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Networking 101 – The Power of Networking

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An interesting thing happened to me a number of years ago – actually an interesting couple of things happened to me this week, one of which (and it is the one that is pertinent to this discussion) is quite a story.

Around 2004 (or thereabouts), I was privileged to meet Dr Saskia De Klerk from the University of Potchefstroom. Saskia was the guest speaker at a Business Engage, Hot Tables dinner (www.businessengage.co.za) and she was doing this whole thing on Networking for women. I took part in a questionnaire that she gave out as she was doing a paper on the subject. Over the years Saskia and I have kept in touch from time to time and sometime in around 2008, she asked me if I would allow myself to be interviewed by one of her students who was doing her PhD (I think) on Networking. Of course I agreed and we met for coffee and a very long chat about Networking, which as most have you have discovered, is one of my favourite topics.

The student (lets call her Jane) promised to let me have a copy of the paper once it was written and I left feeling great and that I had done my good deed for the day.

Time went by and I forgot all about this and carried on with life, not even giving it another thought – until early in 2010 when I got an e-mail from Jane. “What a lovely surprise” I thought and it really made my day when I read the mail telling me that she had passed with a distinction and thanking me for participating and also confirming that she would send me a copy of the paper soon.

Now here comes the great bit . . Jane was now a lecturer at the University of Johannesburg and she was lecturing on Marketing Development and she asked me to come and do a presentation to her students on Networking and how to use Networking as an effective Marketing tool – how cool is that! A whole bunch of youngsters, many of who will become entrepreneurs and small business owners, in their own right. New people who I will now have met and have contact with and who will form part of my database.

A whole bunch of youngsters who will have friends, family and colleagues who I can ‘tap’ into and who I can now start doing business with or through.

Man, this whole Networking thing has such incredible possibilities and it gives such incredible rewards – all because I work it and use it effectively!

The date and time was booked and I was ready to go! What an amazing experience it was – hungry minds devouring everything that they were given. What joy it gave me and what a responsibility to have, helping to shape the minds of our youth. I am truly grateful for this experience.

 

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