Why Networkers Fail

Most networkers fail because they’re not “in business.” If you’ll let that sink in for a moment, you’ll likely realize that you have no idea what it actually means to be in business.

The good news: it’s not your fault. Most people have met very few people who actually know what it means to be in business. For example, the vast majority of teachers, at any level, are not “in the know” on this issue. Most people don’t own a business, nor do they directly own shares in a business. Most people were not reared by someone who understood business, either.

What do you mean? (If I were you, I’d be screaming that at my computer screen just now.) The thing is, there is really only one core purpose for a business to exist. That purpose is to create profit for its owners. And, for you self-employed types, profit is a return on invested capital, separate and distinct from a return on one’s invested time. Every other aspect of business mission, purpose, etc. is just marketing.

In other words, a business must have a positive bottom line, or it will cease to exist. Period. Everything else is just fluff.

On top of that, there is really only one type of person who can reliably make a business produce a profit on purpose. That person is a ? I don’t know what one word would describe such a person. You could say entrepreneur, but that best applies to start-ups. You could say manager, but that best applies to more mature businesses. You could say leader, but that isn’t very business-specific. Perhaps “leader” is the best word.

Lacking a good one-word description, however, I can define the core of this person, no matter his or her label, title or role. And there are two core attributes that a successful business person must possess. In Latin, these are the sine qua non of business, that which, if missing, causes the business not to exist. These are:

1. An indelible, implacable intention to produce a profit; and
2. A deep and abiding love for the profitable result.

Or, I could say that profit must be a properly emotionalized definite major purpose, to borrow Napoleon Hill’s phraseology.

You should know that I’m a recovering business failure. I failed because I did not have real access to my emotions. That’s another story by itself, but it’s true. I mentally conceived success, but I didn’t believe in it enough to allow emotion to properly attach or manifest. I also failed in not demanding enough profit from my business ventures. In essence, I was playing at being in business, rather than really being in business.

You’ll know a person who is truly in business by his attitude, demeanor and actions. That type of person, when discussing business, will be dead earnest. He will often be serious with a good sense of self-deprecating humor, but his core will be discernibly serious.

That doesn’t mean this hypothetical leader won’t engage in business with a sense of playful creativity. It does mean that the leader is not playing at being in business. Rather, she expects and demands that her business will produce the profits she intends.

The easiest way to sense this serious demeanor is to watch a person’s eyes and the set of the mouth. Behind the pleasant expression you will observe an adamant core, fully committed to success, and only success will do. Think back on your recent conversations with business people. When you sift your memories through this sieve, you’ll probably immediately identify one or more people who fit this model.

There’s a big difference between the relaxed confidence and immovable intent of a true leader and its counterfeits. You’ll know these as well. The palpably false veneer of confidence over often desperate doubt. The slick, oily feel of shallow promotion. The nagging sense that something about the false leader just isn’t quite right.

Definite intent is only half the success equation. A true leader will bond positive emotion to her intent. He will be in love with the idea of success, married to his successful vision. He will be married to his vision, in the real way, until death do us part, like you see in romantic cinema. He will jealously guard his affections, saving himself for his one true business love. He will honor his business by giving it his all, and he won’t be tempted by attractive alternatives.

Love of this sort allows the leader to be at play when “working,” embodying Timothy Ferriss’s 4-hour work week. Love’s companion is faith. Faith and fear cannot coexist, because perfect love casts out all fear. No Fear’s popular product line attempts to exemplify the all-in, no reservations lifestyle that a leader adopts.

And why not? With love’s perfect faith and confident hope, success is assured. Why? The leader’s demand for profit will lead her to do all that is necessary to secure it. In a service business, she will be professional. In an idea business, she will be infallibly creative. In a product business, she will give exceptional value.

Turns out the sages were right. There really is no way to fail when you sell out to a good business concept, infuse its future with positive emotion, and diligently act on an indelible intent to produce profit.

Now we know why most networkers fail. Never having known the truth, they cannot apply it. Not knowing profit’s basic ingredients, they cannot enjoy its fruits. Their fault? I think not. They just need better leaders.

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