“Networking” or building a “Network” as a concept has really been tarnished thanks to many Scams, Dodgy Pyramid / Multi-Level-Marketing Schemes and generally unethical sharks that see Networking Events or Groups as a means of ripping people off. Quite often with promises of “Financial Freedom”, “Passive Cash-Flow”, Buying Your “Ferrari”, being a “Playboy Millionaire” or working just 5 hours a week on a beach. All cleverly designed words which are used to completely manipulate you.
I think this actually quite sad in the respect that “Networking” in it’s true sense is actually a very powerful means of Expanding Ones Network, Finding Great New Suppliers, Learning more about how the World Works and in particular – getting yourself a great support community especially if you are new in your own small business.
I have learnt and proven to myself that “Effective Networking” is where you:
– Go Out There – Make Friends with Like-Minded Individuals and do Business with Each Other.
That is, you may use some services, refer them business, accept referrals from them and support from building a community.
BUT OH NO. The Dodgy Scammers, Rip-Off Merchants and Unethical People from Multi-Level-Marketing schemes as usual – are trying to destroy the quality of our lives and take our hard earned cash so they can become “Financially Free” and “Enjoy their Passive Cash-Flow”.
Now please don’t get me wrong, there are some Multi-Level-Marketing type of Programs out there such as Nutri-Metics & Herbal-Life which I have a lot of respect for. Like many things, there are many of us that are doing our best to get by – but then, we get Scammers that thrive from stealing time and money from people like us.
One of my very good friends (a Fellow Business Coach) gave me a funny phone call the other day. When I first started out in Coaching I went to a “Speed Networking” event. You meet 40+ people in these events. What happened to my poor friend that he got “Sucked” into a certain Pyramid Selling / MLM Scheme which I bet people have tried to suck you into before.
And funnily enough, he got conned by a “Potential Client” who booked him into one of their upcoming MLM / Pyramid Seminars coming up under the guise of wanting a “Free Coaching Session”. When I spoke to my friend (as he suspected it sounded “Fishy”) and we compared notes and it was the same person who used the same tricks (on me) to con them into going into Dodgy Seminar which promises “Financial Freedom”, “Passive Cashflow” and the like.
We we both found out it was the same rat that wasted my time and tried to rip me off – I was able to let him know so he could get out of it! I saved him 5 hours of his life, but what is sad is that many others from Networking Events are getting nailed and conned into going to these seminars!
So Networking itself is a great thing, whether you do it “Formally” through Networking Groups or you do it “Informally” through building your Customer Base and working with other people – it’s very powerful especially if you work in Small to Medium type of businesses.
However, myself and my friend have learnt the hard way – you get some Dodgy Bastards out there that use Networking (especially Networking events) as a useful opportunity to prey on “New Victims”. This so called “Positive Thinking” is designed to make them rich – at your unfortunate expense? (As if they care).
Networking is great for people like ourselves who are ethical, good-natured and have genuine desire to help other people. Unfortunately, you got to watch out for people who want to take away all your hard earned cash – “Be Careful out there it’s a Jungle!”.