ďYou donít know what you donít know, and you canít see what you canít see.Ē
That statement will not make sense, until it makes sense! No Iíve not taken up the good old Aussie custom of smoking a bong to ďchill outĒ. I wouldnít know a bong if it hit me in the face! Yes, some would say Iíve had a deprived childhood Ö Iíve also never been drunk in my life, I donít smoke, and Iíve only ever been intimate with my wife. What can I say, Iím a computer geek! Iím high on life Ö who needs all that other stuff?
Still donít know what Iím on about?
Well let me try and make it clearerÖ Thatís how it all started, I noticed that now that Iím officially on the non-flattering side of 40 that my computer screen is not as clear is it used to be Ö even after I cleaned it.
All my life Iíve been proud of the fact that I donít need glasses, that I have perfect eyesight. WRONG!
My optometrist (yes I have one now) tells me I have been long sighted all my life! How is that possible without me realising? Well my eye muscles were strong enough to compensate and allowed me to focus and read things even really close and small Ö so no problem there. One could say I have a six-pack in my eyes (my wife would rather it be my abs). So while Iíve been able to see ďperfectlyĒ, it came at a cost. It meant that my eyes had to work much harder to see normally, and as a result it makes you really tired.
This explains why I love my sleep so much, and why I sometimes just ďcrashĒ. The funny thing is, I knew it Ö I just never realised it. I always referred to my eyes being tired. I never went to an optometrist because I never thought I needed one.
Being in business is much the same. To some extent running a successful business is a closely guarded secret. There is so much to know, even when we think we know enough. It is only when we look at it through someone elseís eyes that we see what they see. Thatís why I enjoy networking with other people so much. So often Iíve heard people say that there is no benefit to them to go to these networking functions. You donít know what youíre missing!
Hey, I donít even know what YOU are missing Ö the only way youíll find out is by GOING, and LISTENING. Telling other people what you know only reinforces what you know. Listening on the other hand allows you to grow. A large car manufacturer once saved $200 million dollars as a result of implementing a simple procedure that the janitor suggested. No one else had thought of it before. How much more value could you get from other business people Ö even if you consider them ďjanitorsĒ by your standards?
Personally Iíve been truly amazed at the calibre of people we have coming along to these events. The diversity of people and businesses is also interesting to note. Have I ever got business directly from someone I met at an SBN networking breakfast? Well actually I have, lots Ö we do internet marketing, website development and software development and often we have clients there who give us glowing recommendations, so itís probably a bad example, while being a good one. Huh? My point is that even if you donít get business directly from anyone at a breakfast, it is an exceptional marketing opportunity for your business. Especially in our current economic situation, referral business is exceptionally important!
Every person you meet at a business breakfast can become a someone who refers people to you, and that can be worth a fortune! But it does depend on the relationships you build. If you show up just once, no one will remember you. Show up regularly, pay attention when listening to others tell you about their business and then refer people their way Ö youíll have built a very solid relationship and your chances of receiving multiple referrals back has increased exponentially! Do yourself a favour Ö attend every breakfast function for the next 12 months. If after that you still feel that you have not received value for money and time, I will personally take it upon myself to find you a referral that will mean business to you!
Of course youíll need to ensure you can handle the extra business, just like I have to now go and figure out which frames I like best. Next time you see me and Iím wearing glasses, watch out because Iíll be looking at you in a totally different light!
Now that I know I need glasses, I know I need glasses, and now that I can see clearly, I can see what I couldnít see before.