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.

  • Joyful Gatherings I’m upstairs getting changed for Christmas dinner. Down below I can hear kids laughing and screaming. The adults are chatting and catching up on the latest news. My mom is working in the kitchen, as usual, but there are many hands to help out. I pause a moment and reflect on how happy this boisterous family ...
  • Children’s Prayers We went to the Children’s Christmas Mass at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church this evening. Our Pastor, Father Jim McDougall, has a tradition each year where he asks all the children to come up and sit around him in front of the altar. He incorporates them into his homily and everyone has a good time. Then comes ...
  • ‘Twas the Night Before Networking ‘Twas the night before networking And all through the town, The networkers were stirring All moving around They set out their toolkits Preparing for lunch When connections they’d make Gath’ring cards by the bunch Business cards and holder A notebook and pen And especially their schedule For you never knew when That person you met While waiting in line Might be that connection To business, so fine. They lay out their ...
  • What You Can Learn I stopped by Best Buy today to pick up a mounting bracket for our new TV. On the way through the checkout line I struck up a brief conversation with Lori, the cashier. With a few questions and in a surprisingly short amount of time, I found out quite a bit about her, including her ...
  • Networking Group Overload Not long ago I wrote about dealing with networking overload, especially during the holidays. One of the things that can lead to this condition is over-committing to the number of groups in which we participate. I’ve spoken with people who are members in five, six, or even more. All I can think is “How?” We all ...
  • Working Your Goals Through Your Network We’re coming up on the time of year when people start thinking of resolutions. The new year always seems to be an opportune time to consider how we want to live our lives in the upcoming year. Personally, I don’t like to think of resolutions so much as goals. In fact, today Lisa and I ...
  • “Merry Christmas” Follow-up Yesterday, I wrote my opinion to the “Happy Holidays” vs “Merry Christmas” controversy. When I referred to it as “world-shaking”, of course, I was engaging in a bit of hyperbole. There are those who want to avoid giving offense (almost impossible these days) and so they stick with “Happy Holidays”. Then there are the folks ...
  • “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? Every year about this time I get a message or two in my inbox about this world-shaking controversy. Should we say “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas”? Now, please feel free to do whatever you want, but here’s the way I see it from the perspective of a networker. It’s always about them. Until and unless you know otherwise, ...
  • What If They Don’t Like Me? Some people just hit it off. Others just don’t see eye-to-eye. Ever since we started kindergarten, this has been a worry for most of us. It probably plateaued around the time we started going to junior high/middle school dances and hasn’t faded too much in the meantime. Everyone wants others to like them. We worry about how ...
  • Remember the Reason for Networking My mom, Debby Peters, founder of Connext Nation had a great article in her last newsletter about the idea of networking events versus networking relationships. Check it out to read the whole article. The point that really got me was when she was talking about whether we needed to attend a networking event — especially when ...
  • 7 Networking Ideas for When You’re Feeling Lame My new friend, Lynda Gronlund, certified personal trainer and owner of Balance Point Fitness, commented on yesterday’s post. You can read the full comment elsewhere, but the important part was that she was feeling lame for skipping a weekly networking event because she just wasn’t feeling up to it. Then she asked: … How do you ...
  • Are You Standing in the Parking Lot? I gave a presentation at the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti Regional Chamber last week. It was a good crowd and they reacted well to what I had to say (meaning no one threw anything at me). One of the points I made has to do with the nature of joining any networking group. I made it in ...
  • 6 Networking Goals for Other People We’ve talked on numerous occasions about the importance of setting goals in our networking practice. From short-term goals, such as the number of people you plan on meeting at an event, all the way to long-term goals such as your ultimate target for your networking, whether it be growing your business, finding employment, or supporting ...
  • It’s Not What You Do Today was our annual Christmas cookie baking day with my mom. Every year, usually on the second Sunday of December, my mom hops in her little yellow Mini-Cooper and drives up from Perrysburg. We spend the whole day baking batches upon batches of cookies. We managed nine different kinds this year. We hit a lot ...
  • Give Feedback Our nanny, Beth, is currently in training to become a massage therapist. For homework she was required to give thirty hours of massages to friends and family, but no more than three sessions for any one person. Of course, I volunteered, because I’m that kind of “giving” guy (what can I say?). Sadly, today was ...
  • Being a Disney Hero Will the real Cinderella please stand up? I may have mentioned before on one or two occasions that I have a three-year-old daughter. She loves pretty much all things Disney. As a result, I get to watch a lot of Disney movies — repeatedly. After a certain amount of time, you begin to recognize some common themes. One ...
  • The Good Predator Ironically, both “white hat” and “black hat” networkers have similar mindsets. They both think like wolves. Wolves, when hunting, target the weak, and sick members of the herds. Networkers look at the attendees at networking events in the same way. OK, they aren’t targeting the sick and weak, but they do look for those people who ...
  • First-Timer Mistakes: Business Card Expectations At least he took a shot! Before I try something new, if possible, I like to find someone who has done it before and ask them how to avoid the “first timer” mistakes. I figure if I can call on someone else’s experience, I’ve got a better chance of succeeding earlier than if I try to ...
  • More Master Mind Yesterday I wrote about the type of Master Mind group that I started. Essentially it is a peer-counseling style which allows those of us who belong to call upon the wisdom of the other members in dealing with any challenges in our lives, either personal or professional. This certainly isn’t the only type of Master ...
  • Using the Master Mind Not that kind of Master Mind I’ve written before about how some super networkers have gone so far as create their own networking communities. Hundreds of people are familiar with these folks because of this. The only problem for less experienced networkers is that starting a networking group can be a bit daunting. How do you ...