Can Non-Networkers Be Successful?

In my world, everyone networks.

They all understand that it is important, they'll accomplish things more easily and that they will be more successful by developing mutually beneficial relationships with other people.

There are people out there who can't relate to others of a different race, different socio-economic backgrounds, or different political backgrounds. They aren't able to even imagine how those people think.

I can't wrap my head around the thought process of people who absolutely believe they don't need to network, don't have to network, and don't want to network.

How do they make a living? Can they be successful? Who does business with someone who doesn't want to give or share, but only takes? Do they spend all their money on advertising and wait for the phone to ring? Are they masters of cold-calling? Who do they call when they need help?

What's your take on it? Help me understand a world that I've never visited and tell me how dedicated non-networkers survive in the business world.


  1. Beth,

    Great post. I have thought about this often.

    I don't know how many members and non-members we have that have absolutely no contact with the community but it is quite a few. It drives me crazy.

    They have excuses like, "I am a one man shop and can't attend meetings" or "just too busy making a living", etc....yada yada yada.

    And they struggle and struggle and struggle. Year after year.

    Then I have committee chairs, for instance, that are constantly giving of thier time, money, energy. They have tons of connections, friends, contacts, referrals, etc...

    It is so clear to me....give before you get. Give of your time and energy and you will be blessed.

    Sheesh. I feel so bad for those that feel that they can never share. They are trapping themselves in lack.


  2. Networking sometimes feels like speed dating, and all the bad feelings of being with phoney people on the make.

    I know that's not the truth, but if a person has two or three negative experiences, they may just stop.

    Another reason people might not like to network is the perceived belief they have nothing to offer. Networking is for "wheeler dealers" and not for ordinary folk.

    Of course, these perceptions are flawed, but perhaps it might help you in overcoming objections and getting more people networking.

  3. Believe it or not, Beth, I didn't used to be very deep into networking (the personal kind, not the I.T. kind). I used to see it as a burden. I made a lot of connections by phone with advertising and marketing, and I have tried to make all of my advertising in all of the businesses I have had over the years personal and meaningful.
    When potential clients call my firm, they can expect a friend on the other end of the phone, no matter whether they met me at a mixer, or called us out of the phone book. I have had tremendous success with advertising without networking.
    That said, it is a MISTAKE to avoid networking. It takes time, yes, and effort. But a lot of businesses have more time than money, even though many do not like to admit it. You have to MAKE time to network, because networking extends your reach and extends your mouthpieces in the community. It is worth making the time to network, because there is little risk and there is so much to gain.
    Personal relationships are what drives my business, and (dare I say) most businesses to success. What better way to connect personally than through networking?
    And I can say this with impunity - your biggest deals will come from networking, not from advertising, even though advertising will lend credibility to your networking efforts.