. People who can vouch for you as a person, not just someone that is a connection on a social media website. There’s much to be said by this. Real networks, real connections, real people––real, real, real! They truly matter.
I love the social media websites that I visit on a daily basis. I get my news from some of these sites, I get inspired by words and stories people write, and I can catch up with family and friends. But I honestly would be lost if I didn’t have the core group of people that I refer to as my network, connections and mentors that I work with and speak to on a daily basis. They mean that much to me.
Today’s exercise: Think about these 3 sentences and see what you are doing in your life to fulfill them.
- What are you doing right now to build and create your real, true network?
- How are you creating connections in your industry without the use of social media?
- If you wanted to have some mentors in your life, are there people in your network that could connect you to them?