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4 Steps to Networking Mastery
Ditching your old comfort zone for a new one.

Ivan Misner, in a January 2011 blog post, referred to a section of my book, Manifesting for Non-Gurus, in which I teach about comfort zones.  A comfort zone occurs when our “I am” beliefs match the results we are currently getting.  The premise of Ivan’s post was that if a person sees himself as a good networker, if he is comfortable at networking, he is much more likely to get out and attend events, fully participate, and get the maximum benefit from the experience.

A reader raised an important question: Changing your thinking sounds easy enough, but exactly how do you do it?  How do you make a change that lasts?

This is where many people get stuck – the point where we declare we are a great networker but are shamed by the voice inside that says, “No, you’re not!”

However, to become a master at something which you currently do not consider yourself particularly good at, there are four things you must be willing to do:

  1. Try something new.  In order to get to mastery, we must be willing to take the first step.  We must be willing to try something new and different.  Do you remember your first networking meeting?  Have you watched a child learn to walk?  Do you remember what it was like to learn to drive a car?  The first step is often awkward but a necessary part of the process.

  2. Ask for help.  It is sometimes possible to get to mastery without help, but it is always faster and easier to get there with the help of others.  BNI is a perfect example of this.  It’s an environment where we can always find someone willing and able to mentor us to the next level.

  3. Be uncomfortable.  So many people are unwilling to take the first step or ask for help because it will make them uncomfortable.  When we remember that being uncomfortable is simply part of the process, a necessary stage, we become more willing to get into action.  We get out of our own way.

  4. Practice, practice, practice. Finally, the only way to get to true mastery is through repetition.  When we are willing to take action, respond to feedback, and then take more action, we get better at whatever we are doing—eventually reaching a state of mastery.

In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell refers to research that indicates it takes 10,000 hours to become a master in your field.  That is a lot of hours!  But here is the good news: If you are willing to follow the four steps above, the first hours you commit will be a quantum leap to your results.  Most people are not willing to do it.  Most people would rather remain stuck in their comfort zone.  So even if you don’t have an extra 10,000 hours, dedicate whatever time you can and race ahead of the pack.

If you start by declaring a new “I am” belief—“I am an effective networker!”—and if you are willing to take these four steps consistently, you will soon become a master networker.  And you will have created a new comfort zone; your “I am a great networker” belief will now match your new results.  From that moment forward you will always be a great networker.  It will become part of who you are!

Robert MacPhee is the author of Manifesting for Non-Gurus.  He is a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council and the former Director of Training for Jack Canfield.  You can find out more about him and his work at

Go here to get a signed copy of Robert MacPhee’s book, Manifesting for Non-Gurus [link:] AND journal for only $20.00.  And, as a gift to BNI readers, included you’ll get a guided manifesting meditation and audio outlining how to get the most benefit from the journal.

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