The opportunities to meet others are endless, starting with BNI, and on to chamber events, power lunches, coffee, seminars, before hours, after hours, during hours, open houses and ribbon cuttings. We all look for ways to connect with people, we look for ways to help others either through our business or by making introductions to others. Through all the networking we do, we need to remember the words of Dr. Ivan Misner, “It’s not net-sit or net-eat; it’s net-work.” Because its work, we should look first at our goals. It is important to have a goal of what you want to achieve. It could be about meeting potential clients, building alliances, or establishing credibility. Once you know your goal then you need to work on a plan on how you will achieve it and what your time commitment is to this goal. Without a plan we can easily find that networking quickly turns into not-working. Another characteristic of net-working is to know the costs associated with networking, the cost of membership, but also the cost of your time – time is a finite resource – you can’t get more, so how you invest it matters. And finally we need to treat networking with the same energy we put into the other work we do. Focusing on the person we are with, attention to the details, look for ways to add value, great communication, and follow up. Your challenge: whether here at BNI or another event, set your goals, have a plan, and stay focused when net-working.