I don’t know if you learned a new skill or took up a new hobby during lockdown, but for me it was cycling. It was the ideal combination of getting around in Brisbane, fighting the covid kilos and getting mental clarity.
Whilst I was pedalling, it occurred to me that networking is a bit like cycling – a bit of hard work will give you a lot of benefits…
Think of Fresh Networking as being like a bike. Fresh provides you with the vehicle for networking – your Fresh membership. But you’re the athlete – no matter how good the bike, the wheels don’t turn unless you (literally) put in the legwork.
The more I rode, the further I took the analogy…
A bike starts with a frame – the fundamental structure that holds everything together. Our Fresh hubs are like the frame of the bike – giving us a strong, dependable base from which we can set out on our networking journey.
A bike without a seat would be impossible (or at least very uncomfortable) to ride – the seat supports the rider and turns the journey from painful to enjoyable. Your fellow members are the seat – providing support and friendship and ensuring your networking is a great experience (and not a pain in the bum!)
Ding ding – a bike needs a bell to let people know you’re there – in Fresh, our ‘bell’ is our one-minute pitch. It announces that we’re here, who we are and what we’re all about. Without a strong pitch, you’re as silent as a bell-less bike.
The wheels are what keeps a bike in motion – no-one ever got anywhere on a bike with no wheels. Our networking activity is our wheels. The visits to other hubs, the Get Freshes, the social activities – these are the things that keep our networking moving, gathering speed and pace.
We’ve even got training wheels – our Fresh Academy program helps new ‘riders’ to develop their networking skills and practice them in a safe environment.
Any cyclist will tell you, it’s no fun riding on a flat – you need air in your tyres for a smooth journey. The rider has their pump always handy and as networkers too, we sometimes need to ‘pump up our tyres’ and keep ourselves motivated. This could be taking on a new role in the hub, doing your first presentation, or setting yourself a new challenge.
I found tracking my progress with a Fitbit really encouraging – seeing the progress I made from ride to ride. At Fresh, our stats are the Fitbit, showing us how we’re tracking, where we’re doing well and what we need to improve.
When we think cyclists, we think Lycra…what you wear on your bike sends a message about you – are you a Sunday casual, or a serious MAMIL. It is your cycling ‘brand’. At Fresh, the way you present yourself – face to face, on zoom, at social events – makes a big impact and will influence whether people want to refer you.
Training – I can’t believe how much my riding has improved in a few short months. It’s the same with networking – the more we do, the better we get.
Finally of course, a bike is just so much glorified hardware without a rider. The rider powers the bike and turns it from a stationary piece of equipment into transport, out on adventures and experiences. YOU, our members, are the bike riders, powering your networking to grow your businesses.
So, as we move into the new networking year, dust off your Lycra, ring that bell and get back on the networking bike.