I am of the opinion that “networking” gets a bad rap. Of course, the word itself has gained more attention in recent years due to the online social variety, but I’m talking about rubbing elbows; hobnobbing; schmoozing.
You know the old expression, “It’s all in who you know?” Well, that’s basically true, but why does that have to have such a negative connotation? It may imply that knowing someone forfeits the chances of others to achieve based solely on hard work, but think about the benefactor here. Wouldn’t you rather give to, hire, sponsor, or mentor someone you’re familiar with versus putting your faith in a perfect stranger? I know I would.
The key to networking is to be reciprocal when you receive and to be generous when you don’t. Networking purely for the sake of personal gain is obnoxious, but done in the right context, it’s a win-win for everybody. So, be yourself, show some interest, and get to know people with the intent of bettering their lives, not just your own. And they don’t all have to become “lay down my life for you” friendships either (we reserve a handful of those in our lives if we’re lucky). They just have to be good people, and there are a lot of them out there.
I yammer on about this to introduce the concept of helping others stoke the flame. I’ve recently contacted a group of talented friends of mine who take great photos, and smatterings of their work are going to appear in future blog posts. I like blogs with pictures in them, and I genuinely like the folks whose work I’ll be sharing, so keep an eye out for mesmerizing magic from the likes of: David Cole, Torrey Cook-Pless, David Pless, Roma Assaff, Tara Johnson, and D’Arcy Evans (visit his website at: http://darcyevans.com/links.htm ) to name a few. Oh, and if anyone else has pictures/artwork they’d like to see on here, please message me through the “contact” link on this website. If they suit my fancy, and are in context with a future blog topic, I’ll be happy to share them and give you full credit as I have with the ever talented Helene Anne Fortin’s portrait pic on my homepage.
So, pull up a chair, say hello to someone, and make an effort to foster their creativity. It takes nothing from us to support the dreams and talents of others. In fact, it gives back in abundance.