ALSO: Read Donna Fisher’s full-length interview from April 2002, No One Is Working — How Do I Network Now?
Networking Can Help You Realize Your Dreams
By Catherine Wright
People were not designed to work as islands. We work best with others on our life team. It’s through others that we see our own greatness. It’s the encouragement of others that has let me get to the blue sky when all I could see were the clouds.
How do I know these things are true? Here’s my story.
In early ’92, my then-husband and I moved from Long Island, N.Y., where I had grown up and lived all my life, to Fairfield, Iowa. We ran a software-consulting business that we believed could be moved virtually anywhere, and Iowa offered a spiritual community where we both wanted to live.
But things didn’t turn out as expected. Over the next nine years, I had a son, was divorced from my husband, and faced some serious career decisions. Fairfield was a challenging place to find stable employment, but I landed consulting work and in early 2001 started a coaching company.
By the spring of that year, however, my consulting work came to a dead halt and I discovered that Iowa was a poor place from which to launch a coaching practice. I decided to move back to New York, where I believed family and friends could help me fulfill my dream of working as a coach and trainer. Six weeks later, I hit the road, towing my Camry behind a 14-foot-long moving truck. I made the trip alone from Iowa to Long Island in two days.
My first order of business was to build my network. I called people I knew and searched newspapers and the Web for networking organizations. I found the ABA, the Long Island Coaching Alliance, and the Long Island Center for Business and Professional Women. I started letting people know what I wanted to achieve.
Through networking I met people who not only were willing to help, but also proactively supported me in connecting with the right people. One was Rich Isaac. I met him at my first LICA meeting and was immediately attracted to both his message and his impact on clients.
We quickly discovered that my career goals and his business were a perfect match. I’ve been working with Rich for seven months now. Together we have taken Legend Development Services, an affiliate of the Sandler Sales Institute, to another level. We recently moved to larger office space to accommodate more clients. I couldn’t be happier!
What have I learned? First, don’t face life’s difficult challenges alone. With the help of others, you can turn those challenges into a springboard to a more fulfilling and exciting level in your life. Second, life is a relationship business: The quality of your business and personal relationships is the key to success. Third, never sell yourself short. Surround yourself with people who believe in you. With a strong support network, you can achieve anything you put your mind and heart to!