The Reluctant Networker Blog by Greg Peters

We all know that networking — or word-of-mouth — is one of the best ways to grow a business. But what if you don’t know where to start? What if you don’t know what to say? What if the other kids laugh at you? We can help.

  • Merging into Networking “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream.” ~ Tommy Hilfiger I watched the big camper turn left out onto the busy roadway. US-31 is a five-lane surface street (2 each north and south and one turn lane) that runs past the ...
  • 5 Red Flags for Networking Groups “History is a vast early warning system.” ~ Norman Cousins I’m out for my morning walk. We’re on vacation in Traverse City, so my path takes me along the shoreline. If you were with me you’d feel the breeze blowing off the bay and hear the seagulls squabbling on the beach. The autumn colors are starting to ...
  • Us and Them “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” ~Nelson Mandela Republican, Democrat, Independent. Us and Them. Christian, Jew, Muslim. Us and Them. Wolverine, Buckeye, Spartan. Us and Them. Labels define the groups to which we belong. This tendency we have to group together as “tribes” comes from ...
  • 5 Reasons Robo-Callers are Anti-Networking “All deception in the course of life is indeed nothing else but a lie reduced to practice, and falsehood passing from words into things.” Robert Southey I was the victim of an activity I will call “anti-networking” this morning and I’m mildly enraged. Most of the rest of the world calls this violation of human trust, “robo-calling”. If ...
  • Don’t Make this Mistake with Children or Business Connections “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” ~Charles R. Swindoll I dropped off my daughters at school this morning. Kaylie, our fifth grader, gives me a quick hug and a kiss. “Bye, Dad! Love you!” I squeeze her tight. “Have a great day, Sweetheart. I love you.” It doesn’t escape ...
  • Lessons from the Labyrinth: Mental Models “Society bristles with enigmas which look hard to solve. It is a perfect maze of intrigue.” ~ Honore de Balzac As I mentioned in the last post, we recently went to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for a brief family vacation. While there, we decided to explore the grounds and in so doing discovered a labyrinth ...
  • Lessons from the Labyrinth: Perseverance on the Path “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.” ~Buddha This year as a part of my 50th birthday celebration, we stayed a ...
  • Moments of Magic — The Eclipse “I am a great admirer of mystery and magic. Look at this life – all mystery and magic.” ~Harry Houdini Sometimes, you can’t explain magic. It just happens. Elizabeth and I took the girls down to Southern Illinois University to witness the eclipse on August 21st. Carbondale, where the school is located, was one of the prime locations ...
  • Old Friends and Networking Regret “There’s always failure. And there’s always disappointment. And there’s always loss. But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.” ~ Michael J. Fox Jeff Gibbs and I were college roommates. Heck, we’d known each other and were friends since high school. He always joked that we guys who ...
  • The Potato Chip Plan “I love it when a plan comes together!” ~  John ‘Hannibal’ Smith, the A-Team Shortly before our second daughter, Abby, was born, I spent some time focusing on my physical health. By the time she arrived, I had achieved my ideal weight and was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I think the word we’re searching for is “hubris” ...
  • Book Excerpt: Icebreakers “Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.” ~ Mark Haddon Congratulations! You’ve successfully broken into a group for the purpose of having a conversation. You just have to figure out how to kick it off. I’m now going to share with you my ultimate, top-secret, never-fails opening line that took me ...
  • Speak Up or Freeze “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~William Arthur Ward It was a little breezy around here last week, and by “breezy” I mean a windstorm with gusts around sixty-five miles per hour that toppled large trees and knocked out power for around 800,000 homes. Immediately after ...
  • Book Excerpt: Sales Focus/Relationship Focus “From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend reading it.” ~ Groucho Marx As promised, here is another excerpt from my soon-to-be-released book, “Hello and a Handshake”. Here we’re focusing on the first of five Negative Networking Attitudes. Sales Focus/Relationship Focus We’ve already touched a bit ...
  • Casting a Wider Net than You Know For about two years, I’ve been focused on the Credit Union industry as the target market for my company, The Reluctant Networker. I’ve been developing specific products to fit their needs, I’ve been calling on my contacts in the industry to get their advice on how I can better serve them. I’ve even reached out ...
  • I Want To Be Like Kaylie Kaylie and I had just finished our Karate class. We decided to stop upstairs at the coffee shop to get a little snack. As always, she got her favorite – a fruit and yogurt parfait. We headed further into the store to pick up a spoon so she could dig in. On our way, we ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Bridget (Looby) Staffileno “I shudder when I hear ‘networking’” The beginning of my conversation with Bridget (Looby) Staffileno, Vice President of Community Affairs for Catholic Federal Credit Union worried me just a little. After all, this was supposed to be a chat about how executives at leading financial institutions use networking to succeed in their positions. Fortunately, she quickly ...
  • Which Position Needs to Network More than Any Other? If you’ve read some of my recent posts, you know I’ve been chatting a lot in the past couple of months with executives and officers at local financial institutions, especially credit unions. During those conversations I’ve discovered something interesting… Executives need to network. No, really. They need to network more than just about any other position in ...
  • Miracles and Magic “Miracles happen everyday, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi My wife is a genius. Seriously. Not only does she have a PhD in molecular biology, run her own business, and keep this family on target, she also somehow manages to have a positive outlook on ...
  • Near or Far, Networking Resistance As I write this post, I’m on a flight to Arizona for a training program through the National Speakers Association. I don’t want to go. Oh, I know that I’ll meet great people there. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot. I may even pick up a resource or two that might help my business take off. I’m ...
  • Executive Networking Profile: Karen Church “Always make time to meet with others outside the credit union.” advises Karen Church, CEO of ELGA Credit Union, especially if you are new to the industry. In the years she has been CEO she concedes that sometimes making that commitment can be a challenge. Somehow, though, you have to make that balance between developing a ...