Don’t just talk about how important contribution is to networking, Be it! Be contribution. Work to become known as someone who is always willing to help others in your network.
Contributing to others is one of the most important principles of networking. Before you think about asking for help from those in your network, you should ask others about their needs and offer to assist them. When you offer to help others, it is important for you to follow up on your promise.
It doesn’t pay to be selfish or self-centered. Only self-centered people reach their level of incompetence. When your energy is self-directed it is easy to lose touch with who you can be for others. Self-centeredness is an energy drain. It will have you only pay attention to yourself. Not good. “Me only” doesn’t work. It causes your focus to be on only you. Contribution is a two-way street. The famous psychiatrist, Alfred Adler said, “It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow man who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from such individuals that all human failure springs.”
We are called to share our lives with others. It is important to understand that contribution can be like a candle. Have you ever noticed that a candle loses none of its power by lighting another candle? In fact, as long as a candle burns, there is no limit to the number of other candles it can light. This is because it is the channel for an energy, which comes from a limitless source.
Often, without our even being aware of it, we contribute. A simple word or gesture can serve to bring inspiration or healing to someone else’s life. Our primary responsibility is to keep our own light shining brightly! Brighten the corner where you are.
A burning candle is no less a burning candle after it has shared its flame to light another candle. Never fear that bringing light to the lives of others will deplete your own light. As with the burning candle, the Source of your light is unlimited. You can never be less than who you are when you are willing to give a part of yourself to others to make a difference in their lives. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world.”
It is important to remember that whatever you put out to the universe, the universe will put out to you. If you put out a negative attitude, you will attract that which you give out. If you give out good vibrations, you will find people of like mind being attracted to you. A farmer doesn’t plant corn and expect tomatoes. The Bible says it best; “You reap what you sow.”
Contribute to yourself first. Me first is okay. When you take good care of yourself, you cannot help but take good care of others. Author Cherry Hartman said, “Put yourself first. You can’t be anything for anybody else unless you take care of yourself.”
Contributing to yourself is paramount. It is most conspicuous in its absence. Be good to yourself first. You feel better when you exercise 3 or 4 times weekly for periods of 15 to 20 minutes. You feel better when you do not have to work so hard breathing the smoke from cigarettes. You feel better when you eat the right foods, take vitamins, cut out alcohol and drugs, and drink drinks without caffeine. Get lots of rest and occasionally treat yourself to a relaxing full-body massage. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The first wealth is health.” The ultimate contribution is to yourself. Take care of yourself. You are often your own biggest obstacle. It’s a contribution you must be committed to. . . first.
For you to be able to effectively contribute, you must be able to accept contribution from others. Remember, you can’t give away something you don’t have. If you are not supportable, you will find it difficult to support others. Allow others to make a contribution to you.
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton
Make a contribution to other people. Be giving. Give unto others, as you would have them give unto you. Those who give willingly, get. Share. Make a new commitment, “Help others help themselves.” It is not possible to help someone else. It is possible to help others help themselves. Success is a by-product of contribution.
Make sure you have an understanding of the needs and interests of people in your network so you can provide them with referrals, important information, job and business leads or resources. In order to network effectively and genuinely, you must continuously contribute to others. This builds trust and credibility within your networking circles. It takes time to reach this level, and it is well worth the extra effort.
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. From the chapter, “Contribute!” in Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.
Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://www.AuthorsandSpeakerNetwork.wordpress.com/