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It’s impossible to downplay what my network has done for me, and it goes far beyond professional networking.

Assuredly, professional networking is important to one’s business and financial success. It may possibly be the most important skill any professional attains.

Personally, I haven’t commenced working for an employer through the cold application process since I was in my late teens. Today I’m about twice as old as I was then. Each and every job I have started since then has been the direct result of either my personal or professional network, and truthfully, the lines between the two are generally blurred.

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Most people begin the process of networking at a very young age. They just don’t realize it.

For me, it started with my parents. They raised me, taught me, clothed and fed me. What more could I ask of the closest and longest-standing people in my network?

But they did so much more…

My parents also provided me an extended network. I know this network as my family and friends. I count on them. They will always be there with love, laughs, connection, and counsel whenever I need it.

My parents and family members also provided me with examples of how to engage people and create friendships. Through social gatherings like parties, barbecues, and community events, I learned manners, as well as how to be polite to others. These skills were absolutely crucial in building my own network of buddies and acquaintances from a young age.

I am forever indebted to these foundational members of my early social circle.

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We must never forget what these wonderful people have done for us, regardless of the distance or time that separates us in the present.

People who have honored the gift of their personal network have undoubtedly been blessed with countless introductions and opportunities that allowed them to make a living, learn new skills, and acquire abundant spiritual and financial wealth. I certainly did!

 

Today I have a platform to showcase my creative writing. This is due to a connection I forged with an acquaintance I met in a comic shop long ago. I have this website, MovingOnUpwards.com, thanks to the kindness and patience of a friend from my Kung Fu school.

Even discovering that Kung Fu school happened thanks to my mother-in-law, who had become a student before me, and introduced me to its community. This is just the tip of the iceberg, in the deep and wide sea that makes up the blessings I have enjoyed as a direct result of my networking.

I met my mother-in-law through my wife when we were dating. I met my wife while socializing with some friends. I was introduced to those friends by a college buddy and roommate that I still regularly connect with almost twenty years later. (What’s up, Winter?)

I discovered the college I attended via the recommendation of a family friend from back in my birth state of New Jersey. That family friend was the father of one of my teammates in a recreational youth soccer league I participated in.

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It’s easy to see how interconnected all my many blessings are.

It’s like giant circle, or a cycle. I can directly correlate the birth of my daughter to joining that rec soccer league in fifth grade. I could go even further back, if anyone needs an even deeper dive.

Similarly, the job I work at today supports my free and comfortable lifestyle. It came as a result of me continually pumping positivity and love into my personal network. My wife and I found, and subsequently purchased, our home thanks to the world’s best realtor. She also happens to be the sister of one of my wife’s best friends from high school. Even my terrific hair is result of a friend recommending I go see his barber. I have been getting my hair-did at Austin’s for over three years now.

Recently I received my first and second paid writing opportunities thanks to network connections. These friends of mine, one old and one significantly more recent, were both from my personal network. They transformed into members of my professional network as well.

I could go on indefinitely with regards to the blessings and abundance that I enjoy thanks to personal networking. I’ve learned networking is not just for business. It isn’t just a required corporate skill.

Networking is a way of life. It’s a path to success and happiness. It brings things far beyond anything anyone could possibly imagine. I recommend nourishing your own network today, and don’t ever ignore or squander it.

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Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk

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