To build a successful business, it is crucial to develop a network of relevant connections. Acquaintances become friends and friends become the people upon whom you rely and who rely upon you. Perhaps some of these individuals will inspire you or push you to do better. Perhaps some are mentors who will offer you bits of the wisdom they’ve acquired along their journey. Some will be peers with whom you can collaborate or share valuable connections. Some will become mentees, or people you can help lift up and advise. Fortunately, there are many business owners in a plethora of fields right here in our own communities. Next Wednesday night, August 7, we look forward to helping you expand your vital business network.
In a 2013 article in The Huffington Post, Porter Gale, author of the bestselling book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth: Unlock the Hidden Power of Connections for Wealth, Success, and Happiness in the Digital Age, wrote, “I believe your social capital, or your ability to build a network of authentic personal and professional relationships, not your financial capital, is the most important asset in your portfolio.” Last winter, PR and branding CEO Nancy Marshall penned an article in Forbes also titled “Your Network Is Your Net Worth,” in which she echoed: “I have learned that making introductions, giving information, and sharing useful marketing and PR techniques is the way to get more business and build my personal and professional network... The more people you know and the more people who know, like, and trust you, the more business you will have. People will be more willing to part with their money because your brand promise has value and because of a high trust factor and credibility.” Many people believe that networking purely benefits job-seekers, but in fact, it has become the single greatest tool for business growth.
The people with whom you associate and spend time, influence who you are and what you become. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who help you to grow and thrive as a business owner and as a person.
Why is this networking event different from all other (of our past) networking events? In the past, our networking event has been tied to our anniversary event, with local politicians and rabbis congratulating the Queens Jewish Link on another successful year. This event, however, is strictly a business networking event. This time, we won’t have a series of long speeches. This one will be a lot more focused. We learned from last February that pedestal tables work better with helping people walk around. More people reported back that they made new connections and visited our sponsors’ tables because there was much more interaction. Each time, we’ve learned a little about how to improve the networking aspect. We’ve learned from our attendees and our own advisors, and we hope that this event will continue to build on the past but with significant improvement.
To set the tone for the evening, we chose two speakers whose successes and vast array of experiences can be examples to all of us. We hope that everyone will walk away with new ideas and inspiration for building stronger, better, more connected businesses.
Moishe Bane became the president of the Orthodox Union in 2017. Mr. Bane is a senior partner and chairman of the Business Restructuring Department at the international law firm of Ropes & Gray. Much of his time, however, is spent serving the American Orthodox Jewish community. From his knowledge of creating and keeping a business successfully, and his commitment to the community, we hope you will walk away invigorated, not only with new ideas for building a solid business but more importantly, to network and work together with one another.
Harold Klein, the creator of TeleTime Video Productions, has created marketing videos for a huge array of companies: from billion-dollar companies such as AT&T and BusinessWeek to small and mid-size businesses. In developing business programs for their companies, Harold has interviewed and reported on hundreds of business leaders and company founders. His career is built upon his ability to package an idea in a way that will inspire others to get on board with a big idea. But his success is not only for himself: He is fortunate enough to be able to offer his video services at extremely low costs to a variety of Jewish organizations that are close to his heart.
As you can see, the goal of hosting these speakers is to inspire our attendees toward new growth and ideas. Meeting people who have experienced great success is very motivating. From both speakers, we are reminded that with success, one bears a responsibility to give back to the community.
The ultimate goal Yaakov Serle, Naftali Szrolovits, and their team had in creating the Queens Jewish Link was to help the community. By charging only $10, we try to make our networking events affordable and accessible to all, so everyone from very successful CEOs to entrepreneurs who are building a new start-up can attend. If you are in the beginning stages, who knows? You might find a mentor, a partner, or even an investor at one of our events. Even if you attended our event last winter, we hope you will keep putting yourself out there to meet more people. There are hundreds of potential clients and partners, right in your own backyard, and so many untapped resources.
To help make this experience successful for you, here are some tips and ideas to remember when networking:
Push yourself to engage with people you don’t know. If nothing else, this practice will, over time, help to increase your confidence.
If you haven’t already, it’s worth spending the time ahead of time to hone your 30-second elevator pitch.
First impressions count. “Seventy-two percent of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and his or her handshake” (The Virgin Foundation).
When meeting new people, ask questions and actively listen to their answers.
Remember the other person’s name. It often helps to repeat his or her name a few times (some say at least three times) during the course of conversation.
Exchange business cards. Where applicable, perhaps you can follow up by connecting on LinkedIn or following them on other social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Or better yet, perhaps you can contact them the next day to set up times to continue the conversation over coffee or lunch.
While it is great to meet potential new clients, having a group of like-minded business owners and entrepreneurs is equally important for your professional growth and, ultimately, for your business. Solid advice from the right person can sometimes be a critical factor in business and personal success.
Mentoring is an important aspect of networking. “Healthy people have both inlets, where people invest in them, and outlets, where they invest in other people.” (Entrepreneur.com)
The Queens Jewish Link (and more recently, with sister paper Bukharian Jewish Link) has successfully helped link with local businesses, organizations, shuls, and individuals through our paper and in our past networking events; the goal now is to help others capitalize on the multitude of connections we have built. This is about helping people work together to make parnasah. To help us improve, we have been working in partnership with Step Ahead Networking and with Chazaq to build a better networking event for the community. We genuinely wish to help others grow, to reach their goals, and to make them more successful. G-d willing, the upcoming Massive Networking Event will help your business climb to new heights. As they say, “It’s not what you know, but whom you know.”
The event is going to be held on Wednesday, August 7, at 7:00 p.m. at the Yeshiva of Central Queens. Free parking is available, and we will have a buffet dinner. There are a limited number of sponsor tables still available. Please contact Yaakov at 917-549-6145 for additional information.
Tickets can be purchased at www.fidelipay.com/qjlink.
By Rachel Goldsmith