Networking HQ BLOG with Larry James

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Skinny on The Spirit of “NetworthLessness”

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Networking Tip — Larry James @ 8:00 am

Susan RoAne, Guest Author

“Networthless”, an amalgam word, was featured in a recent Sprit Magazine’s Business Dictionary . It was created from network, net worth and worthless and, I’ll admit, is clever in a wordsmithy way. Thanks to author and speaker, Joanne Black, for bringing it to my attention.

chalkboardNails on a Networking Chalkboard

As I read the definitions and “usage” I could hear and feel nails scraping on a chalk board. The definitions: 1. Lacking in networking value 2. A term used to describe a conversation at a convention or conference that yields no career benefit. Really??? The spirit and concept of “you never know” networking/serendipity/chance encounters play an important role in professional and personal endeavors. Who among us has not had an chance encounter and what seemed to be a casual conversation, yield an unexpected reward?

Pejoratively Speaking

The example of usage was even more irksome to this lifelong connector and networker who wrote one of the classics: The Secrets of Savvy Networking. “Skillful opportunists avoid networthless encounters…”

For those who doubt the rewards of casual, even irrelevant conversation, watch The Big Kahuna with Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito.

The Opportunist of a Lifetime

A number of years ago a colleague and I attended a San Francisco business event and met an impeccably dressed and accessorized perfectly pleasant fellow, He held a PH.D and intended to expand his consulting into the business arena and world of professional speaking.

After several encounters, my friend concluded he was an opportunist. Over the years, I’ve read in the society pages about his trajectory in San Francisco social circles via two subsequent (opportunistic) marriages. My friend nailed his intentions and networking methods and more importantly, his character.

However, there are those who create, see, seize and SHARE opportunities. They are an inspiration and I featured them in How To Create Your Own Luck. But, there are those whom we know to be opportunists; a pejorative and richly deserved term to describe those who MUST see an immediate benefit in all they do. They are the people who give “networking” a bad name.

My question about this term “networthless” is: How do you know the long range effect of an interaction?

More to the point: How can you predict the worth of something you chose to avoid?

HowtoworkaroomCopyright 2011 – Susan RoAne – Reprinted with permission. Susan RoAne is the leading authority and original expert on how to work a room. She is a speaker and author who has worked trade shows, conventions, planes, and the bleachers at Wrigley Field, and taught others to do the same. Her latest book, How to Create Your Own Luck: The You Never Know Approach to Networking, Taking Chances, and Opening Yourself to Opportunity, is out and her other books include How to Work a Room and The Secrets of Savvy Networking. To learn more call 415-239-2224. For further information:, or e-mail @:

netHQLarry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. 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!”

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: Larry James, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

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1 Comment »

  1. […] For those who doubt the rewards of casual, even irrelevant conversation, watch The Big Kahuna with Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito. Read complete article………………. […]

    Pingback by The Skinny on The Spirit of “NetworthLessness” | Networking Advocate | Business Networking Events — Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 3:18 am | Reply

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