Oprah Winfrey said on her TV show in 2009 that we in America don’t think in terms of community. Rather, we’re a culture of millions of individuals going in separate directions. If we’d work together and be supportive of one another, she said, we’d accomplish more and improve our quality of life.
One reason corporations accomplish their objectives more easily than individuals do is because they make use of the combined energy of several or many individuals. Why can’t we do that in our communities, so that we can have much better communities?
The standard networking model involves a marketing or business approach. The desire for profit and earning money has been the glue that motivates individuals and holds our economy together. If you studied economics, you’d recognize this as the “invisible hand” theory. Unfortunately, earning money is far from easy, yet there’s still a need for people to help each other.
Why not just attend business networking events?
At a business networking event, everyone is on his or her own. If you don’t find someone to do business with, you go home empty-handed. With community networking, on the other hand, you’ll meet more people, not just business people but also people who know business people and can provide a referral. Thus there’s a greater possibility of making a worthwhile contact. Your geographical range is expanded as well.
You can also learn valuable skills or improve upon your skills more easily with community networking. Members are more likely going to share their knowledge with others at no charge, because they know they’ll be getting something valuable in return: training in skills they don’t possess, and or valuable contacts.
Due to the large number of people unemployed or underemployed in our society, there’s a need for a network that’ll help these people cope with their discouraging situations. Members of a community network can share their experiences with each other, offer advice, refer business or employment or even form an enterprise together. In this way a community network is similar to organizations like AA and Al-Anon.
All this makes for a cohesive networking organization, one that contributes to the well-being and growth of all members. The community networking model is built upon a simple but strong foundation: In Unity there is Strength.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the goals of community networking and business networking are mutually exclusive. You may find it advantageous to attend meetings of both kinds of networking.