Growing Your Network Through Giving

Today I attended a local women’s networking event and today’s speaker was Jerry Schwartz, BNI Executive Director. Jerry and I bump into each other often at networking outings, but this was the first time I had the pleasure of hearing Jerry speak to a group. Jerry spoke about “Net-Linking”, his own phrase for networking. I really enjoyed the points he shared, and wanted to relay them!

Networking is ultimately successful when you can achieve three areas:


What we are looking for in connections is Mutual Profitability… in other words, when you do something sweet for me (such as pass on a referral), I need to consider what I can do for you. Are there referrals I’m missing that would be good connections for you? Or even as simple as a thank you. (Showing appreciation goes a long way!) Through a give and take, where both parties benefit in some way, the relationship continues and both parties continue to help each other grow.

What a wonderful way to build a community of strong business relationships!

Then Jerry shared a wonderful story to close the morning’s event, about a farmer and his excellent corn crop. I loved the story, so I searched for it online and found it!

There once was a farmer who grew award-winning corn. Each year he entered his corn in the state fair where it won a blue ribbon.

One year a newspaper reporter interviewed him and learned something interesting about how he grew it. The reporter discovered that the farmer shared his seed corn with his neighbors.

“How can you afford to share your best seed corn with your neighbors when they are entering corn in competition with yours each year?” the reporter asked.

“Why sir,” said the farmer, “didn’t you know? The wind picks up pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grow inferior corn, cross-pollination will steadily degrade the quality of my corn. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors grow good corn.”

He is very much aware of the connectedness of life. His corn cannot improve unless his neighbor’s corn also improves.

So it is with our lives. Those who choose to live in peace must help their neighbors to live in peace. Those who choose to live well must help others to live well, for the value of a life is measured by the lives it touches. And those who choose to be happy must help others to find happiness, for the welfare of each is bound up with the welfare of all.

The lesson for each of us is this: if we are to grow good corn, we must help our neighbors grow good corn.

-Author Unknown

A perfect lesson to remind us, that by helping those around us, we in turn help ourselves. We are told time and time again that giving is the best way to receive.

Thank you Jerry for the wonderful lesson today!

Photo Credit: Mt. Airy Women In Motion (~ 2010)