I often say that networking is part of my DNA now. I have learned to look at how to give to others with the sheer honest, passion of helping and being open. It does not take much to have this mindset and it is amazing how opportunities come back over time.
My friend, Elliot DeBear, calls his DNA the Golf Network. As he says, “While I did not realize it at the time, my earliest networking efforts began when I was a caddy at a local country club. The club members liked my work ethic, how I handled myself on the golf course, and my love of the game. Over time, I got to know the members and they watched me grow up. I gained trust and credibility along the way. As I started to get summer internships, and when my career as a caddy came to a close, I had developed a terrific group of relationships. A group of people who cared about my progress and wanted to see me do well.
My first full time job after college was at a major advertising agency and I was recruited by a club member who was an executive at the firm. Later in life, as I started my own business, I was able to leverage many of my relationships that I had developed on the golf course. This was because of a long standing trust developed over time. Referrals poured in because of my tremendous golf network. I saw this as a valuable lesson. Stay in touch with those who knew you when you are on your way up and find ways always to help them. Friendships were forged and from those friendships came more opportunities. It was a win/win all around.
Golf is my game because it requires a positive attitude, practice, patience, discretion and a willingness to learn. However—it will work with whatever your game or passion is. Make it a part of your life.”
Andrea Nierenberg President of Nierenberg Consulting Group