What’s the next best thing you can do for yourself financially? Network yourself! This takes extending yourself on behalf of others. It’s not just who you know, it’s how you care for who you know. Once people know you care, you will never be stuck again. You’ll end up with the Midas touch for financial independence.
We’ve been talking about ways to improve your cash flow by working smarter rather than harder. That sounds like a clich•, but it contains an important truth that really can make a difference in your life.
Here’s the bottom line: the more your cash flow comes from your own effort and activity, either through employment or self-employment, the harder you have to work to get more cash to flow. The more your cash flow comes from the effort and activity of others, either through business systems or investments, the smarter you have to work to get more cash to flow. In other words, you have to learn how to work the system.
In recent weeks, we’ve talked about investments in the stock market, commercial paper, and real estate. We’ve also talked about the importance of having one or more corporations wrapped around your assets, in order to gain tax advantages, legal protections, and access to capital. But there’s another, equally important, way to smartly improve your cash flow: network yourself. The more people you have on your team, working for you, the more doors will open and the easier life will be.
Networking starts as a lifestyle before it ever becomes a revenue-producing business system. To get to the system you have to have the lifestyle. Too many people wait until they’re forced into a transition to start thinking about networking. In other words, they wait until they need something from other people to start thinking about other people. That is a surefire way to have a less-than-effective network and a less-than-adequate cash flow.
The networking lifestyle, at its best and when it has integrity, is about compassion, courtesy, and caring. It is about love. In his best-selling book The Road Less Traveled (Click), psychiatrist M. Scott Peck defined love as “the will to extend oneself for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” That may sound like a strange concept to introduce during a series on the meaning and management of money, but unless we love other people in Peck’s sense of the word our net will never work for us.
Notice that Peck does not equate love with the feeling of being in love. Peck equates love with something you choose and do. It is the willful act of extending oneself for others. When was the last time that you went out of your way to show someone that you cared? When was the last time that you were nice to someone? When was the last time that you chose to do something that would nurture someone’s spirit, not because of the quid pro quo of what they can do for you, but simply because you loved them?
This doesn’t always, and in fact doesn’t usually, take on grand or heroic proportions. It can be as simple as remembering their name or some item of interest, like their child’s interest in soccer or their company’s new venture, from one encounter to the next. Make notes and develop a reminder system as part of your caring for others. Nothing demonstrates your interest in people more than remembering the little things about their life and work.
Love doesn’t stop at the little things. You can also make connections for people, as an example, whether at an event or in the course of a day. You will not always be the official host, but you can always serve as a catalyst to help people interact with each other. Work the room. Whenever you see a connection that others may not see or know, make the connection. Introduce people to each other. Put two and two together. Don’t just see the connection. Do something about it. Extend yourself for others.
Even introverts can discipline themselves into the role of catalyst and connector. It may not come naturally, but it can come • once we understand that love truly makes the world go round. How does that work? By being there for others, others are there for you.
This is why so many attempts to make money through Network Marketing fail. Network Marketing is the process of recruiting others (who then recruit others, who then recruit others) to sell a product or service to their family and friends. Mary Kay, Amway, and Avon are three famous examples in the USA. You make what you sell, as well as a percentage of what everyone else in your network sells. And you do it for a small initial investment with a proven system and a large organization behind you.
Robert Kiyosaki recommends Network or Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) because it gives someone the experience of running a business system for much less money than it costs to buy a franchise (Click). Instead of reinventing the wheel, you’re given a proven system that can generate passive income and teach you the mechanics of running a business. In the process, you overcome your fears and master the art of leading people.
Unfortunately, most people in Network Marketing don’t make any money at all. Why? Sometimes it’s because they get involved with a fraudulent company. Buyers beware! More often it’s because they start marketing before they start networking. Networking is about people; it’s about compassion, courtesy, and caring. It’s about love. Get those things working in your life and the rest will follow.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC