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The Importance of Networking

This transcript records Tim Redmond (Business Consultant and CPA) and Clay Clark (US Chamber National Blue Ribbon Quality Award Winner) as they talk about the importance of marketing on Thrive15.com, one of the top business schools in PA.

Clay:    I will say this. Shame on Clay Clark. Shame on me. Networking is perhaps the most important thing for your career and the most selfless thing that you could do because there is somebody out there who needs you in their life, like they need you, so when I go to church ... the other day, I went to church, and there's a guy there ... he had long dreadlocks.

    I said the other day, because I'm getting old enough where like ...

Tim:    Was he a professional football player?

Clay:    I'm old enough now where any time period seems like the other day, but it could be months.

Tim:    Yeah.

Clay:    In this case, it was about a year, but the other day, I'm up there. The guy's got dreadlocks. I see this guy. I start talking to him, just having coffee at church. They have it set up where you can build relationships there, and I find out he has some issues. I encourage him to become an electrician and he can pursue his goals. I recommend a book for him. I get his address. I send him a book. I see him at church for real the other day. It's like two weeks ago maybe, and I see him. Dreadlocks are gone.

    Now you can be successful with dreadlocks or without, but he comes in and he says, "Mr. Clark, I cut my dreads," and I'm like, "What?" and he said, "I read the book. I'm actually going back to school. I'm going to become an electrician. I'm getting my journeyman's," and I'm going, "What?"

Tim:    This is amazing.

Clay:    We start talking and I realize that I had been so selfish to not want to meet him, because my own selfish reasons of not wanting to be asked for help or whatever it is.

Tim:    Right.

Clay:    It's so selfish, but then when I think about Thrive and all the people that have come to invest in the business and be a part of it, they're all relationships I've had. Nobody that I didn't know just showed up and said, "Oh, that sounds like a good idea," and so you mentioned that growing business is just really just nurturing relationships, and I just want to hammer home how stupid I am when it comes to that, and it's an inherent ... It doesn't make it good, so if you're watching this and you're looking at some of these steps, and you go, "I inherently am just not a good morning person," it doesn't make it right. Or if I'm not a good networker ...

Tim:    Let me challenge you on this now because in 2001 when you're working at Target and Task and ...

Clay:    It was a great time.

Tim:    ... all this kind of stuff, and then also trying to support your family with this deejay ... You got into a moment that even though it wasn't comfortable for you, you became a massive networker. Everybody in the wedding business knew who you were.

Clay:    Yeah.

Tim:    Everybody in the coaching business knows who you are, and so there's a time where maybe in the building up, where Clay is a popular guy, but you are. There's a lot of people that want to pull on you and there's so much you're trying to give birth to in this Thrive to really just get this into every nation and wake up the entrepreneur spirit.

    There's a time when you just were a massive network even though it may not have felt natural or the right thing to do, and so I just want to say that you didn't just do what you felt like doing. You did what you were supposed to do and it propelled your business forward.

Thrive15.com has all the tools you need to network at the top business schools in PA.

Clay:    Reid Hoffman, he has this warning. He's the guy who started LinkedIn. He warns us by saying, "One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have the strong relationships with you.  You know, you're dedicated, smart. You're a team player who can help you."

    Napoleon Hill has a quote. He says, "Arrange to meet with the members of your 'Master Mind' group at least twice a week, and more often if possible, until you have jointly perfected the necessary plan or plans for the accumulation of money."

    I want to give you one more quote. I'm just trying to just give you this fire hose of knowledge. It's unbelievable. Steven Spielberg ... okay, we talked about that guy earlier ... he says this quote which blows my mind. This is the guy who made Saving Private Ryan and Jurassic Park. He says, "I love creating partnerships. I love not having to bear the entire burden of the creative storytelling. When I have unions like George Lucas and Peter Jackson, it's really great. Not only do I benefit, but the project benefits."

    Tim, give me a story. I want to have a little story time here. Give me a story of how, as you've worked as a business consultant all across the world, give me a story about one of your clients who's been able to benefit massively financially as a result of either creating a long-term partnership or networking.

Tim:    Oh, geez, just with that company I was with this last weekend, my good friend, Mike, and he's a client of mine for a number of years, when I come into a business, Clay, I will look at what's the main driver that drives the sales and profitability, and it may be a product. It may be a process. It's all kinds of things. What drives this one business, it's a $75 million business, and we're just going to blow the top off of that. What drives the business is this guy's capacity to connect with people and people want to do business with him and it's magical. It's magical.


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