I’ve been actively networking for many years now – since 1980 – and I can say honestly that business networking will definitely teach you patience. So many people get involved in networking when they really need business right away. Sorry. Networking doesn’t work that way.
Begin actively networking now and reap the results later. That’s called, “delayed gratification!” Deferred gratification, is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a bigger reward later.
Would you rather have a bag of chips now, or tickets to an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game in three days? Rachel Barclay concludes that in order to choose the game tickets, you don’t just have to resist the short-term gratification that the chips would give you. You also have to be able to imagine the baseball game – the excitement, the roar of the crowds, the smell of beer and hot dogs – in order to decide that the game is more fun than eating the bag of chips you can see right in front of you.
I’ve witnessed many people who join a networking group only to make fast money… and, if they don’t make money or get any results in the first few months, they become frustrated and quit. They prefer not to wait, and to have it now. This has also resulted in a mentality that if results are not seen immediately, then it is best to give up and try something else. Networking is not a quick fix. Delayed gratification is much harder than it sounds. Networking is not for those people. It’s for people who have vision; those who can see into the future and can wait for networking to start working. It’s about learning to see the big picture down the road.
Success in networking doesn’t happen overnight. First comes the relationship with other networkers, and gradually – over time – you will earn their trust and respect and business will begin to come your way.
“The delayed gratification in [networking] is a sign of higher emotional intelligence. In a recent study of emotional intelligence, it was found that people who could delay gratification often led more successful lives than those who could not.” ~ Jeng Cua
By developing a network of support – people working toward a common goal, you can ensure a strong residual pay-out that will last for many years to come. I am where I am today because I didn’t quit networking when I was discouraged. I began to learn impulse control. I became familiar with delayed gratification when one of my mentors encourage me to stick with it for another 6 months and asked me to promise not to quit. Amazing things began to happen, slowly at first, but when people began to understand my business and got to know me better, and recognized my willingness to help others before expecting any results of my own, things began to click! Thank you, Keith Belknap! You are my hero!
“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by cracking it open and poking around inside to see what’s holding things up.” ~ Arnold Glasgow
It seems that a person’s ability to delay gratification may depend on how trustworthy the person perceives networking to be. If they attend a group where they seldom observe anyone giving or receiving business referrals, the conclusion could be that networking doesn’t work. In my work as a networking coach I often get asked to speak to networking groups. I alway observe the way the people work together, whether they are exchanging business referrals or if their group has become only a place to meet once a week, do their “30-second connection” (so they get to plug your business, hoping someone will buy their product or service), and during the week there is no focus on looking for business referrals to bring to the meeting. Those kind of groups do not work! They have become nothing more than a weekly social gathering.
If you are involved in business networking… be patient. Learn all you can about the skills necessary to make it work and be patient as you apply those skills. Delayed gratification pays off big when can allow yourself the patience to win big in the end!
“Attend each [networking] event with a sense of wonder; ‘I wonder what magical opportunities will come from the connections I meet today?” ~ Mindy Selinger, Author of “Face-to-Face Networking Skills“
BONUS Articles: Thinking Cap: Delaying Gratification
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking 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!”
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