Networking Made Easy, or, Why the Tired Blogger Can Find Neither a Mentor Nor a Date for Groundhog Day

“That fly will never reproduce.” Movies make it look so easy. The local janitor is a karate master, and if I will just humble myself enough to wax his car, I can learn how to be badass. Budget cuts in most organizations, you’re lucky if they have hired a janitor at all instead of outsourcing.

My last couple of posts have been reviews of The One Minute Millionaire. I’ll leave links below in case you wanna catch up or get a night…er recap.

Likely after reading this one everyone will understand why I’m not a millionaire. I won’t leave a lame excuse here; I will just share the half bassed work I am doing and share some thoughts on why it is so difficult to find a mentor. As a refresher I will share what my task for the near future is (saying that I actually have the wherewithal to go through with this).

  • 1. Make a List of Missing Resources. Writing down the resources that you feel you lack to help you reach your goal.
  • 2. Network Within Your Own Circle of Contacts. You probably already know someone-who knows someone-who has the answers to your questions. Call them up and ask: Do you have the answer or solution?
  • 3. Widen Your Search. Once you know what you are lacking, you can usually find the names of potential mentors…on the Internet-for a price.
“Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t, didn’t already have.” In a very simplistic way, Dorothy’s companions were on a search for a mentor, who found a way to bring out the virtues in them they didn’t realize they already had. Is my quest going to end the same way? “If I only had a brain…da da da da da da da.”

Likely I should add to my list a brain, a heart, and the noive.

Resources I need in order to accomplish my goals. A mentor. A team. A network. A community. I need to either figure out how to work the system or find a system where I fit and get it working. I need a place to belong.

I feel like I belong on the Island of Misfit Toys.

I need startup capital. Revenue. Sales. For that, I need the idea. A good or a service to sell. I need a support system. I need hope. I need confidence. I need a plan.

I need inspiration so powerful it will get me through the hard times ahead.

Network Within Your Own Circle of Contacts.

If only I were as good at networking as Dorothy.

I’ve been pretty transparent about my poverty. I am willing to share that I don’t have a huge network, but I don’t think my friends want me sharing all of their personal information. So instead, I’ll just share what I am learning about networking.

When you’ve spent half your life wanting to be a hermit, networking can be challenging.

According to Kat Boogaard of “In the early part of my career, I thought networking was totally smarmy and unsavory,” explains Halelly Azulay, CEO of TalentGrow and Creator and Host of The TalentGrow Show podcast, “I tried to avoid it as much as I could, because I didn’t really understand what networking was and how to do it properly.”

“But, now I understand that when you define networking as simply building and maintaining mutually-beneficial long-term relationships with others, it’s an important part of professional life and I wish I had started practicing it sooner,” she adds.

“Building your connections can provide you with invaluable opportunities to exchange information, get advice from experienced peers, and in many cases achieve your career goals. And as Azulay says above, networking is meant to be mutually beneficial—you may have the rewarding experience of contributing to a connection’s success in return.”

She then proceeds to share 18 tips for networking. I won’t list them all here, I’ll share the ones that will be helpful to me and some of my friends.

Prepare for whatever event you are going to. Heck…I guess I should start going to stuff.

Pack plenty of business cards. Note to self, get business cards.

Bring someone with you. Well, all my married friends, you don’t mind telling your family you are going out with Curtis to some “networking” event…right.

A Tired Blogger’s idea of networking.

Obviously, I need to ramp up my game.

Not to be outdone, Vanessa Van Edwards of also has 18 tips for networking. Her tips are more along my line of thinking, having said that, I know from experience that what has worked for her will most certainly NOT work for me.

Example: what should you do with your nametag at the event?

Her advice is pretty self-evident. Look around, see if everyone else has their full name, name and title, or just first name, and do what the Romans are doing. But her bonus tip is what would get me in trouble.

“Bonus Tip: When you can, add a conversation starter to your name-tag. Notice that everyone else is putting their company name? Unless your company name is intriguing, try writing a catch phrase like: “Non-Spammy Sales Guy” or “Marketing Guru” or “Leadership Interpreter.”
“Quick Story: I used to put “Science of People” on my nametags and now I never do. Why? No one really asked about it. Now I put, “Behavioral Investigator” or “Author” or, if I am feeling really brave, “Human Lie Detector.”

Just in case any of my bosses read this…don’t worry, I will be the bland professional I am supposed to be. But if I were allowed to be myself (all the books say to be yourself…and they LIE!) I would so put down that I am “Curtisimo Del Fuego, Tyrant for Life of Sedonia.” From the reactions I’ve gotten for emails that were quite a bit milder than that, I can already tell you that at most corporate functions that would fly like a lead balloon. Having said that, I at least DO have the self-control to NOT TRASH the motel where the function is held.

SI don’t know why my bosses had a problem with my attire at the last work function. I thought I cut a very dashing figure. Comments welcome.

She also has quite a lot of advice for networking action plans, various etiquette tips, and ideas for how best to use your business cards. I am personally going to print out her site and memorize it. Or at least read it very extensively. It really is that good, but it is also so extensive, I don’t wish to quote it and leave the impression I’ve given all the best that she has to share. Go check them out. Unless you are a marketing whizz, in which case, what will it take to get you to mentor me? Feel free to comment and I’ll be sure you get good contact information. You know. For me.

Tamar Shulsinger of Northeastern University is either much less ambitious, or much more succinct. She only lists seven tips to networking. She begins with this quote: “As entrepreneur Porter Gale put it, “Your network is your net worth.”

Tamerlane was the military genius who founded the Timurid Empire. Claiming to be descendent of Genghis Khan, he conquered a huge chunk of Asia, from Russia to India, using savage network marketing and the Genesis Device against Admiral James T. Kirk. My overpaid assistants say that last part may be wrong.

Here is her list: 1) if a connection has a new achievement, such as a promotion, a marriage, the conquest of an ancient Mongolian province, congratulate them. 2) Always say thank you to your allies. Maybe even your enemies. It confuses them. 3) Engage them with content. I try to do this, but sometimes this annoys people. And I’m pretty sure Elon Musk just thinks I am a spammer. 4) Meet them in person. If possible, stalk them until they call the police. This has been the real secret behind my success. 5) Offer your guidance. Um…in my case it consists mainly of volunteering to be the “before” exhibit. 6) Communicate regularly. 7) Then she lists some advice for reconnecting with old acquaintances. I’ll let you read that one, as I am frankly the worst when it comes to reconnecting with anyone. I’m not saying it never happens, but I’m sure most old acquaintances wonder if I have passed away.

I took this image from the Northwestern University website. Here we have a beautiful woman pointing out that “this is what is called a computer” to a man who obviously has never seen one before.

Widen Your Search

Well, the local janitor and the dumpster diving homeless person turned me down, so I guess I will, in fact, have to widen my search. Maybe I’ll call Merry Maids. Mentors R Us. I hear Jack Gleeson needs a job.

This guy looks successful and confident. I wonder if he will be my friend? Hey dude! Will you be my mentor. Ouch! Ouch! Why are these guys hitting me?


  1. I am poor, for most of my life I’ve just made rent, quite a few hungry nights, and never enough for a car that doesn’t need fixing.

    But I have a car, and a roof and a family and, a network

    I’ve spent my life building networks of reliable people of a similar mindset in core values. (These individuals are placed all over every spectrum the government may use for dividing us)

    Networking is not an event, it’s not even pressing hands. Networking may begin that way, but, what it is for me…

    Acting with integrity, regardless of how they act.
    I keep my word, always. I never give my word unless I can keep it.
    Understanding or trying to understand each individual within your network, needs. Not wants and desires, but needs.
    I am a social outcast. I detest social media, parties, clubs, and general humanity as a whole. I am far more at home in the woods with no one else around. However, I understand the simplest truth of life, it isn’t a loner’s game. So, I reach out and do my best to be available when others need a shoulder, a hand, or a tool/book.

    That’s my approach, and for the record, Networking is one of my master realities, I have taught others to do the same, without them even realizing I was. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Curtiswselby says:

      That is awsome. I have been blessed with the most incredible friends. I’ll admit, I don’t really know what I am doing. But what I am doing, I’m doing for my friends and what is left of my family. I am (I hope) open to being taught. But I’ll admit, if somehow I ended up with a million, I’d buy some land out in the country, and have my friends over to play D&D and talk about books, and the city could keep its problems.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Xman says:

      Yes, Jesse, I think networking and Reputation are very closely linked!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Xman says:

    I have seen several EXCELLENT 4 step Presentations done by the world-famous idea guy named GRU! I am surprised one of these did not make the Top Ideas list… but then again most of those memes—I mean, PRESENTATIONS — did end with Gru slightly disappointed in the final results.

    Another informative and humorous post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Curtiswselby says:

      You are right! But I figure his efforts to get a loan from the bank are best left for a later post…one about OPM

      Liked by 1 person

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