Create your own “Career” Board of Advisers

Here is an answer to a BIG question on how to approach people when you need to grow a business and/or conduct a job search campaign by getting connected to target companies, prospect clients and new customers. This advice will apply to everyone you know and meet as you expand your network to create a strong level of success for your new consulting opportunity and future job search activity.
There is strength in numbers and forming your own “small” focus mastermind network group is a “must do” and “critical have” for small business owners and job seekers alike. You can have a support group at your own career level to offer guidance and support in your job search and/or consulting practice. Conducting business and/or job search on your own is not a viable option in today’s business and economic environment.

Hint: The ideal place to start these personal network groups is the contacts you have on your cell phone and the email address book in Outlook.

If you can envision a pyramid with 3 levels of contacts:
LEVEL 1
Build your network of solid people from a diverse background versus similar industry backgrounds. Do this through attending network organizations and personal connections. The people you are introduced to at these meetings are the ones you feel will benefit the focus group you are building which should not exceed 7-10 members, initially. Meet once or more a month as needed and get to know one another’s ideal customer or misc. targets they are seeking. The goal of the focus group is to build relationships, not a casual network and help one another. This will expand your friendships in a confidential group of people that can offer guidance before, during and after you land a new job or client customer. This group is the crème of your overall network. Attempt to do for them what they will try to do for you. This is also your “Life” relationships from here onward. Life relationships encompass business/career, personal friends and family.

One level down on the pyramid is your secondary group:
LEVEL 2
This group can be organized as industry specific or diversified; both seem to have its Benefits. Keep this network group to maybe 20 people. What falls outside of the tier one group will probably benefit this network group. Maintain this group perhaps on a quarterly basis and when opportunities present themselves. This is also a network group to keep close and meet occasionally.

The last level in the pyramid is your base group of people:
LEVEL 3
These are casual network contacts that need periodic attention at 3, 6 or at a minimum of 12 months. Staying in touch with casual contacts can be every bit as important as your core group. You will find occasionally, that there are people in your network that contribute to your needs outside your core group regularly. I would recommend raising their level of contact and contribute to their needs in kind.

Good Hunting!
Coach Mark
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