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As the community here at DrivingSales gets to know me and my eccentric and sometimes odd ways – everyone will soon find out that my writings, rantings, and ravings are usually based on my own personal life experiences and what I am working through at that moment in time.
So as I was deciding what I write I ran across April Rain’s blog about her experience at a recent automotive conference. Besides her wit and funny stories of her experience – one of the things she spoke about was networking and the power that social media can have on said network.
What’s funny is that I finally signed up for a twitter account at last years DSES. My good friend and fellow community editor Nicki Allen made me join linkedin last month. All this to say…I am not a networking kind of guy. What I am is a “car guy” through and through – but more than that – who I am a people person, which is what makes me great at what I do.
I am genuine to the core and customers, clients, co-workers, and vendors alike are able see that in my day-to-day operations. I drive a hard bargain (just ask some of my vendors) but I have never been a hand shaker, work the room guy, or just flat out networker…but that is all changing…on my terms.
Networking to me is surrounding myself with people that help you raise the bar in business as well as life, and in turn hopefully you return the favor. As I have been able to get to know folks in this industry I am learning that I am blessed to be in the car business. I am blessed to have been able to get to know some of the brightest and best in life and in business.
I am currently surrounding myself with people who make me a better version of myself. I strive for excellence and look for those who do as well. I love visiting the offices of eCarlist to hear Len Critcher, Terrence Gordon, and the rest of the team talk so passionately about what is going on in their neck of the woods. I look forward to sitting down over dinner with Nicki Allen (Classic of Denton), Jim Flint (John Eagle Auto Group), Hagen Durant (Classic Chevrolet), and Amanda Eagle (John Eagle Auto Group) here in a couple weeks. I am not lying when I tell Brian Pasch that I am going to come train with him on the Jersey shore. I am not just looking to hang out when I take a night out with the boys from VinSolutions at a Ranger game to have a couple beers, talk shop, and just enjoy getting to know each other.
So what’s my ‘thesis’ of this blog? Why waste a perfectly good blank Microsoft Word Document? It’s a cry to those reading this to look around and see whom you are standing next to. If you are alone or don’t like who’s next to you…get to work. Change.
Someone told me yesterday that in order to have great friends, you have to first be a good friend yourself. To me life is about people and relationships. Yeah – we can sell a ton of cars – but what’s most important and why I choose to network is for a selfish reason. I want great friends and partners in this business. I have been so richly blessed to be a small part of some of great people – even if its via facebook, twitter, or linkedin.
So – look around, see who’s walking with you, beside you, and truly partnering with you. Then take a look in the mirror. Today you can start networking. Today you can learn to be a better friend and partner in the car business. Today can be the first day of the rest of your life...as someone who networks.
Can you hear me now?