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The #1 Habit of Effective Online Business Owners

  • What would you say is the main habit that is common to all successful online business owners?
  • Is there one thing that if you just applied it would make a massive difference to your own progress?

As an inquisitive student of internet marketing I talk to a lot of people involved in the online business world, friends, gurus, mentors. I’m also a big fan of business biographies and checking out interviews with the experts. In investigating these folks’ strategies, something comes up again and again. The more you look for it, the more it shows up clear as day.

It doesn’t matter who they are, what they do, how they made their profits, or even how they spent them … one approach is fundamental every single time.

From the outside though we get the wrong impression. People try to replicate their success and miss this vital factor, which hampers any progress they would ever make, or worse sets them up for massive failure.

What is this crucial thing?

All the successful online business people I know or have observed have all grown powerful business relationships and networks.

Who you know really is as important as what you know.

You Can’t Make it on Your Own!

Networking is vital for success. You have to get out and meet people.

Look at some of these people and you think they are entirely self-made, but behind the scenes there are always key contacts … not one of them could have gotten to where they are without someone making a significant impact.

Many actively seek out the person or people who can help them get to the next level: joint ventures, partnerships, teams, mentors, advisors …

Just consider your own projects for a moment. What would it mean to you if you could get advice, links and traffic, launch a joint product, guest articles on top blogs, get into the A-lister inner circle? Think you would make more progress if you had some friends in cool places?

From Richard Branson down to the blogging folks you see launching their latest ebooks, it takes a strong network to make strong progress. You think Richard Branson knows how to run an airline or get tourists into space?

You know why networks come into play during product launches too – we need the traffic and social proof that having multiple people recommend and discuss your product brings! Each one of those big email lists adds many potential buyers.

The downside is anyone with something to offer, be it expertise or a big list, is already going to be inundated with requests. How do you get the attention of the big players?

Build Your Network Now!

You know what they say; “Build your well before you are thirsty”. Get building your network now.

Of course if you need contacts right now then you need to move even faster!

This is all fair enough, but what holds people back?

Networking Self-Sabbotage

There are two key ways that people hamper thier own efforts, and I am going to share both with a little of my story.

As some people have guessed for a while, I am shy and introverted. This used to hold me back a great deal.

I was so nervous talking to people that I couldn’t order a Big Mac without breaking into a panic sweat.

Breaking into the programming geek world was difficult, but bit by bit I managed to grow a decent network almost entirely online. This was before the major social networking sites and services. The benefits were huge. Book deals, traffic, leads, and membership of insiders groups with direct access to top Microsoft employees. I credit my friends in the business for me getting the Microsoft MVP award. This was what made me realise how I had missed out trying to get by on my own merits.

Then I decided to quit and become an internet marketer.

Now I knew I really needed to make some great contacts if I was going to learn much about this business. I started online, using the same techniques and tactics I developed while networking the coder community.

Anyone who has tried to learn the real secrets of things like Search Engine Optimisation, or get support from key contacts at big companies, knows that there is a limit to what you can do via forums, free articles and submitting tickets in contact forms though.

At some point I was going to have to show my face!

My first networking event was a bit traumatic. I felt sick to my stomach, and was visibly shaking. At the time I felt I had done everything wrong. I talked to a few guys who were also quietly propping up the bar in the corner. After not long I felt the nerves were too much and excused myself, feeling like a failure.

I didn’t realize that I had actually got some things right. Far from being a miserable failure, that networking event has brought me some fantastic, priceless contacts and over six figures in revenue, and is still worth a great deal of profit to this day.

My next networking event, without knowing the first was going to pay off, I decided to employ some “tricks of the networking trade” that I had picked up from forums. Those tricks absolutely bombed. None of it suited me and the more I tried to get up the courage to use them, the more nervous I got. You see, these networking tricks only work for certain situations and personality types, if at all. The real nail in the coffin of those approaches was being on the receiving end of them and noticing how sucky an experience that was too!

So, in talking to people, relating my story and finding out I am not alone, it is clear what the biggest self-sabbotaging traits in networking are.

The two big mistakes networkers make are:

  1. Believing we are too shy– Any social situation is difficult if you are shy and/or introverted, but especially when you feel you have more on the line than just pride alone. But we must make contacts and friends in the business if we are going to progress any more than in a limited way. We need other people!
  2. Trying to be something we are not – Kind of like the people who try to get dates by using lame pickup lines and fake personas, we are given the impression that networking is all about having a rehearsed elevator pitch and a kick-ass business card. Sadly it is not so straightforward, as anyone who has been bombarded with business cards or cornered in an elevator by someone wanting to pitch will tell you!

You might be thinking the biggest mistake is “not trying”, but I find that all but the tiniest minority of people do try. At least once or twice. Many give up, many struggle on, but most try.

The one big lesson I want you to get from reading this is to get out there, practice but be yourself.

As I said above, even though I thought I had majorly fouled up on my first attempt at genuine networking, it actually worked out really well. It worked out because, despite my shyness and nerves, I was myself.

How Anyone Can Connect With Ease and Confidence

Discover how to connect with confidence with Shy Networking

If you want to quickly learn how to network effectively, without stretching your comfort zone too far or coming across as a fake, then I have good news!

Lewis Howes (the LinkedIn expert and sports networker) and I have put together an online class called Shy Networking that will show everything we have learned about growing effective networks the right way. As well as showing how to use all the modern tools to allow you connect with anyone by networking online, we have also got all the goods on how to make face to face networking not just profitable, but a pleasure, for even the most shy.

Go ahead and check out Shy Networking now, and I look forward to us connecting πŸ™‚

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Comments

  1. Hi Chris,
    Great article. I'm not a great networker although I have learnt to get better at it. One of the things that I have found works for me when faced with a room full of people is to aim to make 3-4 good contacts or have the same number of good conversations. Once I have done that then I am free to leave if I still feel uncomfortable. For me, it's all about breaking it down into smaller steps.

    Also, I found that the The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick by Andy Bounds helped me a lot in networking.

    Adrian

  2. Hi Chris,
    Great article. I'm not a great networker although I have learnt to get better at it. One of the things that I have found works for me when faced with a room full of people is to aim to make 3-4 good contacts or have the same number of good conversations. Once I have done that then I am free to leave if I still feel uncomfortable. For me, it's all about breaking it down into smaller steps.

    Also, I found that the The Jelly Effect: How to Make Your Communication Stick by Andy Bounds helped me a lot in networking.

    Adrian

  3. chrisgarrett says:

    Will check the jelly out, thanks Adrian πŸ™‚

  4. chrisgarrett says:

    Will check the jelly out, thanks Adrian πŸ™‚

  5. Great articles. Thank Chris for the option of building network.

  6. Great idea, Chris – kudos for launching this with Lewis. It's a small world – we got both of you individually at #smss10 and now you're rocking it in tandem!

    I have another suggestion for folks who have problems with networking. Work on your confidence. It's not as tough as you think. Paul McKenna sells a book/CD combo called Instant Confidence and it's an absolute winner. Check it out and give it some time. I promise that in a few weeks of listening to the CD you'll see yourself in a totally different way – and see others as people to be won over, rather than feared.

  7. Hi Chris
    I read this with interest (have read more of your stuff elsewhere on the web, third tribe etc) and I did not know your background or even that you were an internet marketer – for that I apologise. I should pay more attention to what I read and where I read it (am looking for the blushing smiley now).

    I prefer to think of networking as starting a conversation, sometimes fellow networkers can be so obsessed with spitting their pitching out that they have forgot or didn't know how to be a person first. As to the shyness, go run a pub, that will cure you of any shyness that you have in about 8 days πŸ˜‰

    I think though we are all reserved and it takes a special set of circumstances to trust and to drop our guards a little to let the people in, but when we do let them in, we keep them.

  8. Debbie Ferm says:

    I'm not shy, but my problem with networking is that I don't actually “network”. I never have business cards, and if people seem interesting and fun, that's good enough for me. So I leave places having had a good time and met cool people, but not any further along in business.

    I'm sure your product is fab like everything you do:)

  9. chrisgarrett says:

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  10. @ Chris – Have you ever used visualization? It's probably THE best way to get over what you are talking about, yet people rarely use it.

    Well actually that's not true, they use it in reverse. They rehearse everything that can go wrong and get incredibly skilled at that instead.

    Seeing ourselves doing whatever it as as we'd wish over and over again in our mind builds neural pathways so that when we are in that situation the brain goes “Yeh I know how to deal with this we do this, this and then this”

    Athletes use it all the time, yet many other people seem to think it's woo-woo when in reality it is proven science.

    Being yourself is crucial too as you're running that program at an unconscious level whereas pretending takes a load of mental capacity.

  11. chrisgarrett says:

    I think Lewis and I are an interesting combination because he is this big, outgoing jock and I am this little fat, shy geek – the odd couple πŸ˜‰

  12. chrisgarrett says:

    I think Lewis and I are an interesting combination because he is this big, outgoing jock and I am this little fat, shy geek – the odd couple πŸ˜‰

  13. chrisgarrett says:

    Don't be embarassed – I find it hard to label myself so don't expect others to be able to know how to label me. Chris Brogan calls himself a typist πŸ˜‰

    I just try to share what I have learned now but I did intentionally move from being a programmer to online marketing and it took a concious effort πŸ™‚

  14. chrisgarrett says:

    I haven't used business cards for a while, I find there are better ways to keep a connection πŸ™‚

  15. chrisgarrett says:

    I do, kind of. Rather than visualize an outcome, I mentally prepare – I started doing it to prevent the worry thoughts, exactly what you were talking about with visualizing a bad outcome πŸ™‚

  16. I'm not shy at all – I'm more like a fireball that has a massive impact πŸ˜‰

    Essential post. I have neglected networking totally in the beginning – I was really naive and thought: Build epic content and people will storm in masses. Needless to say, it didn't happen πŸ˜‰

    Now I'm heavy into the connection game, because I'm very interested in what people have to say and what they know.

  17. I'm not shy at all – I'm more like a fireball that has a massive impact πŸ˜‰

    Essential post. I have neglected networking totally in the beginning – I was really naive and thought: Build epic content and people will storm in masses. Needless to say, it didn't happen πŸ˜‰

    Now I'm heavy into the connection game, because I'm very interested in what people have to say and what they know.

  18. chrisgarrett says:

    Fireball? Nice πŸ™‚

    Yeah, unfortunately the build it and they will come thing doesn't work out too well

  19. KarenSwim says:

    Hi Chris, thank you so much for sharing your story and creating something from your own experience to help others. I was shy growing up but overcame it to become an off the chart extrovert. I am not a good networker but I am infinitely curious about people and enjoy finding out their stories. I have no problem establishing relationships but constantly struggle with selling myself and asking for help. So while I am not shy talking to people or presenting it does manifest in other ways.

  20. A great point really well made Chris. The word “networking” is often enough to bring people out in a fit of nerves and shaking hands, and it's purely down to their self-perception and expectations about the event itself.

    There's nothing wrong with being shy, and it can actually be an asset to people. Would love to see/hear more about what you've built here.

  21. This was a good article. I'm just starting into the consulting business for online marketing and am taking it to heart.

  22. This was a good article. I'm just starting into the consulting business for online marketing and am taking it to heart.

  23. chrisgarrett says:

    I hear you – lots of people struggle with asking for help and I find it is often the most generous of us who ask the least! It's something I often have to help clients overcome, even for the smallest of things.

  24. chrisgarrett says:

    I hear you – lots of people struggle with asking for help and I find it is often the most generous of us who ask the least! It's something I often have to help clients overcome, even for the smallest of things.

  25. chrisgarrett says:

    I can't count the number of people who have tried to “fix” me of being introverted, as if not only was it something wrong with me (it isn't), but that it was somehow “shameful” LOL πŸ™‚

  26. chrisgarrett says:

    Good, I wish I hard really put in the effort and learned the right approach earlier

  27. chrisgarrett says:

    Good, I wish I hard really put in the effort and learned the right approach earlier

  28. With me it's having the social energy. I'd rather stay at home and be comfortable and relaxed than meet with people I don't know. I guess it's something to get over and go out and try

  29. When my daughter was young we moved to a new city and she was moaning about how unhappy and lonely she was and didn't have any friends at school. My advice was to look around and there would almost certainly be somebody else in the same situation as she was and that she should seek them out and make them comfortable. I see the same thing at networking events. There are lots of folks that are shy and unsure of themselves and the prevailing protocol. They might not be A list yet, but they might also be a shy A lister, like you.

    The important thing to keep in the back of your mind is that it's not all about you. You have to offer something too and that usually starts with some friendly conversation. If the only thing on your mind is what you can get out of it you're probably on the wrong track. My biggest problem with networking is not following up on the contacts that I do make.

  30. chrisgarrett says:

    If you approach it right then you are strengthening relationships with people you DO know πŸ™‚

  31. chrisgarrett says:

    There is a huge psychological element, but I think anyone (shy or not) who takes the time to approach it correctly has a huge advantage – certainly against the pitchfest types πŸ˜‰

  32. Networking when you don't need it so your network is there when you do is so cruical. Another one for me are focus – without it nothing gets done and lately I have been super focused!

    Being an introvert I have accepted that while I am happy to go out in the front of the room and talk about what I do and network its not my natural position. My strengths lie in being the engine that makes a business turn so being a detail/system/sort-of-shy-but-dont-like-to-label-myself-so kind of person makes me an ideal person to work with an introvert/i-love-the-attention type of person πŸ™‚

  33. chrisgarrett says:

    Focus is vital, and I think it is part of being concious about what you are doing, and why. One of the lessons from the event where I thought I had done badly but hadn't was I had bumbled through not really knowing what I was doing or even why I wanted to be there πŸ™‚

  34. lewishowes says:

    you are too kind Chris πŸ˜‰

  35. Hi Chris–

    On the “too shy” thing…when people use that excuse (and I'm totallyguilty), there are some hidden benefits for the introvert:

    1. It's more socially acceptable to say shyness holds you back, as most people find this an endearing trait. And why not, when you separate yourself from all the bombastic marketers out there, and

    2. It's a “built-in” excuse for under-performing, b/c after all, you're shy and therefore unable to build your business through traditional marketing means. “Aw, how sad, if only s/he didn't have this debilitating shy-thing going…”

    I need to stop the B.S train, and get to movin'…

    Thanks for the Monday morning a**-kicking!

  36. chrisgarrett says:

    Great points Linda, you are bang on right there. Hadn't thought of it that way πŸ™‚

  37. Oh, forgot one thing:

    3. It's also somewhat narcissistic b/c you're so caught up in your 'process', and really nobody really gives a damn.

  38. Hi Chris,

    Just reading your article and could help but have a put form in my stomach. I know that I keep trying and not doing networking well. I am on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, all the rest and still manage to not really get over the hump so to speak.
    devin

  39. Thanks Chris for the great post. My problem is I'm so new in this area that I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I'm doing. I think I'm shy in a way but that is only because I'm unsure about things. Hopefully a year from now it will all be different.

  40. Thanks Chris for the great post. My problem is I'm so new in this area that I'm still trying to figure out what exactly I'm doing. I think I'm shy in a way but that is only because I'm unsure about things. Hopefully a year from now it will all be different.

  41. Whoops! Are business cards old hat? Just spent Β£70 on some cool ( if I say so myself) business cards I designed myself in preparation for visiting an IM seminar in London this month. But they only show my url/email/Skype and Facebook link – and a cartoon of a pistol being pointed at a puppy: “Visit my site or the puppy gets it!”

    Only given to those that ask for my details I was kind of trying to do something a bit more 'stand out' and interesting card wise and maybe use them as an 'ice breaker to create a networking conversation.

  42. Whoops! Are business cards old hat? Just spent Β£70 on some cool ( if I say so myself) business cards I designed myself in preparation for visiting an IM seminar in London this month. But they only show my url/email/Skype and Facebook link – and a cartoon of a pistol being pointed at a puppy: “Visit my site or the puppy gets it!”

    Only given to those that ask for my details I was kind of trying to do something a bit more 'stand out' and interesting card wise and maybe use them as an 'ice breaker to create a networking conversation.

  43. chrisgarrett says:

    Keep working at it and learn what works, that's all you can do πŸ™‚

  44. chrisgarrett says:

    Keep working at it and learn what works, that's all you can do πŸ™‚

  45. chrisgarrett says:

    It's ok to be unsure, that's better than arrogance when it comes to this stuff πŸ™‚

  46. chrisgarrett says:

    It's ok to be unsure, that's better than arrogance when it comes to this stuff πŸ™‚

  47. chrisgarrett says:

    It's not business cards but how they are used – they are kind of the whole point for some people, like a way to score maximum points by giving out the most, or are used *instead* of conversation for some. They are handy to have when someone needs one πŸ™‚

  48. chrisgarrett says:

    It's not business cards but how they are used – they are kind of the whole point for some people, like a way to score maximum points by giving out the most, or are used *instead* of conversation for some. They are handy to have when someone needs one πŸ™‚

  49. Debbie Ferm says:

    Clive, I don't think business cards are old hat at all. I have always felt goofy using them, but for most people, I'm sure they are still the norm. Just the old “different strokes for different folks” thing.

    Besides, even if I had them, I'm sure I'd forget them at home. That's MY downfall:)

  50. I actually have social anxiety disorder so this post really resonates with me. I've currently made a career out of putting myself into social situations that are awkward to almost any one (not talking about my online endeavors) and it's helped me over come… a smidgen. I think it's contributed more to my hair loss than anything else.

    I try not to let my shyness slow me down as much as it use to, but it's still rather difficult. Glad to see other introverts make it. Thanks for your transparency.

  51. I actually have social anxiety disorder so this post really resonates with me. I've currently made a career out of putting myself into social situations that are awkward to almost any one (not talking about my online endeavors) and it's helped me over come… a smidgen. I think it's contributed more to my hair loss than anything else.

    I try not to let my shyness slow me down as much as it use to, but it's still rather difficult. Glad to see other introverts make it. Thanks for your transparency.

  52. Thanks Chris! Great article! πŸ™‚

    I think one of the most important things in building a network is quality vs. quantity. Or as you put it: Not to come across as fake.

    I did my MBA at a top school and they kept pushing the networking and the effect of it, which generally is correct (a top MBA school, no matter how great its professors, has a humongous value in the network that is open to me now); however, I think that the quality sometimes gets under the wheel in the whole networking hype. I am not going to recommend you or your product to anyone, if I do not really know you enough to trust my judgement (It literally happened to me that a guy, whom I had never met, from another program at the same university came and said: “Hey, my name is XYZ. Can I send you a linkedIn invitation so you can recommend me and introduce me to you network?” Thats just not how it should be πŸ˜‰

    So guys, “don't come across fake” πŸ™‚ A great network is about give and share, and then its gonna pay you back big time! Do as Chris says and “practice but be yourself.” πŸ™‚

  53. Thanks Chris! Great article! πŸ™‚

    I think one of the most important things in building a network is quality vs. quantity. Or as you put it: Not to come across as fake.

    I did my MBA at a top school and they kept pushing the networking and the effect of it, which generally is correct (a top MBA school, no matter how great its professors, has a humongous value in the network that is open to me now); however, I think that the quality sometimes gets under the wheel in the whole networking hype. I am not going to recommend you or your product to anyone, if I do not really know you enough to trust my judgement (It literally happened to me that a guy, whom I had never met, from another program at the same university came and said: “Hey, my name is XYZ. Can I send you a linkedIn invitation so you can recommend me and introduce me to you network?” Thats just not how it should be πŸ˜‰

    So guys, “don't come across fake” πŸ™‚ A great network is about give and share, and then its gonna pay you back big time! Do as Chris says and “practice but be yourself.” πŸ™‚

  54. Thanks Chris! Great article! πŸ™‚

    I think one of the most important things in building a network is quality vs. quantity. Or as you put it: Not to come across as fake.

    I did my MBA at a top school and they kept pushing the networking and the effect of it, which generally is correct (a top MBA school, no matter how great its professors, has a humongous value in the network that is open to me now); however, I think that the quality sometimes gets under the wheel in the whole networking hype. I am not going to recommend you or your product to anyone, if I do not really know you enough to trust my judgement (It literally happened to me that a guy, whom I had never met, from another program at the same university came and said: “Hey, my name is XYZ. Can I send you a linkedIn invitation so you can recommend me and introduce me to you network?” Thats just not how it should be πŸ˜‰

    So guys, “don't come across fake” πŸ™‚ A great network is about give and share, and then its gonna pay you back big time! Do as Chris says and “practice but be yourself.” πŸ™‚

  55. prosperitygal says:

    Chris,

    Someone I guess it would have been you to kick off the Shy Networking campaign, giggle. What I found in our first interview is that you are not really shy to me . I am came to a realization when we were done that what makes folks react is when someone does not take the time to ask “Better” questions. If you are truly interested in what the other person has to say then they feel comfortable you value them and they step right out into the spotlight without even thinking about it.

    I love your demeanor and I know that when you give me an answer it will be genuine.

  56. prosperitygal says:

    Chris,

    Someone I guess it would have been you to kick off the Shy Networking campaign, giggle. What I found in our first interview is that you are not really shy to me . I am came to a realization when we were done that what makes folks react is when someone does not take the time to ask “Better” questions. If you are truly interested in what the other person has to say then they feel comfortable you value them and they step right out into the spotlight without even thinking about it.

    I love your demeanor and I know that when you give me an answer it will be genuine.

  57. Nice article from one very shy and introverted guy to another!

  58. Minbani59 says:

    I think one of the habits of highly effective people is consistency. If I was more consistent, I often think I would be better off. Maybe another effective habit they have is good time management skills.

    A friend once told me (politely :-)) that she would not ask me what the time was because I would explain to her how a clock was made! I now try to stick soley to pertinent facts….

  59. websitetraffic says:

    One thing I want to know is: How would networking help you when you are in travel business selling $3000 packages? People find you and check out your testimonials and email you. You keep answering questions timely and provide professional advices. They like it and buy it. The next thing is that they mostly leave and never come back to the same country. What could be the role of networking here?

  60. chrisgarrett says:

    I think the internet has become a valuable tool for people like us who are not natural meet-and-greet types, a whole lot can be done without meeting face to face. Plus you would be surprised who we look up to as rockstars who turn out to be just as shy or introverted as us πŸ™‚

  61. chrisgarrett says:

    I think the internet has become a valuable tool for people like us who are not natural meet-and-greet types, a whole lot can be done without meeting face to face. Plus you would be surprised who we look up to as rockstars who turn out to be just as shy or introverted as us πŸ™‚

  62. chrisgarrett says:

    Oh I hate when people do that “Recommend me dude!” … “um, who are you again?” πŸ™‚

  63. chrisgarrett says:

    We have to stick together … but not in big groups πŸ˜‰

  64. chrisgarrett says:

    In my reading and interviewing successful people I have found many are quite scatter brained and erratic – they find people who compliment their skills and habits … through networking!

  65. chrisgarrett says:

    Networking skills get you more referrals and ways to diversify your business so that you can and do get repeat custom.

  66. chrisgarrett says:

    Part of being introverted is being ok when talking to people we know or feel comfortable with, but still having our social battery wear down. Also, we tend to learn to hide it well – society doesn't seem to understand or accept shy/introverts πŸ™‚

  67. websitetraffic says:

    Thank you Chris. Although I don't think people will pay a similar amount to travel to the same destination, I agree with building a network. Now, let's imagine you're a traveler who have visited a tourist destination as a result of using the same networking platform and getting in touch with me. Will you be interested to travel again to the same destination? Your testimonial could help me attract others to buy the same package, but will you be persuaded to come again? Remember, it's not cheap!

  68. chrisgarrett says:

    If you partner with other people in complimentary destinations then they don't necessarily need to go to the same place. That said when I have had a great experience I have returned more than once to a place I enjoyed

  69. Good style of writin, and it was very easy to understand. And yaa good article. Thanks for sharing!

  70. I was insanely shy all my life, too. Then I decided to take off for a foreign country where not only did I not know anyone, I didn't even speak the language. It kind of forced me to start talking to people or I never would have survived, but I was still shy. Later, when I started writing an expat blog, people started writing me, asking to meet up while they were in Guatemala. Like you, I was freaking out at the idea, but now that I've forced myself to do it many times, it's actually a lot of fun and while that wasn't for business, it helped build a unique network.

    Great post and I hope your course is a huge success . . . as much for you guys as for those who are shy enough to need it. πŸ™‚

  71. websitetraffic says:

    It makes perfect sense to me. Besides, you've just directed me toward something I would call targeted networking, not just at any social site and with any group of people. Thanks a lot Chris.

  72. Lynn Edwards says:

    As a total newbie at blogging, I've just spent the last two hours soaking up as much advice on your site as my brain and experience level can handle. What a terrific resource! Your post on building relationships and readers' comments have led me to look at networking in a much more positive light. Thanks so much, Chris!

  73. chrisgarrett says:

    Glad you are enjoying it πŸ™‚

  74. Hey great post, it's got to be said, you really are a true network marketing educator. This covers simple yet important points overlooked by most bloggers which can of course bring better results. I have just started blogging and its great to find such useful info. Wish I had seen this earlier.

  75. chrisgarrett says:

    That sounds awesome, have you written up your experience on your blog?

  76. This is also one of my favourite networking books – a must read for any novice networker. Great post as well Chris, quite often people feel like they're the only ones that feel that way and it's great to hear how you overcame your nerves

  77. Great article Chris! I think a lot of people struggle with this – including myself. The biggest issue I face is not to spread myself too thin. So I was wondering what you recommend in terms of # of people to focus on, # of networking events to go to per week etc.

  78. Carol Dollar-Smith says:

    Thanks for this, Chris! I'm a newbie to blogging and to the business world in general. Coming from a creative, academic environment, business is like a foreign country to me. I've always been shy, too, and discovered when first attending large writing conferences where I didn't know anyone that volunteering to help with something is both a great way to meet people and a great way to feel as though you actually belong there. Things are much different online….

  79. Hey Chris,

    Awesome article from one very shy guy. I don't think i'm shy πŸ˜€
    Thanks for this great Post.

    ~Dev

  80. UrbaneWay says:

    Hi Chris,
    Nicely penned post. As it relates to business, the old days of needing to sell more stuff was solved by buying a larger blocks of ads. Today, be it networking or building your Long Tail following, friends or network happens over time. Businesses not yet engaging in building the referenced network will not be able to Buy a Block of Long Tail, and such will figure out it happens one connection at a time. Better to start today, it will have significant value over time,

  81. Hey Chris,

    Going to tell you a story and I'm sure you will appreciate it as we've talked about this last time we met.
    After following you and reading your stuff for a while, I was really looking forward to meeting you in person. The 1st chance was at SOBcon09. I noticed you sat in the back and kept away from most of the action.

    I clearly remember going up and introducing myself and thanking you for your words of wisdom. Your response threw me off a bit. You seemed very distant and taken aback from my approach, and I thought I had said something wrong. Initially I misread your response as a brush off. You may have had better things to do or more important people to talk to.

    That was okay. I still read your blog and listened to what you had to say. πŸ™‚

    The next time our paths crossed was at the Pre SOBcon SXSW party. You sat right next to me at the table and I reintroduced myself again. The conversation we had still stays with me as it cleared up a lot from our 1st encounter. Even now, I can’t remember how we came to the subject of shyness, but you were very open on how difficult it is for you to talk with people you don’t know and be in the middle of the party. You mentioned how you would rather be in the back than upfront.

    I learned two things from that conversation:

    1) Just because some people are online, doesn’t mean they feel the same comfortableness when offline.
    2) People are people. And it’s easy to build pedestals for influencers, when they would be just as happy drinking a pint with good people.

    This made sense, and I could relate. Being an introvert, I too have had to work on my shyness. It was eye opening and sense of relief to hear the same from someone you respect.

    So I applaud you for the work you’ve done conquering your fears. It’s not easy, but I can tell you’ve made great strides. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

  82. chrisgarrett says:

    Thanks for this David, and I think people reading will learn something from it too πŸ™‚

    It was weird coming to terms with the idea that people would want to talk to me. Especially at a place like SOBCon where there are actual internet rockstars like Brian Clark, Liz Strauss and Chris Brogan etc etc.

    A few times I have realized I have not done as well as I might have when people have approached me. I'm better at it than I was, but it has been a tough part of my challenge. Despite how it might seem, I actually do like to talk to people, but stopping myself from judging my own “performance” has been a struggle, and has caused me to have that distance or disconnection that you experienced.

    Thanks for giving me a second chance, and I look forward to seeing you at Blogworld or wherever you turn up next πŸ™‚

  83. chrisgarrett says:

    In terms of ROI there are few better things to invest in πŸ™‚

  84. chrisgarrett says:

    Combining online and offline works best I find, especially where you are not being quite as bombarded by pitches etc πŸ™‚

  85. chrisgarrett says:

    You have to tune it to your own abilities and results. It's kind of like fitness training (something else that makes me uncomfortable but I have to do, heh) – a schedule that works for someone else is not going to work for you but you can learn an approach, some systems and techniques then apply them to your own situation.

  86. Hi Chris,
    I too struggled for a while, couldn't see the wood for the trees. I decided it was time for some help, i found a mentor, the way i work online changed overnight. I am going to my first seminar next weekend, i am nervous now, imagine what i will be like by friday.
    Wish me luck.
    Pete

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  91. Richard Branson is a funny one, he knew nothing about the music industry when he started his own label (Virgin). Then didn't have a clue about aviation when set up his airline (Virgin Atlantic/Blue). The point is that he always had a good network and surrounded himself with the best team and achieved success.