Networking: Essential Component in an Entrepreneur's Success

By Sanket Lamichhane, Member Experience Director, Entrepreneurs' Organization - South Asia

Physical, one-on-one networking in real time on a platform like Entrepreneurs’ Organization continue to have high relevance in an entrepreneur’s life even in this age of unlimited online Social Networking. The reason for this continued relevance lies in the basic tenets of the idea of networking.

Networking has been a time-tested method employed by entrepreneurs and business leaders to build personal and professional connections to enhance their business opportunities. It is a proven vital success skill which successful entrepreneurs use to build connections that serve as a useful reference, to explore mutually beneficial business ideas and to use it as an avenue for sharing information, gaining insights and accumulate social wellbeing. Therefore, networking amongst entrepreneurs is a form of Productive Networking as against other forms of Unproductive networking. And a global platform like Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) facilitates the highest form of effective and productive networking amongst entrepreneurs.

Also, it is a myth that the networking skills come naturally to all successful people because the reality is entirely different. But it is a skill that can be nurtured and developed with a methodological approach. Such is the approach followed by Entrepreneurs’ Organization to develop and nurture networking skills amongst successful entrepreneurs. EO’s aim is to bring like-minded people together on a single platform where they may explore greater avenues for mutual benefits.

EO, a global networking platform exclusively meant for entrepreneurs, facilitates the amplification of the goodness of the networking paradigm. With 12,000+ leading entrepreneurs in 167 chapters from 52 countries, EO has got a very large global foot print.

As an entrepreneur, being an EO member enriches me in three ways. First and foremost is the benefit of Peer-to-peer learning. An entrepreneur’s position in his own organization is a lonely one where one may find himself/herself incapable of sharing some issues, personal and professional both. EO gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect and share issues with people in similar situations and learn to pick up ideas to better manage their own situation and issues. At EO, we are forced to leave our entrepreneurial cocoons and get exposed to once-in-a-lifetime experiences through global social events. And, of course EO gives the biggest opportunity to connect with a variety of experts across industry verticals which enhances professional opportunities as well.

Why does face-to-face networking continue to score over modern online networking style?

Communication and networking on social media never guarantees the build-up of trust. Even where there is a trust build-up, the process is slow and rife with doubt and uncertainties. As against this a 5-minute personal interaction may go on to build long-lasting trust and credibility.

Traditional referrals in businesses always hold elements of trust and credibility within their fold. The level of trust amongst the two parties starting a new business or interaction is always higher than zero. They actually start from the level of trust and confidence the mutual reference displays in both. This initial confidence makes it easier for new business associates to move forward smoothly. Trust has always been the core of a referral and it continues to be so. It has always worked in business and will continue to work in future too. Networking, of course, enables a lot of referral business opportunities.

Reinventing Business with Networking

One may argue that in this age of heightened technical communication, we should simply take advantage of umpteen networking opportunities and unlimited ideas floating around us on social media. But these virtual ideas and opportunities are just that – ideas without validation! They cannot compete with the knowledge, the insights and the mentoring that a group of experienced entrepreneurs can share when needed. It is entirely possible for young entrepreneurs to take a jump lead of 5-10 business years from the benefits accruing from the mentoring of an experienced group.

Strengthening Business Goals with Networking

Networking not only helps to enhance business and discover business opportunities; an entrepreneur’s support group at the EO platform also serves to check and balance the member’s plans. Peer and mentor interactions help entrepreneurs raise their self-awareness regarding their own plans and actions for moving forward both personally and professionally. Individual experiences coalesce to form a much bigger picture and present a broader outlook. The platform therefore, acts as an unending ocean of experience to be delved into to gain pearls of wisdom again and again and to use them to create enriching ventures.

5 Core Values of EO Networking

EO members value trust and respect, thirst for learning, making a mark, boldly going and cool. These 5 values create and transform the very outlook of our network’s members. If translated in our social and private lives and implemented in a systematic manner, the benefit accruing to the member is manifold.

If an entrepreneur were to implement even a 5 percent of his peer and networking learning’s, things for him/ her would change in positive ways and copious amounts of gains can be reaped.

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