Written by: Lennard M. Gettz, Ed.D
"Most of us have not (yet) physically met, but our synergy helped unite us under our common professional interests..."
Whether in LIFE, WORK or A NEW VENTURE, many popular rules about relationships remain prevalent through one's path to success:
1) It's WHO you know...
2) Never GO it alone...
3) There is no I in team
4) You are who your FRIENDS are
5) It takes a VILLAGE -
6) "Growth doesn't happen in a vacuum" 
7) "No one knows everything... open up to others to fuel our continued knowledge"
8) And then there is that classic Beatles tune "I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends"
EVOLUTION IN PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING
From 1998-2008, I ran a magazine called B2BNETEVENTS- reporting on the 'business networking' at a time when business card exchange parties were rampant. The allure of meeting business owners and reps gave the hope of expanding your sales and creating new partnerships was the IT thing to do in business development. Quantifying the return on investment of attending these events (the gas, the dry-cleaning and the time spent), most networkers fall short of actually getting ANY real business from this mode of self-promotion. I personally found myself at the end of this era setting fire to over 3 barrels full of business cards that amounted to nothing (after dedicated follow-ups) thinking "we need a better way to connect with the world".
In 2009, a converted networker showed me a website that was a powerfully growing trend in finding professionals in just about ANY industry. LINKEDIN is that go-to place for search for and to connect with just about anyone in any field. As with the rise of dating sites, this digital meet-and-greet followed the trend of RELATIONSHIP MARKETING without the 'sweat equity' and the exhaustive pains of traditional face-to-face events.
"GO DIGITAL" FOR THE PRICE OF A THUMBS-UP
To date, Linkedin stands as the undisputed conduit for meeting leaders in just about any field. FORBES calls Linkedin "the best option...hands down, (as) the largest professional network available in the world!"
Where the face-to-face alternative gets you 20-30 business cards and conversations per event, Linkedin offers the power of international-to-local searchers with unlimited communication and exchange potential with countless members within short amount of time.
As an industry information resource, the SHARING/PUBLISHING aspect of Linkedin offers true inside perspective on just about any product, service or campaign. All professionals hold the opportunity to showcase their expertise and present updates on their product or technology thanks to the powerful post-publishing and streaming platform. Posting an article or an announcement can get you the attention of would-be connections that could end up being your next business partner with very little effort.
For the medical community (where most of my clients reside), sharing the latest innovations and protocols is an ideal place to share with the professional community- and private groups which Linkedin is also known for.
"In partnerSHIPs or friendSHIPs, the suffix "ship" is taken from an Old High Germanic word 'schaffen' meaning "to CREATE" or "to BUILD" - 
FINDING YOUR PEOPLE
Decades into finding synergy and relationship building (where all practices thrive), it's all about finding your own circle. To work with a trusted network of partners is the key to any success. Using all available resources (including referral sourcing or 'word of mouth') to meet and know one another is STILL the key to ultimate growth.
BUILDING AND GROWING YOUR OWN CIRCLE
Each day, alliances and professional groups are built, promoting collaboration, joint ventures and other efforts that call for combined leaderships co-working for a larger goal. More than safety in numbers, there is a sensible source of power in exploring new territories or expanding one's current essence WITH the joint support and empowerment of a collective and unified team. None of us as to GO it alone anymore!
One of IPHA's esteemed clinical collaborators is Dr. Robert Bard- diagnostic imaging specialist in NYC. His 35+ years in practice has connected him with countless medical visionaries and industry leaders far and wide under the spirit of patient care or joint research. His expansive network continues to attract local to national to global exchange- where his digital ultrasound has become the perfect collaboration technology. Where collaboration can build friendships, many great minds eventually make their way to an office visit. (1) Dr. Paul Dreschnack- reconstructive surgeon, NY (2) Prof. Joseph Toy- neuromagnetic therapy, Montreal CA (3) Pat Ziemer- Magnawave PEMF, Louisville, KY), Silvia Binder, Ondamed Biofeedback (Freiburg/Baden-Württemberg, Germany) and January Howard, Aesthetics Specialist (Ft. Lauderdale, FLA).
The world has changed and so have we! After COVID, many of us now connect with friends or companies online instead of face-to-face. We can post something to reach millions right away! And, it's not just for fun - lots of people join forces via the internet too. They help those in business who are facing hard decisions all around the globe by sharing stories, educating each other and communicating together as one community. On top that, virtual meetings and messaging platforms make getting business done super easy! This new Digital Age is totally revolutionizing business and personal relationships in a big way. - Patrick Ziemer, CEO - Founder MagnaWave PEMF & Aura Wellness
The Beacon for Fellow Change-Makers
"As we navigate in the post COVID world, professionals have had to evolve to be successful in maintaining and establishing relationships. Whether on a personal or professional level, we have become dependent on digital media. In the past connecting with people involved a cold call, a conference, convention and/or tradeshow now a single post can reach millions of potential customers. Another benefit of the digital arena is bringing together like minded professionals to embark on crusades to educate, advocate and communicate. Many people who have suffered from unfortunate circumstances now have an alliance from all across the world to advocate for their cause. Virtual meetings can be performed on a regular basis. This new age of communication is revolutionizing how business is done. When the word Zoom is now used as a verb (Let's Zoom that) that is enough evidence to know the change has occurred" - Josh Schueller, PT (Rockford, MI)
Genuine Synergy in Partnerships
Entrepreneurship can be a rocky road, especially when we’re going it alone, but, with support from others in a way that facilitates synergy, we can all achieve so much more. When we make fortuitous connections, creating synergistic relationships with others who share our passion, they contribute to our purpose - and in turn, we contribute to theirs. In order to learn more from others, I took to LinkedIn. These connections provided me with the potential for opportunities that would have never developed otherwise. I was contacted by the CEO of a start-up that needed a brain health specialist. As a result, I was offered the opportunity to merge my brain-health coaching practice with his start-up, which already had established marketing and business strategies. This confirmed to me, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the potential for these opportunities were not coincidental and the benefits of these relationships have been too numerous to count. - Marilyn Abrahamson, MA,CCC-SLP - CBHC (Morganville, NJ)
"How can movers and shakers in the health field lend their knowledge and talent into an amazing think tank, without taking time off to travel- and still have a meaningful conversation? The art of Relationship Building answers that question. The world gets a little smaller each time like-minded professionals can meet face-to-face, and do so in a “semi-formal” way, getting the business/task at hand worked on, and sharing parts of our lives that make us all human, and approachable as a “digital neighbor”. We all know how much global carbon we save by using digital think tanks. There are even “break out rooms” for people to work in smaller groups to get to an answer, or get to know each other in a shorter period of time, which is one of the main benefits this technology provides - saving time. The face-to-face time spent with other professionals edifies all that are in the digital room, and mind-shares and brain-dumps help offer new knowledge or a new spin on the text book knowledge we all learned when attaining our professional sheepskins. Digital platforms are here to stay. They are becoming one of the top networking models for non-local members to share ideas and presentations. I can’t think of our world moving forward with out them." - Dr. Jerry Dreessen DC CCSP (Mountlake Terrace, WA)
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