The Beginners Guide to Horizontal Networking

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There has been a lot of talk recently about horizontal networking. Sadly, a good deal of people don’t know what horizontal networking is and  many who do don’t have any interest in participating in it. Without this important type of networking, the percentage of people who able to find success in their craft is drastically reduced even though there is most often room at the proverbial table for far more businesses we see seated there. Our society has become such a vertically minded group of people we often forget even the most successful people must come from somewhere.

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a quick definition. The horizon in the sky lends beauty to everyone in it’s line of sight. Stars and thing in outer space (out of reach) have to be looked at by looking straight up and you don’t get the benefit of the beauty around you. That’s the same in networking. We get used to the horizon because we see it every day and sometimes forget about its magnificence. Though there are many successful people who are doing great things we tend to only look up to them for success (beauty) and all the while push them further and further up while others who are also doing great things stay at the horizon level. A friend recently gave an example of how we make celebrities richer and richer supporting all of their new ventures yet when a local person offers the same products that are as good as or even better quality they are ignored instead of us networking horizontally to help each other achieve success together. Here are some tips to help you revamp your networking strategy to build a circle of beautiful horizons so you can all keep bringing each other up to the level of success you desire.

  1. Create a circle filled with people who do different things. If you’re all competing to do the same thing, no one will want to give a bunch of effort to push others before they get to where they want to be when they feel competition.
  2. Form small mastermind groups to strategize on how you can each pool resources to get ahead in whatever industries you are in.
  3. Check your ego at the door. If you are interested in this, you may not have reached the level you’d like to so let you ego go, face where you are and begin building the network you need instead of the network you want.
  4. Quit comparing yourself to celebrities. Stop saying things like I’m going to be the next whomever.  Be the next YOU so others will want to learn how to be successful like you. Make next year the year of being YOU and not being like them! You can achieve the levels you desire but do them as yourself.
  5. Learn from the winners. Take lessons from those who have been successful and improve on them within your own circle of people. Lock arms and rise up together.
  6.  Check your followers.  If you are on social media and all of your followers are people who do what you do, they’re not usually going to buy your product or services. You need people who want or need something you can help them with. You want followers who look at you as a solution to their problem. Your new horizontal network has a network they can connect you with but you have to be willing to do the same.
  7. Give people a break. Stop judging and talking about others. This only brings you down and eventually your circles will know you aren’t in it for the long haul but only to step on other step on others to get what you want. If you’re comfortable with that, so be it; however, remember someone will eventually feel the same about you and do the same to you.
  8. Keep your circle tight. You need a good circle as you develop your work and grow. You need solid people you can rely on because the sharks will come out once you achieve success.

Networking is not as hard as people think but what’s the sense of networking if it is not helping anyone. Horizontal networking is a great tool. Vertical networking is not a bad thing but it shouldn’t be the only type of networking you know how to do. Many use sites like Linked In for vertical networking because they want a job and it pays to get connected with those who can give you one. On the other hand, many others connect with those who can’t employ them but who could potentially help them get clients but they don’t reach out to them other than with a connect request and then they leave it at that. Simply said we have to do the work but it’s how we do the work that matters most.

Photo: Pixabay/Fotographielink

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