I’m sure that everyone has had that moment when you have to stop and ask yourself:
“Why do I do what I do?”
We ask ourselves things like this when we have moments when we feel frustration, anxiety and __(fill in the blank)__ about our life’s work.
Face it. There are times when a customer or client pushes us to the limit or perhaps our boss is beginining to get on your case. Maybe you are going through a dry spell. Business isn’t quite as good as it was and you begin to question wheither you have been doing everything you can to live up to your responsibilities to your business.
Maybe your relationship at home isn’t working so well. (Perhaps a relationship “tune-up” might help.) Have you ever noticed that your personal realtionships color your business relationships? Novus Card Services (the Discover Card people) hired me several years ago to present two relationship seminars at their regional office in Phoenix designed to help their people have better “personal” relationships at home. Very smart HR leader. The seminars were voluntary and they had record attendance at both seminars.
One of the key elements of successful business networking is to know why you do what you do and what you have to do to get to where you want to go; goal-wise; personally and financially. You must discover the answer to the question before you dive into the deep end of the networking pool. In other words, most activities in networking will most likely not work for you until you get to the real core of the “Why do I do what I do?” issue.
Knowing your purpose is the key! It will help you answer the question: “Why do I do what I do?”
Proceeding with intentionality, discipline and vigor doesn’t work if you don’t know why you are in the line of work you do and don’t really know why you do it.” Setting goals doesn’t work if you don’t know why you do what you do. There is really nothing to zero in on.
Doubt runs rampant. There is really no steam behind what you do. The frequency of your efforts are eratic and unchecked. Nothing seems to be going right. Everyone has business but you.
What gets – and keeps – you going? What’s your carrot? Money alone does not create the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that many of us are seeking. In answering the questions, I’m looking for answers that tell me that you are passionate about what you do; that you absolutely in love with what you do and what you do helps you demonstrate your feeling of self-worth. If you are not fully committed to your position how can you sell someone else on the possibility of trusting you enough to refer their business leads to you and – later down the line – doing business with you?
Part of your answer should be that you do what you do because of the feeling of growing as an individual or becoming more competent, more efficient and overall a better person. Or maybe it’s the thrill of competition. It should be an intellectual challenge, one that can help you reach a state of independence.
If what you do leaves you feeling unappreciated, unfulfilled and perhaps you’ve even said privately, “I can’t stand this job!” then perhaps it’s time to make some new choices. To not do so will only keep you in the same old rut. The mind is unable to focus on the reverse of an idea.
My suggestion is that until you can honestly answer this question (and others), you may want to consider taking a sabbatical from networking. Can you understand why? If you are not totally sold on what you do, you cannot sell the concept successfully to anyone else. Therefore the success ratio of effective business networking gets flushed down the toilet.
I believe that you must continually inquire of yourself. Ask yourself this question and many others. It will help you stay on track.
A guest at one of my recent weddings told me, “What a beautiful wedding ceremony. . . the best I’ve ever heard. It is very obvious that you love what you do!” He was absolutely right and I was glad he noticed.
When you feel good about yourself (first) and what you do. . . you feel more willing to share what you know with others and in return. . . you earn their respect and trust as you begin to reap the benefits of networking.
BONUS Article: “Networking: A Crash Course in Personal Development”
NOTE: Worth watching! Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” Beginning as a student in anthropology, Simon Sinek turned his fascination with people into a career of convincing people to do what inspires them. Watch his 18 minute video.
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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