Glory Elijah (Blogger, YouTuber at Frankly Speaking with Glory)
I never took LinkedIn serious until I started my YouTube channel in April this year. The main reason for me was to have enough social media platforms to share my content. It wasn’t really an option for me to expand my network there, even if that was what the platform was created for in the first place. I felt I had people in my network already; people turned friends whom I could call at anytime and share my ideas with. However, most of the people/turned friends in my imaginary network didn’t see it that way.
Fast forward to last week, I received an invitation from Onyekachi Eke, the International Business Development Director (West Africa) for IE School of Business.
Somehow, I wasn’t so sure about the invitation cos, we both weren’t connected on LinkedIn and I didn’t know if the event was free or required some sort of monetary registration as is common today. So, I registered and afterwards, contacted the school on Facebook for confirmation that the event was free. It was free (not like I love free things o!)
Anyways, the event was great. It was a small gathering of just about 30 professionals from diverse fields. There was provision for a colorful display of brochures for the various courses that the IE Business School offered as well as a souvenir bag that contained a travel diary, a pen and two more books about IE and Madrid. “How sweet!”
I met amazing people such as Chimezie Onwuama, a former gym and fitness instructor turned CEO of Milton & Cross Professional Services Group. His company offers legal services as well as business and real estate advisory.
I also met Debbie Keller – Taiwo; a banker whose secret passion is writing. We hit it off immediately we met. She’s fascinating!
There was also Emeka Egbuka, a Network engineer with Cubex Technologies, Abraham Ojes, a Digital Marketing Consultant and Wale, a Tv Programmes Producer.
I loved the setting of it all but the peak of my evening was the moment Daniella Jarikre started her lecture on the “Importance of Building & Maintaining a Critical Network”.
Daniella Jarikre (Head, Channels & eSolutions – Commercial Banking, for ECOBANK Nigeria)
My humble self and Daniella Jarikre
Daniella gave me an entirely new perspective to the meaning of networking and networks. She proved that having a successful career in the banking industry for over 20 years as well as being a writer and a teacher didn’t just take a lot of brain capacity for numbers and letters. Personality and the ability to BUILD and NURTURE relationships in life are major keys to being successful and relevant in the society.
Things I learnt from her on the basis of networking in summary;
- Always smile (my trade mark)
- Dare to connect ( discard your shyness or your “too tush to talk” attitude and connect)
- Don’t hijack the conversation (allow room for others to express themselves too)
- Be versatile (don’t be too rigid in your thoughts)
- Stay connected (you never know when you’ll need someone)
- Don’t burn bridges (never completely cut off people. You never know…)
- Never delete phone numbers (you just might never be able to get them back)
- Never despise the days of little beginnings (the struggling entrepreneur today might be the next president of your country tomorrow)
- Invest in people’s emotional banks (It secures your spot in their hearts cos humans are more of emotional creatures than logical creatures)
- Learn to perceive opportunities from every situation
- Learn to NETWORK WITH PEOPLE AND NOT THEIR POSITIONS! (positions change, people remain)
- The quality of your network outweighs the quantity (it’s not about numbers people!)
- Build TRUST (Don’t be a chameleon)
- Offer something substantial not just self importance (don’t be a leech,contribute)
- Be a Cat and not a butterfly (be focused and patient with your networks instead of fluttering about for other networks when you feel your initial networks aren’t productive)
The fact is, if you’re able to do all of these and more, you and your business will be rightly positioned in the society as you’ll be the first to hear of opportunities, offers and more.
She further explained that, it’s good to build networks around your field but it’s best if your network includes more people outside your field. This works in your favor as you won’t lack in having a little of everything that the world revolves around.
More profitable on the business of networking are;
- More referrals
- Increased business
Such wealth of knowledge in just 2 hours! (God bless IE Business School and Daniella)
Daniella’s lecture not only broadened my mind; it also made me understand the reason some people you try to connect with are butterflies. They lack the capacity to build and nurture. They strive to be connected to the position you hold and not you as a person. They do not appreciate your days of little beginnings thus, always “forming” too busy or too “tush” to be in your network. However, never burn any bridges or delete any numbers for the reasons you know already. Stay connected no matter what. As for me, I’ve always been a cat so, I intend staying that way. Lol
I’ll urge you to do same as well.