By ESX Chairman George De Marco
There is a reason people say “It’s all about connections.” Developing and maintaining a strong network is one of the most important and overlooked aspects of building a successful business and career – and it’s more than just handing out or collecting business cards at events or gaining an online presence with a large group of followers.
Whether building a better business, excelling in your career, or achieving personal goals, it takes a diverse group of mentors, guides and supporters to help push you to the next level. This doesn’t mean your network is filled with only like-minded colleagues and peers. Having the right network will connect you with those who will provide valuable feedback, meaningful support, and further your connections. A strong, strategic network will challenge you with what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear.
Successful people understand it takes a village to reach their full potential; however, there are often obstacles to attaining a viable network. Some people are unaware of the importance of networking, others don’t know where to start or are hesitant to ask for help. And then there are those who just think they can succeed alone.
It is important to reach out, though, because strategic networking will positively impact your business and personal life. It can help you find new employees, provide insights to solve business problems and help establish a personal brand. Through quality networking, finding the right mentors, guides and advocates who are willing to help you is priceless.
The purpose of building a network is not just about you – it’s about building a strong, strategic network based on mutually beneficial relationships. Sharing your business experience and expertise with others and contributing to a community are very rewarding. Connections made and nurtured by consistent networking benefits all parties involved, and although the benefits might go unnoticed in the short term, they could pay off big down the road. As your relationship develops, you’ll discover how to add value to them as well.
Even if the benefits aren’t always financially rewarding, the camaraderie created by networking can be a helpful motivator, confidence-booster, and source of inspiration. Talking with people whose businesses face similar situations can reveal new solutions, may expose new opportunities, and reminds you that you aren’t the only one with challenges. Networking doesn’t always have to be a formal affair either; casual environments make people more comfortable, allowing them to open up and think with a fresh mind.
I always get excited for opportunities to grow my network and meet up with friends I’ve made over the years. One of my favorite places to do that is at ESX, where there are plenty of formal and casual opportunities to mix and mingle. This year’s event will include an Opening Celebration, Pub Crawl and a VIP Experience at the Indy Speedway, all of which are sure to be enjoyable outings that unite industry professionals and friends. I encourage you to join me at ESX 2019 for great networking opportunities that will do your business and career good!