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 the form of an analogy involving Disney.

Honestly, I don’t know why Disney’s on my mind so much recently.

The point went something like this:

Joining a networking group is kind of like taking a trip to Disney World. You’ve paid for the airplane trip to Orlando and the hotel room and, of course, your Park Hopper tickets. You and your whole family are standing in the parking lot (or you just got off the resort bus). The kids are excited and everyone is ready for some fun.

OK, got the picture?

Now imagine walking away without actually entering the park.

That’s pretty much the same thing as joining a networking group and not participating — not showing up for the events, not volunteering to support the group. Listen, no one would expect even as magical a place as Disney World to be fun if you didn’t actually go in and ride the rides. Why would anyone think they would get real networking benefit from just signing up for the group?

If you are a member of a group — if you’ve paid your dues and your name is on the membership list — you’re standing at the gate of what might be a magical (and profitable) experience. Make the decision now to walk through the gate and hop on the first carousel that crosses your path.

You won’t regret it!


About Greg Peters

Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at or

One Comment

  1. I was bad today, had an opportunity to go to a networking lunch and chickened out. At least it is a weekly thing and I will have another chance, but I feel I've missed out and am super lame. 🙁 How do you get yourself psyched up when you're not feeling like you can put on a smile and tell a million new people about yourself, ask them about their lives and businesses, and generally put yourself out there when you're not the most outgoing person in the world?? I knind of know the answer, just want to see if you've got anything I haven't heard before for the bag of tricks. 🙂

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