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Networking Niche Jobs

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Posted 23rd January 2015 at 04:17 PM by imarkedy

Coach Mike Krzyzewski, as a person, perfectly defines networking niche jobs. Better known as Coach K, he serves as the head men's basketball coach for Duke University and has been so since 1980. Myriad opportunities have come Mike's way over the years and there is little doubt he could’ve been a professional coach in the NBA. Most would see transitioning from a college men's basketball coach to a professional coach as a step up the corporate ladder.

However, Coach K understands what many seem not to - if you find a niche which allows success, it is best to develop yourself within it before seeking other opportunities. I am not suggesting any remain in a professional rut. There is a wide gulf between being stuck in a rut and maximizing current opportunities. As an example, networking is viewed as a tool to increase one's personal as well as professional visibility with others.

However, most don't understand what, exactly, their end in mind is. Having worked in corporate America for many years before starting my own company, I only networked with key decision makers for personal gain.

Whenever these opportunities occurred, I had no idea what my end in mind was – only that I expected something good to come of it. Although not knowing it, I let others and their so-called opportunities become my end in mind.

Coach K, far from being stuck in a rut, networks with the most influential people in the world. Only a fool would believe he hasn't been offered higher paying jobs and more influence than he currently has at Duke University. Although hard to imagine, there are higher visibility positions than being the coach of this nationally known basketball program!

Networking should only be a tool to achieve your goals and not the goal itself. What's the difference? As I said before, networking can bring undue influence, from others, and totally distract you from that big hairy goal - whatever you hold that to be.

Coach K seems to have an amazing ability to effectively manage his personal brand, gain influence over others as well as achieve goals he’s set for himself and basketball program. After watching a documentary, though not in its entirety, it’s clear that his goal is to make every kid who comes through his program as successful as they can possibly be. For most of his basketball players, this doesn't mean being drafted by the NBA rather becoming responsible young men wherever life leads them.

The point is - you must be focused on meeting some deeply held need of others and the rest will follow. Such a principal goes against the selfish nature of most entrepreneurs. We start out to make a name for ourselves and only when achieving some form of success do we think about giving back to others.

So many set out to change the world through one business idea or another without understanding that communities, countries and the world are changed one individual at a time. During the documentary on Coach K, former players were interviewed. They spoke about the influence Mike had in their lives. Each eventually left Duke University's basketball program and went on to do other things but to a man, they had high praise for their former coach.

You may have a great business idea, plan, marketing strategy as well as capital to execute. However, does your planning process include an effective way to change the life of others or are you simply trying to sell something? When you get a moment, go to Amazon.com and read product reviews. It doesn't matter what company or product.

What you will find, without exception, is that those who gave positive reviews have been personally impacted by both the company and product. Those who give negative reviews, well, some people can never be satisfied. How is your idea going to change someone's life? With each new networking opportunity, seek to impact the life of another and gaining influence will follow.

Is there a kind word you can give someone? Can you be sincerely sympathetic to their issues? Can you put self aside, for a moment, and immediately meet the needs of another? Although this may seem a small thing, it could be life-changing for someone else. Think about the influence your favorite teacher or coach wielded.

Although they might have been performing a job they were paid to, there was a moment when they stepped outside of those responsibilities and became much more to you.
Doing the same for others will not only make your company successful but provides influence beyond your wildest dreams.

Brian D. Dale
Learn Linkedin Marketing for Business
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