By now, hopefully you’ve consulted your family and friends about attending different functions with them to build up your network. It’s only natural that since they’re the closest to you, they’d be the best place to start. But if you’re like me, you don’t want to be solely dependant on your friends and family’s connections to get you to where you’d like to be.
So, the next component of easily being in the know is to get involved in your community. A simple solution would be to go to available local meetings which are open to the public, such as city council or town hall meetings. This can help in two ways. The first is that it will provide you with first hand information about what the opportunities, problems, and/or concerns of your community are. Knowledge is power and the more you know the further you can go. Secondly, it’s a great place to meet your community leaders, business people and any others who may be instrumental in the decision making processes throughout the town. Lastly, you gain attention. The more often you attend these meetings, the more exposure you gain. Pretty soon, many will be inquiring about the person who always seems to be in attendance of numerous meetings or events.
I’ll never forget when one of my friends, a power networker, and I were out to lunch. She excused herself to go to the restroom. Watching her walk away, a gentlemen walked over to the table to ask me if we were from another city. I told him that she was, but that I was a local. He told me that he had seen her at a couple of groundbreaking ceremonies in her hometown. When she returned from the restroom, he spoke to us and mentioned to her how he recognized her. His connection was that his brother was the developer for one of the projects that was celebrating it’s groundbreaking. He gave her information about the project that she wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of had he not shared it with her. Now, she wasn’t truly interested in being involved with the project directly. But if she had she would have definitely made a contact that could have been resourceful.
Getting involved with your community is an excellent way to get in the know. One of the greatest pieces of business advise I received from a friend is “People like to do business with their friends.” I’ve actually found this to be true. I have gotten opportunities based solely on the fact that people grew to like me and what I was about. We shared similar interests and goals. I consider my involvement as a win/win situation. I get to network with power players, and I get to help make changes in my community. So, why shouldn’t you have the same results. After all, it’s where we live! Why wouldn’t we want to be involved in it? Stay tuned next week for the finale of “Guess What? It Really Can Be About Who You Know!”