Monday, May 09, 2005

Joe Doe and Jane Plain - Networkers?

When I examine the personal pages of people who are active networkers I find people who have a belief that talking to others and meeting new people is useful and helpful.  But the vast majority of people who join social and business networks are unsure why they joined, and quickly drop out.

So why should Joe Doe and Jane Plain have any interest in what happens on networks like Ryze, Ecademy or Linked In?

First of all, in our lives we all invest a great deal of time and money in various activities that help to identify who we are.  I say "invest" but I mean "over invest" we have a passion for something and we give that activity an undue share of our time and money and attention.  We define ourselves by this activity.  Over time the chosen activity changes, but most of us have a passion for something that we like to express strongly. 

For me that was soccer, later studying, then my job, a journal, a house, public speaking, dancing.  Each of these was pursued with excess enthusiasm for a few years, sometimes many years.  These activities have helped define who I am, and who my friends are. 

On any large worldwide network, whatever your passion, you will find people who share your vision and your desire to succeed, or to be recognized.  On a network like Ryze you can find people like yourself.  Those people can help you to learn more about who you are and about the things you care about.  No big deal here.  Join, find some groups or networks related to the things that interest you.  Then look for a few friends in those groups.  People like you.  Keep in touch. 

Two things will happen, but over a few years, not immediately.  First you may find that you meet more friends than you expect, and that some of them introduce you to new things.  And over time your interests change and you begin to find other groups that are more interesting to be part of.  Being a member, even at low levels of participation, perhaps visiting once a week, keeps you in touch and enlarges your life options. 

Who you are depends on what you've done in the past.  Who you will become depends on what you do now, and on what you do in the future.  Investing time to be connected to other people across the world is an investment in your own future.  If you quietly pursue that idea, join the most interesting groups, get to know the best people, become involved in thinking about the ideas that concern them and concern you, over time you'll become a different person.  You'll become someone with knowledge, someone with ideas, and someone with lots of friends and useful contacts.  We all need that.

You don't need a business, you don't need to go on the internet to make sales.  Your purpose is to become a person who understands "the world" because you know as friends and talk with people in dozens of countries.  Those friends will help you think about who you are and about your own country in new ways.  Your understanding about what is interesting and what is or isn't important will change.  You'll slowly develop a larger "vision" of the world and your place in it.  Because you DID something different, you will become a different person.  You will be a person with new and better options, a person with a changed future.

We become what we do.  We tend to be like the things we think about most of the time.  Our friends are the people who share an interest in the things we care most about.  In the short term you have the life you have.  In the long term you will have the life you made for yourself.  If you have the courage to choose your interests and your friends wisely your life will be like that.  If you choose to not to choose, to just drift along, your life will drift along too, and other people will each day decide what becomes of you. 

John Stephen Veitch
Open Future Limited - You may comment privately to John S Veitch using this form.

1 comment:

Queen D The Original Southern Diva said...

Very profound statements. Thanks for joining and participating in my network. I hope you can gain something from it.
DeAnna Spencer