Don’t find fault, find a remedy. –Henry Ford
5 Reasons to Network in a Tough Economy by Thom Singer
It seems in boom-boom times many professionals forget that they are not alone in their outstanding success. They bask in the glow of the big deals and high income and start believing that they are the central cause for their own glory.Welcome to the recession.Now people who ignored others and felt invincible are feeling the pinch of hard times. Alas, they are frantically going back to the basics of business, and one of those basics is realizing that nobody succeeds in a vacuum. Seems networking is a hot topic.
Here are 5 reasons that your network is important in a tough economy:
1. All opportunities come from people. Those who were “too busy” to go to lunch or invest time in cultivating meaningful relationships are hungry to network. In a tough economy any and all referral sources become important to survival. If you want more sales, the people you know can be the conduit to discovering new clients.
2. Your network is your safety net. If you get caught in a lay-off it is the people in your network who can help you find your next employer or lead you to consulting gigs. Additionally those with whom you have already developed mutually beneficial relationships are the ones who will be available for moral support if and when you need it. If you have no network, these tough times can seem very lonely.
3. When marketing budgets are cut, word-of-mouth is your only hope. If you cannot afford marketing, PR and advertising, you need to get out and spread the word yourself. But you can only go so far, thus having strong contacts who understand the value you bring can multiply your visibility by telling others about you and your products / services.
4. We learn from others. Being around other intelligent and creative people can motivate and inspire you to succeed. If you have a network of contacts with whom you share information, you cultivate an environment of learning. When you learn you grow. When you are stagnate you die.
5. If you are not networking, remember – your competitors ARE networking! Out of sight is out of mind. If the success of your business in this economy is important to you then you will find a way to make it to the breakfasts, luncheons and “after hours” events. Yes, it is time consuming, but with more people out seeking to make connections, you can rest assured that your competition is trying to meet your customers. If you stay home you are giving them a free pass to begin to build relationships that can and will lead them to future business.
Why the Cheap Will Never Get Rich
by Robert Kiyosaki
The other day a friend of mine approached me excitedly, saying, “I found the house of my dreams. It’s in foreclosure and the bank will sell it to me for a great price.”
“How good is the price?” I asked.
“Just before the real estate market crashed, the seller was asking $780,000 for the property. Today, I can buy it from the bank for $215,000. What do you think?” she asked.
“How would I know?” I replied. “All you’ve given me is the price.”
“Yes!” she squealed. “Now my husband and I can afford it.”
“Only cheap people buy on price,” I replied. “Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth the cost.”
I then explained to her one of my most basic money principles: I buy value. I will pay more for value. If I don’t like the price, I simply pass. If the seller wants to sell, he will come back with a better price. I let him tell me what he will accept. I know some people love to haggle; personally, I don’t. If a person wants to sell, they will sell. If I feel what I am buying is of value, I’ll pay the price. Value rather than price has made me rich.
Against my advice, my friend sought financing for her “dream” home.
Fortunately, the bank turned her down. The house was on a busy street in a deteriorating neighborhood. The high school four blocks away was one of the most dangerous schools in the city. Her son and daughter would either have to go to private school or take karate lessons. She is now looking for a cheaper house to buy and has asked her father, who is retired, for help with the down payment. If her past is a crystal ball to her future, she will likely always be cheap and poor, even though she is a good, kind, educated, hard-working person.
My Point of View
What follows are some thoughts on why my friend will probably never get ahead financially — especially in this market.
1. She and her husband have college degrees but zero financial education. Even worse, neither plans to attend any investment classes. Choosing to remain financially uneducated has caused them to miss out on the greatest bull and bear markets in history. As my rich dad often said, “What you don’t know keeps you poor.”
2. She is too emotional. In the world of money and investing, you must learn to control your emotions. When you think about it, three of our biggest financial decisions in life are made at times of peak emotional excitement: deciding to get married, buying a home, and having kids.
My dad often said, “High emotions, low intelligence.” To be rich, you need to see the good and the bad, the short- and long-term consequences of your decisions. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but it’s key to building wealth.
3. She doesn’t know the difference between advice from rich people and advice from sales people. Most people get their financial advice from the latter — people who profit even if you lose. One reason why financial education is so important is because it helps you know the difference between good and bad advice.
As the current crisis demonstrates, our schools teach very little about money management. Millions of people are living in fear because they followed conventional wisdom: Go to school, get a job, work hard, save money, buy a house, get out of debt, and invest for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds. Many people who followed this financial prescription are not sleeping at night. They need a new plan. Had they sought out a little financial education, they might not be entangled in this mess.
A Thank You to Jon Stewart
Speaking of finance experts, I personally want to thank Jon Stewart of ‘The Daily Show’ for taking on Jim Cramer and CNBC. Jon Stewart did an incredible job of representing the millions of people all over the world who have lost their savings in the market. He was right in saying he thought it “disingenuous” to advise people to invest for the long term through their retirement plans while knowing full well that traders could steal Americans’ retirement money by trading in and out of the market. Most traders like Cramer realize that investing in mutual funds for the long term is financial suicide. Cramer should have spoken up, but we all know why CNBC won’t let him tell the truth. If he did, the station’s advertisers would leave.
While I applaud Cramer for going on ‘The Daily Show’ and facing the music, I’m afraid he was marginalized by Stewart — certainly outgunned — and he has lost his credibility. He may pay an even bigger price if the SEC decides to dig deeper.
Jim Cramer is a very smart man. I watch his show. I just do not follow his advice.
In closing, I will say what I have said for years: We need financial education in our schools. Without it, we cannot tell the good advice from the bad.
This morning At the Yaletown chapter of High Output Business network where I am a member ,it was my pleasure to bring along a good friend of mine Ryan Thomas. Ryan is making history in Vancouver with the world’s largest Yoga event taking place at BC Place Stadium on July 12th, 2009. There was a large amount of buzz in the room this morning while Ryan told the group about what he is doing and many members were clambering to participate. The project started with a fitness guide but has morphed into an event that Guiness is going to be on hand to recognize as the largest of its kind ever to take place. All proceeds of the event will be going to local children’s charities. Stay tuned to www.fitguide.ca as details will be released shortly.
The guide itself is full of useful tips and tricks for a healthy lifestyle and lots of great offers from local health facilities. The book is available for $25 and it will also get you a free ticket to the record breaking event. In the short term feel free to contact me for more details. Neil Hamilton of Stay Positive BC and the facilitator of the Yaletown meeting was quick to offer the support of Stay Positive and I think the two organizations will be a great fit for one another. I look forward to seeing where this goes, stay tuned for more info soon.
With all the negativity being reported in the news these days a whisper of optimism is a breath of fresh air. A group of local business people in Vancouver being lead by Neil Hamilton, Robert Arthurs, Tatsuya Nakagawa and Bonnie Sainsbury are leading the charge to keep the good news flowing.
One of the local newspapers published this article http://www.metronews.ca/vancouver/local/article/206172 in lead up to a big networking event being put on by the group. I would highly recommed anyone in the Vancovuer area to get more invovled and those who do not live in Vancouver to take some insipration by what these folks are doing and launch a similar initiative in your city. Perspective is everything and taking a possitive outlook can go a long way to bring each and every one of us great success.