Thursday, September 24, 2009

More than Karma. Networking and Helping Others.

In the business world, it is well known that networking (knowing lots of people) can be beneficial. Engineer-types often take this to mean: get lots of LinkedIn or Facebook friends, and exploit them. Its not surprising, most engineer-types get blasted by people trying to sell them stuff. This in turn, makes engineer-types use Social Networking for all the WRONG reasons, and thus, miss out on the best benefits of the medium. I can tell you this, if you Network right, the rewards are more than Karma.

More than Karma? What does that mean? Here are the rewards of having a rich and deep social network:
1.) It feels good to help others.
2.) Helping others can be fun.
3.) Helping others sometimes leads to new opportunities.
4.) Staying in touch means knowing when new things are happening, new jobs, new businesses, more.
5.) You don't have to go to lunch alone (see prior Tytus Blog post).

Here is some do's and don't s to consider.
Networking Done Right:
1.) Don't solicit over a social network. (this is what phone, email, lunch, coffee, etc. is for).
1.) But DO make it known to those you know, what you and your company does. Do this, simply because they know you... and follow you, and you keep folks up to date with what you are doing.

2.) Don't invite/connect with people you don't know, unless you have an introduction, and a non-sales reason to do so.
2.) Do invite/connect with people you meet at a conference, trade-show, lunch, office visit, whatever.
2.) Do go to conferences, trade-shows, lunches, office visits, etc.
2.) Do ask your friends for introductions to connect with folks. (but not for sales-purpose, only because you want to know them for a Non-Sales reason).

3.) Do ask folks for help (as long as it is not sales). Do it 1:1 and let it be genuine, simple, straightforward.
3.) Take them to lunch. Pay!

4.) Do offer to help folks FOR NO PAY as often as possible. Just be willing to help...!!!
4.) in my mind, helping others is the greatest service.
4.) and THIS leads to the best rewards of social networking.
4.) Obviously there is a limit to how much you can do.. but do what you can!

5.) Don't do stupid things in public.
5.) like flaming, bashing, or slander.
5.) Do do personal things in public.
5.) unless it is TOO personal (you know who you are), or STUPID (see above).

If you are in my social network, and you are reading this, and I have not helped you yet today. Shoot me an email or a message, or, Lets do lunch.

I'd love to help.

photo attribution:


  1. JL Gray
    JL Gray
    Hmm... If you're a consultant being willing to help someone in your area of business for *free* is what's known in the biz as "free consulting" ;-). Mostly, this is bad, bad, bad... Depending on the situation, there should be some sort of a trade (even if not financial). i.e. an introduction, opportunity for further discussion, information exchange, etc.

  2. Harlan T. Beverly
    Fair enough. but i'm talking about helping with an idea, move someones couch, make an introduction... whatever. Something that you could do over that lunch.
    2 seconds ago · Delete

  3. Harlan, I am the new Entrepreneuship professor at Ohio Northern, charged with instilling the Entreprenurial Mindset in all our students. If you are ever back in Ohio, we'd love to have you visit our campus and talk with our faculty and students.
    We are building an entrepreneurship website and would love to profile you on that website. There are also some entrepreneurs here i'd love to have you meet [virtually] if you are interested.
    PS i was in Austin in June for ASEE meetings.

  4. Daniel,

    I would love the opportunity to share with your students. I am fortunate enough to get to do that here a bit with the U.T. MBA students, and find it very mutually rewarding.

    I don't know when I'll be in the area, but will ping you if I am.

    oh, RE: the virtual intros, feel free to email me directly, my last name at ieee which is an organization.


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