This client started off asking about her fear of the dark, but it turned out that what she was actually afraid of was the things that go bump in the night. She was having psychic experiences but interpreting them in a really scary way. By the end of the call, she felt read to take the next steps and learn how to allow a deeper connection.]
I remember, many, many years ago (ok, maybe not that many. A bushel. A bushel of years ago), I was working for a restaurant company as a manger. Even though I would go on to become pretty damn amazing at managing people and operations later in life (like, half a bushel later), this story takes place when I was still really green. I had no idea what I was doing and my rampant insecurity often resulted in a horrible kind of false arrogance. I don’t mind telling you, I could come across as a bit of a douche back then. I knew I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, and, being the driven little puppy that I was, I did everything I could to learn the ropes. I bought and read every management book I could get my hands on and tried out every technique I came across, much to the chagrin of my employees. Some tactics worked brilliantly, while many more failed miserably. Over time, I learned, but these were the dark days of incompetence *shudder*…
One of the skills I was told I HAD TO learn was networking. In order to be successful, one must learn to connect with more powerful and influential people. One must get a mentor, and hopefully one that knows what they’re doing. One should ideally be part of a master mind group. And it all sounded so great – get in good with the right executive, and your career will skyrocket. Self employed? Meet the right influencers and your business will blossom! Yay! I’m a natural talker. How hard could it be to meet people and maybe get them to remember me?
Well, according to the books, it wasn’t hard at all. All I had to do was get my elevator speech ready, a 30 second description of who I was and what I did, grab a stack of business cards, go to some networking or business function and start schmoozing.
And that’s exactly what I did. I was 19, full of piss and vinegar, and ready to make my mark. Off I went to a business function, where loads of company executives would be gathered, just waiting for me and my elevator speech, because obviously, they had nothing better to do. Full of enthusiasm and with bright eyes, I’d rattle off my carefully worded and memorized speech, about what my job was and how the crowd of battle hardened executives could help me. And you know what happened? I fell flat on my face. The nicer ones were simply condescending, treating me like they would an idiot child who doesn’t know better. The meaner ones decided to have some fun at my expense, taking apart my contrived and fake sounding elevator speech, pointing out in humiliating detail just how transparent my approach was. I was almost literally screaming “What can you do for me?!” In short, I came across like a total douchebag. And it didn’t work, no matter what the stupid books said.
Fast forward a few years
Over the years, I learned how to ask for help in a way that actually got results. I continued to read and get training (a lot of which was, quite frankly, the same old BS), and I paid attention to what did and didn’t get results. I dropped the robotic elevator speech. I learned that if I approached people authentically, and with the relationship in mind, they didn’t always slam the proverbial door in my face. I learned that if I acted like a helpless girl, older male executives would jump all over themselves to help (I’m not condoning this, and I’m not saying it became my modus operandi, I’m saying I noticed that it worked). But while I got the job done, networking with a goal in mind (as opposed to just meeting and connecting with people, which I did very well) was never my favorite activity.
Networking as a self-employed person
When I became self-employed a couple of years ago, the real source of my discomfort became more visible. I hated asking people for help. And I especially hated it when I was asking not for my department or my employees, but for myself and my own business. I felt cheesy and fake and I was afraid they’d think that I was just trying to use them. What’s worse, as a blog owner, I started to get loads of requests from people who wanted my help, who came across exactly in the way that I didn’t want to be perceived. Arrogant douches implying that they would be doing me a favor by letting me review their “best seller” (anyone can call themselves a bestselling author), or by allowing me to be part of the next big thing by peddling their crap. I didn’t want to be THAT person.
Networking = Success
But, the fact remains no puppy is an island, and no business is built on the back of just one person. We need other people to succeed: mentors who can give us advice, partners who can help spread our message, peers whose shoulders we can cry on. You can’t do it alone.
Over time, I’ve been able to meet some really great people, and I’ve developed a network that has helped me to achieve the success I’ve had so far. I’m absolutely convinced that one of the things I’ll need to do in order to keep taking my business to the next level (and the next, and the next…) is to evolve my network. It really is true that having access to an awesome network can make your business or career.
The power of a Network
Consider the advantage of having gone to an Ivy League University. The real power doesn’t come from the prestige of the school, but from being a member of the alumni association. Candidates are often handpicked from the graduating class of Harvard or Yale. If you’re not in that group, you’re not even in the running. An alumni association is simply a network.
If Donald Trump lost all his money again tomorrow, he’d still be ok (again). Why? Because he knows a bunch of rich and powerful people who will not only invest with him, but will help him get things done. You can’t call in any favors when you have no one to call. That’s the power of a network.
Creating a Network
But, how do you find these people? How do you connect with them? And even more importantly, what the hell are you supposed to do when you do connect? How do you get them to help you with your career or business?
Can you use the Law of Attraction to attract the right people to you? Of course you can! But, in order to do so, you have to be ready. You have to feel worthy of their attention, you have to feel confident enough in your idea to communicate your passion, and you have to be willing to ask for and receive help. And that’s what this post is really all about.
I’d like to introduce you to someone in my Network – Mohamed Tohami (you may remember that Tohami interviewed me a while back) – a man who used his networking skills to get Jim Cathcart, the world’s most award winning motivational speaker and author of 14 books (2 of them actual bestsellers), basically a total legend, to write the forward for his new book The Pharaoh’s Code. Tohami had never met Jim before, but was able to convince him to help, causing other big hitters to jump on board, and eventually leading to Tohami’s book being listed as the #1 Best Selling Book on Amazon. I’d say this guy knows a thing or two about getting influential people on his side.
Introducing Story Networking
Tohami’s approach is called Story Networking, and it incorporates the Law of Attraction, which I’ve not seen any networking programs do. Note, he doesn’t use the same language as I do, but the principles are well represented. Story Networking allows you to make real connections with people who can help you. This isn’t just about making friends. It’s about getting results, but without coming off or feeling like a douchebag. It’s authentic and ethical and it works.
If you’re in a job or you have a business, you need to learn how to network. The better you get at it, the more successful you’ll be. Granted, it’s not the only skill you need, but when you get good at this, everything else becomes easier.
Learn How to Get Influential People To Support You
Tohami and I will be hosting a Webinar this Wednesday, entitled “How to Get Influential People to Support You”. I like webinars – when done right, participants get an incredible amount of value and are then given the opportunity (not an obligation) to go further by becoming a client or customer. With that in mind, and true to my style, Tohami is going to drop a buttload (my word, not his) of knowledge on those who choose to join us.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- How exactly did Tohami connect with the world’s most award winning motivational speaker?
- How to avoid the 7 common limiting beliefs about connecting with influential people (Yes, we’ll be going through these beliefs one by one!)
- There are no influential people in my area/I have no opportunity to connect with anyone influential
- Influential people are way too busy to open mails from strangers. I can send a mail, but it’ll never get read.
- I’d love to network, but I have no idea who I should even contact!
- I have no idea how to determine who’s actually important and who’s just blowing smoke.
- Why bother messaging them – I’m not nearly important enough…
- I’m just starting out! I have nothing to offer them; really what am I going to HELP them with?
- I don’t want to try and network, only to be ignored or rejected…
Oh, and as a special thank you for signing up, you’ll get a copy of Tohami’s report 7 Colossal Networking Mistakes You Should Avoid, in which he dissects his encounter with a rather spectacular douchebag, and explains exactly what this person did wrong and what he should’ve done instead.
Melody and Tohami,
Thank you so much for the webinar. Really enjoyed how passionate Tohami is about the generosity of those gurus/experts out there! Made me feel much better about the idea of actually talking to one in person. Like talking to both of you on the webinar! 😀 Can’t wait for the next one.
And Melody, what was it that you talked about in the beginning before the actual webinar? I missed it. All I got was how you didn’t think you were ready for TV.
Thanks Nay! I had such a good time!
I was contacted out of the blue and interviewed by an associate producer of Harpo (the Oprah people). I realized that I’m not quite ready for TV, since the thought of it scared the bejeezus out of me, but I got a very nice, detailed list of all the fears I’ve got to clear to get ready. Yay. And just the whole idea of it, the manifestation of it was pure awesomeness. 🙂
How awesome! But yeah, I feel your terror. Just imagine how many people you could touch through TV, and how many could see you… Does that help? Just kidding! :O
Melody and Tohami, loved the webinar. It certainly was unique. Looking forward to the next one. However, could not find the place to e-mail Tohami. I definitely will buy his book.
Ahahaha! Unique! Love it, Rose.
You can mail him at: info [a] tohami.com (replace [a] with @)
Melody – Enjoyed the webinar – thank you so much for your generosity in this offer. I got some valuable help from the information you and Tohami talked about and provided on creating trust, being authentic and managing our networks when they grow.
Thank you again 🙂
Thanks so much Pat! I’m glad you got so much value from it. I had such a great time! 🙂
Overall, a great call! Thanks again!
Thanks so much Kat! You guys rocked, too! 🙂
I’ve never done this before, how do you “dial in”? This all seems like alien speak to me. Please explain it like you would to a mentally handicapped person.
Ok registering kinda answered this question. I guess the link will explain.
I will be 5am in Sydney, but the house wakes at 6am anyway. I’m going to attempt this as I’m taking this very seriously for some reason. 🙂
My gut says this will help me with people in general and good practice for making online business!
Thanks. I’m treating this like a real meeting. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk “work” stuff for ages so pretty cool.
Sounds great, Kane! If you click on the link, it will ask you to download a piece of software (you just have to say ok). This is totally safe and will allow you to see the screen that Tohami is sharing (you’re actually going to able to see a part of his computer). And then you’ll be able to hear us through your computer speakers.
It’s really quite easy. GoToMeeting, the service that we are doing the webinar on, does a great job of making it very simple, so you should have no issues. 🙂
Oh this sounds great. I dug up my speakeres last night and woke up before 5am this morning.
My head felt like a brick and something stopped me from doing it.
A combination of being tired/struggling to think, not wanting to wake people up and also shyness.
Wish I did it now as before then I was plagued with dreams and questions about people and friends.
So yes I did wake up, but decided against. Will you have another one later in the afternoon so people in different time zones could come?
I know it’s only 1 hr later, but even at 6am I felt much clearer in the head.
No worries. Kane. I’ll send out the reply tomorrow (after midnight here, time for a bit of a rest).
Ok I got this messgae too late…
Sounds great Melody. Good information that would be helpful to anyone. I’ll go over now and signup. Thanks for sharing!
You’re so welcome Cathy! Can’t wait myself! 🙂
I just registered. It sounds like fun. I’ve never had trouble with networking in terms of work. Keep the focus on the product/desired outcome: student success, marketing an anthology, whatever… and just get in there and do it. It’s the same for public speaking – focus on the content.
However… big however… for personal stuff, arggg! I’m eager to hear what you guys have to say. The timing is perfect for me, except it’s moving day! I’ll have to catch the replay.
Hugs to all! It’s good to be back home in Mexico! Abrazos!
Hey Lady Awesomesauce!
There’s definitely a huge difference between networking for someone else’s business that you work for, and doing it for yourself, or even business and personal networking. Each scenario brings up a different set of beliefs.
Can’t wait to hear what you think, and to hear all about your adventures!
Interesting post. I’ve registered however it’s 4a.m for me so I’ll catch the replay. Thanks.
be good to yourself
Yay David! Can’t wait to hear what you think. 🙂
What if you are thinking of business ideas or know nothing about business?
Is this still helpful to a new person? Do we have to appear on camera? How does this work?
Also I think at 19 your babyface is what they might have been mocking–there surely was some jealously about your ambition and in a management position at a young age. (doesn’t matter where, still impressive) They were probably still living at home and clueless at that age, so alot of it was most likely jealously.
Especially if there were older females there, they would have felt insecure about an attractive young lady that has ambitions in business.
There’s also the fact that people place limitations on age and do not believe in young people.
I remember those times well and how great the internet was for upping ones’ age and getting much better results simply by tacking on a few years to the exact same proposal. There is prejudice against the young and tonnes of jealousy.
You also contradict your own advice a little. You tell people they don’t need others for happiness, friendship etc yet here you are admitting we do need other humans in life. Now you are making more sense!
No, you don’t have to appear on camera. You can dial in by phone or by computer, and you’ll hear us. If you’re on the computer, you’ll also be able to see the presentation, which is like a powerpoint presentation, basically. You don’t have to interact if you don’t want to, but we’ll have a Q&A session at the end.
Ah, let me explain: If you make your happiness or how you feel dependent on other people, you will never find it. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun or beneficial to play with others. And when it comes to co-creation, we do kind of need other people. If I want to coach, I need clients who are a match to me. If I want to dance salsa, I need a dance partner. I don’t need to dance salsa in order to be happy, but by being happy, I easily attract opportunities that make it easy for me to react that way.
By getting comfortable with networking, you (proverbial you) will automatically release a lot of limiting beliefs. The whole process of becoming comfortable representing your own value, for example, requires that you first define and recognize that value. In doing so, you focus on how valuable you are, instead of how people probably don’t want to buy from you because you’re not good enough. This isn’t just about getting some speech ready. It’s about getting YOU ready.
Do you need a business idea already? No. In fact, as you gain more confidence, you may well then find yourself having those ideas you’ve been waiting for. Always remember that the feeling comes first, the manifestation second. 🙂
I replied below.
As for the happines reliant on others… You don’t convince me because I’m sure on your way to becoming as happy as you are now you did have friends and fun etc and were not a hermit that magically became happy. I have much more to say on this.
I don’t want to talk about this much hear as you need to look good for business and they will read these comments. (which are off topic)
I’m signed up and so looking forward to this. I think about this issue a lot. And I don’t even really have my own business yet. I just this afternoon spoke to someone about getting started and set a couple goals.
So while reading I realized that part of my fear of even starting is that I know eventually, networking will be a necessity if growth is to happen and needing help will come into play if I want to continue to be a success. But the lack of knowledge of how to do it feels like such a big obstacle.
The person I talked to today is a friend in a position to help in exactly the way I need it from him and I found myself feeling very apprehensive about asking. It’s very different however when approaching a friend than it is to approach someone you don’t know.
Actually, you’d think it would be easier to ask a friend for help, but that’s not always the case, is it… But that’s all part of feeling like you’re asking them for something they don’t want to give, like it’s a huge imposition or something. When in fact, don’t you love helping others when you can? Don’t you think they feel the same joy when they can help you? And asking is not the same as manipulating. When you ask, they can say no. And not everyone has a problem saying no, lol.
I’m glad to see this is relevant to so many of you guys. I wasn’t entirely sure, but my intuition said go (it’s saying go a lot right now) and so I went. 🙂
We’re gonna have so much fun! 🙂
My my my…Snarky Happy Puppy Chick…I am so glad you wrote this blog because the lines of work that I am in (You know…I Have 10 job, mon) on all levels it is my network and my people skills which are going to be everything to my success… and believe it when I say that there are things that scare the hell outta me…like spiders and nosy neighbors…and luckily success is not one of them!!! I am SO READY for my life it ain’t even funny…but you already knew that, didn’t you??? I cannot wait til the 19th !!!
Mahalos for always having good stuff to say !!
Love Always…The Feral Rabid Kitten
Yay Foxxy Roxxy!
You’re right! Networking is a HUGE part of your business, that’s for sure. And don’t you love that feeling that things are about to explode! Woohoo!
Huge happy shiny puppy hugs!
Its funny that you mentioned male executives jumping at the chance to help you earlier on in your career. I wanted to relay some similar experiences I had. Just a few days ago I was at an industry event to which I was invited by a company that was presenting. The meeting with my contact was meant to be somewhat informal, more of our catching up and discussing a potential opening at the co. However it turned into an impromptu meet and greet with the top senior execs who also happened to be there. One of the exec’s was quite eager to assist and started to talk about creating a new role for me. So I’m in contention for possibly 2 positions. I am really grateful (bc its another instance of manifestation) so I accept this or something better. A few year’s ago this is basically what happened when I upped my career and joined a much bigger firm. What I noticed was people seemed to resent that I got such a lucky break, although they never said it directly.
That same day (after the industry event) as I was riding the train home a former senior manager, who I used to work with years ago at that other firm, got on. I wanted to say hello but something told me to stay put. Maybe she didn’t recognize me since we glanced at each other for a second but she just looked upset and miserable. It sort of sent chills down my spine bc it recalled the distinct feeling of resentment I felt working at that other place years ago. Its interesting bc I can’t help but wonder if there’s some message here for me. I know that everything will work out in my best interest bc I trust the universe to sort it out for me. But I was just curious what your take on it is. Thanks Melody.
Well, my best guess would be that you’re not entirely comfortable taking on these big roles you’re getting. Maybe you feel a teensy bit guilty or aren’t sure you deserve it. In any case, if what you’re imagining these people thinking about you is bothering you, then there is something to be cleaned up. Oh, and you are imagining it. You can’t KNOW. That woman could’ve just been having a really bad day. 🙂
You made me realize a few things. Although I don’t lack confidence in myself, I do feel surprised when something happens so easily bc it wasn’t what I expected. I’ll continue to remind myself if they saw that potential in me then the path to success doesn’t have to be so difficult as other people want to believe.
That’s great Mimi! The belief that we have to work hard for anything worthwhile is insidious and resides withing pretty much all of us. But it’s false. If you see the potential in you and if you feel happy doing what you’re doing, and your boss is mirroring that back to you by promoting you, there’s no reason to focus on the opinions of those who don’t understand how you did it and are jealous. They could always just ask you what your secret is. But if they don’t, they won’t hear you. Over time, some will come around, and some won’t. Focus on how YOU feel and on the positive results you’re getting and don’t feel guilty just because there are those who don’t understand why you might be getting different results when you’re not even playing by their rules. They’ll get there eventually. 🙂
By the way sorry if my reply seemed off topic for this thread since you’re promoting the webinar. Its just your story happened to resonate with my recent experience.
No worries. You were right on topic. Why can’t it be an offer for a webinar AND a discussion? 🙂
Great Melody! and to Tohami too !
I seem to be getting ‘snippets’ here and there about moving my business forward and this has come just at the right time, not my forte asking for help (I’m proud like that, NOT, lol !) the idea of it alone, frightens me, but know it would give my business the boost it needs.
I have registered but can’t commit to attending, 5am is a teeny weeny bit too early?! Look forward to the ‘replay’.
Yes, I would send the questionnaire as soon as !
Thank you thank you…
Networking is definitely a huge benefit to your business.
Actually, the call is at 7 p.m. your time… 😀
So, I’ll hear you there! LOL.
Looking forward to it!
Yay Kat! Me too! 🙂
Love what Tohami does and how he does it. I’ve learned about and watched some of the most fascinating people in his interviews. And he is great at asking questions that get to the meat of what he thinks will bring the most benefit and value to his viewers. As far as I can tell, he accomplishes that goal very well!
Networking is the hardest thing in the world to me. Asking for help, God forbid! On my work reviews in the past, I was regularly told, stop trying to do it all. I was always confused by this, because I didn’t think I was doing it all. In fact, I usually felt like I was barely hanging on by my fingernails! But I can see now that I was trying to do everything, because I didn’t feel comfortable, or that I should ever, ask for help. Which also played into my sense of always barely getting by. Funny how that works 😉
And if I had to deal with someone important…let’s say at times I didn’t present the best impression of myself or my abilities. I was way too uncomfortable. What if it seemed like I was sucking up? What if I put my foot in my mouth? What if I appeared clueless? What if they wanted something from me, and I didn’t want to do it, or did and failed?
I was so unsure of myself and my abilities, no matter what others told me. I didn’t know how to be genuine, or at least felt that way. But if I had started networking early, and learned to appreciate what I could accomplish ‘with’ others…now I wonder. I can’t say I ever got better at it. Hence, the registration. I would love to know how to network without feeling like an idiot, or fake, or helpless, or desperate, and especially not a douchebag! So excited!
Thanks Melody and Tohami!
That’s great Nay! I’m so glad to hear you’re already familiar with Tohami. That means I’ve invited someone famous! Yay! LOL.
The process of becoming good at networking requires that we make peace with all of those fears and I love that Tohami addresses them all. This is where the LOA stuff comes in. Can’¡t wait! 🙂
Thank you so much for the kind words you said about me.
I’m so excited to be with you tomorrow on the Webinar.
Thank you Mohami for being generous and sharing your expertise with us on today’s webinar. I especially liked how you emphasized integrity with building relationships first in building our networks. The connection to me is important and felt you expressed the importance of that as well.
What you’re putting out in the world is important and I’m happy to be a part of it.
Thank you Melody – I registered. I’m interested in hearing what Tohami has to say. I have a lot to learn on networking. What I’ve used in the past didn’t really work (i.e. leads groups, pro bono presentations, joining and becoming involved in organizations, advertising in local papers).
Although my venue has changed to mostly writing stories instead of giving workshops, I still need to learn how to gain exposure and attract traffic.
Looking forward to it.
Yay Pat! It’ll be great to have you on! I’m looking to learn a thing or two myself! I love the idea of being able to invite awesome teachers whom we can all learn from together. Ah yes. It’s all coming together. 🙂
Hi ya…great idea for a webinar…I did register, but see I will be working during that time. Look forward to the replay!
Thanks Katy! Can’t wait to hear what you think. I’m so excited. If the webinar thingy goes well, I’ll do more of them in the future. 🙂
What is the cost of attending this webex seminar? What to do if I registered and can not attend? What is the equivalent time for Sydney, Australia?
The cost is free. If you can’t attend, we will do our best to record the event and offer a replay afterwards. The time is 4 a.m. Sydney time, Thursday morning. I get that this is a horrible time for you guys, which is why there will be a replay. 🙂
Does that answer your question?
I think I will watch a replay at my own time.