199: Find someplace to volunteer - with Frank Agin
About Frank Agin
He is the president of AmSpirit Business Connections, which empowers entrepreneurs and professionals to become more successful via networking. In addition, he works with companies and organizations with their professional relationships. He's also the host of Networking Rx Podcast, which has ideas, insights, and interviews on business networking. Finally, Frank is the author of several books, including Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust to Create a Lifetime of Extraordinary Success.
What is the best thing that someone can do to jumpstart their network?
“Find someplace to volunteer. It just makes it really easy. Figure out what you're passionate about.”
You indicated that you're interested in the science behind networking. What do you mean?
“There's a science behind it. We're humans, and much of what happens in human interaction is predictable. It's not perfectly predictable, right? Temperature falls below 32 degrees, water freezes. I mean, that's perfectly predictable. But with human interactions, things aren't necessarily predictable, but they become really likely. For example, when you smile at somebody, they will smile back.”
What is one thing that people often overlook in networking?
“They're focused in on what's in it for them. And what you need to remember is that what networking is really about is about helping others and just kind of trusting that it'll come back to you.”
Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?
“Years ago, I got a referral from somebody in a meeting and said, I've got a referral for you, and in one of our AmSpirit meetings, and I was excited. I've got a referral. I don't know what it is. It's like, you know, it's like that present under the tree Christmas morning. I can hardly wait, and so after the meeting, a guy came up to me and he essentially said, you know, I want you to come speak at my group. And in the moment...”
How do you stay in front of or best nurture your network community?
“It's a discipline. You have to have a very disciplined approach to it. And what I mean by having a disciplined approach is, you know, I will systematically reach out to people in my network and just see how they're doing.”
What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?
“Certainly get started…I wouldn't get caught up in trying to make it happen overnight. And I tell people, you can have a big, big network, you’re just not going to do it overnight. Focus on one person at a time.”
Digital networking or traditional networking?
“Traditional is where the value’s at, but you a lot of times can't have one without the other.”
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?
“Well, it certainly has to do with networking. My 20-year-old self, I was in college. I played college football. I lived with my teammates, and that was my world. And I look at my daughter who plays college soccer, and she rooms with other women with other sports. And she is much better networked than I am. She interacts with people who don't play sports. I didn't do a lot of that.”
We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with, and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?
“My wife really likes Jon Bon Jovi. I would love to connect with him for her.”
What book are you reading right now?
“The one I'm looking at right now is Lewis Howes’ book, The School of Greatness, which is an awesome book. The Go-Giver by Bob Burg is another great book. The Power of Optimism by a psychologist out of Indianapolis, Tim Shurr…so, I've got a series of books that I'm kind of picking through.”
Any final words of advice for our listeners?
“Where it really starts with is a mindset. And the mindset is you have to believe in networking, you have to believe that it works.”
“Life is a networking event. Every moment is a networking event.”
You can get in contact with Frank at:
LinkedIn: Click Here