Whether you read all or just a few of the posts from this series on networking differently, please remember the four things below. They are what people often overlook when it comes to networking. Turns out the same is true when it comes to money, too! Underestimating the impact of these parallels comes at a cost, on many levels.

Be Intentional

“What do you want?,” may seem like a simple question. Yet, think about the number of times you’ve had a hard time answering it regardless of the context in which it is raised. It’s not always an easy question to answer, right? But doing so is imperative. Otherwise, how will you know if your wants and needs are being met? How will you know when the goal has been achieved?

When it pertains to money, I frequently remind people that you must give it direction; you must give it a job. In other words, you’ll get more from the money you have and the money you want, the more intentional you are with it.

Networking that centers relationships requires the same intentionality. Especially if you choose to reject traditional networking approaches.

The thing with both networking and money is this: they are in service to something else. That’s why it is important to be intentional.

Be Contrarian

As you likely know, I have a counter-intuitive approach to money. Meaning, instead of thinking how to make what you earn work for you (I call this by default), turn that around and instead give your money various jobs and figure out what needs to happen so it can fulfill those jobs (I call this by design).

The way Michelle Warner talks about networking is also counter-intuitive. Let’s use the example of someone looking for clients. Most people focus on networking directly with potential clients. Yet, what she suggests is this: network with those who are adjacent to your ideal clients. (Yeah, you may want to read that again!) This strategy actually puts you in a better position to be introduced to more of your ideal clients than is likely to occur on your efforts alone!

Join us, and be counter-intuitive as well.

Be Systematic

One of the reasons some people struggle with their money is because they approach it in a transactional way. They tend to only think about it when there is a purchase to be made, or a “big” decision is on the table. In other words, they are reactive.

Traditional networking is often transactional, too.

The problem with having a transactional approach, with money or networking, is that it robs you of the feelings, results, and experiences you most want. It hinders your success.

Enter systems.

Systems provide structure, and help you think through the what, why, when, where, and how, of the actions you take and the decisions you make. Systems can illuminate your blindspots – particularly those in the form of leaks or opportunities you’ve overlooked. Systems help you see patterns you otherwise might not notice. (And as I like to say, you can’t interrupt a pattern you don’t notice.)

Money and networking can tap into the full spectrum of emotions. Having a system for how you manage your money and how you manage your network can help you manage these emotions. Notice I didn’t say, having a system will make the emotions go away…that’s not happening!

Using a system helps you avoid the “set-it-and-forget-it” trap. Or, at least get back on track when you’ve done this.

And a system doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. For example, tracking your money or how many times you reach out to someone works just as well with a spreadsheet as it does with an app.

In short, systems rock! And they can support you if you use them consistently. 🙂

It Begins With You

I created the Financial Wheel* exercise over twenty years ago as a way of getting people to shift how they think about and relate to money. (*If you haven’t done it recently, I’d suggest doing it again.) As I said above, I want more people to use their money by design. Doing so is how you lead with you first when it comes to money.

Michelle created Networking That Pays to shift the way people approach networking. Instead of people using the traditional, transactional approach, she wants people to embrace a relationship-centric approach that leads to more meaningful connections.

As you navigate your relationship with money and with networking, you end up also working on your relationship with yourself. Both are inside-out practices that reflect all the beauty and complexities that make you who you are.

In case you couldn’t tell, I’ve had a blast writing this series on networking. Because ya know…I love swimming in nuance. If you need to catch up, you go here, here, and here.

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