Business Networking, a Blog by Stephen Harris - Zero To Network

Business Networking on ZeroToNetwork,

Business networking is very powerful. You're visiting my networking Blog, so you probably "get it". However, there was a time when I had no clue to the limitless potential. That was remedied when I was asked to step into the Career Transition Zone. To compound matters, I was an Introvert. No clue about networking and an introvert - oh boy was I in trouble.

With the help of some dynamic individuals, I went from "Zero to Networking". I was now able to walk up to strangers and introduce myself, and learn the ways of the business networking world. Eventually, I led Networking groups, mentored (even while unemployed), became an Executive Recruiter, met with entrepeneurs and senior level executives -- and eventually - found a great new position. I became an extroverted-introvert. I became...connected! Zero to Networking!

Networking is very powerful! Oh yes - I made tons of mistakes, learned from them and made different mistakes... and still, am not an expert. Who is?

That is the objective of the Zero To Network Blog, so we can learn from each other. Enjoy! Networking is also fun! Stephen Harris

SPH Associates, An Online Marketing Agency

Please visit me on these Networks and Websites:

Stephen Harris' Zero to Network - Visit me on the Ryze Business Network Stephen Harris' Zero to Network - Visit me on LinkedIn Business Network

Stephen Harris' Zero to Network - on the  Network Service Zero to Network - professional website

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Index of Business Network Blog Entries

Business Networking ZeroToNetwork Index of Blog Entries

Business Network Websites & Blogs:

Stephen Harris' Job-Stuff, a Blog for your Career

Edugree Career and Education

QuintCareers Networking Resources

Jim Stroud's Revenge of the Jobseeker

Women at Home Networking

BoldCareer, Online Business Coach

Business Opportunities Weblog

Jason's Recruiting Blog

Canadian Headhunter


Dr. Bamster - Career Doctor

Occupational Adventure - A Career should light your fire!

Other Blogs you might enjoy:

Apprentice Views - TV Series

David Newman, Marketing

Lori Richardson's Sales Process Diva

FastCompany Blog


Creating Customer Evangelists

Tom Peters (Brand Called You and much more)

Think eBiz, eBusiness Strategy News, Views and Ramblings

SPH Associates, An Online Marketing Agency

Networking Resources:

Stephen Harris & VistaPrint offers free and low cost business cards

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stephen harris  business networking
Saturday, March 25
The Virtual Handshake - Free PDF

One of our business networking friends, Scott Allen is graciously providing a free PDF of his book, The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online.

"Just as online dating has revolutionized the way singles connect, very similar technologies are revolutionizing the way that businesspeople close deals. We wrote The Virtual Handshake to show you how to sign new customers, meet new business partners, recruit star employees, or even find a new job, all by using online networks. More technically, it’s the first mass-market guide to “social software”: blogs, social network sites, virtual communities, relationship capital management software, contact management software, and so on. "

This is a powerful book; one that will inspire you to reach higher leveraging online techniques to expand your business network. And while the PDF is free, we encourage you to buy The Virtual Handshake book. Either way, this is an important book for your business networking success.

Posted at Saturday, March 25, 2006 by sph001
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Sunday, February 5
Business Network tools

If you are an active business networker like me, you have a very full box of business cards. They do pile up fast. To help you maintain and keep your network organized and easily at hand, I recommend the following two products.

First, purchase a card scanner, which will convert those business cards into your Outlook (or other address book program) address book. I recently bought the CardScan Model 60 and it works great. I uploaded over 200 cards in an hour. And best of all, you can add notes and categorize your contacts to make them easy to locate. It even scans both sides of the card, so you can capture any notes you took when you received the card.

The second tool to consider is a Palm Pilot, or other handheld device that can store your business network. The Palm Z22 is only $99 and it is simple to use, small/light.

These tools make it convenient and easy for keeping your network close when you are attending an networking event or at a business meeting.

Posted at Sunday, February 05, 2006 by sph001
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Saturday, January 21
Business Networking; it's your farm

Plant corn seeds in the spring, harvest in the fall. The fruits of you labor take time, and it's worth it when you finally get to eat the corn (Jersey corn!). And all through the summer you add water and tend to the weeds. Networking is farming. It's planting seeds and harvesting, sometimes days later, sometimes years.

Two stories of networking success that took time to harvest, one relates to me.

The first story is about someone that I have written about in the past, Deborah, a citizen of Singapore.

Time has faded how I actually started to mentor her, perhaps from this very blog. During the past years I have reviewed her writing (thesis) and resumes and given her support and advice. The cultural difference between S'pore and the United States made much of my advice not much help.

Then while having lunch with another "networking" friend in NYC, an opportunity presented itself. My friend in NYC needed a Far-East telecom industry market research . And the light bulb went off - Deb's thesis is on a Telecom subject, her speciality is market research and she is located in the Far East. And now with a lil luck Deb will be writing a market research report for my friend in NYC...

Way back when this blog was started (2002) I was migrating back from Atlanta and, through networking met the owner of a Marketing Agency.

We spoke frequently and the possibility of a consulting project was taking root. However, I signed on with a different agency, one focused on online marketing, and thus began my new career. It seemed that every 6 month there was a reason to keep in contact with Eric, the owner of the marketing agency. Then, on January 1st 2006, I signed on with Eric's company as VP Online Marketing. Employment was not something we ever spoke about until late in November...

It may take time to harvest business networking corn, but it is well worth it when it happens. Keep your business network well fed and your harvest will be bountiful.

Pass the another ear of (Jersey) corn please.

Posted at Saturday, January 21, 2006 by sph001
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Saturday, January 14
Business Network for Life.

Pet Peeve time;

Recently I opened up my network and provided support to someone seeking a new job after she was laid-off. I always find it very gratifying to help others and I never ask for anything in return. So what is my pet peeve?

After she found a new position (she was someone I used to work with and was out of work a long time), she disappeared off the radar scope. No follow-up's, no thank you's. No offers to help others. I am sure she is focusing on her new job, which is important - but never forget your network.

At a recent Marketing Executive Networking Group (MENG) meeting we discussed how important it is to remain connected with your network - even after you succeed in find that next great job. It is not unusual for people to discover the power of networking when they are placed in a career transition. This is how I learned. However, my strong advice is to remain connected with (and grow) your new found network once you succeed in finding a new job. Return the favors you received by helping others unselfishly.

Why? Besides being a good thing to do and very gratifying -- you never know when you might "need" your network again. If you have been active in your network, help will just happen naturally. BUT if you have disappeared, and once again need help...   

Think about it and become a Business Networker for life!

Posted at Saturday, January 14, 2006 by sph001
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Sunday, January 1
Business Networking for 2006

Make one of your resolutions for 2006 to get involved in business networking. We all will say that for 2006 we shall lose weight, work out in the gym and try slowing down in the car (ok I will succeed at 2/3) --  BUT business networking is so incredibly important and beneficial.

Here's to a healthy and prosperous 2006.   Stephen Harris

PS: One of my resolutions will be to update this blog at-least twice monthly.

Posted at Sunday, January 01, 2006 by sph001
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Friday, July 15
Zero to Network - It's a Bus. Networking Resource Blog

Wow; has it been this long since I have made any updates. To my readers; I am sorry. Over the past few months I have joined a company; then left it - and then started my own Online Marketing Agency.

It has been exciting to say the very least; and at the same time, have been in deep discussions with a number of companies for a possible full time role.

ZerotoNetwork and its sister site JobStuff, a Blog for your Career, was never really meant to be a site updated with news; instead with advice and suggestions for business networking and career transitioning. If you are new to ZerotoNetwork, explore the content; as it is meant to provide help with many aspects of this important time in your life.

I wish Blogdrive had categories; so you could quickly find specific help topics. I am exploring how to do this, so that ZeroToNetwork becomes a resource.

I'll be back soon with more information; including tips on starting your own biz and why business networking can make a significant different in your business success!

Stephen Harris

PS: and if you are in Phili on July 28; your host will be on a panel discussion at WHYY (Public TV) discussing my approach to business networking.

Now that the 28th is past - it was a fantastic event attended by nearly 200 people. Thanks to Company of Friends Phili & WHYY for hosting!

Posted at Friday, July 15, 2005 by sph001
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Friday, May 6
Business Networking: Genius Perspective

Dick Richards, from the "OnGenius" blog allowed ZeroToNetwork to reprint his excellent thoughts on Business Networking. Dick is right on the money. Enjoy:

Dick Richards’ Rules For Networking
May 5th, 2005

Presented in the spirit of a network being defined as a
collection of people who are committed to one another’s success

Know what business you are in
as a person: your genius and purpose

Be attuned to what the universe is telling you,
and create a vision that inspires and compels you

Attend to your vision
and tell others about it

Think of networks as resources for both personal empowerment
and collaboration to create new realities

Be willing to invest youself in helping
others realize their visions

Know, and let others know, what you want
and what you have to offer

Listen carefully for what others want
and what they have to offer

Create linkage between wants,
offerings, and visions

Know that when you choose to give rather than withold,
you enrich and empower an entire network

Believe that when you act, the web of life trembles

Remember that networks are processes with many centers,
and neither structures nor hierarchies

Have fun, celebrate often, and remain positive


Click here to visit Dick's blog - and thanks to Dick for permission to reprint his article.

Posted at Friday, May 06, 2005 by sph001
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Thursday, April 28
Network success goes sour

Please keep in mind, as the news spreads. The networking success is very real. LinkedIn works. However, it turns out that over the last 11 weeks at my employer - it was not a good fit for me nor them. These things happen. Whether I think they are right or wrong - is not material.

In my companion blog - JobStuff, I'll be discussing the interviewing, red flags, and how to handle situations where the fit just doesn't exist.

One quick business networking lesson - keep your network alive, as you may need it on a moments notice. My network never went away, and once it was determined that this role will not work, it was easy to kick it back to high gear.

If you are interested, my resume: - seeking technology oriented marketing opportunites - either F/T or Contractual.

More updates on business networking shortly.   Stephen

Posted at Thursday, April 28, 2005 by sph001
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Wednesday, February 9
A Business Networking success story - my own!

First I must offer an apology. It has been difficult to pay close attention to this blog, and its sister: In the midst of a very positive and intense job search, there was not much bandwidth for writing. I was maintaining my current position while searching for something new & greater.


However, the search is over and I cannot wait to share with you the experiences and learning’s - and offerings of business networking advice. I will not identify the company; however it is an excellent opportunity for me and a great group of individuals.


For today I want to share with you how this position came about. Did you guess it was business networking? You're right on!


I will admit when my voluntary journey began in November, my focus was on recruiters, job boards and some light networking. I did not have the time to begin cultivating a new network. I was hunting, no time for farming. And in the end, it was my pre-existing network that I built in the past three years that came through, plus one bit of technology.

Here is my story:


A friend and fellow blogger, Jim Stroud (Jobseekers Revenge) sent me an email that described the new job listing tools on LinkedIn. Even as a linkedin member, I was not aware of this new feature. I scanned the jobs and found one that was very interesting. Although not an advocate of submitting my resume through job boards, I thought it might be an interesting experiment. Plus, my thinking was that select and focused job boards might be more receptive to resumes (less volume, higher quality). LinkedIn is becoming quite a powerful business networking medium. I'll write more about LinkedIn shortly.


However, immediately after submitting my resume I realized - DUH - I should use LinkedIn to see if anyone I know can assist me with handling my resume at this company. And right there, someone I have been networking with extensively (yes you David), not only knows this team of people, but worked there previously. David S. quickly sent an email to his contact that carried my praises to the hiring executive. An effective one-two punch. And it worked; it got me in the door! The rest is interview history!


What's the lesson here: You never know how your network will come to your assistance, so keep it evergreen. For both of the individuals listed in this entry, I have provided assistance and support - and it came back in a great way. Thanks Jim, David and LinkedIn !!

and - yes, I have extended my business networking during this search, which I will also share in upcoming blog entries.

Stephen Harris

One quick Networking Post Note: Another person in my business network played an important role in this success story. John F. was consulting at the company and happens to be working in an office adjacent to the hiring executive. I wasn't aware that he was working at this company, but he did a voluntary follow-up with the hiring executive, providing him with a recommendation. Networking came together big time for me. Both via the electronic LinkedIn networking tool and people!

Posted at Wednesday, February 09, 2005 by sph001
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Thursday, January 13
Business Networking: It just happens

Business Networking can happen at any time, any place. Recently sitting in a coffee shop, someone overheard my conversation and asked if I was an executive recruiter. I'm not, but it led to an interesting conversation and an exchange of business cards.

Ironically, earlier in the day (in this same coffee shop), someone asked if I was a lawyer. This led to a conversation but no real connection. Maybe I need a sign that say I am a...

Anyway: I am not recommending that you actively ease-drop on conversations, but with an apology ahead of time, it could lead to an interesting connection. Try: "I am sorry, I overheard you mention that you are involved in Widget Farming...".

Networking happens - be prepared!

Posted at Thursday, January 13, 2005 by sph001
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