What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

Lessons From Your Mother About Business Networking

Written by Ashwin Satyanarayana for Gaebler Ventures

Business networking is crucial for any entrepreneur's success. However, not everyone finds it easy to do so. Could your mother teach you a thing or two on business networking? She very well could.

Mothers are the greatest gift god bestowed on us and yet we take them for granted. Did you know that there are a lot of lessons mothers can teach us?

One of the most precious lessons - especially for us business-headed, purely capitalistic, money-minded entrepreneurs - is the set of lessons on networking. Here's what we can learn from our mothers on business networking:

Give and don't expect: One thing common with mother's love throughout the world is the unabashed generosity. Mothers just give - it's just the way they are. They are always the givers and we have always been the takers. We learn to grow, develop wings and fly. Mothers teach us the ways of life and we learn. We are moulded due to their upbringing and our characters are largely shaped by the way they are. Their sacrifice is unparalleled and their love is unbeatable. That giving aspect of their love is what makes us who we are today. What happens if you take this approach to business networking? Granted that there could be minor issues like you being cheated, but look at the larger picture: what comes of all this giving on your side?

It's not just relationships, it's about compassion: Entrepreneurs do business networking, meet up new people, form new relationships all because they could - one day or the other - profit from it. Instead of taking this approach, why not form relationships based on compassion towards others? Why not try to help those who need it? Why not just be in a relationship because you derive immense pleasure out of being there for someone when they need you?

All relationships take work to succeed: No mother has it easy. Children can be pretty opinionated, selfish and outright reckless sometimes. All the advice from your mother would have been side-tracked. If you look back, you wouldn't have put in a quarter of the kind of hard-work it takes to keep your relationship with her intact. Yet, mothers don't keep accounts; they silently forge through and give us their best. When you are networking, meeting new people and forming new relationships, you must remember that all relationships take work to succeed. If relationships formed of the same blood had to see through this amount of hard work, what about new relationships with strangers? What kind of work should you put in to see that the relationships with business peers and colleagues work?

It's all about being self-less: When mothers love us, they don't expect you to love them back. While they live all their lives for our benefit, they don't ask for a thing in return - not even love. Yet, we are busy building assets, forming relationships and getting on with our lives. Mothers' love is the only kind of self-less, true love on earth. Why then, do we seek benefits when we form new relationships? Why are all our relationships based on "here's-what-you-gave-and-hence-here's- what-I -have-for-you" kind of equation?

You don't have to burn your fingers and let people ride over you. Take a call on how much of relationship sabotage you can keep up with. But while you are at it, love others like how our mothers loved us.

Ash has an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA from Ohio University. Today he is a corporate trainer, business coach and a freelance writer.

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