Networking & Relationships: it was the topic at our monthly Rising Tide meeting today, and it's also the central concept surrounding BNI, another networking group we are proud members of.
So why are we talking about farming and hunting? Well, we have a lot to learn from history, anthropology, and our neighbors, especially when it comes to building relationships and building a business.
Let’s start from the beginning: hunting & gathering. Why did it work? Tools for hunting and gathering were easily constructed, requiring little effort and the “cost” was relatively small. With a small population, it’s the best return on investment for obtaining food. That is, until the population grows and local resources begin to be depleted. This causes them to travel further to obtain food, requiring more time and more effort. The result? A lower return on investment. Enter agriculture and farming.
Agriculture and farming require more effort and time to establish, but once the system is up and running, it requires less effort to maintain and expand as the population and need increases.
So what does all this have to do with growing a business? It takes effort and time to establish both your business and your network. The goal isn’t an instantaneous payoff, like the hunter. The goal is to establish something with longevity; something with purpose that can grow and be fruitful.
Plant your seeds. Get to know people. Nurture your crops. Establish quality relationships over quantity relationships. “If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be successful” (Misner). Aim for a rich harvest, not a quick kill.