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.

  • Riding the Roller Coaster We whooped and hollered through the curves, screamed as we hurtled down the hills, and when we finally arrived back at the loading zone of Goofy’s Barnstormer Ride at the Magic Kingdom, we all had huge grins on our faces. Except for my four-year-old, Abby. Please understand, I did not force her to ride on this ride. ...
  • Tending the Fire “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” ~ Albert Schweitzer In my last post, we talked about the similarities between networking and starting a fire and how, ...
  • Starting the Fire I’m constantly amazed at the number of relatively commonplace activities that mirror or point to important concepts of a good networking practice. Take campfires, for example. A few times over the course of the summer, we’ll have a little campfire in the backyard. The girls love it. We’ll roast hot dogs, drink lemonade, and, of course, ...
  • Waiting at the Airport That is not my flight I glanced at the information board over my gate. My flight time was now thirty minutes later than originally scheduled. Mildly frustrating, but time to sit and think. I can read a book. I can get some other activities done (like writing this post). I can even chat with the ticket agent, the baggage handler, ...
  • Caring and Compassion “Good luck out there.” The words were right, but as I walked away, something didn’t feel right about the exchange. For the past couple of days I’ve been staying at a casino where I helped present a program on networking and business development. I needed to change a twenty so I had tip money for the return ...
  • Top 10 Reasons to Sell at the Networking Event Repeat after me: Networking is not sales. Of all the mistakes people make in their networking practice (consciously or unconsciously), this one is probably the biggest. You see it all the time — people running around handing out cards, passing out brochures, and trying to “always be closing”. There must be a reason for it, right? ...
  • Focusing the Out-Of-Control Networker Completely under control “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell Over the weekend, on a visit to Grandma Debby’s house, we went on a sledding adventure. We donned our winter gear and headed to the local hill — a real beaut ...
  • Practice Your Networking Weaknesses Gee, do you think he practiced that? “I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.” ~ Will Smith At the end of our advanced Karate class last night, the instructor had us all sit down in our best seated splits. Looking around at the ...
  • 9 Reasons to Network Early, Part 3 of 3 Perhaps we should have arrived earlier “How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” ~ Dr. Suess So here we are at the final installment of why you should show up to ...
  • 9 Reasons to Network Early, Part 2 of 3 “It gets late early out there.” ~ Yogi Berra Showing up early is one of the easiest and most powerful techniques for success when attending networking events. Last time we talked about three of the nine reasons to show up early: Own the room, double your networking time, and free your hands to be ready to ...
  • 9 Reasons to Network Early, Part 1 of 3 “It’s just as easy to be ten minutes early as ten minutes late.” Do you remember Mom telling you that? That was right after “Never talk to strangers” and right before “If you keep making that face it will get stuck that way.” I don’t know about the other two, but let’s talk about that first ...
  • 3 Reasons for Systematic Networking Are you ready to fly? When I was a computer programmer, my life was all about systems. I mean, that’s basically what a programmer does — create systems so that the computer can take care of repetitive tasks without (much) human intervention. The thing about systems is, it helps people perform consistently at a higher level ...
  • 500 It’s probably somewhat fitting that I should be writing my five hundredth post in this blog right after a wonderful weekend celebrating another milestone — Elizabeth’s and my tenth wedding anniversary. You see, what made it a fantastic weekend wasn’t just the ten years of wonderful memories with the woman I love. Of course, that was ...
  • They Don’t Want It Some days they just aren’t in the mood for a sing-a-long. “I don’t think I want to go, Daddy” You could have knocked me over with an overpriced movie ticket. I had been so excited about taking the girls to see the “Frozen” sing-a-long movie that it didn’t even occur to me that Kaylie wouldn’t want to go. ...
  • The Networker and the Hard Worker Your network lets you lift heavier loads. Some people just don’t see the point. Maybe they are part of a large organization. Maybe all of their “clients” are internal. Maybe they never have to deal with anyone outside the ivory tower. At any rate they ask, “Why should I bother to network? As long as I ...
  • The Scenic Route Well, that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped — and that’s OK. For about the past year, I’ve been trying to focus my speaking business on a specific target market. I thought I would try career resource departments at various institutions of higher education. It seemed like a good fit. I love working with the ...
  • Forward Behavior: Check the Facts Maybe they should have checked Snopes.com first To quote Dennis Miller “I don’t want get off on a rant here, but…” A few years ago, I wrote a post about being a responsible forwarder — someone who forwards articles of interest to other people in your network. While this can be a fantastic way to stay in ...
  • The Network Provides They say, every once in a while, we should count our blessings. We really need to appreciate all we have in our lives and know that we need to be good stewards of all the good things we have. I also like to count my networking blessings. Similarly, it helps remind me to take care of ...
  • Making the Magic I love Christmas. I love the presents. I love the food. I love getting together with family. I love the whole thing and I have loved it my whole life. When I was a child, Christmas was pure magic. I believed in Santa Claus and every year the lights on the tree just lifted my heart. ...
  • Limited Networker Field Guide: The Gray-Crested Moral Ambigue This is the another in the “Limited Networker Field Guide” series. Name: Gray-Crested Moral Ambigue Environment: Frighteningly common in all walks of life. Behavior: The Moral Ambigue shows up at networking events, businesses, and social events. His camouflaged markings make him appear much like any other attendee. The main distinction happens when he starts to regale you with ...