How do you go from being a struggling young professional in business to a successful leader in your industry?
I understand that regardless of what industry you’re in, growing above your competition can be a challenge. However, don’t forget that if you’re in this difficult position right now of not knowing what to do, there are many successful people’s journeys who began right where you are now. And, many of them are sharing the strategies they used to achieve the extraordinary levels of success that they have today after overcoming the very same challenges you may be facing today.
So, we’re breaking down lessons from one of America’s foremost entrepreneurial experts. Patrick Bet-David shares the impactful lessons that led to his business success and the best advice he’s learned from growing his own business from the ground up. And, in his book, Your Next Five Moves, Bet-David teaches entrepreneurs how to be more strategic and build wildly successful businesses.
We’ve put together the top ways that you can use networking in combination with Bet-David’s frameworks to grow your business starting today.
Why Ignoring Networking Will Cost You Time and Sales
To see success in your business, you need to grow and scale.
Definition: “Growth means adding resources at the same rate that you’re adding revenue. For example, a company that gains a customer, hires more people to service them, and adds revenue at the same rate it is adding more cost…While the company is technically growing, they’re not scaling. Scale is about adding revenue at a rapid rate while adding resources at an incremental rate…quickly adding customers while adding fewer additional resources; thus, driving consistent growth and increasing margin over time.”
You can scale your company through networking to see results that are revolutionary for your business.
First, let’s dive a little deeper into what scaling is and how it works in your business.
The Four Areas of Focus for Scaling
The four areas of focus for scaling (which I sometimes call the “Scale Matrix”, you’ll see why right below) are as follows.
*Image provided by Patrick Bet-David at Valuetainment
Let’s talk about each quadrant briefly and then cover how networking will unlock each area to scale and accelerate the growth of your business.
Business Development / Relationships / Sales
Exactly as it says above:
- Business Development: ideas, initiatives, and activities that develop (and implement) scale opportunities. (For example, by cultivating partnerships or other commercial relationships, or identifying new markets for its products or services.)
- Relationships: your connections to the people who can either serve as your potential customers themselves or who can (and are hopefully willing to) refer you to the people who might be your future customers.
- Sales: your usual transactions with any customers you currently have and are bringing in.
You might think that this would be my favorite part of the scale matrix because its three elements tie so directly into having business relationships, whatever form those relationships might take or look like.
But, this is still low-level networking. It still falls within the “linear scaling” quadrant and we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet.
This might be where you tap into your network to recruit high-quality talent who support your current operating systems (people who drive the organization by supporting its common structure, principles, and practices necessary to run and function smoothly).
In terms of networking, this could look like being introduced to people who are a great culture fit for your organization and, at the same time, also excel at their responsibilities. (These are your dream candidates.)
This is still good, but not yet as high-level of a use of networking as it could be.
Next Innovative Campaign
Who is the biggest toy distributor in the world?
Take a minute to really think about it. (I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Amazon.)
The biggest toy distributor in the world right now (at the time of this article’s writing, of course) is actually McDonald’s.
That’s the power of an innovative campaign. Someone comes up with an idea that creates a whole shift in the marketplace and has them clamouring at your door for what you have to offer.
Sometimes, all it takes is one innovative connection to give you that uniquely creative idea that skyrockets your business to new heights. (Never underestimate the power of keeping innovative-thinking people around you.)
One of the biggest factors top investors look at when they’re investing in any company is who the leader is. Are they reliable? Do they finish what they start? Are they driven and hard-working? Are they ambitious?
They look for these factors because they’re the strongest indicators of whether or not a company will do well. You are your greatest indicator of whether or not your business will succeed.
Therefore, developing yourself as a leader is about more than attracting investors. It’s also about securing the skills that will enable you to build, grow, and scale a successful business whether investors are involved or not.
That personal independence to achieve your goals without others because you have the skills to do so is very empowering both for you and those you lead.
How To Win Clients and Influence Markets with Great Business Networking
#1. Raise Your NI (Networking Intelligence)
Your networking intelligence is your capacity to effectively network to achieve life-relevant goals.
The measure of your networking intelligence is your “Networking Quotient” (NQ).
So, when you hear or read that someone has a high “networking quotient,” that’s referring to people who have a good grasp of professional networking, and/or the skills and attitudes to influence professional relationships (there is an overlap between simply knowing and understanding networking and one’s capacity to actually go out and network effectively).
If you want to win more clients and scale your business well, you need to raise your NI.
This can include practicing tips such as “don’t spam” and “keep things fairly professional in the beginning”, but it also goes deeper into more advanced territory such as building a robust Rockefeller Rolodex and using strategic double opt-in introductions.
#2. Connect and Collaborate with the Right People
It’s possible to be capable of networking masterfully and yet still lose out in your business because you’re networking with the wrong people.
A common mistake of most networkers is going to online networking events with no entry barriers that they didn’t take the time to do their due diligence on. That’s how you wind up on a Zoom call with 30 other people who are all trying to sell you something.
Get in the right circles and get to know the right people, and then your NI will be put to good use.
#3. Keep Your Value-Giving Relationships Warm
Some people know how to get to know people and start their business relationships well. Where they tend to struggle is in the follow-up.
If you don’t know how to keep your relationships alive, your networking will be practically pointless outside of quick, one-off collaborations.
So, make sure to keep your relationships with givers warm by keeping in touch (while strategically avoiding the takers). It’s the best way to see bigger returns on your networking and turn your professional relationships into real, genuine friendships over time.
How to Plan Your Next 15 Moves as an Entrepreneur
A framework model delivered by Patrick Bet-David, here’s how to plan your next 15 moves and where networking comes into play to make your next moves successful.
#1. Massive Life Goals
- Make a list of your life goals: sit by yourself, introspect, and write them down.
- Eliminate what you can live without: eliminate the small, little desires that don’t evoke the most emotion within you.
- Identify the top five things you can’t live without: identify the non-negotiables you feel like you have to have (regardless of what others might think of those goals).
- List them by sequence and not by desire: which goal will lead to another one?
This will set the foundation for identifying who you need to connect with, what you need from them to reach your goals, and what skill sets you might need to develop in order to make your goals a reality.
#2. Who’s Life Do You Want To Model?
- List the names of people whose lives you want to model: and identify what aspects of each person’s life you want to combine together in order to create the life that you want.
- Study the route they took: Who did they shadow? What route did they take with their first 15 moves? Who was in their ear (their coaches and advisors)? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What were their biggest falls and biggest victories?
This will give you even more clarity on who you want to connect with and who you might want to prioritize building a relationship with based on who is currently living the closest to the life you want.
#3. What Emotions Does It Produce When You Visualize These Goals?
If your plans so far evoke powerful emotions within you, you’re on the right track.
If not, this is where you need to go back to the drawing board and put a little more effort into truly identifying what it is that will create those strong emotions for you.
Make sure to give this step adequate time before moving forward. (Depending on how well you already know yourself and what moves you emotionally, it may take minutes, hours, or days. Sometimes, as Patrick Bet-David notes, it can even take weeks.)
#4. What You Need
*Image provided by Patrick Bet-David at Valuetainment
What kinds of people do you need in your life?
- Shadow: Who do you need to shadow?
- Customers: What kinds of customers or clients do you need?
- Advisors: What advisors do you need?
- Believers: Who do you have that fully knows you’re going places?
- Enemies: Are you comfortable with having enemies as you move forward on your journey?
Keep in mind, if you’re not comfortable with having any enemies, the size of your “massive life goals” might be limited by your comfort levels.
Big dreams often spark competition and unfriendliness from people. And, not everyone you meet along your journey will be collaborative or friendly. So, getting comfortable with having enemies early will allow you to be comfortable with having bigger, massive life goals (regardless of the negative judgment it might incite from others).
What skills do you need to develop?
- People Skills
- Sales Skills
- Networking Skills
- Social Media Skills
- Marketing Skills
- Negotiation Skills
Keep in mind here, developing your networking skills can lead to:
- Better business opportunities: a more powerful network means a more powerful position in the marketplace. More people and leaders in today’s business world prefer to engage in transactions specifically with people they trust. And, your relationship-building skills will be the glue that fortifies that trust.
- Increased status: The first level of networking is “what you know”. The second level is, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” which garners you more status and social points. But, most people don’t realize that there’s a third, higher level the top businesspeople play at. “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” And, the more you network in the circles that you want to play in, the more your name circulates in those circles, and your status rises (given that you’re also presenting yourself as high-power and friendly).
- Enhanced knowledge: whether that’s tapping into insider information or getting solid advice and expertise you wouldn’t otherwise have or reaching new opportunities for advanced training, conferences, and mentoring relationships that you might’ve otherwise missed, your networking will put you at an information advantage above your competition in the marketplace. (The only thing left to do will be to apply that information, which is always most important. Yet, it starts with having the best information to apply and most people competing for business in the marketplace won’t even have that.)
You’d also be surrounding yourself with more positive, uplifting people who are positive influences in your life that help you grow and thrive.
What tools do you need to acquire?
- Resources: money and connections
- Mindset: to finish what you start and be resilient in the face of adversity (develop a thick skin)
#5. Your Vehicle To Get There
Let’s say you want to become a wildly successful podcaster. What vehicle are you going to use to get there?
Sometimes the space you’re playing in might connect to another one that you also want to play in. For example, a book you write might become a TV show one day. And, that TV show might become a podcast. So, being an author was your vehicle to becoming a podcaster.
Bet-David uses the example of Arnold Schwarzenegger using bodybuilding as a vehicle to get into making movies while Dwayne Johnson used football and wrestling as a vehicle to get into the film industry as well.
What is going to be your vehicle? Get clear on that and then use it as your route to your biggest goals. (And, use your network to support your journey on the route you decide on.)
#6. Your Potential Threats
Potential threats to your goals:
- Marrying the wrong person
- Getting too comfortable in your winnings
- Running out of money
- Getting bored
- Having the wrong people in your ear
- Forgetting where you came from
There are many ways that successful businesspeople are different from unsuccessful ones. But the most pronounced difference is in how they think. It’s incredible how stark the contrast can be between the way that unsuccessful individuals view the world and their relationships within it, and the way that successful businesspeople view the world and their relationships.
As you think about this article, ask yourself: “How much of this did I already know?” If you find that you only knew a few, or maybe less, that’s OK. Learning is a part of the process. What separates the high achievers from the rest isn’t that they already know everything, it’s that they have a drive to learn anything they don’t already know that can contribute to the achievement of their goals.
Focus on networking rather than “just building your business.” Care for your relationships and your relationships will care for you. Learn something new each day. And, most importantly, take massive action on the best information you discover to get what you want out of life.