On this episode of Mitlin Money Mindset™, I talk with Adam Connors, Founder & CEO of NetWorkWise, a business platform that expedites outcomes for people through training in the art and science of personal and professional networking. An entrepreneur at heart, Adam has spent over 20 years starting & building companies across a variety of industries. His sole focus these days is teaching people how to NetWorkWise. Adam is a sought-after speaker, social architect, podcast host, and super-connector who has transformed lives and accelerated careers.
I asked Adam to tell me how NetworkWise came to be.
He said he finds people fascinating and loves to help people out and make connections — something he calls “selfish benevolence.” A few years back, Adam went through a bad situation that caused a lot of stress and tension in his life. He ultimately pulled through, and attributed it to the amazing support system he had — he had many quality people in his life that showed up for him. He kept thinking he wanted to do something to give back. As he reflected on the situation, he realized that it was all these relationships that helped him get through this negative situation. Adam focused on how he could contribute — that is how NetworkWise was born. Listen to the episode to hear all of Adam’s fascinating stories and advice on how to NetworkWise!
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- What makes networking such an important skill. [7:23]
- What it means to network wise. [10:38]
- Where people can get the resources to hone true networking skills [12:27]
- Why networking is significantly more important now more than ever. [15:27]
- How important mentors are — for both the mentor and the mentee. [18:03]
- Misconceptions about the mentor-mentee relationship. [19:38]
- One thing Adam does every day. [26:12]
What is so important about networking?
Adam said you don’t just have one network — you are part of many different networks. With networks and networking, everything can be accomplished easier, faster, and ultimately better. When you expand your networks, you expand your opportunities. Adam believes that networking is truly the greatest learned skill-set you can have in your repertoire. Further, your network can get you out of the most interesting unique, and challenging situations — as evidenced by Adam’s story about his own tough situation. He emphasized that there is so much that can be done with the help of other people.
Adam said there is a difference between networking and NetworkingWise. Many people do what he called networking for need — they only call you when they need something. To NetworkWise is a verb — it’s all about action. It’s about taking a proactive approach to relationship development with the ultimate goal of benefiting somebody else. Networking Wise is about establishing relationships, welcoming opportunities to engage in conversation and collaboration, and about cultivating that mindset that is immersed in the art and science of networking properly. He likened retraining people on proper networking to having a virus on a computer. You must first eliminate the virus — the incorrect thinking or networking skills. Then you add the software back — essentially, you start at the foundation of what networking really means. Listen to this episode to hear all of Adam’s insightful views on how learning to NetworkWise can change your career and life!
Get a mentor — or three.
Adam said having a mentor is paramount in today’s culture. In fact, he strongly suggests that people have a PBOM — a Personal Board of Mentors. There are so many different facets of life you need guidance in, that it only makes sense to have mentors for the different facets. He said a good mentor will do several things for you — they will teach you, challenge you, listen to you, give you confidence, and inspire you. They will help you navigate your journey, and they will help you make valuable connections.
Being a mentor is a commitment — it’s asking a lot of someone. But it is also a commitment for the MENTEE. The mentee needs to go to their mentor with a plan — the mentee is the one that drives the relationship. Adam mentions something one of his own podcast guests, Bill O’Harren had shared:
A relationship is two parts — you each own 50% of the relationship. Essentially, you each have to own 100% of your 50%. You’re giving as a mentor, but you are also receiving from your mentee.
Brush up on your gratitude habit.
One thing Adam does every day is something he has implemented in his NetworkWise Certification program — a 30-day gratitude challenge. Gratitude is one of the learned skill-sets within the NetworkWise framework. Giving gratitude to someone every day — whether giving someone a call and letting them know how grateful you are, writing a letter, sharing a story on social media, or just being supportive — is one of the key factors. Adam typically spends at least one hour every day just trying to benefit others that are in his networks. He says not everyone has to spend that much time, but he recommends 5-15 minutes a day reaching out to people in their network. Figure out how you can help them, support them, or encourage them. Possibly share an article they wrote. Ultimately, he said to just put out a positive vibe — it’s going to spread. THIS is how Adam defines selfish benevolence. Listen to this episode to hear about these ideas and so much more!
Resources & People Mentioned
- Networking IQ quiz
- NetworkWise Find a Mentor Series Part 1
- All You Have to Do is Ask by Dr. Wayne Baker
Connect with Adam Connors
- Adam Connors is a sought-after speaker, social architect, podcast host, and super-connector who has transformed lives and accelerated careers. He’s the Founder & CEO of NetWorkWise, a business platform that expedites outcomes for people through training in the art and science of personal and professional networking. An entrepreneur at heart, Adam has spent over 20 years starting & building companies across a variety of industries. His sole focus these days is teaching people how to NetWorkWise.
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