It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. People used to say that to me and I would instantly feel outrage bubble and pop beneath my skin. What about the hard workers who just didn’t know anyone important? How were they to progress through life? Who would help the honest but unconnected guy? From this statement and the following questions, an entire process for enabling career progression was born. It was called networking…
I’ve always hated the word ‘networking’. When used by many business people, it has come to mean “let me smile to your face while I step on your head.” At least that has been my experience of networking in the past.
Recently though, I’ve come to understand that networking may have a different (perhaps truer) definition. This new definition involves the creation of honest win-win relationships. Thinking in biological terms (because sometimes I can’t help myself) we’ve progressed from parasitism to symbiosis. The most perfect example of this, happened for me today.
Not long ago, I made friends with a woman named Kornelia who has begun her own line of couture stockings ( http://www.legselevenstockings.com.au ). I’ve also just moved house. Not far from where I live is the most beautiful little boutique dress shop called Runaway Bombshell. The decorative theme of the shop reminded me very much of Kornelia’s stockings. So I hooked them up. Kornelia’s stockings are now being stocked in my favourite boutique and my favourite boutique gets to be the only place in the area selling such wonderful hoisery! Win-Win!
Also, I found a chocolatier at my local markets. He creates divine, hand-made chocolates not too far from where I live. I introduced him to my new favourite florist (which has the fabulous name Eufloria–even a writer could not have imagined anything more appropriate). Suddenly they’re making gift baskets together. Chocolate and flowers, talk about a match made in heaven.
Here’s the funny thing. I get nothing out of this, and I don’t care. My reward is that I get to know all the people in my community, and they’re coming to my book launch. Additionally, most places I go, people are happy to see me.
So I guess that while the statement it’s not what you know it’s who you know may remain true, what has changed is my interpretation. Knowing the rate at which the Earth turns on its axis, could never make me as happy as knowing these few people planted on its surface!