English poet John Donne wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” Relationships are the most consistent source of meaning in our lives and work. Whether with co-workers, colleagues, fellow members in our BNI Elevate chapter, family or friends, social and professional connections create depth and richness in our daily lives.
In 2013, Porter Gale wrote the book Your Network Is Your Net Worth, a quote many of you may have heard before and one that has since been attributed to and claimed by others. In the book, Gale says: “I believe that your social capital, or your ability to build a network of authentic personal and professional relationships, not your financial capital, is the most important asset in your portfolio. I believe that seeking out and working in collaboration with others who share your interests and values will provide a stronger foundation, enabling you to reach a higher level of success than you would on your own. Therefore, I believe that your ‘net worth’ will be based, not on the size of your portfolio or the size of your network, but on your ability to define and stay true to your passions and values; and that working with other people who share them will allow you to build a strong and enduring interpersonal safety net that will carry you through any financial calamity to greater output and personal fulfilment.”
Finding professionals who share your values is the key to building a great network that can refer business to you and that you can refer business to with confidence.
There are lots of networks out there, but only few who have a core set of values or that hold their members to their commitment to honor them with their members and others they interact with in their industries.
When you are in a network that has a common set of values that each member pledges to adhere to and is held to that commitment, you know there is a higher quality of professionalism. When their expertise in their industry has been vetted by a group of their peers to ensure that they are in alignment with the network’s values and structure, that is an invaluable service to help you make better choices about who you refer and why you would refer them.
That’s what a network like ours at BNI Elevate is. We base our membership on a core set of values we adhere to.
We are part of a global network of members who we can network with and meet and find all over the world. We can make our network of vetted professionals as large as we wish. We can be a visitor or sub for fellow members in our great big network, online or in person. I have even been a visitor to a chapter in Italy and delivered my commercial in Italian while I was visiting there.
Whether you choose to build your network locally in BNI Elevate, expand it to other chapters in Manhattan BNI, or network nationally every Tuesday afternoon like I do with professionals online throughout the nation in other BNI chapters and cities, your network is as large as you choose to make it.
So if your net worth is the result of your network, network wisely — as close to home or as far and wide as your imagination and your membership in BNI will take you.