FREE LUNCH #4 | The Art of Networking


Thanks to @RachelYvonne podcast, here’s The Art of Networking again.

Originally posted on Ideas Genius:

Networking Image

Networking is important. Here’s why and how to do it to help your business or brand become more successful. Firstly though, why network at all?

  1. Grows your clients, customers, consumers or congregation. We become more successful by selling or sharing what we do with more people. Networking gives you a bigger pond from which to fish.
  2. Grows your suppliers, supporters, sponsors or specialists. We maintain success by making the best use of our resources. Others have access, expertise or finances that will make that task easier.

So how do I network? Networking isn’t a beauty pageant. You’re not simply showing off how pretty your company or idea is. Neither is it about collecting as many business cards as you can. It’s about the contacts on those cards and how they can help you grow.  Here’s what to do.

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Would You Jump? Would You Heck!

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

Belief is everything.

If you didn’t believe you could make it safely across an eight foot ravine, would you jump? Sure you could practice… but HOW would you practice? You could perfect the run-up. Heck, you could become the best running-upper in the land. You could analysis the ravine with forensic detail. You would know so much them you could write books on ravines. You’d even be able to hypothesise about perfect, flawless landings. BUT would we ACTUALLY jump? Would we heck!

It’s something we all come up against… FEAR. The complete opposite of faith. Faith is when you believe something is possible. Which must make fear the belief that something isn’t possible. Yes, fear is a belief. It’s not just a thought about what might go wrong. It’s a significant difference. Fear is something you actually invest in.

Belief is everything. If you believe you can make a difference, you will try. In the past month, I’ve seen a number of problems… no, let’s call them opportunities to do something different. There were a couple of surveys on diversity and identity doing the rounds, multiple campaigns regarding Ebola relief efforts, Children in Need’s television marathon and shocking examples of police injustice. Watching my own response to each campaign has been an eye opener. Where I felt (believed) I could make a difference, I engaged fully. I sent that text, filled out a forms, visited the websites, sent money. Whatever the required action was, I got involved – but only if a) I believed in the cause and b) I believed I could make a difference. And then there were causes I felt were a good idea BUT that was as far as it went. No further action. Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

See, believing is everything. When your belief is stronger than your fear… or your apathy… or your indecision, you do something. And DOING is what makes things happen.

Our new baby… unedited:

Like all births (because you’ve had lots of kids MISTER Ideas Genius), it’s taken a while but we’ve made it. We’re proud to officially introduce unedited: –  our very own production company for video, audio and interactive content. So we make films and TV, radio programmes and podcasts, and help improve the way you can use your stuff on the internet.


We’re very excited that Ideas Genius had made this possible as it has been a dream for a while. Now it’s airborne, we can all go back to work – like writing blog posts which might be (ahem) a little overdue. Really? Another baby pun? :)

Join us in welcoming unedited: by following on VimeoTwitter and Facebook. Congratulate us at

When time is tight and money is tighter…

The two biggest hurdles to getting anything started are not having enough time or enough money. Wait, let me correct myself – enough time or money to get it finished. We can start quite cheaply. Picking up a pen to note your idea costs nothing. So if time or money doesn’t stop you starting something, how do we get over the fear of not being able to finish it?

Jar of Coins cropWith lots of money, you can pay for things to be done quickly. The opposite is also true – when money is tight, you can spread the task over years if you have to. A friend of mine, realising they couldn’t get a loan to do up their entire house in one summer decided to make it an on-going project. Five years later, the transformation is remarkable. They got it done – it just took a little longer.

So when you have neither to play with, consider 3 things:

Is it worth doing now?

Take a long, hard look at what you want to do and why. Is it something that could wait? At least, could you delay the most expensive bits of it until later. You may give yourself a better chance of success by taking more time to get your affairs in order. After all, very few businesses make a profit within its first 18 months. Putting it off and planning how you can make the most of your money and time later might be your best bet.

Are you worth it?

Take a long, hard look at yourself. Could someone else invest in you? Do you have what it takes (except money and time) to make this happen? Do you have a good reputation in this area? It could buy you a lot of favours and discounts. A colleague of mine is struggling with a project because they’ve upset one too many people in the past and have a bad name. That works against you when you’re in a tight spot and need a break. With money or time against you, ask advice from people with whom you have a good reputation. They may be able to help you out. Otherwise work on being of ‘good repute’. It might mean repairing bridges and eating humble pie. That may take more time, by the way.

Is anyone else doing it?

Take a long, hard look around you. Starting up on your own isn’t always the best answer. Is there someone else doing something similar? Could you get together and get it done? Not only could it help with your money or time, you’ll also get the benefit of their experience. There’s nothing like avoiding those rookie mistakes to keep a project on time and on budget.

Not having enough money or time isn’t a reason not to start something. Do as much as you can with what you have – then stop if you have to. It’s always easier to pick up where you left off than beginning from scratch.

Foreword: Understanding Leadership

I was recently asked to write a few words as an introduction to a book. I thought I would share it:

Like any discipline, Leadership is a journey. It is a process of time and experience, belief and will, trial after failure. The leader you’re going to be is entirely based on your unique set of physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual settings. Often it can be in spite of those same traits.


A great teacher once said that project management is like juggling eggs. In that same context, Leadership is ensuring those eggs don’t fall. Part of your roles as a leader is directive; giving each egg enough energy and direction to go up in the air. There is also a role to delegate; to let go of the eggs with the secure knowledge that because you have understood the properties and abilities of your eggs, you can allow them to travel through the air unaided. You trust that they will come down where you expect them to. That is also the final part of your role. You are there to catch and support them when they come down.

If you have little experience of being a leader, that description may seem odd to you. After all, aren’t you the one who is in charge? Aren’t you the boss? The head honcho? The if-I-say-jump-you-say-how-high guy? Those are only effects of good leadership. You become the respected and listened-to one because you are a good leader. It’s not the other way round. Those come because you are recognised by your team as someone who can keep everyone on the winning side. Acting important without mastering good leadership is like trying to cough enough times so you can catch a cold. It’s not going to happen. You will meet those kinds of people on your journey. No one wants to work with them.

This book lays down the rudimentary foundations of the aspect of leading spiritually. So here’s the first secret… all leadership is spiritual. Managers can get away with moving tasks and targets around with money or manpower to get the job done. A leader relies on trust, hope and faith in their team and their desired outcomes. Understanding the areas highlighted in each chapter will bring you closer to mastering the full set of spiritual tools needed to be a winner. Think of these as the top line headings and use them as a template to explore deeper your own style of leadership – no matter what your beliefs are.

There’s one final thing to say about your journey into leadership. If you have to tell people you’re a good leader, you’re not a good leader. They should know what you are by the way they interact with you and feel when they are in your team. Think of it another way, do you ever wonder about the DJ in the club who is constantly telling you to get up, get on the dance floor, put your hands up, make some noise? Well, if they were a good DJ would you not be doing those things already? If they have to remind you to get on the floor and enjoy yourself, surely there is something missing.

I wish you the best for your leadership journey and pray that your ability to believe, unique personality and leadership style are so naturally fused that everyone you work with never wants to leave your dance floor.’