Tag Archives: experts

Great Networking Trick

Last week I accidentally discovered a great new networking trick. I was attending a lecture on Entrepreneurship in Norway. I walked into the auditorium where there were 100-150 chairs setup. I was early, so I went to the front of the room and sat in the chair that was nearest the podium in the first row where there happened to be an electric plug for my Mac. As each of the speakers, the experts and the VIPs arrived – those that were scheduled to speak – one after the other they came and introduced themselves to me. Since I was sitting close to the podium and since I had on a suit they all just assumed that I was someone very important or one of the other expert speakers. I shook their hands, we exchanged cards and I proceeded to ask them lots of questions concerning what they were going to speak about. I had a great time. They had a great time (because they got to talk about themselves) and I came home with a handful of the best business cards I had collected in a long time. Some of them are still probably asking themselves “who was that guy really?”

Keith Ferrazzi, the author of Never Eat Alone, says that Networking is one of the most important keys to success in a startup business. It will help you find jobs, recruit talent, win new customers and discover investors who’ll support your ideas. My experience is that being a great networker may not be absolutely essential, but it certainly makes things a lot easier and more fun.

According to Ferrazzi, successful networking is all about building close, sincere relationships based on mutual generosity. He says that entrepreneurs cannot achieve their career goals on their own. They have to network their way to success.

Many years ago I was co-founder of a software company and one of the other founders was a genius. A real genius. I mean the serious, lifetime member of MENSA, IQ-of-186 type genius. He was so brilliant that he was often challenged in other more normal social settings. This was good for me to understand. I am nowhere near what would be called genius, but OK, I have other talents. We worked well together as a team because we complimented each other. In today’s business world, you will need other people to help you to succeed and to provide the diversity necessary to solve complicated problems and challenges. Few successful entrepreneurs succeed by flying solo.

Dale Carnegie literally wrote the book on networking in 1936. How to Win Friends and Influence People demystified the process of making friends out of strangers and inspired legions of business coaches to carry on Carnegie’s message. His methods were so simple, yet so fundamentally useful. Here is what he recommended:

1. Smile – Simple huh? While this is easy enough, when I attended a networking event last week and I looked around the room to see how many people were actually smiling. I was shocked to see so many sour faces…lots of people frowning and staring down at their own shoes.

2. Ask Questions – Most people spend all their networking time talking about themselves. They drone on forever. Networking is about asking questions and being truly curious about the other person. If you take the time to ask, you will be surprised how fascinating, interesting and fun even the most boring person can be.

3. Listen – It is not enough to just ask questions. You have to stop to listen. I mean really listen. Listen to what they are saying. Listen to what they are not saying. Listen with your ears, your eyes and your gut feeling. Give generously of your time and attention. Nothing is more highly valued in our society today.


Want to turn-around your business and achieve results in record time? Contact me to discuss Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation and Management for Hire services for technology companies. You can learn more at www.ricksalmon.comwww.xelerator.com and at www.e-unlimited.com.

Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who lives in Norway and believes that European startup companies can succeed and grow quickly if only they get the proper help and assistance. Please join the discussion and leave your comments. Subscribe to this newsletter/blog to receive frequent updates and tips.

USA passes Educating Entrepreneurs bill

“Every $1 dollar invested in this program will put $2.87 into the national treasury” – N.Velazquez (US State Representative)

“The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our region. What is lacking is the opportunity and ability to tap into ‘the experts’.” Donna Kilhoffer (Community Education Council)

On July 28, 2009 the US House of Representatives passed a bi-partisan bill called the Educating Entrepreneurs Through Today’s Technology Act. The bill was introduced by New York Democrat Nydia Velazquez, who is the Chairperson of the House Small Business Committee.  It provides funds for creating a USA national training program for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. It will finance satellite and advanced network infrastructure as well as leading-edge content and participation by some of the most successful and experienced entrepreneurs on the planet. The delivery will be live, online, interactive and available to small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide. Whether they live in the backwoods of West Virginia or in the heart of Silicon Valley, they will now have access to instant, interactive and specialized expertise. Now that is the type of government stimulus program I like.

Why is this important for European entrepreneurs and politicians?

  • USA entrepreneurs are challenged because there are so many remote geographies and rural areas. Europeans are challenged because there are so many different and also remote nationalities. Europe needs this kind of program.
  • USA entrepreneurs are blessed with a single, large and homogeneous market. Europeans need to lower the national barriers so that European Entrepreneurs can service EU markets unencumbered.
  • USA venture capital markets are uniform and relatively equivalent across the country (the VC terms in Boston are not that much different from those in Silicon Valley or the Technology Triangle in N.Carolina). Europe needs to flatten the geography.
  • USA entrepreneurs struggle with internationalization and cross-border ventures. Europeans understand this innately and should be encouraged to use this to their competitive advantage.

Europe needs to find a way to turn this from a disadvantage into a competitive advantage.

Your comments on this article are encouraged.

Here is more information:

Thompson Bill Passes House “The Educating Entrepreneurs through Today’s Technology Act”

July 28, 2009 6:12 PM. Washington, D.C.—Today the House of Representatives passed by voice vote, House Resolution 1807, the Educating Entrepreneurs through Today’s Technology Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Glenn `GT’ Thompson, R-Howard.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing roughly half of U.S. workers, and while our communities are experiencing high unemployment rates, the entrepreneurial spirit remains alive and well,” Thompson told the Members.  “For many underserved and rural areas, it is critical to have the opportunity and ability to tap into resources that will foster further economic development and provide prospective entrepreneurs with the same access afforded to their suburban and urban counterparts.”

The measure will provide high-quality tele-distance training through a competitive grants process administered by the Small Business Administration. The program will promote peer-to-peer networking for small business development, by using technology to deliver information and share data on-line and through videos and satellite communication.

Satellite seminars and online information services will allow prospective and established business men and women to interact with each other to trouble shoot problems and share best practices for interacting with the Small business Administration.  This is a good example of the proliferation of online networking sites, where people can exchange their knowledge and  information.  This one will offer facts and figures on securing financing, navigating government regulations and learning to get a small business off the ground.

For many entrepreneurs, accessing this kind of information requires driving long distances to a Small Business Development Center.  This legislation will bring the information to home computers.

In April, when this bill had a hearing before the Small Business Committee, Donna Kilhoffer, the program manager for the Community Education Council of Elk and Cameron Counties testified, “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our region. What is lacking is the opportunity and ability to tap into ‘the experts’.”

This measure will allow people throughout the Nation to tap into the experts.

Thompson’s bill passed in May as well when it was included as a part of a larger House-passed bill, (H.R. 2352), the Job Creation through Entrepreneurship Act of 2009.  Both measures await action in the U.S. Senate before either can become law.

Want to turn-around your business and achieve results in record time? Contact me to discuss Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation and Management for Hire services for technology companies. You can learn more at www.ricksalmon.com and at www.xelerator.com.

Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who believes that this beautiful world that we have created needs our help. Subscribe to this newsletter/blog to receive frequent updates and tips.