The Power of Networking

I was extremely excited to attend MOBE’s Super Charge Summit in Orlando, Florida, not only for the time away but also for the networking experience. I’ve made tremendous friends and business partners by sharing time and insight at these kinds of events, and I had a great feeling about this one.

As I was looking for a hotel room in the Orlando area, obviously there was any number of choices. The hotel where our event was being held was a little expensive, with mandatory fees for amenities that I had no intention of using. After a good bit of searching, I found a great deal about 20 minutes from the event.

When I arrived at the Super Charge Summit on Friday morning, the first person I saw was a business associate named Kenneth Zanders, or “Kenny Z” as he’s known in the Internet Marketing industry.

We spoke for a few minutes and, because I knew he’d made a special trip from Chicago, I asked him where he was staying.

“I have a time share about 10 minutes away,” he told me, “and I’m going to uber back and forth for a few days.”

I told him I didn’t want to get in his way at all, but if there was any room for me I’d be happy to be his ride, and I’d love to save over $100 on a hotel room. As the good friend and business associate he is, he said, “No problem Jon. But I don’t like the mattress, so you can have the bed, and maybe I’ll take the couch, or we can have them bring a rollaway cot or something.”

Whatever he decided was good by me, as I just needed a place to stay, save a little money, and be able to share some business ideas with someone I knew and trusted.

When we arrived at the resort where he was staying, I waited outside while Kenny Z spent what seemed like a long time at the registration desk. After wrapping up whatever details needed attention, we were escorted to our room.

Upon entering, I was ready to check out the defective mattress and possible couch to sleep on… and I was completely overwhelmed by the size of the living room with its 2 pull out sofas, the enormous kitchen area, the king sized bed and whirlpool in the master suite, and the 2 queen sized beds and private bath in the other half of the room.

“Which bed has the bad mattress?” I joked, followed by “You upgraded, didn’t you?”

Keeny Z then told me the story of what happened…

As he stood at the registration desk, he explained that there would be a very important guest (who… me?) joining him, and he needed to make sure we were both very comfortable. Asking what could be done, Kenny Z was told, somewhat dismissively, “There are no rooms available, there is nothing we can do for you.”

Kenny Z, being the professional he is, explained again the importance of making sure his guest was taken care of, and that we both were comfortable for the entire weekend. Without any explanation, he was told again, “There’s nothing we can do for you or your guest.”

Kenny Z calmly yet assertively said, “That’s not good enough,” and made a phone call to a personal friend, who just happened to be the owner of the resort. This gentleman, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, said, “No worries, Ken… let me talk to them.”

He made it perfectly clear that Kenny Z and his guest were to be accommodated in every way, and anything less was unacceptable. They then selected one of the best rooms in the entire resort, made a couple of small adjustments to their reservations list, and showed us to our room.

It turned out to be one of the most comfortable weekends I have ever spent, which means a lot when you’re out of town, at a business conference, working from early in the morning to late at night. Kenny Z told me, “I was raised to make sure that if I had a guest, it was my responsibility to make sure my guest was comfortable.” I like the way Kenny Z was raised.

This was, to me, an outstanding lesson in the power of networking. I had created a friendship with Kenny Z, he had created a friendship with the owner of the resort, and the benefits are priceless.

There is a saying that our network is our net worth, and that means different things to different people. A good friend of mine, after hearing that concept for the first time, said, “I need to find some richer friends. Mine are all broke.” I felt it was crucial to respond that our net worth is not measured solely by a dollar figure, but by the influence we have on each other’s lives.

I have so many friends who are not wealthy by any stretch, but they are generous and kind, spiritually uplifting, and compassionate and considerate toward every person whose life they touch. If I were to measure them simply by their bank account, they would fail the test… and these people are the exact opposite of failure.

Kenny Z shared his personal story with me months ago when we first met at – of all places – a Super Charge Summit in Orlando, FL, and it touched my heart in a significant way. I was feeling sorry for myself and my situation, as my Mom had recently been diagnosed with dementia of the Alzheimers type, and I was watching her struggle with everything. I wanted to help her, and take care of her, but I am not a trained caregiver, and I was having a hard time with all of it. We both were, and it was devastating.

Kenny Z listened intently, and offered some genuine compassion and consolation for the challenge I was facing. Then he told me that a few months earlier he had lost his daughter to cancer. This was after losing his wife to cancer a couple years earlier.

My heart sank, and he said, “A couple months ago, I wasn’t able to talk about it. Then I realized my granddaughter was in need of strength and guidance, and I decided then and there that I would make sure she grew up strong, proud, and capable of carrying on no matter what happened. I had to be that example for her.”

I quickly realized that he was my example as well, and I thanked him for sharing and confiding in me. I vowed to be a support system for him as well, and we created an incredible friendship and business relationship then and there.

Shortly after Ken’s daughter had passed away, the owner of the resort we were staying at this weekend in Orlando reached out to the time share owners at his resort – including Kenny Z – and wanted to hear their stories. When he spoke to Kenny Z, he said, “Ken I already know your story. One of my associates told me about your daughter, and I want you to know I understand. I lost my daughter to cancer just over a year ago. If you ever need anything from me, please do not hesitate to ask. If I can help you, I will.”

And this is where we found ourselves, searching thru our network to see who might be able and willing to help us. Because we had connected on a personal level, because we had decided to care for each other, we ended up with quite possibly the most comfortable and enjoyable weekend of my life. I’ve stayed at many 5 star resorts and high end hotels in my life, and this beat them all.

The weekend was a tremendous success on many levels, and the power of networking showed up in a huge way, and contributed to that success. It was a great lesson in building friendships, taking care of each other, and working toward bigger goals.

If you’re looking to create a bigger and better network for yourself, and a bigger and better net worth for yourself and your family, click on this link  and send us a brief message to jonr@jonrobertsnow.com letting us know where you want to go, what you want to do, and why you want to do it. Your personal reason why will determine how important the next steps are to you. We’re here to help you if you so desire, and we look forward to working with you. Thanks, and God bless.