A FUN-damental Necessity for Success? Friends!

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone … and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something. – Sandra Day O’Connor

I recently met with a delightful guy from a different chapter of a business networking organization I belong to. We met to get acquainted and learn about each other’s businesses.

We discussed the level of success each of our business networking chapters has achieved. His is a newer chapter – about two years old compared to ours, which is about four years old.  Our chapter is has grown from fifteen members to sixty members. We are considered to be one of the more successful chapters in our area.

FUN-damental Ingredients for Success

His business networking chapter is on track and committed to growing to an equivalent size as ours. He asked me what ingredients I thought contributed to making our chapter successful. I think these things contribute to our success:

  • Strong leadership
  • Adhering to the structure provided by the organization for running small business networking meetings
  • Holding ourselves and each other accountable for achieving our business and chapter goals

There’s one more ingredient I believe is a FUN-damental necessity for having our business networking chapter be successful – ya got to have friends!

From the beginning, our chapter members intentionally committed to maintaining a small business networking chapter feeling of intimacy and friendship. We periodically gather together for social events outside our scheduled business networking meetings and we include spouses and friends. We’ve attended barbeques, pampering and make-up parties, photo parties, Christmas parties and Fantasy Football parties.

We have become more than a business networking chapter. We’ve gotten to know each other on a personal level. We care about each other and the success of each other’s businesses. An unexpected plus is that whenever members experience personal challenges, other members jump eagerly in to offer aid and support.

We never forget that our primary reason for meeting each week is for business networking and growing our individual businesses. Our chapter goal is to bring in over a million dollars in revenue this year and I believe we will achieve it. And even though we conduct our business networking meetings in a professional manner, we remember to have fun!

Best of all, when I refer a friend or colleague to someone in our chapter, I feel like I’m referring one friend to another. Isn’t that business networking at its best?

FUN-damental Lessons Learned

One lesson I’ve learned is that business networking is less about what you get and more about about what you give. It’s about finding ways to do business with people you already know, care about, and trust.

A friend in my business networking chapter referred me to the book “The Power of Who: You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know” by Bob Beaudine. He suggests regularly phoning people in your personal sphere to see what’s going on in their lives and businesses. Throughout the conversation, he suggests actively listening for something you can offer.

There are several potentially great outcomes that can result from such conversations:

  • Actively staying in touch with people who mean the most to you deepens your relationship with them
  • Contributing to them causes you to feel great no matter what challenges you may be facing in your life
  • You develop a community of support to reach out to when you are faced with a career transition, personal difficulty, or business challenge.

Sometimes the greatest gift you can give to someone who cares about you is giving them the opportunity to contribute to you. Deep down, most people want to help and support people they care about. That’s easy to forget.

I once took a course that focused on creating inspiring projects. The catch was that the project had to be too big for people to do on their own. The idea was to engage friends, co-workers, church groups or other communities to participate in the project. I was daunted by having to tell people about my project and ASK for support. That was terribly uncomfortable for me.

I learned how much people do want to help if you ask for what you want or need. Not only did I complete my project, it was a lot more fun than it would have been had I tried to do it all on my own. Isn’t setting goal more inspiring when you think about involving friends to assist you?

I believe it’s FUN-damental!


Are you ready to learn the FUN-damentals of networking ? Contact Coach Sue at 949-212-4345 to schedule your complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email sue@threesquarescoaching.com.