The Networking Abyss

The Networking Abyss


By Chi Chi Okezie

As business entrepreneurs, working professionals or students, we understand the importance of networking. There are times when networking can get overwhelming, seem complicated and even a vast creature to handle. Do not give up so quickly. Take time to refocus, tr-energize and map out a successful networking game plan.

Listed below are strategic ways in which savvy networkers can find direction in a networking state of confusion or vast uncertainty.


Face to Face

In our business lives, we tend to hide behind the screens. Whether it is on our phone, our tablet or computer, we tend to miss out on face to face contact or human interactions. In order gain more clarity in your networking, sometimes it is better to meet face to face. Networking 1-on-1 is an excellent way of reconnecting, building strong relationships and growing trust. Not only does it add value to the relationship but it can also set a platform for accountability.



Another great way to get the most out of your networking is to reach out to your colleagues at certain touchpoints. Perhaps you ran across an interesting article, use that as a touchpoint to connect. You could have met someone new and can use that as an opportunity to make a introduction or referral to an existing contact in your network. Look for meaningful ways to re-engage and keep the communication flowing and relevant.

Hopefully these quick tips can help you navigate through networking dilemmas with success. Find the value in executing a networking plan which promotes trust and building relationships.

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INSPIRE – A Power Word for Every Day

INSPIRE – A Power Word for Every Day



In 2011 this word came crashing into my life as being central to everything I am about. I had the privilege of meeting Thomas Power from the UK, in person, in Sydney. Thomas spent an hour with me taking me through a guided session that resulted in bringing everything that drives me down to two words.

Those 2 words were: Inspiring Solutions.

Thomas’ instructions to me were to treat those two words as key to everything I do and I started from that moment on to build my personal brand around ‘Inspiring Solutions’.  A few months later I set up my first LinkedIn profile and used my new ‘core words’ to create the following statement:


“Passionate, energetic and dynamic, I am all about inspiring solutions through international business development and helping others network and connect effectively.”


From 2011 and even more so today, ‘Inspiring Solutions’ is my benchmark for everything I share on-line, everything I tweet about, like, re-share, post, comment on and for offline face to face networking conversations, discussions, topics I will talk about and even people I choose to associate with. If it is aligned with inspiring solutions, I am there. If it is not then I politely choose to exit or change the subject and I like to think I honestly manage this most of the time.


The simple word ‘inspire’ and all its variations, inspiring, inspiration, inspirational, have taught be more about life, about attitudes towards business and pleasure, about people, about positive change that focus on 2 key words brings, than I ever would have thought possible.

My favourite definition of the verb to inspire is

To fill with an animating, quickening or exalting influence; to fill with enlivening or exalting emotion


I have discovered the power of choosing to become inspiring and have been on a mission for the last couple of years to inspire others to choose the same. This personal purpose statement that I created at a workshop led by Jan Haldane is a powerful reminder: ‘My purpose is to express my passion, energy and drive to inspire, connect and build engaging networks with people and businesses.


I could write all day about this amazing little word inspire but I will choose to finish off with some of a key note that I wrote and delivered as part of a Corporate Series led by Cam Calkoen in 2014:

“Inspiring people are attractive. They ooze something which the rest of us want – they feed us, challenge us, and energise us. We want to follow them, know them, and be associated with them.

In choosing to become inspiring, you will choose to become one of those people who others gravitate towards. They will share your posts, like your blogs and updates, will connect with you, follow you, meet face to face with you, attend events you are at, introduce you to others and look to build some kind of relationship with you.

So inspire those around you and find others who inspire YOU. Build your network around these 2 points and you will have loyal connections who will bring others who they think would be inspired by or resonate with you AND you will be doing the same for those connections who inspire you.

It’s all about GIVE and TAKE. Giving comes first.”


Jayne Albiston
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

FOCUS – A Power Word for Every Day

FOCUS – A Power Word for Every Day



In April 2008, I bought a book at the airport as I was boarding a long haul flight. It was entitled, ‘The Power of Focus’ by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. I read it cover to cover on the plane, not realizing how much it was literally going to change my outlook on both my business and personal life.
I learned that,“It’s all about focus. The main reason most people struggle professionally and personally is simply lack of focus.

I learned that, ‘my habits will determine my future’ and that ‘it takes focused action, personal discipline and lots of energy every day to make things happen’.

The word ‘Focus’ became my mantra for 2008 and it guided me through what turned out to be an extremely challenging but rewarding year.  Another best selling author Brian Tracy claims that, ‘Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop.’
Over the last 8 years, I have continued my journey both personal and business, learning the power of focus, seeing both successes and failures but all the while learning more and more the fact that much more is achieved when we focus instead of spreading ourselves too thinly or trying to target everyone, ending up targeting no one.

Focus is potent, undiluted and it attracts.

JF Kennedy said, “Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

It is timely that now for 2016, ‘focus’, meaning having a central point of attention, is one of our key words to drive our business growth across our Business over Breakfast (BoB) Club network in Australia and New Zealand.

Focus clarifies, cuts out the distractions and provides a constant reminder of what you set out to do, who you set out to be and where you set out to go and it is focus that keeps you on the track to get there.
Focus narrows it all down, brings a simplicity and a strength. It un-complicates you and your brand. When you have focus, others can see that and are attracted to the power that brings.

Focus is and will always remain in our list of key words to drive us forward both personally and professionally. If you have not embraced ‘focus’ and its power in your personal and business life, then I strongly encourage you to do so today. We welcome comments and questions.


Jayne Albiston
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand

REALISE – A Power Word for Every Day

March 10 , 2016 – Jayne Albiston


This year we have 24 key words that we are applying directly to our business. They have particular meaning because we have taken them from our personal collection of words that we use to inspire and drive our lives forward.
In no particular order, I am commenting on one of these words every couple of weeks and they appear in our company newsletter each month. These comments are my own and I would welcome any additional insight, inspiration or feedback that you may have on them, including any experiences that you may have had along your business journey so far.


The 3rd word is: Realise…

When you realise something it becomes clear to you.

Entire courses, books and workshops are written on the meaning of the word realise. People invest hundreds of dollars to seek, to understand and to make change in their lives around the meaning of this word and yet in my opinion, the use of it is often overlooked.


Realise is unbelievable powerful and should have its rightful place in every set of top ten words to guide both our business and personal lives.
One of my favourite definitions goes like this: when you realise something it becomes clear to you. These days everyone seems to be looking for clarity in some area of their lives.


One expanded definition says that all the meanings of realise amount to making something “real” in some way. If you realise a plan, you make it happen. If you realise a fact, you see its truth. If you realise the seriousness of a situation, you become aware of its dangers.


Whether it is gaining clarity on either the positive OR the negative in our business and in our lives, either way, we are not living life to the full or fulfilling our business or personal life potential if we do not begin to realise what is in our current reality and then take steps to realise something different, something more. In other words make it happen.
This week, I am taking the ‘realise’ challenge to look at my personal and business priorities, to gain clarity on them and to take action to make them real in some way.


This will most likely include:

  • Seeing a truth
  • Becoming aware of some dangers
  • Making something happen.

There are many tools that we can use to help us record and to be reminded of what we have ‘realised’ so far in our lives and what we yet strive or dream to ‘realise’.


One of these tools is a Gratitude Journal which simply involves writing down things we are grateful for, including that which we want to ‘realise’ in the the future. This is proving to be a powerful tool for me personally and I encourage you to try it. You might be surprised at what you are able to realise’ in your business and personal lives.


Jayne Albiston
Business over Breakfast (BoB) Clubs Australia & New Zealand