‘Networking’ is one of the buzz words of the 21st century. There’s no doubt that the modern world is a networked one. We watch, listen and read online on different networks. We talk on them. We text on them. While many of us balk at the thought of ‘networking’, however, the simple fact is that we should all do it and we all have the means to do so!
Let’s see how good YOU are at networking! Take this test…
In the past decade, social networks have been transformative. Take the power of the parenting website Mumsnet. Each month it gets nearly the same number of page views as there are UK citizens – more than 60 million. Amazing!
But social media networks aren’t enough. Despite the power of digital networking, face-to-face contact is still hugely important. Let’s face it – is there any substitute for actually looking into someone’s eyes and listening to their voice? One-to-one contact not only creates a ‘feelgood’ factor – it fosters trust.
Learning how to network today isn’t complicated, but it does require confidence. All you need are curiosity and a willingness to meet others. By her own admission, Julia Hobsbawm failed academically at school and didn’t go to university. Yet, more than 30 years later, the world’s first ‘Professor of Networking’ (having been made Honorary Visiting Professor by London’s Cass Business School) has built up her own networks to draw on, stretching from London to New York, from politics to academia.
‘Building up your own networks is like building your fitness,’ she says. ‘You don’t diet and lose weight overnight, or run a marathon in a week. You painstakingly change behaviour, find out what works and what doesn’t and keep going.’
One man who has never shied away from what doesn’t work in business is entrepreneur, George Mordaunt.
Mordaunt has had many business interests, including property, fashion, hospitality and leisure, but, over the last 30 years, he has tasted the success of a booming business AND the heartbreak of total failure, and his resolve, energy and creativity fascinate many people. In late 2011, he became a national figure when he published his first book entitled ‘Shepherd’s Pie’, his account of the fallout of being self employed during the financial crisis.
In 2013, Mordaunt continued to tell his story by publishing a second book entitled ‘Back in The Driving Seat’, which not only addressed issues that burdened many people throughout Ireland during its very fragile recovery, but which also called on people to ignore the fear of banks and to actively take charge of their own personal recovery. Mordaunt openly addressed the urgent need to self educate while challenging Ireland’s self employed to become more tech savvy, more creative and to strive to help ensure individuality within their specific industry. Mordaunt’s delivery is often very direct, painfully honest and very independent. He doesn’t believe in holding back or answering any question by relying on ‘politically correct positions’. His recovery has been motivational and his honesty and acceptance of failure are refreshing.
Smart Business Show
Motivational, natural speakers and skilled marketers, Julia Hobsbawm and George Mordant will soon be appearing in Dublin. Find out more here.