Stuck behind the computer screen, unable to move from the room and confined to build virtual relationships – the lot of the stressed out overworked business owner is not a happy one. How in this environment do we expect new opportunity and fresh thinking to materialise?

We are a social bunch by nature, not at the superficial level, but at our core so the current isolated ways of working are for many an anthesis of what feels naturally comfortable to them. Equally many who do recognise the value of being connected at an eye to eye level, know that this too can be an uncomfortable situation to be in. So how do we make the leap from recluse to social animal without walking into an emotional vortex?

We set out to be learners, to recognise that learning from others is a vital aspect of our personal growth as well as the necessity and means by which we will push the boundaries of all that constrains us. That is the purpose of business networking, not some vain means by which we exchange pieces of paper that we hope translate into transactions but a place where we build the foundations of relationships built on trust and a shared desire to learn.

In 2011 I was made redundant from a 28-year career, in an industry sector that I had once loved for its very reliance on meritocracy and comradery, from an environment I cared little for. I had grown tired and frustrated with myself for not acting sooner and instead waiting for events to unfold but when it did happen, I was jettisoned into a world of unknowns. The foundation of my modest success was an ability to learn from others, to quickly absorb what was of real value as opposed to
what was just bluster. I could cut through the crap to see the essence and quality of what was inside. This was a valuable skill but not easily recognisable nor, I felt, transferable. Yet it is this skill that unleashed the ability to recognise the value of business networking as the means to engage fully with socially driven learning.

Cut off from those long-term relationships in a different industry sector I had to start afresh, to find key people who I could connect to and who I could learn from. But standing in a room, alien to me, was far from conducive to the establishment of trust, I needed the means to cement shared value. As I developed my core purpose, found a place from which to garner some identity, so I recognised where the learning journey was to come from. Business networking is the mechanism for learning, when a common industry eludes you. It is how those who are joined by doing can share war stories, create myths and cement bonds, who can build action together and not lose their way by trying to do everything for themselves.

So, in my future, and aligned to my purpose, is the goal of building social learning systems through business networking groups. Relocon™ will provide access to those business groups that align themselves with this purpose so as to establish a community of practitioners who can help others. They will find people who recognise the value of committing time for themselves to learn and in doing so, teach others to be open to opportunity.

Want to know more about Relocon™? Please contact me via LinkedIn with the subject Relocon™ and I will get back to you as soon as I can.