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Online Networking - a bad idea? Understanding
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2011 ISSUE 8
THE TIMES Social community Media is building
The Power of connecting for good
WHATâ€™S HAPPENING? We would like to CONNECT people in business. If you have a meeting or ministry for the Marketplace Christian we would like you to be able to let people know about it. Remember that we bring out a new issue every two months so you will have to plan ahead and give us your dates 3 months ahead. See page 30 for deadline dates.
Dates for Kingdom Business Networking Highway Area 11 Aug & 8 Sept 2011 Durban North 16 Aug & 13 Sept 2011 Pietermaritzburg 18 Aug & 20 Sept 2011
CONTENTS VOICE OF THE PROPHET What are you saying to your competition? HEART OF THE PASTOR
Understanding the Times
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
Social media - Building Community Connecting through networking Connecting for Good The Power of Connecting Online Networking - Bad idea?
14 15 16 20 24
IN EVERY ISSUE Letter from the Editor The Rest is HIStory Advertising Information Where to find CONNECT
4 26 30 31
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CONNECTING THE DOTS “Effective business networking is the bringing together of like minded individuals who, through relationship building, become walking, talking advertisements for one another.” Lauren Neilson Louise Joubert, a very good friend of mine who is a champion Networker, uses the analogy of ‘connecting the dots’ to describe the Art of Networking. It’s a brilliant picture of the way networking connects needs with solutions. Because these dots we are speaking about are human, there is a lot of Trust involved in the connections we make. I have been to many Network meetings during my years in business and the people who benefit from networking the most are those who are willing to put in the time and who come with an attitude of “Give and Not Take”. That’s why Lars Lofstrand, a gifted networker who has addressed our meetings more than once, prefers to call networking “Net-giving”. If you want a good illustration of the Sowing and Reaping principle, take a look at networking. Those who come to take (let’s call them the Takers) often don’t stay long; they get impatient and say networking meetings don’t work. Takers are not prepared to put in the time and to build relationships – they just want ‘sales’. I often see them walk away disillusioned with the whole concept. The Givers, however, flourish because they actually care about the people around them. They
take time to find out who they are and then go out of their way to support them and refer them. Their seeds always take root and they have a full crop to harvest in no time. The thing about Networking is that it costs you something. It costs you time and some money...but that seed will yield a harvest when the soil you are planting it in is the soft, rich soil of a giver’s heart. I have been amazed by the power of networking, both face to face and electronically. Through Twitter I have connected with Kim White in New Zealand, who is now one of our regular contributors. And in preparing for this issue, I commented on Facebook that I needed a picture for our cover. Before I knew it, a new Facebook friend from Mexico had sent through an idea from his son! Although we weren’t able to use it in the end, it brought home to me how powerful and immediate Social Media can be. We are able to touch and connect with so many people all around the world and with applications like Forgood (see our feature article on page 16, we are now able to get involved and support those who have amazing ideas. One of the secrets to successful networking is to always to be on the lookout for opportunities – not only for yourself, but for those around you. We have a much greater chance of connecting with the solutions we need and we become each other’s sales team out there.
net·work (Verb) Business networking is the process of establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with other business people and potential clients and/or customers.
Networking is not a new thing. God designed us to work together! I was recently reading about the early Quakers and was amazed to see how many of today’s great businesses – Cadbury, Lloyds, Barclays, to name a few – started with a group of people connecting, building relationships, swapping ideas and making introductions. Unity is an incredibly powerful thing. Let’s all pull together and SEE what God is going to do through us. Enjoy and be blessed!
Thank you Julio Tea from Mexico.
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VOICE OF THE PROPHET
The only thing that stops this promise maturing into reality for the nation of Israel is the people’s first thoughts and spoken words What’s really interesting here is that God sends the spies into the Promised Land at the time of 8 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
“the first ripe grapes”, and shows them a picture of their potential harvest (verses 20-23). Now these grapes are so big that just one cluster has to be carried on a pole between two people! A number of thoughts emerge here:
You are part of God’s selected team. He has chosen you to make in-roads into the ‘land’ HE has ear-marked for you. You are on HIS
The devil may have his team there as well. And they will always look formidable. You may be one of many others in the same profession – i.e. one ‘baker’ amidst 1000 bakers – but God has set a specific ‘land’ apart just for you.
He has shown you your potential effect and probable earnings. You have visualised the size of your harvest. Notice the words “cluster” and the fact that “two” people had to carry the grapes between them. You are not an island here. Down the line, there will need to be growth and you will need help to gather the cluster of reward God has in mind for you. Networking is a crucial part of this process.
So God sees your growth. HE shows you an example of the fruit you can have. But have you seen HIS clues? Network...hire help... claim the first fruits.....this is a done deal. I have given this to you! He says. The only thing that stops this promise maturing into reality for the nation of Israel is the people’s
Photo by Graeme Williams MediaClubSouthAfricacom
eading through Numbers 13 recently, I realised the importance of that tiny moment in time for the fledgling nation of Israel. God’s chosen people had been in captivity for so long, and now God had released them to enter their destiny: the Promised Land. As it turned out, it was how they approached this land of milk and honey that made the difference between three years and forty years spent wandering in the desert. It appears in scripture that the way you begin something sets the foundation of what is to come! God tells Moses to select a team of leaders, one from every tribe, and send them to spy out the ‘land’ that He has given them. In one sense, the team Moses selects represents God’s team of winners chosen to bring back the good news to the people. But as you read further, you realise that the devil has his team in place to counteract what God is doing (verses 27-33). The devil’s men always appear to be the ‘giants’ and the ‘untouchables’, and if permitted, they strike fear into the hearts of all around them.
first thoughts and spoken words – “There’s no way we’ll make it in the Promised Land, they’ll have us for breakfast!” The battle is lost before it even begins. What are you saying when you see the competition in your field? Remember, the strategy of success that is shown in Numbers 13 here is that “IT WILL TAKE MORE THAN JUST YOU” to bring home the grapes God has intended you to have! It does not matter how big other businesses in your field have become. You have a winning strategy from God.
Photo by Graeme Williams MediaClubSouthAfricacom
Allan Rockhill Founder of Kings.Net International email@example.com
photo by Andrew Luke MediaClubSouthAfricacom
photo by Andrew Luke MediaClubSouthAfricacom
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Photo taken by Tracey Olivier in Northern Ireland
Hebrews 12 also states that there is a Kingdom n the UK, there are two questions on that cannot be shaken. In other words, there is everybody’s lips: “What next?” and “Where a people who in the midst of all that is going on next?” The recent natural disasters in Pakistan, remain stable, secure and strong when everything Australia, New Zealand and Japan have prompted around them is disintegrating. I believe that is many to wonder where next there will be an God’s purpose for us. upheaval. Then there are the political upheavals We have a choice to make…will we respond taking place in Africa....Where next? Added to this with Fear or Faith? The Psalmist suggests there there is economic chaos in Europe and America. is a place for people to trust God in the times Greece, Eire and Portugal are all in desperate of shaking. In Psalm 34 there are extraordinary trouble….Where next? A recent headline in the UK promises of God’s help in every situation. The well stated “Apocalyse Now”? It says in the scriptures known verses of the early part of the chapter – that the men of Issachar “understood the times “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chronicles the desires of your heart” and “Commit your way 12:32). I believe we have that same capacity to to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will bring it to know what is going on and respond accordingly. pass” – are developed in a practical way through There is a shaking going on. In Hebrews 12:29 the rest of the chapter. For example, there is the the Bible speaks of the shaking of everything promise of abundance in famine (Psalm 34:18,19). that has been created by man, and reminds us If this were written today, that God is speaking the Psalmist would have through the turmoil and There is a people who said, “Even in recession trouble. I believe God is there is profit for the people getting people’s attention in the midst of all that is of God”. In our church we through the upheavals going on remain stable, have prayed for a number we are experiencing secure and strong when of unemployed people – naturally, politically and seen them get jobs in and economically – at everything around them the following week so that the moment. There is is disintegrating. none of our community uncertainly, insecurity and are unemployed. This is a fear among the people.
HEARTOF OFTHE THEPASTOR PASTOR HEART
him, and he is enabled to complete the task. God promise of God for us. Recently in response to has provided us with a friend, prayer, a man not yet a and His name is the Holy Spirit. Christian came out having We have a choice The literal meaning of the been seeking work for word “Comforter” is “one who six months. Within two to make…will we comes alongside to help in days he had a job. One of respond with time of need”. With His help our guys is a Chartered you can walk in faith into the Surveyor and for two or purposes of God, experience months had no work. His help, and be His voice. Together we took this word and prayed over it. For over eighteen months he has never been without work and is again making profit. I was talking with the managing director of an engineering company during the last month who stated he made the best profit he had made in seventeen years of business. There is a God in heaven who because of His son, Jesus, will keep His word to us. The chapter encourages us not to fret in spite of corruption and the prospering of the wicked; to keep calm Peter Butt and not get angry; to remain in an attitude of firstname.lastname@example.org humility and dependence upon God; to keep www.schoolofministries.org faithful and persevere; and not to give way to temptation and lose our integrity...for God will cause us to prosper and “inherit the land”. Peter is part of the leadership team at NewThere is another word picture that I have CommunityChurch and directs their School of found helpful in the story of Elijah (1 Kings Ministries leadership training programme. New 19:9-13). Elijah is afraid, depressed and wants to Community Church is a growing network of die, but God comes to him. God clearly allows church congregations, missional communities and the earthquake, wind and fire, in fact the verses projects serving the wider Southampton area in suggest He causes them! But it says “He was not England. in them”. So what was their purpose? He gained Elijah’s attention! Then it says there was a gentle whisper. The King James version calls it “a still, small voice”, and that was the voice of God. I believe God is getting the attention of a world of fearful, depressed people without hope and calling us to be His voice. You have either seen or heard of the film The King’s Speech. Here a man is called to be King but has an impediment: a stammer that hampers and hinders him from fulfilling his assignment in life. Until a friend comes alongside and encourages
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HEARTOF OFTHE THEHARVESTER PASTOR HAND
d ing community an edia is that of build m l by cia so ch ur of s ch fit ur ne yo ne of the be uld benefit . Think how this co page. ips ok sh bo ion ce lat Fa re eir g th cin reinfor following them on urch overseas and find a matching reaching out to a ch Youth Group could or am Te ip that sh or W e UK, or anywhere Your small group, seas in America, th er ov are ge sh pa to ok n bo pla th a group with a Face Facebook page wi . Set up your own es throughout the nc rie pe ex ur they speak English yo d an rs be em m ur s, yo about your activitie overseas partners. sharing with your to t ge en th d an – year ve to be ause this would ha ent with them (bec em re ag : ur uld yo wo of s In term nd), your team rked out before ha reciprocal and wo their Wall ement to them on ents � Post encourag eir activities and ev questions about th up w llo fo k things yourself As � s try some similar ap rh pe d an ing are do � See what they em th � Learn from rks well u are doing that wo d special days � Share what yo d their birthdays an an , em th th wi s eir victorie � Celebrate in th goes wrong when something em th t or pp su y all � Re h in ministry or life or it gets roug in prayer � Uphold them other if necessary all too. Email each W e th off then em th with in public, but � Get to know shouldn’t be dealt at th s ue iss . ok th wi bo to deal age them on Face pport and encour continue to su s Page Facebook Busines ting this all be in a let t Newsfeed ou al ab rm rt no pa e st th The be will appear on it at th is out p, ou Gr in sed ng and shar g ab instead of in a clo s overseas are talki er rtn pa y str ini m as you and your e of God the d worship and lov ministr y and life an sing to your ntly you are witnes Father. Conseque dment given an lfilling the comm neighbours and fu , to the ends lem sa ru Judea, to Je “to s, es tn wi to us to d now online too. of the earth” – an Charlotte Kemp raining.co.za charlotte@nichet velopment De Niche Training &
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HEART OF THE PASTOR HAND OF THE HARVESTER
he key to successful netw orking is to “build relatio nships”. Without this key, your ne tworking efforts will be come mere social activities and big time wasters. To refer business to a fell ow networker, you have to know: � Who they are � What makes them un ique � Who their ideal clients are � Can you trust them. Networking is a powerfu l advertising tool but ne eds to be consistent. Some businesses take lon ger than others to see the positive outcome of networking. Don’t giv e up! The well known saying “no man is an island”, app lies strongly to network God didn’t design us to ing. be alone. Relationships complete us, satisfy us create an atmosphere for and success – be it personal or business.
Trish Bartholomew email@example.com MRB Financial Services cc
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he statesman Edmund Burke once said that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” By his standards, we all have a task on our hands – to stop settling for “the way it is” and start taking action for a better world. Christians should be able to do it with their eyes closed! If we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, he takes our ‘old man’ and makes us a new creation in Him. He removes our hearts of stone and gives us hearts of flesh. Soft hearts. Christ-like hearts. So what stops us from making the difference we know in our hearts we are called to make? What stops us from reaching out to the poor and the vulnerable? What stops us from taking hold of social situations we are always complaining about – crime, corruption, AIDS, poverty – and doing something? The answer is part theological and part practical. Theologically, we are limited by our unrenewed mindsets that keep telling us we’re not much good after all, and who are we to get involved in a Christian outreach when our prayer life isn’t what it ‘should be’? But we have been set free from condemnation by what Jesus did on the cross! He fulfilled the ultimate demand of the Law so that we can be righteous before him and carry on being his hands and feet in a hurting world (see Romans 8 & 10).
So what stops us from making the difference we know in our hearts we are called to make? I think the other part of the answer lies in our sense of aloneness. We know that in Christ we are 16 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
FOR GOOD powerful beyond measure, but that doesn’t stop us feeling, “what can teeny tiny me do to change things?” Well, what if a whole lot of teeny tiny individuals got together and did just one thing for the good of their fellow man? You guessed it. Change would happen. And Christ would get the glory!
“So what can I do?” I hear you asking while your mind involuntarily turns to all the reasons you can’t ‘get involved’. Time, money, resources, distance, safety...the list is as long as your arm when you really get going. Okay, you have a point. These can be serious limitations. Now suppose you could zoom into your area, see what’s going on and who needs exactly what kind and amount of help...would you reconsider? Suppose you could chat to the actual people who are involved – online, preferably – and get to know their situations a bit better. Suppose there was a way to get some of your friends to feel the same way about the same causes and get them to join you in making a difference?
Online connections, real-world action
Here’s some good news: the forgood campaign is using the power of technology to do exactly that! Developed by Heartlines, forgood is an online social network with a difference. Its members are united by a common cause – to see SA change for the better. By joining, you can connect with others near you or those who share your cause. By selecting your area and the issue you are interested in, you can zoom in on a cause right on
your doorstep if you wish, and offer whatever you can by way of time, money, skills or resources. You can even have fun and earn rewards! There’s another plus to networking ‘for good’: for those who have been labouring for years doing a ministry all by themselves (or so it seems), this is their chance to put their ministry ‘out there’ and attract new volunteers and new energy. By organising ourselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference, we can change our communities and nation.
By selecting your area and the issue you are interested in, you can zoom in on a cause right on your doorstep if you wish, and offer whatever you can by way of time, money, skills or resources. Unlike the previous generation which saw God finally unify the church in bringing Apartheid to an end, this generation has not seen huge change on
Young people dreaming together during the forgood Vision Tour
national level. Apathy and self-focus grip many younger South Africans. African Enterprise – a Christian mission organisation started by Michael Cassidy in 1962 – is partnering with Heartlines in launching Vision forgood, a movement that aims to start a conversation between young leaders across the country that leads to a 30year vision for South Africa. The Vision forgood movement seeks to engage and inspire this emerging generation of leadership to trust God for great things to happen in South Africa during their lifetime. And the forgood social network is a powerful tool in the hands of this gathering movement of nation changers. To find out more about the forgood social network or to sign up, visit www.forgood.co.za. For more information on the Vision forgood movement, visit African Enterprise’s website www. aeinternational.org/southafrica or their Facebook page ‘Vision forgood’.
The network that became a safety net for kids
Remember the Safe Place facility offered at Mr Price stores during the Soccer World Cup, where lost or vulnerable children could go to get help? What most people didn’t know was that it was much more than just a cool social outreach idea on Mr Price’s part. It’s a ‘one thing led to another’ story that shows what can happen when individual dots are connected with a common purpose. Connect spoke to chief ‘dot joiner’, Darlene Menzies of The Development House in Durban, to find out how the Safe Place idea came about. “I was chatting in 2009 with Rob Hutton, lead elder at The Rock in Umhlanga. He mentioned that he wanted something concrete for the youth in his church to get involved in,” Darlene began. “He mentioned that they had watched While the World Sleeps, a documentary that deals with human trafficking in the East, and were curious to know if this was a problem in Durban. Rob knew that I was connected in the Inner City with regard to social issues and asked me about it.” “I had recently met with two of the Senior Prosecutors in the City who were involved in the only human trafficking cases in the country at the www.connectmagazine.co.za | 17
HAND OF THE FEATURED ARTICLE HARVESTER
time – in Durban! Both prosecutors, Val Melis and Val Lotan, ended up speaking to the youth at The Rock on human trafficking in the City. (That talk has since inspired the youth at the Rock to start an organisation called ‘Red Light’ which is now recognised by the KZN Human Trafficking Task Team as a key player in this arena in the Province.) But back to the Safe Place story. A week before the talk at The Rock, I was at a function at Hillside Church in Hillcrest which focused on business and the poor. One of the speakers was Nastasja Ambrosio, Head of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) at Mr Price. (As you probably know, the Redcap Foundation is a Non-Profit Organisation that carries out CSI initiatives for Mr Price Group, and it places a lot of emphasis on making a difference and improving the lives of young South Africans.) It was the first time I had met Natasja, which I later realised had been an amazingly timed connection. “At the talk at The Rock (June 2009) the speakers from the Justice Department pointed out that in a year’s time, thousands of kids would be on 6 weeks’ school holidays during the World Cup and would be potentially vulnerable, hanging around shopping centres and cities throughout the country. ‘Imagine if we could do something during that period with a group like Mr Price or someone who has stores all over the country,’ Val Melis said. What an ‘aha’ moment! The next day, Val, Nastasjia and I were meeting in a coffee shop, discussing
What an ‘aha’ moment! how to create safe places for children. The Mr Price group, with a footprint in every South African city, and their focus on youth, made them the perfect partner for the World Cup Safe Place Programme. “Thora Mansfield from Open Door Crisis Care 18 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
Centre is one of the members of the Human Trafficking Task Team, and she soon came on board to handle the national training and call centre. What’s more, Child Line SA joined forces providing access to their national network and Ethekwini Municipality got involved assisting financially to cover project management costs. In the end, many Christians from Business, Government and NGO’s had worked together, all from various denominations across the City, to pull off a successful national intervention during
It’s a ‘one thing led to another’ story that shows what can happen when individual dots are connected with a common purpose. this memorable time in our country’s history. The experience taught us the power of networking and of reaching across churches. You never know what problems you can help solve by just keeping your ear to the ground and talking to people!”
Safe Place partners, from left: Eric Appelgren (eThekwini Municipality), Thora Mansfield (Open Door Crisis Care Centre), Linda Naidoo (Director Child Line), Darlene Menzies (The Development House), Thoko Xulu (eThekwini Municipality) and Natasja Ambrosio (Mr Price – not in photo).
By the time our interview was over, Darlene had shared with us a host of other such ‘connection’ stories involving government, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and business which have the potential to make a massive difference to the lives of both the unemployed and small
“What’s in your hand? Who do you know? Use what you’ve got.” businesses. We look forward to featuring some of them. (The Development House (TDH) specialises in software and economic development consulting and thrives on bringing together partners from the public and private sectors and civil society organisations to provide solutions to social problems. Their Foundation runs JobLink, a service which links semi-skilled and unskilled workers with life skills and employment. TDH also developed SMEasy, a business management programme for small businesses which won Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010). “Networking is mostly about connecting,” were Darlene’s first words on the subject at our meeting; and her stories were proof that it’s the human connection between the dots that gives life to the picture. “What’s in your hand? Who do you know? Use what you’ve got,” was her parting shot. We left feeling we could take on the world.
Elaine Young firstname.lastname@example.org Elaine is sub-editor and features writer at Connect and also runs her own writing and editing company, CopyEditPaste.
w h I c p h u
Cast your bread upon the waters, for you WILL find it after many days. In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hands, for you know not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good.
personal stories to share about the power of networking. One involved a refugee named Colin who I met in 2008. This is his story in the form of an email I sent out to a handful of colleagues, business associates and friends:
his is the picture I’m reminded of when I think of the power of strategic connections and the explosive growth contained within each seed we sow. The New Living Translation expresses the same verse like this: “Send your grain across the seas, And in time, profits WILL flow back to you.” What a powerful perspective to view your business from! How useful to put on these rose-tinted specs designed by the ultimate Entrepreneur and redefine your limited view of networking! To me, networking is so much broader than joining every business breakfast, networking coffee and small business lunch that you can possibly jam onto the menu! It’s more than arriving everywhere armed with a forest full of business cards and handing them out at any opportunity from long queues to unsuspecting strangers parked at robots – all in the name of ‘getting your business out there’! I have two very simple but powerful
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With the resources I had available I took a photograph of one of Colin’s beaded hearts, inserted it into an email, typed up a few explanatory words and hit send…and I watched the power of networking transform a man’s life. With very little effort and very little time I simply gave Colin access to a captive audience that he
fl a n b n t w
would never have. Within a few weeks the orders had snowballed and the delight on his face as I gave him order after order was all the commission I needed! He started out hoping to pay for a night or two at his shelter, and ended up having to employ another refugee friend to keep up with the orders! The reality is that Colin, the entrepreneur and fledgling business owner, could have stood on a street corner for months and he would simply never have accumulated the orders he did simply by harnessing my resources and tapping into my network. It cost me nothing and yet resulted in thousands of rands making their way across the waters to Colin.
travellers! I hope there’s something in these stories that speaks to you about casting your bread, using your opportunities, harnessing your resources – and not always for your or your business’s benefit. As you give someone a word-of-mouth recommendation, or email your friends when you encounter a good product or service, who knows what you will reap back on the waters – sometimes only after MANY days? We’re all connected – more so now that at any other time in history thanks to amazing technology. Your degree of connectedness will have a profound impact on your business life and the lives of people you encounter all around you every day. So, colour outside the lines of what you’ve been taught about networking. Be generous with your time; with your resources; with the power of your personal recommendation...and simply cast your bread out on the waters in the sunshine and in the rain, for you never know which will prosper – perhaps this or that, or perhaps both will bring profits flowing to you.
Mandi Arnold email@example.com
Nolwazi’s story is very similar – a young girl trying to pay for her school fees. One email to my network, who in turn forwarded it to their network, and Nolwazi was making orders for weddings, businesses and even international
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We are looking for the photo of places you and your CONNECT magazine have gone. Post them on our Facebook page and we will feature the best ones in the next two issues.
WHERE HAS YOUR
Connect @ GraceHillâ€™s Mustard Seed Coffee Lounge
Juan & Tristan Joubert @ OR Tambo Airport, Jhb
Heartlines - Forgood Little Timay Joubert @ Pav
You could be here
We will announce the WINNERS in the December/ January issue. Some of these photos were taken with cell phones so the quality might be less than perfect.
HAND OF THE HARVESTER
locally and digitally
Why social networking can be a bad idea 148.7 – The maximum number of social relationships any average human being can handle, according to research by anthropologist Robin Dunbar (1998) and others. 73,395 – The maximum number of people following one person on Twitter.com (right now.)
s Craig Harrell of Rainmaker Marketing says, “A rubber-banded stack of business cards is not a sales strategy.” We have transferred the impulse to gather stacks of business cards from local networking events, to gathering stacks of “followers” on the Internet. Without an intentional strategy, neither one will make us more money in less time. We can use our digital relationships to build business, but not the way we think. We’ve been taught that the best way to grow our business is to go WIDE, when actually the best way is to go DEEP. The fact is that hundreds
We have transferred the impulse to gather stacks of business cards from local networking events, to gathering stacks of “followers” on the Internet. Without an intentional strategy, neither one will make us more money in less time. 24 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
to thousands of tepid contacts (these aren’t relationships) online or at a networking event don’t hold a candle to one strategic alliance partner who will feed us business on an ongoing basis. Go deep, not wide.
We’ve been taught that the best way to grow our business is to go WIDE, when actually the best way is to go DEEP. Can you go deep and still have a wide digital set of “followers”? You bet. It’s the difference between networking and building a network, the difference between collecting contacts and developing connections. While 148.7 is the maximum number of social relationships we can have, almost none of us are taking advantage of this relational capacity to grow our business. If you have more than one or two alliance partners truly feeding you customers, you are in an elite group. And yet I’m convinced that the vast majority of businesses can be built on one to two dozen truly committed
HAND HAND OF OF THE THE HARVESTER HARVESTER
strategic alliance partnerships. It’s not easy to find a friend. You sift through hundreds if not thousands of people in your life over many years to come up with those few people you feel comfortable letting your hair down around. It’s no easier to find a strategic alliance partner, and we don’t have years in business to do it. That’s where a WIDE reach can lead to a few DEEP relationships that will increase the revenue in your business. Having 73,395 followers on Twitter is, by itself, largely meaningless, but with a very powerful potential. As with the analogue (physical) world, it is our own intentionality that determines whether anything will come out of this stack of contacts to make us more money in less time. Which of these people are we truly connecting with? Which ones can I truly serve by connecting them to others or to resources to build their business? Zero in on those few relationships at a time and see where they take you. Then go back and dive into the pile of contacts and zero in on a few more. Keep doing this until you find those few people who you can rain on and who can rain on your business for years to come.
Having 73,395 followers on Twitter is, by itself, largely meaningless, but with a very powerful potential. The other advantage of having 73,395 people following you is that this “tribal identity” of being on Twitter together gives you a builtin WIDE audience that will likely always be a better channel for future clients than a shotgun advertising campaign. If you want to introduce a new product or service, there is no question this is the best place to start – with people who already have a passing familiarity with you. Continue to develop a following. Get it as big as you can – it’s much better than stone cold advertising. But always be mining this growing group of followers to find the few that you can really serve, the ones you can send clients or
customers to regularly. They will be able to do the same for you (hint – the best way to train them to help you is to help them first.)
If you want to introduce a new product or service, there is no question this is the best place to start – with people who already have a passing familiarity with you. The short story – Go deep, not just wide. Whether locally or digitally, stop networking and build a network instead. You’ll make more money in less time.
Chuck Blakeman Crankset Group USA www.cranksetgroup.com Used with permission from Chuck Blakeman’s blog, 13 June 2010. http://www.businessblogshub.com/2010/06/whysocial-networking-locally-and-digitally-can-be-abad-idea/
[I met Chuck while in Belfast earlier this year. He has a really exciting business and a brilliant book called Making money is killing your business. - Ed]
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business level and then a Christian level. n February 2008, a small group of us sat down At the end of 2008, I had to make a decision to the first meeting of Kingdom Business about whether I needed to go and get a job Networking. It didn’t have a name at that again. My coaching/training business wasn’t really stage – we were just a bunch of Christian business bringing in enough to continue and I started owners who were keen to connect. And being chatting to a few people, telling them that I was the team player I am, I was really battling in going to stop KBN and perhaps get a job. (Until this lonely role of Business Owner. I honestly then, KBN was just something I did on the side can’t remember what we discussed at that first to encourage others.) Many of them suggested a meeting, but something was sparked. Those membership fee and told me not to stop what I that came were encouraged, and we started to was doing. Around that time I keep our ears and eyes open was given a ticket to go to the for business and referrals. One of the Global Leadership Summit, and As I spent time with these then I was blessed with three people, I started to become wonderful things days at a friend’s beach cottage. really passionate about them I started to see It was there that I took pen to and the things they were was the unity flipchart and started working going through. Because of my through some of the Summit background in training, I knew and friendships DVDs. One of the things I had many speakers, trainers and that started to do was identify what was coaches who would be able to form across “working”. I realised that KBN to shed some light on many of was it, and if I structured it a the different hats we need to denominations, little differently, I might be able wear as Business Owners. We industries and race. to continue. started with my ex-boss, Maria I think this was With the amazing support Stein, who came and shared and encouragement of many with us how to do a business because people friends, I made the changes plan, and since then God’s were connecting and focused on KBN as one been taking us on an amazing first on a business of the main functions of my journey through our monthly company, eFatha Life Skills. The speakers. level and then a numbers grew more and God Every meeting brought new Christian level. sent the most amazing speakers people. One of the wonderful along. In October 2010 we things I started to see was the had our launch meeting at African Enterprise in unity and friendships that started to form across Pietermaritzburg, with ten people present! We denominations, industries and race. I think this even had a surprise visit from Michael Cassidy, was because people were connecting first on a 26 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
who had heard about us and popped in and blessed us with a word and a prayer. Since then, we have started KBN groups in Amanzimtoti and Durban North, and God is fulfilling his promise in Isaiah 43:5-7 that he would bring His people from every direction. At the end of last year we also started the KBN Evening Events, which happens every few months when we have an International Speaker. So far we have had Lars Lofstrand, a former South African who now lives in Texas and Caren Eagleburger from the US, and Brian Agnew from Northern Ireland. God has brought them across my path, and through KBN we have all been blessed by their giftings. He has also used KBN to birth the magazine you are holding now, and which has brought untold blessing to people near and far.
One of our darling members, always introduces her GNLD as “God Never Lets You Down”. If there is one thing that I’ve personally learned through KBN’s nearly three-year history, it’s exactly that. Even though there have been times of ‘flood and fire’, God has never let me down. In fact, he’s “summoned me by name” and he’s done the same for you. He ordained KBN for such a time as this – a time when business is under more
pressure than it’s ever been...but a time when we know God is working out His mighty plan through our presence in the ordinary world. Thank you Lord.
Tracey Olivier Founder of Kingdom Business Networking firstname.lastname@example.org Check out www.facebook.com/Kingdombiznetworking to see when and where our next meeting is and to see photos and get more information. Isaiah 43:1-7
1 But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth— 7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
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KBN North Coast
KBN Pietermartizburg KBN Durban South (Toti)
Some of our speakers
Cindy Norcott & Tracey Olivier
Some of our members
Antoinette Zeelie & Karen Cremer
Belinda Peck & Trish Bartholomew (KBN Team)
28 | www.connectmagazine.co.za
Louise Joubert & Melanie Nel
Adele Benvie, Andries Koen & Richard Wainwright
One of the most important tools in business today is NETWORKING. If nobody knows about your business you are invisible. Join a Networking group that is serious about Business and about keeping Christ as our centre and foundation.
OUR MISSION • To grow, equip and encourage Christian business owners • To extend God’s Kingdom by using our unique marketplace gifting to bring finances into our local churches • To give exposure to each member’s product or service so that we can support and refer business to one another • To create a culture of excellence, integrity and accountability in Business
JOIN US Highway Area When: 11 Aug & 8 Sept 2011 When:
Durban North 16 Aug & 13 Sept 2011
Cost: R50 members, R80 non-members
Pietermaritzburg When: 18 Aug & 20 Sept 2011 Durban South (Toti) When: 23 Aug & 15 Sept 2011 Time: 8.30 am -10am
Each meeting features a 30-minute talk on a topic that will help you build your business – plus lots of great networking time over coffee and muffins.
Contact Tracey Olivier for more information. Tel: 084 548 4720 or Email: email@example.com
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CONNECT is available at the following locations: Amanzimtoti Sweetwaters Full Gospel Church, Kingsway Church Durban North Living Waters Church, Empangeni Christian Family Church Hillcrest GraceHill Church, Focus On The Family Bookshop, Hillcrest Christ Church Kloof/Gillitts Kloof Harvest Church, Sarepta Church, Kloof Baptist Church, St. Angus Church
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The Power of Networking