Larry James' BLOG

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ten Commitments of Networking

Filed under: Business Networking — Larry James @ 12:49 am
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To begin, let’s look at a carefully worded definition of business networking. . .

Networking is. . . using your creative talents to help others achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! – Larry James

So. . . what’s this about expecting nothing in return? Often we expect people who we help to help us. That would be nice. And it doesn’t always work that way. Some people are in better positions to help some than others. Just give. That’s the key! Just give. Willingly. It will come back to you. Help people and you get helped! Have no expectations about where your assistance should come from. Just give. And keep on giving. It will come. . . often when you least expect it and when you most need it.

Having a clear understanding of the definition of networking is a prerequisite for networking success. What you put out to the universe, always comes back to you! Disappointment may follow if you expect a return from the person to whom you have contributed.

Networking is about building supportive personal and business relationships; it’s consistently meeting new people and making new friends, sharing ideas and having lots of fun in the process!

Making a commitment is often most difficult when you are not sure of what you want to accomplish from your networking adventures. That is why the first commitment is so important.

10Cs Book CoverCommitment #1 – Blueprint Your Life! – No Purpose. No Goals. First, define your purpose. Know Purpose! Know Goals! Design your future by setting goals. Decide what you want.

Commitment #2 – Accept Responsibility! – Be accountable to yourself for the choices you make and for the consequences of your actions.

Commitment #3 – Be Coachable! – Listen for and be open to new ideas and suggestions others in your network of support may offer.

Commitment #4 – Show Up! – Be places that count. Make an encounter. Don’t expect a quick fix. Get involved in charitable and community projects, but choose wisely. Not all events will be valuable to you. Be seen. Attend business and professional meetings. Networking opportunities are everywhere! Begin local, then expand nationally.

Commitment #5 – Be Yourself! – Demonstrate your own authenticity. Be unto others as you would have them be unto you. Be real.

Commitment #6 – Pay attention! – Look for opportunity! Talk 20% of the time! Listen 80% of the time!

Commitment #7 – Contribute! – Be the solution! Networking is contribution; it’s helping others help themselves! Allow others to contribute to you!

Commitment #8 – Ask For What You Want! – Tell people what you need. They can’t read your mind.

Commitment #9 – Say “Thank You!” – Express appreciation. Acknowledge others for their contribution to you. Be creative with your gratitude!

Commitment #10 – Stay Connected! – Be in touch! Network on the phone, by e-mail and frequent notes. Never forget the people in your network of support and never let them forget you!

Now. . . get out there! How much networking you do is up to you. It’s a good idea to put some effort into expanding your collection of contacts all the time. Don’t wait until you need something. You must first give. The getting comes second!

Always remember the five most important words you can say while networking:

This is the magic question: How can I help YOU?

There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, “Well, here I am,” and those who come in and say, “Ah, there you are!” – Frederick Collins

Note:  For more business networking articles, go to:

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This article is adapted from Larry’s book, “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections!.” Author Larry James presents business networking seminars nationally. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

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